In addition to being more collaborative, the revenue team of the future will be more data-driven, with analytics being an increasingly crucial skillset. Of course, more data doesn’t automatically mean better data — but it can with the help of the tools that automate growing numbers of revenue functions. “Leveraging big data and automation and machine learning and AI is the future for all of us,” said Alex Cisneros, senior vice president of revenue generation for Red Roof Inn. “We need to invest in resources and technologies and make sure that we’re partnering with the right company.”
For Dave Roberts, a lecturer at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and formerly senior vice president of revenue strategy and solutions for Marriott International, automation isn’t about replacing revenue professionals. “The revenue management system of the future will not be this data dump of information and all these different dashboards,” he said. “The revenue management system of the future will make the life of a revenue manager much easier. It’ll automate a lot of stuff that they’re doing today, but it’ll help them make the decisions that they have to make so it’s seamless.”
Ten to 20 years ago, revenue optimization was an early adopter of data and machine learning, according to Cross, CEO of Revenue Analytics, “but it was always billed as, ‘Oh, this is decision support. We still need you, smart person, to make the decision.’ But today, when algorithms are capable of doing things like driving cars, why couldn’t they price the hotel?
“There’s an opportunity for the field of revenue management to say: Let’s automate things like pricing and inventory,” Cross said. “The machines are good at that, so let them do it, and let’s use people for what they’re good at, which is being creative and imaginative and coming up with new strategies that haven’t been seen before.”
Excerpted from The New Revenue Team, a new white paper available from HSMAI and Revenue Analytics. For additional information, insights, and tools, visit HSMAI’s Global Coronavirus Recovery Resources page.