Increasing your property’s reservations and ensuring that your hotel is full is one of the main concerns of hoteliers, but did you know that with the right hotel sales tool you can make this process a whole lot easier?
Different tools can be useful during different stages of the sales process. However, with the right software decisions you can turn the entire process – from prospecting to making reservations, and the before, during and after phases of the hotel experience – into a solid, streamlined process, freeing up space to dedicate to your other priorities.
In this article we will look at the eight best hotel sales tools you need to manage your business effectively.
What hotel sales tools do you need to manage your business effectively?
Managing your hotel business effectively depends a lot on the tools you use, but no business can work effectively without having a goal in mind. Knowing your target audience and designing your guest personas will help you along each step of the way during the entire sales journey. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the different hotel sales tools and how they can help you.
Social media is one of the key tools for prospecting
Some of the best hotel sales tools are those that everyone uses on a daily basis, like social media. But, did you know that LinkedIn has a program for hotel sales prospecting? Leverage this everyday tool to grow your network and connect with all your professional contacts. Every time you have a meeting, attend a networking event or have a happy customer, you have unlocked the key to a potential future client.
Use LinkedIn wisely. Join groups, reply in discussions and use the InMail function strategically to find the customers with the guest persona you are trying to target. Find a way to connect with those who could be your potential clients in different groups and use the search terms that they would use. Think like they do and find them where they hang out online.
You can also use social listening to drive your hotel marketing efforts. Find out what people are saying about your brand and monitor conversations by flagging brand mentions, keywords and hashtags online. Use social listening to help you identify the conversations that you should be engaging in.
Email tracking tools
Once you’ve gotten prospecting out of the way and have used InMail to send emails to potential business clients, it’s important to have an email tracking tool as well to help you along the process. Hoteliers send hundreds of emails a day, so you want to be able to track them.
With an email tracking tool you can be sure your message was delivered and didn’t go to spam, you can find out whether it was opened, and at the same time be more aware of your client relationships. You can use tracking tools through your email provider or contract a separate tracking engine, but the main goal of email tracking is to monitor your email performance and make sure you're not wasting time sending mails that are never opened.
Task management tools
Nowadays there are so many task management tools out there but keeping track of your staff’s and your own tasks is what will make the difference in managing your business effectively. You can use a task manager to monitor upcoming marketing campaigns, and to better understand your staff’s workload in order to be able to organize, track and prioritize day-to-day operations of the hotel.
Imagine that you’re running a new marketing campaign. A time management tool will help you to keep track of the project’s different milestones, attach files and share tasks with your staff so that you can closely monitor what needs to get done, ensuring nothing gets lost in the shuffle.
A customer relationship management software is your friend
No hotel of any size is complete without customer relationship management software, more conveniently known as a CRM. A CRM helps hotels operate more profitably and better target their potential clients through enhanced marketing relationships with B2B and B2C customers.
CRMs are used to start, manage, track and grow customer relationships throughout the entire customer lifecycle. The goal is to improve business relationships and in turn grow the business.
The most indispensable tool: a PMS
A property management system or PMS is a fundamental hotel sales tool that has the goal of simplifying and automating operations. Tools like Mews’ property management system are essential to streamlining a hotel’s management of reservations and other administrative tasks. Some of the main functions of a PMS are to manage front desk operations, reservations, channel management, payments, occupancy and rate management, and housekeeping. If you had to choose only one hotel sales tool to use, a PMS should be – without a doubt – your first choice.
Make distribution easier with a channel manager
Distribution is an important element of sales. Choosing the right online travel agents (OTAs), booking platforms and metasearch engines will help gain visibility, but if it’s not managed correctly could lead to double bookings. This is where a channel manager comes into play.
A channel manager is a fundamental hotel sales tool that will help automate distribution across channels by updating availability across the board. It is a more efficient way of monitoring distribution, in turn opening up time and energy to focus on other tasks rather than distribution.
Content management system
Once you’ve managed distribution, prospecting, tasks and other day-to-day operations with a PMS, another important area to keep in mind is content management. A CMS is a type of software that allows users to manage content on a website with minimal technical skills.
Since content creation is such an important element of sales in the digital world, you need to have a tool that will help you do so. In fact, 40% of companies use blogs for their marketing and sales purposes. Creating and managing content is fundamental to increase inbound traffic and, in turn, sales.
Now that you’ve gone through all the other stages during the sales process with the aforementioned tools, the last tool you’ll need is a survey tool. The guest has made their booking, enjoyed their stay at your property, and now you want to monitor how you did. The best way to do this is with a survey tool.
Reviews are one of the first things travelers look at when deciding whether to book a hotel or not. So before they write a review, why not try to get customer feedback through a survey?
Surveys are a great way of hearing from your customers directly and to find out what they are looking for and what you can do better. You can use surveys for a variety of marketing and sales efforts, such as to get testimonials, to find out where you can improve and to understand customer expectations.
While there is no end-all secret to success in an industry as competitive as the hotel industry, one way to run your business more effectively and ultimately grow your revenue is by investing in the right hotel sales tools.
The right software will help you every step of the way during the sales process and help to automate processes so that hoteliers can focus on what they know how to do best: turning potential clients into life-long customers.
3 April 2021
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