HSMAI Perspective: Insights From Sales Leader Forum 2022

By Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, President and CEO, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI 

The theme of last month’s HSMAI Sales Leader Forum (SLF) was Elevate. Off-property sales leaders gathered to learn from experts, meet future leaders, and collaborate on the most pressing issues in hospitality sales:   

  1. Retaining Talent 
  2. Helping Sales Teams be More Effective & Efficient 
  3. Cross-Over with Other Commercial Disciplines 

In the morning, thought leaders and practitioners shared strategic insights on these three themes, giving attendees tools and insights to tackle these issues. 

During her talk, Loud Retaining: Recharge Your Talent Strategy , Kimberly Rath, Co-Founder & Chairman, TalentPlus described practices to keep top talent engaged and retained. She shared, “Everyone is so focused on who is quiet quitting, we are not focused on retaining our top talent. Talent based leaders should bookend their days talking to top talent.”  

In their presentation, Helping Sales Teams Be More Effective and Efficient , Dr. Kelly McGuire, Principal, ZS and Jeff Patton, Vice President of Sales, Americas, Hilton broke down the keys to ensure productivity and efficiency in today’s hybrid and remote world. Dr. McGuire talked about how everything is moving to digital and these changes require technology and time investments to integrate systems. She said, “Traditional lead generation will soon be obsolete, and sales organizations needs to keep up.” Jeff discussed organizing for efficiency and how to partner with technology, set to realistic timelines, and define KPIs to have optimal success. Ultimately, he thought, “The fastest way to great outcomes is trusted relationships – internal and external.”  

Finally, Alison Handy rounded out the session with her talk titled, Sales in Commercial Organizational: Fueling Collaboration and Avoiding Collision . She shared the evolution towards commercial organizations as well as some common paths organizations were deploying commercial, including bringing disciplines together, creating a corporate above property commercial role, and creating an on property commercial leader. The best commercial leaders are collaborative, analytical, and competitive.  She predicts that more commercial leaders will emerge from cross discipline training.  

After all the morning’s great content, include a State of the Industry presentation by STR, the afternoon program sparked attendee conversation, engagement, and took a deep dive into the three big issues. We compiled the best practices and ahas from these sessions here.   

This year’s SLF content received high praise from attendees. You are not going to want to miss next year’s at the Hilton Long Beach in California! Mark your calendar today for November 8, 2023. 

I’d like thank the HSMAI Sales Advisory Board members, chaired by Eric Kreins, Assistant Managing Director, Sales, Hilton Worldwide Sales and facilitated by HSMAI VP, Juli Jones for their hard work planning and implementing SLF 2022.  

Categories: Sales
Insight Type: Articles