Today's Revenue Management Culture: Success through Collaboration with Sales
By Barb Bowden Director, Corporate Revenue Management, Peabody Hotels | September 23, 2012
Revenue management is an evolving discipline. For almost two decades, revenue management and its role in operations have been discussed in numerous articles. Each dissertation that explored the role seemed to reveal new opportunities to leverage revenue management in hotels as the revenue manager expanded his or her responsibilities beyond the reservations office.
Before revenue management was considered a viable partner in hotel operations outside the reservations office, I began my career like many other revenue managers at the time when rarely were we seen outside those four walls-and, there certainly was not a place at the Executive Committee table for a revenue manger.
Perceived as having a narrow view of data, revenue managers were considered the gatekeeper who must ensure controls were in place to reject business that did not meet established criteria. Insight into the sales process was not offered to revenue managers, which made it difficult for most revenue managers to fully understand each customer's potential lifetime value. Revenue managers were even considered a bottleneck to booking business, a source that could do nothing more than generate reports upon request.
Forward-thinking revenue managers have made significant strides in sharing their analytical resources to elevate the role for shared success. Revenue managers now serve a critical role within hotel senior leadership teams, alongside the general manager, sales and marketing, and operations associates who work in a collaborative effort to produce results geared at meeting the expectations of hotel ownership.
Senior revenue management professionals, who now are identified with a director or VP title, are presently serving in a role that requires much more than business acumen to succeed. Our consumers are becoming more sophisticated with ever-increasing options and resources to make purchasing decisions thereby requiring our systems meet demand with highly coordinated efforts in order for hotels to anticipate our customer's needs with strategic sales and marketing that enables us to sell the right room to the right client at the right time for the right price-all while ensuring we are meeting our owner's expectations to achieve profitability, of course. Revenue management has evolved with our business and now requires us to adapt with a new commitment to collaboration at all operational levels to exceed guest and owner expectations.