Nothing is better than a partnership accomplishment—and it works that much better in the hotel business. Marketing gets to let people know about the product; sales brings in the business; and operations delivers the product. That’s how it works. So, let’s think about how to make it work better to improve profitable sales.
There should be more working together between sales and operations to make it happen. To start, sales folks need to know more about the product; it is amazing how much a sales person can learn about the property features from the various department heads, who could be invited from time to time to address the sales staffers at their meetings.
A lot can be learned to help the sales effort. Sales staffers need to know a lot more about front-office operations than they think they know. Just having sales people get a familiarization visit to the front desk from time to time would be a grand learning experience in actually checking in and checking out guests. Understanding needs and wants is critical in sales, and a good deal about this can be learned just by listening to guests coming and going. A wide range of information can be picked up when there are complaints as well as compliments. All this provides a wonderful experience for making additional future sales.
Housekeeping is another area of operations where sales people can learn about beds, linen, in-room amenities and guest expectations. It certainly would not hurt to have sales people spend a night in one of the rooms—to feel like a guest. Then there is the engineering department: Learning about in-room security is helpful for sales people, as well as any sustainable activities that are going on at the property.
When it comes to food and beverage, there is a whole new world of knowledge that is critical for sales production, particularly when it comes to sales activities for group business. Also, what goes on in conference services that could be helpful? Sales people working a couple of days here can learn of the different problems encountered with groups.
“Housekeeping is another area of operations where sales people can learn about beds, linen, in-room amenities and guest expectations.”
Remember: this is a partnership and with that comes reciprocity. The other party needs to know what is going on in sales. Opportunities need to be provided so that all operations folks know and understand what sales people do, and how operations knowledge helps the sales effort. So much of all this could easily be accomplished by having department heads visit sales meetings from time to time to talk about their operations. At the same time, these departments could learn a good deal of what is going on in sales so that they all can work together to improve profitable sales production.