Automation and Digital Transformation: The Key to Unlocking Hotel Sales Profits and Productivity — Source: Parclane

Sometimes in life, we come across a perfect pairing. Perhaps it's a delicious, full-bodied red wine served with a perfectly cooked flank steak. Maybe it’s the partner whose organizational expertise helps balance out and structure your creative inspirations and passions. Or, in the world of hospitality, it may be the system that was created with a singular, impactful purpose: to supercharge the functionality of a hotel or venue’s sales and catering system.

When we look at the traditional hospitality technology stack, we can identify three core areas of business: revenue management (the RMS), property management (the PMS), and sales and catering system (S&C). These pillars, and the platforms created to champion them, are integral to the success of any hotel or venue. But should we view these platforms as all-encompassing, siloed solutions? Or are hotels far too often overlooking the potential for a perfect pairing; a sales and catering platform paired with a dedicated marketing automation platform?

The hotel industry, unlike most others, has largely failed to adopt marketing automation – in other words, the software that assists marketers with customer segmentation, customer data management, and campaign management – at the enterprise level. This is somewhat perplexing when we consider the bevy of challenges hotel sales teams face, especially as hospitality brands look to capitalize on group business, scale their operations, and remain at the forefront of a hyper-competitive but largely technologically antiquated industry segment. If hotel sales teams are always working towards the ultimate goal of increasing revenue, shouldn't they be provided the right tools to work more efficiently, collaborate more effectively, and engage with customers better?

Fortunately, those tools do, in fact, exist – and they’re ripe for adoption. Much like the classic tale of Batman and Robin, the modern demand engine exists not to replace or supersede the functionality of an S&C platform; but rather to enhance its efficacy and solve the day-to-day challenges of any hotel sales team.

Stop Taking Shots in the Dark

Automation is a powerful tool – and marketing automation is no exception. As described by Gartner, Marketing automation is software that assists marketers with customer segmentation, customer data management, and campaign management. It allows marketers to offer real-time, targeted, data-driven campaigns along with enhanced efficiency and productivity.

By automating this key area of business, hotels empower their sales teams to:

  • Make better decisions
  • Enhance customer personalization and engagement
  • Increase better quality lead generation
  • Increase conversion rates
  • Delight planners
  • Streamline sales and marketing strategies for better results
  • Build a 360-degree view of their buyers

Let’s consider the statistics that reveal the effectiveness and ROI of marketing automation. A recent report cites that the global marketing automation software market is projected to grow from $3.60 billion in 2020 to $11.46 billion in 2027, and 77% of chief marketing officers turned to AI technologies to automate redundant tasks in 2021, according to Deloitte. Moreover, Nucleus Research reports that marketing automation drives a 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead overall, and a study by the Annuitas Group reveals that companies using marketing automation to nurture prospects see a 451% increase in qualified leads. Finally, Salesforce reveals that high-performing marketers are 1.5x more likely to use marketing automation/account-based marketing platforms.

This begs the question – if your hotel’s lead management and engagement often feel like a shot in the dark, why not turn on the lights with the help of a dedicated group sales marketing platform?

The Untapped Advantage of Process Automation

Let’s start with the bad news – in the post-pandemic landscape, the hospitality industry’s existing labor challenges have, unfortunately, been intensified. Hotel teams are increasingly lean, and staff turnover rates are high; the industry struggles to fill job openings as travel demand picks up. Now, for the good news – when hotels pair the power of technology with the talents of a sales team, they are in a much better position to navigate these challenges. Now more than ever, the goal is to find ways to do more with less, which can easily be achieved with the support of innovative digital tools, such as Parclane’s Demand Engine.

As otherwise redundant, manual tasks and administrative work (such as segmenting and reporting) are automated by the platform, hotel sales teams are free to focus on high-value engagements. This enhances the employee experience and guest experience while increasing productivity, mitigating workflow bottlenecks, and offering a more efficient, real-time analysis of data based on objectives. Not only that, but process automation helps hotels reduce operational costs across all areas of business and provides a tech-driven buffer to reduce or eliminate human error.

More than any other team in the hospitality ecosystem, group sales teams must have access to tools that allow them to make informed decisions and establish a more meaningful and personalized customer journey. From prospecting to lead management and customer engagement, hotel sales teams must plan, execute, and adjust at an often blistering pace. So why not stack the odds in their favor with a demand engine seamlessly integrated with your Sales & Catering system? Isn’t it time to truly optimize the sales cycle, increase conversion, and delight planners? Isn’t it time to enable your sales team to do what they do best? If you ask me, a hotel marketing automation platform is the ultimate key to unlocking hotel sales profits and productivity.

Daniel Melnyk
CEO and Co-Founder