In the competitive hospitality industry, hotel owners and managers are constantly seeking new ways to drive bookings, increase revenue, and maximize profits. While location, amenities and service all play key roles, implementing the right sales strategies can dramatically impact a hotel’s financial performance.
This article will provide hoteliers with tactics and best practices to significantly grow occupancy, average daily rate (ADR), and overall revenue.
Table of Contents
- Conduct thorough market research to identify growth opportunities and unmet guest needs.
- Optimizing digital channels like your website and OTAs is crucial for sales.
- Local partnerships and community engagement can unlock new demand.
- Revenue management and dynamic pricing help maximize rates.
- Sales teams need continual training and motivation to drive results.
- Loyalty programs retain guests and incentivize repeat bookings.
- Creative marketing across all channels will lift occupancy and RevPAR.
- For more revenue-generating strategies, partner with our team at Emersion Wellness today!
Conduct Market Research to Identify Growth Opportunities
Before developing sales strategies, hotel owners must thoroughly understand the market landscape. Conducting detailed research will uncover target demographics, growth segments, and ways to differentiate your property.
Analyze Market Demand and Segmentation
Look at both historical and future patterns in your local area and competitive set to identify rising demand. Analyze market segmentation to find underserved groups that present opportunities.
For example, if your research shows increasing business travel and events in the region, you can tailor offerings to corporate travelers and meeting planners. If leisure travel is on the rise, focus sales efforts on vacationers and weekend getaways.
Benchmark Against Competitors
Research how your hotel stacks up against others in the market across metrics like occupancy, ADR, RevPAR, amenities, locations, guest ratings, and more. Look for competitor weaknesses you can capitalize on or strengths you can emulate.
This analysis will help you assess your positioning and provide direction for sales strategies. A SWOT analysis can also help uncover areas needing improvement.
Identify Unmet Guest Needs
Look for gaps in your market that other hotels aren’t addressing. Survey past guests about what they want but couldn’t find. Features like extended-stay options, family activities, pet-friendly policies, or environmentally-conscious programs could give you a competitive edge.
Optimize Hotel Website and Online Presence
In today’s digital-first hospitality industry, a user-friendly, informative hotel website and strong online presence are must-haves to drive direct bookings.
Ensure Website Provides Value to Guests
Your website should make it exceptionally easy for potential guests to learn about your property, view rooms and amenities, and directly book stays. Offer clear navigation, engaging and fresh content, beautiful visuals, and calls-to-action.
Integrate personalization and chatbots to provide customized assistance. Include virtual tours and videos to mimic the in-person experience. Offer promotional rates or packages exclusively online to incentivize bookings.
Focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Nearly 70% of travelers use a search engine to decide on accommodation. Optimizing your hotel site for SEO and search-friendly content will help you rank higher in searches and drive traffic.
Use relevant keywords in titles, headers, image names, URLs, etc. Create targeted landing pages like “Hotel Name + City” and “Hotel Name + Weddings.” Produce local content and regularly publish blog posts to improve authority.
Cultivate Reviews and Social Proof
Positive reviews and testimonials dramatically boost conversion rates. Respond promptly to all guest feedback and address any issues immediately. Survey happy guests and ask them to leave ratings on major sites like TripAdvisor, Google, and Facebook.
Prominently display 4- and 5-star reviews on your website. Share guest photos and ecstatic testimonials on social media. User-generated content builds credibility.
Advertise Strategically Across Key Channels
While your website is the sales hub, advertise offers and deals on channels popular with your target audience. This includes social media platforms, local directories and review sites, paid search/display ads, online travel agencies, email campaigns, and more.
Test various approaches and double down on tactics delivering the best ROI. Retargeting past visitors helps keep your brand top-of-mind.
Build Partnerships and Local Ties
Developing strong relationships within your community will unlock new sales channels and opportunities. Partnerships also raise brand visibility and embed you locally.
Partner With Event Venues
Convention centers, concert halls, stadiums, wedding venues, etc. all draw in out-of-town guests. Become the exclusive hotel or recommended lodging provider for large venues through sponsorship deals. Offer discounted room blocks and personalized services for attendees.
Cozy Up to Local Corporations
Sales reps can pitch the hotel as the go-to lodging choice for business travelers from nearby companies. Provide corporate discounts and executive perks to win over accounts. Cross-promote with brands that share similar target audiences.
