8 Questions Every Hotelier Should Ask When Comparing Sales and Catering Solutions
Choosing the right new sales and catering technology for your hotel can be a pivotal decision in the trajectory of your property’s on-going success. With so many vendors and solutions to choose from, especially when it comes to sales and catering software, hoteliers need to be especially vigilant in their vetting process to ensure they invest in the right partnership.
After all, the process of securing group bookings and venue confirmations for events has, traditionally, been a difficult one for planners and sales managers alike. With the right innovative sales and catering technology in place, hotels can streamline the sales and catering process to ensure their property is always maximizing its booking potential for both small and large-scale events.
With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the most essential questions hotels should ask when comparing sales and catering solutions.
1. Does it let you track, manage and respond to RFPs in one easy to use platform?
Half the battle in securing group bookings is your Sale Manager’s ability to manage and respond to RFPs in a timely manner. The tool which best helps you enhance the rate at which you sort through and respond to inquiries and RFPs will, undoubtedly, lead to increased event bookings and revenue.
2. Is it easy to implement and user-friendly?
Any new technology/solution cannot be introduced and implemented effectively by your team if it isn’t user-friendly. This applies to sales and catering technology as well; the best solution isn’t the most complicated solution. Rather, it’s the software that can be readily understood by new staff with ease, while enhancing the day to day operations of your hotel with straight-forward, visual dashboards, communications, and insights.
3. Is it accessible from anywhere, anytime (cloud-based)?
We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again — mobile is the future. If it’s not mobile, it’s not capable of truly advancing your hotel’s operations. With mobile, cloud-based solutions in place, you can ensure your staff is able to utilize that technology any time, anywhere. This fuels a more responsive, productive and empowered team and operational structure, with the added benefit of the enhanced security that cloud-based platforms offer.
4. Does it offer seamless integration with your other critical hospitality applications such as PMS, EMS and RMS?
A new sales and catering solution can’t be implemented without integrating to your current applications. When considering options be sure to determine if they have the capability to integrate with existing systems, or if they are limited to specific platforms (and consider that subsequent cost to your hotel).
5. Does it provide a customized website group booking engine with live inventory, floorplans, packages and options for instant bookings?
What better way to appeal to the modern, time-conscious event planner than to offer online booking? With all relevant details and property rules showcased in an online booking engine (including live inventory, virtual tours, booking options and more) you can ensure planners have everything they need to book with your property.
6. Does it support cross-selling and shared account management for multi-property/multi-location venues?
Your sales and catering tool should not only help you manage the group booking process, but it should also act as a revenue-generating tool. With built-in upsell and cross-selling prompts and insights, the ideal solution should enhance your teams’ ability to sell (even across various properties at once).
7. Does it include advanced marketing and lead management capabilities?
In this age of hyper-personalization, the tools you invest in should offer insight-driven communications to help your team better leverage/target marketing campaigns and capitalize on leads.
Before investing in a new sales/catering solution, ensure that offering includes insight-driven analytics and reporting to shape your hotel’s group booking process moving forward continuously.