10 Trends That Have Surprised Hotel CSOs

At this week’s HSMAI Chief Sales Officer Executive Roundtable, held at the MGM National Harbor in National Harbor, Maryland, we asked participants — more than a dozen senior sales executives at hotel companies throughout North America — to tell us what recent trends have most surprised them, pleasantly or pleasantly. Here are 10 things that have surprised these hospitality CSOs:

  • Analytics 1: There is growing sophistication at the property level around the use of insights and data.
  • Analytics 2: Our sellers have been embracing analytics and are excited about it — bridging the gap between being an analyst and a seller.
  • Human selling: A lot of education is required internally to make the case for the value of the sales relationship and the sales process, which is changing rapidly in the face of data, automation, etc.
  • Talent 1: From an above-property perspective, we as an industry are still able to attract really good talent.
  • Talent 2: How much our team is staying with us — because we are able to continue to provide growth opportunities.
  • Talent 3: It’s surprising to see the talent we’re still losing to the third-party side of the business.
  • Pricing 1: Hoteliers are setting pricing based more on the cost of the sale than on what consumers are willing to pay — plus they don’t fully understand distribution.
  • Pricing 2: Business travelers are making last-minute decisions based on the transparency of pricing data, which is making us focus on pricing over value and differentiation.
  • Group commissions: Marriott making the move on group commissions, reducing its rate to 7 percent. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.
  • Customer acquisition: The costs of customer acquisition are being looked at in a much more analytical way by hotels.

Categories: Sales
Insight Type: Articles