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What Does a Hotel Sales Team Do? Core Objectives and Responsibilities

November 12, 2023
Nathan Baws

An exceptional in-house sales team is invaluable for hotels seeking to drive demand, attract bookings, and meet revenue goals. But what exactly does this specialized revenue-focused department do day-to-day? While sales structures vary by property size and type, core objectives like building relationships, generating new leads, securing bookings across segments, and maximizing rates remain consistent. 

This guide will explore the diverse responsibilities and strategic focus of hotel sales teams to showcase their indispensable impact. 

Building Relationships With Key Accounts and Segments 

Developing connections and negotiating contracts with valued partner accounts and customer groups.

Group Business

Securing room blocks, meeting space, F&B commitments, and signed contracts from conference, corporate group, tour, and event planners. Sales managers directly interact with professional group coordinators to showcase venues, suggest packages, negotiate terms, and close deals.

Corporate Accounts  

Becoming preferred hotel for local businesses through negotiated group rates, amenities, and self-booking tools tailored to employee travel needs. Understanding corporate cultures, brand values, travel policies and employee needs shapes successful preferred relationships. 

Consortia Partnerships

Joining consortia organizations to offer preferred set rates to member travel planners, meeting organizers, and corporate buyers in return for bookings. Consortia contracts require volume commitments in exchange for broad corporate access. Properties must meet quality, service and rate standards.

Local Tourism Relationships

Coordinating with local DMOs, venues, attractions, and transportation partners to create discounted visitor packages and cross-promotions. DMOs provide data on regional demand segments that inform tailored packages. Cross-promotions expand reach.

Special Interest Groups  

Forming partnerships with niche groups like sports teams, alumni orgs, social clubs, etc. to be designated hotel for member travel. Offering team equipment storage, discounted group rates, branded merch, and alumni events encourages ongoing team bookings.

Optimizing Occupancy and Length of Stay

Driving room night production through marketing initiatives, packages, and strategic overbooking.

Overbooking Practices

Strategically overbooking room inventory during high-demand periods based on historical cancellation rates to maximize occupancy. Overbooking levels vary by market segment. Too many and you risk alienating guests. Too few misses revenue opportunities.

Minimum Night Offers 

Incentivizing longer stays through discounted rates for bookings exceeding set minimum consecutive night requirements depending on availability. Lower weekday rates paired with 2-3 night weekend minimums helps capture more weekend revenue when demand is high.

Targeted Packages

Bundling room nights with amenities, services, and value-added perks tailored to market segments like holidays, weekends, weddings, etc. Offering perks like spa credits, recreational activities, food and beverage, and exclusive events provides bundled deal incentives.

Length-of-Stay Discounts 

Automatically applying discounted rates for stays of three nights or longer during need periods, encouraging extended bookings. Providing 7% off stays 4-6 nights and 15% off week-long stays rewards long-term bookings.

Optimizing Group Room Blocks  

Working with conference and event planners to right-size room blocks across peak and shoulder dates to drive overall booking pick-up. Avoid leaving excess rooms unutilized during big events by staggering room release dates to general public.

Generating New Leads and Bookings

Proactively creating new sales opportunities that convert prospects into business.

Lead Nurturing

Persistently following up on potential opportunities through calls, emails, and conducting on-site visits until bookings materialize. Set organized workflows for sales team to methodically progress new contacts through marketing, quoting, presentations, negotiations until deal closure. 

Promotions and Packages

Developing targeted offers with strategic discounts or value-adds that incentivize new bookings among qualified prospect groups. Send exclusive limited-time deals to past guests, locally-targeted social followers, or contracted corporate clients due for renewal.

Attending Industry Events  

Representing the hotel at local community events, trade shows, and hotel conferences to network, attract accounts, promote brand, and secure bookings. Speaking/sponsorship opportunities at relevant conferences expand visibility. Staff booths to maximize lead gathering. Schedule on-site meetings. 

Sales Missions

Orchestrating sales trips to meet with prospects like corporate travel managers, tour operators, or event planners in key target markets to promote the hotel and negotiate partnership deals. Make efficient use of sales trip time by booking multiple meetings in a region in advance. Follow up promptly.

hotel sales model with results about recent bookings and profitability

Site Inspections

Conducting property tours showcasing meeting space, guest rooms, amenities, and services to impress clients and event decision-makers.  Cater site visits by addressing the unique needs of decision makers from meeting planners to travel managers during visits.

Negotiating Rates Strategically 

Balancing occupancy goals with maintaining optimal average daily rate through intelligent rate management.

Dynamic Pricing Tools

Leveraging systems that automatically adjust room rates based on forecasted demand, competitive sets, and booking pace to maximize revenue. Integrating historical data, real-time trends, and predictive analytics enables responsive rate changes.

Corporate and Group Rate Analysis

Reviewing historical contracted rates and discount levels by account to guide future deal negotiation and bidding strategy. If past deals failed to deliver sufficient volume, require higher commitments before offering the same discounted rates again.

Competitive Rate Shoppers

Frequently comparing real-time rates and availability across competitor sets and channels to optimize positioning and parity. Monitoring tools allow automated rate crawling to surface conflicts immediately for resolution. Live shoppers verify discrepancies.

Spot Market Pricing  

Making strategic short term rate decisions for dates nearing arrival when remaining room inventory and demand signals require quick tactical adjustments. As dates approach, weigh whether discounting further or holding rate maximizes overall revenue. 

Opaque Channel Management

Distributing discreetly discounted inventory through opaque OTAs to limit broader rate impacts during need periods. Restrict opaque rates below what is offered publicly. Use to fill last minute vacancies without diluting published rates.

Supporting Overall Hotel Operations

Providing sales data, insights, and collaboration enabling property-wide teams to optimize service delivery.

Demand Forecasting 

Evaluating historical patterns, upcoming events, pace reports, and booking trends to predict demand needs across all departments.  Accurate demand forecasts allow better planning around staff levels, inventory, and alignments across departments.

Customer Intelligence

Sharing sales data like source markets, booking channels, guest histories, and contract terms with operations to inform staff preparedness and personalization. Insights help front desk, housekeeping, concierge, and F&B anticipate and cater to specific customer group needs upon arrival. 

Interdepartmental Collaboration  

Partnering cross-functionally to determine staffing levels, availability of rooms and event space, F&B menus, recreation options, and other operational details impacting sales prospects. Avoid overbooking groups by coordinating closely with event management on production timelines and room block requirements.

Reputation Management

Monitoring guest sentiment and satisfaction data to inform service improvements addressing feedback that could deter future bookings if unresolved. Sales teams relay insights into group/segment service perceptions and needs to guide operational enhancements.

Competitive Benchmarking  

Tracking performance metrics across local competing hotels to provide operations with insights into competitive advantages, service gaps, and opportunities. Sales teams analyze competitors on rates, amenities, offerings, reviews, demand days, and channels to guide sales, pricing and service strategies. 


By taking a strategic, customer-centric approach to attracting bookings, optimizing rates, generating leads, building partnerships, and applying data to inform operations, hotel sales teams deliver measurable impact on property revenues, reputation, and guest loyalty over time.

Get in touch with Emersion Wellness as they are here to offer personalized training to your hotel sales team.

See Also: Wellness Sales Strategy to Increase Hotel Revenue

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