Editorial Board   

Mr. Collins

William Collins

Executive Director Vertical Market Strategy, Heartland Payment Systems

William Collins, executive director of vertical market strategy for Heartland Payment Systems has over 20 years experience leading successful sales, marketing and business development efforts for organizations within the technology, telecommunications and financial services arena. Mr. Collins's career includes tenures at both Fortune 500 and entrepreneurial start-ups, including companies such as Harris Corporation, Preferred Networks, Verizon Communications, Atrana Solutions, Alliance Data and Heartland Payment Systems. With each company, Mr. Collins had the opportunity to lead and develop product marketing, business development and sales distribution strategies. Mr. Collins also was involved in preparing Preferred Networks to go public and preparing Atrana Solutions and the NWS division of Alliance Data for acquisition, both of which are now part of Heartland Payment Systems. Mr. Collins and his team are responsible for developing and implementing the Hotel and Lodging strategy at Heartland. Within this role, the team is determining ways that Heartland can better serve the Hotel and Lodging industry, whether that be in developing new technology solutions to better secure credit card data or to develop sales and marketing programs that deliver value added products and services to operators across the country, enabling them to improve their bottom line and provide a higher level of service to their guests. Mr. Collins's team works with other departments within Heartland, other solution partners within the hotel and lodging space as well as with the primary trade and member associations to enhance the value that Heartland brings to our stakeholders. Mr. Collins has published several articles regarding industry trends and best practices and is a regular guest speaker at conferences, association meetings and training seminars. Mr. Collins served in the U.S. Army-Signal Corp, stationed at Fort Bragg, NC, and has a Bachelors degree in marketing from Montana State University-Bozeman. He received an Executive MBA from Baylor University Hankamer School of Business.

Mr. Collins can be contacted at 972-295-8677 or William.Collins@e-hps.com

Coming up in June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.