Building the Bench: Developing the Next Generation of Revenue Leaders

By Harry Carr Corporate Director of Revenue Management, Pivot Hotels & Resorts | October 07, 2018

At the HSMAI Revenue Optimization Conference this year, there was a "great debate" over the future of Revenue Management. Will hotels in the future rely on Directors of Revenue Management (DORM) to implement the strategy, or will machines rule the world as revenue management systems such as Ideas, Duetto, and One Yield become more and more sophisticated?

I was firmly in the camp that believes that DORM's are here to stay, but there is no doubt that advanced algorithms using the enormous volume of data now available will make decisions more quickly and accurately than the human mind. Fortunately for those of us in the discipline, we are not merely number crunchers; the skills needed for success have evolved along with the technology.

The changing landscape of hotel revenue management requires a new approach to training and development in which the next generation of revenue leaders cannot be chosen solely based on their knowledge of the property management system (PMS) and central reservations system (CRS). Reservations Supervisors or Managers and Revenue Analysts will continue to be a pipeline for talent, with the most critical skills including communication to all stakeholders, driving hotel revenue and generating profits for owners, willingness to take risks, and the ability to lead integrated marketing efforts. The hospitality industry has always valued the training and development of the Sales team, but it is now time to expand that focus to the DORM's.

Communication

One of the traditional weaknesses of revenue leaders is translating highly technical revenue strategies to those that may not share the love of data, such as the Director of Sales and Marketing who doesn't want to stare at 15 spreadsheets. Asset Managers need to understand how market conditions, pace, and business mix are impacting their pocketbook or stock price, often in meetings that are limited to an hour a week. General Managers need to understand how occupancy percentage will determine staffing levels and how distribution costs will impact flow through.

The first step to improving communication is to open the weekly revenue meetings, profit and loss reviews, and ownership meetings to a broader audience. Exposing less seasoned managers to the entire process pulls back the curtain, revealing the mystery of pricing and positioning while adding diverse voices to the conversation. The sharing of skills is also an essential part of developing well-rounded team members, and at Pivot Hotels & Resorts we have paired Revenue Managers of varied yet overlapping backgrounds that communicate on an informal and regular basis. From a practical standpoint, the buddy system helps cover vacations and provides backup, but we have also found the exchange of ideas offers a perspective from outside the individual hotels.

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.

Close

Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Eugenio Pirri
Daniel Link
Janelle Schwartz
Mark Ricketts
Raul Chacon
Brandon Billings
Ewald Biemans
Matt Schwartz
Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. 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.