CHAPTER 7Analytics for Sales

There’s a direct correlation between the amount of data you have at your fingertips and the odds that you’ll come out on top during the negotiation phase.

—Christine Wilczek, agent

While marketing is responsible for attracting the individual, or transient, guest, the sales organization is responsible for generating group business. This can range from selling blocks of rooms, to selling functions like meetings, conventions, and weddings, to negotiating corporate contracts with global clients. Group business, for many hotels, is the core of their business mix. The groups and corporate contracts form the backbone of revenue, the base, that is filled around by other segments of business. Even in the casino industry, group business is an important revenue source, as was clearly demonstrated in 2008 and 2009 in Las Vegas, when the convention business dropped off so dramatically after the U.S. government put a spotlight on that kind of spending. Volume business can make the difference between a profitable year and a struggle to make budget. However, it is because of this volume that mistakes are amplified. The wrong pattern of stay, the wrong negotiated rate, or a poorly negotiated contract can be a huge missed revenue opportunity.

There are three factors that make the sales function at hotels both different from other functions and also a very interesting analytical problem—negotiations, relationships, and lead time. Sales is all about negotiations. Groups, ...

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