Support Local Organizations
Sponsoring community events, sports teams, charities, and non-profits boosts goodwill. Offer event space or room blocks at reduced rates for fundraisers held at your property. Become the hotel proudly supporting your hometown.
Collaborate With Tourism Groups
Partner with local tourism boards, convention and visitor bureaus, chambers of commerce, etc. Participate in destination marketing campaigns, sales blitzes, and community events that feed guests to all area businesses.
Optimize Distribution Channels and Online Travel Agencies (OTAs)
While driving direct bookings is ideal, hotels rely heavily on OTAs and distribution partners to sell rooms. Managing rates and inventory across all channels is crucial.
Carefully Monitor and Update Pricing
Use dynamic pricing to maximize rates when demand is high and lower prices to stimulate sales when occupancies are down. Close rate gaps between OTAs and your hotel website pricing.
Tools like rate shoppers and channel managers help track pricing in real-time across all online channels and competitors.
Restrict OTA Discounts and Promotions
To drive bookings to your website, restrict OTAs from offering discounts or deals beyond what you offer directly. Limit flash sales and coupons only for direct booking channels under your control.
Block Out High-Demand Dates
Blocking out certain dates across OTA channels forces guests to book directly for popular dates like major events, holidays, festivals, etc. This ensures you don’t sell out via lower OTA rates first.
Provide Value-Adds For Direct Bookings
Offer exclusive perks like complimentary breakfast, upgrades, welcome amenities, free Wi-Fi, parking discounts, etc. only when booking direct. Promote these to incentivize using your hotel website.
Leverage Advanced Revenue Management Strategies
Sophisticated revenue management (RM) approaches optimize pricing and sales channels to maximize revenues. Systems analyze demand patterns and support strategic decision making.
Implement Revenue Management Software
Robust RM systems digest historical and current data to forecast trends and demand. This allows you to strategically adjust pricing and allocation across channels. Systems integrate with channel managers and POS software.
Manage Length-Of-Stay Pricing
Vary pricing not just by date, but length-of-stay. Reward longer stays with lower nightly rates. Price one-night stays higher due to increased guest acquisition costs. Offer advance purchase discounts for longer stays.
Develop Dynamic Packages and Offers
Craft targeted packages around seasonality, events, demographics, etc. Offer add-ons like spa deals, F&B credits, parking, early check-in/late checkout, and more to boost revenue. Display offers dynamically to specific audiences.
Use Fencing to Maximize Revenues
Fencing limits certain offers or rates to specific channels, sources, geographies, or user groups. For example, a weekend getaway deal for locals could be restricted just to visitors within 250 miles booking direct.
Train Sales Teams For Success
An exceptional sales team with the right skills, resources, and incentives will drive dramatic results. Continual coaching and education keeps staff motivated and optimized.
Set Clear Goals and Metrics
Establish specific occupancy, ADR, conversion, and booking targets. Use KPIs like sales calls made, referrals secured, contracts won, revenues generated, etc. to measure productivity. Tie progress directly to rewards.
|Revenue Management KPIs||Definitions||Best Practices|
|Occupancy %||Percentage of available rooms sold||Aim for 65-80%, vary by season|
|Average Daily Rate (ADR)||Average rental income per occupied room||Use dynamic pricing to optimize|
|RevPAR||Revenue per available room||Set goals for improvement by segment|
|Total Revenue||All hotel revenue (rooms, F&B, etc.)||Set monthly and annual targets|
|Gross Operating Profit||Revenue minus operating expenses||Maintain 50-65% GOP margins|
|Net Operating Income||Revenue minus all expenses||Maximize with effective cost controls|
|GOPPAR||Gross operating profit per available room||Calculates operational efficiency|
|Breakeven Occupancy||Occupancy rate needed to cover costs||Reduce fixed costs to lower target|
|Channel Mix||Room revenue share by channel||Limit OTA rates to drive direct bookings|
Provide Ongoing Education
Keep sales teams updated on new campaigns, value propositions, and competitor strategies through weekly training sessions. Have staff shadow top performers. Attend industry conferences and events together.
Offer Sales Support Resources
Provide templates and tools to save time like presentation decks, email templates, promotional materials, objection addressing guides, etc. Build a shared database of corporate contacts, vendors, and previous clients.
Structure bonuses and commissions around key metrics like conversion rates, new leads, revenues from past clients, performance above quota, etc. Publicly highlight and reward outstanding work. Foster healthy competition.
Foster Repeat Visits through Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs retain guests by making them feel valued, offering personalized perks, and incentivizing rebooking.
