Over the past decades, information about the emergence of new methods and technologies for managing enterprises in the hotel industry has been increasingly found in open sources. Increasing competition in the hotel services market necessitates not only the modernization of the number of rooms, but also the transformation of approaches to promotion, including the development and application of new sales technologies. Thanks to the development of information resources and the opportunities of globalization. New tools are opening up for developing target markets, attracting new customers and working with them with the help of sales consultants.
In modern conditions, for the long-term development of a hotel enterprise, it is no longer enough just to analyze statistical data on the number of rooms and periodically place advertisements in print media. Today, in the struggle for each client, you should not only know the portrait of your potential client but also understand how the process of attracting a guest should be built in order to ensure its maximum efficiency with sales techniques. In this regard, technologies for selling hotel services and sales consulting services are of particular relevance.
In a general sense, technology is a set of methods and tools to achieve a certain result. Therefore, sales technology is a set of actions of a hotel enterprise in relation to potential customers. The purpose and result of which is the sale of hotel services. In other words, sales technology means a sequence of actions by which the hotel gets the opportunity to sell. And the client to book or purchase an accommodation service (a set of hotel services).
Obviously, the use of a wide range of technologies provides the hotel business with more opportunities to reach the market. And, therefore, to attract more potential customers. At the same time, it should be noted that each of the sales technologies can be applied both to new customers and to work with regular hotel customers.
Effective sales technologies allow hotel enterprises to:
- to increase the volume of sales of hotel services (loading the number of rooms) by building effective communication with customers;
- reduce the dependence of the enterprise on the influence of the human factor;
- reduce the cost of maintenance and training of personnel;
- increase revenue per employee.
As you know, hotel services are usually divided into basic (temporary accommodation service) and additional services. Based on this classification, we will consider the main technologies that are used to sell these two groups of services.
Basic services (complex of hotel services).
Sales technologies are usually divided into direct and external. Direct technologies are implemented through sales through the hotel’s own booking service or official website. External technologies include all other methods of selling hotel services and, as a rule, involve the participation of intermediaries.
Based on the generalization of information from theoretical sources and the analysis of modern practice in organizing sales of hotel services, the following technologies can be distinguished:
- Direct sales, which are carried out through their own booking service. As a rule, direct sales involve a hotel booking service or a remote booking center if the hotel has a remote sales office. If the hotel is part of a chain, then direct sales can be carried out using the hotel chain’s central reservation system (CRS). CRS, as a rule, is integrated with automated hotel management systems. Which makes it possible to carry out centralized sales for all hotels in the network in real time and minimize the impact of the human factor.
- Sales technologies using global distribution systems (GDS). Global distribution systems connect many hotels around the world. Sales are carried out using Internet portals belonging to these systems. The technology of selling hotel services using global distribution systems is one of the most popular, both for working with travel agencies and with individual clients.
Sales technologies using Internet distribution systems (Internet Distribution Systems). In the modern world, there are many intermediary companies that sell hotel services via the Internet. Recently, online auctions have become popular in Europe and North America. Hotels set a minimum price for accommodation, and customers search for a hotel at an acceptable price for them. In such a scheme, hotels are participants in open competition. And customers get the opportunity to choose suitable conditions at the lowest price.
- Selling through your own website. In modern conditions, the website of a hotel company provides not only the function of informing customers, but also acts as an effective channel for direct sales. Automated hotel management systems allow for instant data exchange with the website and online booking of rooms. At the same time, the client, using the official website of the hotel, receives up-to-date information directly from the management system.
- Sales technology with the help of classic travel agencies, their websites and booking systems. It is generally accepted that travel operators and agencies are the sales channel that guarantees a high occupancy of the room stock and therefore it is quite actively used by hospitality industry enterprises.
- Priority customer management is a technology that involves identifying consumers of hotel services with high potential. (Organizers of conferences, congresses, competitions, etc.) and their individual service in order to establish long-term partnerships.
The process of selling additional hotel services, if they are sold separately from the main service, is carried out through direct contact with the client during his stay at the hotel. Therefore, a technology is used here. This is called personal (direct) sales. It involves the sale of services in the process of conversation with potential customers. The technology of personal sales involves a deep knowledge of the features of the provision of services. As well as a high level of service. So, for example, if a hotel provides quality services, and its employees behave indifferently or rudely. Then sales are unlikely to be successful. This sales technology, in addition to its main function, also helps to obtain additional information about customers in the process of live communication.
If the sale of basic hotel services can be carried out with the help of intermediaries or remotely. Then the sale of additional ones, as a rule, involves personal contact between the buyer and the seller. Therefore, the leading role in this sales technology is played by contact personnel and their communication skills.