Our member, Daniel Melnyk with Parclane, is our guest blogger today. Group business is coming back strong, partly due to virtual events’ inability to capture the magic of IRL experiences. Studies show that group-lodging demand has rebounded this year, and group business in 2023 is expected to outperform 2019.
According to HotelAVE, demand should bounce back to pre-pandemic levels next year, and a 5 percent increase in group rate will push the performance past the 2019 mark. Meeting and events volume climbed back to nearly 90% of pre-pandemic levels in September, according to Knowland, and based on its Meeting Recovery Forecast. Meeting & Group Business magazine has also predicted that the in-person events market is set for its “strongest year ever” in 2023, and the 2023 AMEX Global Event Trends Forecast reported “booming optimism and focus on in-person meetings and events.”
The flip side to this emerging demand is the influx of unqualified leads and more strain on limited hotel sales resources. Can you say lead fatigue?
Data from Amadeus shows that RFPs increased by 51% in 2021 compared to 2020. When we couple this RFP influx with the labor shortage currently plaguing the hospitality industry, we realize the paramount role that automation and technology will play as hotels compete for group business. Unfortunately, most group sales teams only spend 30% of their time actually selling, and 50% of buyers end up choosing the vendor who responds first. The truth is, having too many individual manual tasks results in not only time wasted but also countless deals lost. To this effect, teams that have turned to technology and marketing automation have an average 45% proposal win rate, and 68% of teams that use software say their stress levels at work are “almost always manageable” compared to their peers without automation.
As sales teams attempt to adopt the “next normal” that’s emerged from the pandemic, the importance of adopting modern strategies has become more apparent than ever. But siloed pipeline generation and management, inefficient sales processes, and disparate tools threaten an organization’s ability to drive growth in an era of uncertainty and ever-increasing buyer expectations.
With so much pent-up demand for groups business, and planners showing frustration with the status quo, hotels have an unprecedented opportunity to capitalize on this demand. You have no doubt heard the term digital transformation many times, and you could even be responsible for accelerating it across your property. For hotels looking to scale responsibly, digital transformation of group sales allows for massive growth by both building the funnel and delivering the kind of brand experience that is needed to win. Investing in evolving your strategy means gaining pipeline transparency, accurate forecasts, predictable revenue, and competitive advantage.
Digital transformation for hotel sales is no longer a concept of the future – it’s here. And my guess it, it’s not going anywhere.
About Daniel Melnyk
Daniel Melnyk loves driving revenue almost as much as he loves hotel software. This passion inspires him every day as the founder and CEO of Parclane. He is a seasoned commercial strategist and experienced business leader with a passion for hotels, tourism, hospitality, technology, and e-commerce. Daniel has a rich and diverse background as an entrepreneur, executive, corporate director, project manager, and consultant. He has a wealth of knowledge and proven expertise, having held positions in hotel sales and revenue management, as well as executive leadership roles at top hotel and hospitality technology organizations. Daniel started on the hotel front lines and quickly advanced, developing his incredible ability to forecast and visualize large and complex opportunities, break them down, and gain the support of stakeholders, shareholders, and team members to conquer them. He is a natural-born leader, that is equal parts a revenue driver, arbiter, project management ninja, serial entrepreneur, and empowering mentor. Connect with Daniel on LinkedIn.
Parclane is an enterprise-grade marketing automation platform for hotels and resort sales teams that’s easy-to-use and solves the day-to-day challenges standing in the way of optimized productivity and profits. Our innovative tools and expert services integrate seamless with you your hotel’s sales & catering solution and property management system to drive predictable group, event and business travel revenue. Make group sales your competitive advantage with our category-defining technology and support developed by hoteliers, for hoteliers. To learn how you can supercharge your sales with our demand engine, visit parclane.io