Knowland Announces Results of Group Source-Of-Business Survey
Over-Reliance on Costly Third-Party Inbound Leads to Book Group
Knowland, a hospitality industry leader in meetings market data and analytics for hotels, convention and visitor bureaus (CVBs), convention centers and other meeting venues, today announced the results of its Group Source-of-Business Survey for the hospitality industry. The data shows a greater reliance on costly third-party inbound leads as the source of business to book group than proactively selling.
The Knowland survey was conducted in August 2019 and included 900 on-property and above-property respondents representing the full spectrum of roles in the industry (Owners, President/Principal/CEO, Property Managers, Regional Managers, General Managers, Directors of Sales/Marketing, Revenue Managers, Catering Manager and Group Sales Managers). The survey findings clustered around five dimensions:
3. Group Contribution to Revenue
4. Source of Business
5. Commissions Paid
The actual source of business mix reported was troubling. Respondents showed an over-reliance on inbound leads as a source of business over proactively selling group.
· 42% Repeat Business
· 36% Inbound Reliance to Sell Group
· 22% Proactive Selling Group
An over-reliance on inbound leads from third parties is a risk factor for underperformance and revenue shortfalls. Properties and property management groups should take a hard look at their sources of business contributing to group and what this business really costs. Changing the group sales strategy from inbound to proactive while investing in the solutions to support that strategy will help properties shore up revenue shortfalls and best position properties to meet the challenges facing the industry today and into the future.
The most interesting finding was around pace and how hotels are performing. As a whole, 56.3% of respondents answered they were either on pace or ahead of pace for the year. This was not in line with what was recorded from responders to the same question asked on a webcast in June where 75% noted they were not on pace.
This prompted us to segment the data by role. In this stratification, the level of confidence shifted. Those actually selling group reported with slightly more confidence (58%) that they are on or ahead of pace. The individuals who have a more micro view of revenue (GMs & Revenue Managers) have a decidedly different vision of how their hotels are pacing. In this category, 69.4% of the individuals responded they are behind pace for the year. This suggests a disconnect between sales and operations. This variance can create dissonance between the two teams that make it harder to align goals.
To manage a property's group performance well requires the right metrics and benchmarking to get all stakeholders on the same page. It also requires the right source of business mix to gain control of group pipeline, bolster repeat business and optimize profitability. To watch a webcast discussing all the key findings in the Group Source of Business Survey, please click here.