In evaluating the sales department at a property, we certainly want to understand the activity with which the staff associates are involved. The idea, of course, is to make sure that the activity leads to productivity that is measureable. With that in mind, we need to look at how sales staffers spend their time. All too often they may get involved in doing things, and helping out in other departments, which takes away from their sales productivity time.
When it comes to measuring productivity, we need to look at actual revenue generated for the property by each sales person. Sales people do get involved in a good deal of activity, which may lead to booked business, but can it be measured in terms of revenue generated?
There are probably many activities performed, but which will lead to measureable business? One of the big areas where sales staffers get involved is marketing. Granted, marketing is the business of informing the public of a product, but sales is delivering the product for a price. Of course, direct sales is a function of marketing, but so many marketing activities are difficult to measure in ROI of booked business. Advertising, public relations, promotion, social media: all are important marketing tools, but it is direct sales that puts business on the books. Sales associates just need to spend more time on their direct sales activities, as in following up on qualified prospects.
Owners, operators, and GMs should be able to measure productivity on each sales associate, assigning a specific goal of revenues collected for a period of time. Some form of incentive compensation works very well in this area.
Sure-fire ideas to improve measureable business:
- Follow up on prospects. Once a prospect, always a prospect, so don’t give up.
- Make sure traces are accomplished on a daily basis (via Delphi or other software programs).
- Find prospects via networking with business organizations. Remember: Prospects are those in position to do business with you.
- When exhibiting at trade shows, find real prospects.
- Search old files that may not have been traced regularly.
- Seek qualified prospects reflected in local daily newspapers.
- Respond to leads immediately.
- Follow up on RFPs with a phone call. Sometimes we are notified not to call. Call anyway!