By: Stefanie Piennak – Product Manager, Sales&Catering and Sales Force Automation Products
Leads and Requests for Proposals (RFPs) are some of the main factors generating new business for hotels today. Hotel Sales Managers cannot rely only on repeat business from existing clients, but are constantly on the lookout to acquire new accounts and to create new bookings for the hotels they service. This is where leads come into play. A lead can be just a generic inquiry about possible rooms and rate availability for a piece of business, either for a specific hotel, or for a preferred geographic location. Or it can be very detailed with exact number of rooms, budgeted rate, and which key-elements will be required for meetings or other catering event.
Managing business leads can be a daunting and time-consuming task for a hotel sales force, especially if the leads are coming in by phone or by fax to a regional or central sales location and need to be forwarded to the appropriate hotels, and then manually entered into the hotels sales system.
The best technology solution will handle lead management very elegantly by providing a central data entry location for all leads, and the possibility to then send the same piece of business to multiple properties for a bid with the click of one button. The leads are automatically inserted into the receiving properties’ PMS system and the appropriate sales manager on site gets notified that a new lead has arrived. The property can then bid rates on guest rooms and catering elements and accept the lead, or turn it down, depending on availability and other factors. This response is again automatically transmitted to the originating regional or central sales office, where staff will make a decision based on the client’s preferences, which property will get the business awarded and confirmed. MICROS OPERA’s Sales Force Automation offers all this critical functionality.
As external lead sources like web-based event planners are starting to play larger and more prominent roles in providing business leads to hotel sales organizations, interfaces that will allow creation of leads in OPERA from these external sources will become necessary. MICROS is currently involved in exploring and defining specifications for RFP and Lead interfaces from the main players in the event planning market, and we hope to add the capability to automatically consume leads from these external vendors in OPERA soon, leading to even more leads and business for our customers.
Find out more about what MICROS can do for you! For more information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 866.287.4736 (US and Canada)