Offer Multiple Program Tiers
Provide various status levels, each with progressively better benefits. This motivates guests to book more to elevate their status. Offer tier upgrades based on stays or spending.
Give Reward Points
Allow guests to earn points for bookings and on-property spending. Let points be redeemed for free nights, upgrades, dining, spa credits, etc. Integrate the program into your marketing.
Use data like stay patterns and preferences to tailor messages and offers. Send special birthday and anniversary perks. Surprise repeat guests with upgrades or amenities.
Develop Member-Only Deals
Offer flash sales, discounted packages, room upgrades, F&B credits, and other perks exclusively for your loyalty members. Limit availability to encourage enrollment.
Implementing creative, data-driven sales strategies allows hotel owners to tap into new demand channels, generate buzz, incentivize direct bookings, and ultimately drive higher revenues. Developing partnerships, optimizing online channels, leveraging advanced RM, training sales staff, and creating loyalty programs all help maximize occupancy and rates. With the right combination of technology, processes, and people, hotels can thrive and improve profitability, even in the most competitive markets.
To learn more about innovative approaches to hotel revenue generation, contact Emersion Wellness. Our team of hospitality experts provides hotel owners and managers with customized strategies and solutions tailored to their unique business goals. From tactical sales initiatives to technology implementation, Emersion Wellness empowers hotels to reach their full revenue potential.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most effective ways to market a hotel?
Some top marketing tactics for hotels include search engine optimization, social media engagement, email campaigns, on-property signage and displays, partnerships with local venues and tourism groups, and participation in online travel agency marketing programs.
How can hotels gather better guest data?
Strategies to gather guest data include customer relationship management systems, post-stay surveys, loyalty programs, social media monitoring, user-generated content, and asking for preferences during the booking process. Integrating systems allows fuller profiles.
What tools can forecast demand and optimize pricing?
Revenue management systems use complex algorithms and historical performance data to forecast occupancy and demand. This allows hotels to optimize dynamic pricing across channels. Other tools like rate shoppers allow monitoring OTA pricing.
How should hotels handle online reviews?
Respond promptly and politely to every review, thanking the guest for their feedback. For negative reviews, apologize and offer to make amends if appropriate. Provide additional training to address any widespread service issues revealed. Highlight and promote positive reviews.
What sales skills are most important for hotel staff?
Key sales skills include building rapport, active listening, uncovering needs, presenting persuasive offerings, responding to objections, communicating value, establishing trust, managing relationships long-term, and ultimately driving conversion and revenue growth.
How can hotels create effective email marketing campaigns?
Segment your email list based on guest interests, demographics, booking history, etc. to personalize content and offers. Use compelling subject lines, test different approaches, make it mobile friendly, include photos/videos, and promote special deals or packages. Avoid over sending and make it easy to unsubscribe. Track open and click-through rates.
What types of corporate partnerships help hotels?
Hotels can partner with local corporations to become the preferred vendor for business travel lodging. Offer discounted room blocks, personalized billing/amenities, additional rewards incentives, and executive floor access to develop lucrative corporate accounts.
How can hotels encourage direct bookings?
Offer discounted rates, value-added perks like breakfast or Wi-Fi, loyalty points, room upgrades, personalized amenities, early check-in/late checkout, mobile pre-registration, and other benefits exclusively to guests booking directly via your website or calling the hotel.
What makes an effective hotel loyalty program?
An effective loyalty program offers multiple tiers with special statuses, makes it easy to earn and redeem points, provides personalized communication and rewards, surprises and delights members with added perks, integrates with marketing, generates excitement through promotions and offers, and provides elite benefits guests can't resist.
How can hotels upsell guests to boost revenue?
Training staff to upsell during interactions via tactics like suggesting room upgrades, adding spa packages, booking excursions, and adding dining packages or credits. Utilize pre-arrival emails and in-room marketing to promote specials and deals. Leverage at check-out by reviewing charges and suggesting add-ons.
I'm Nathan Baws, a nutrition nerd, exercise and weight loss expert, and an unwavering advocate for good health. As the founder of Emersion Wellness, I'm passionate about crafting Seamless Weight Loss Programs to supercharge hotel revenue and transform lives. We've pioneered the World's First Plug & Play Weight Loss Programs for top hotels and resorts, sparking a wellness revolution. Beyond my professional journey, you'll often find me hiking, swimming, and riding the waves, embracing every moment in nature. Join me on this exhilarating journey towards diet, health and wellness.