The Achilles Heel of Growing Hospitality Companies: Multi-Channel Lead Management
“The NAVIS tracking and lead management system has been very beneficial for our business… We are able to pull data very easily and follow up with potential guests that didn’t book on first (or second) contact… I couldn’t imagine managing a sales team without it.”1
Katrina George, Revenue Manager
Emerald Isle Realty
Right now globally there are well over 70 “traditional” online travel agencies (OTAs). This number does not include HomeAway, VRBO, Airbnb, and FlipKey or any other sharing sites; nor does it include meta-search providers that have launched instant booking, such as TripAdvisor and Google. Additionally, there are the GDSs, and direct bookings arriving via phone, email, and the web.
As a result of the massive expansion in recent years, the hospitality industry is flooded with inquiries—sometimes with multiple leads arriving from the same person and, when not managed well, are being fielded by two different agents. Opportunities to grow business abound, but many hospitality companies are falling down at the finish line due to subpar technology that leads to inefficiencies.
According to CSO Insights, companies with mature lead generation and management practices have a 9.3% higher sales quota achievement rate.2 For the hospitality industry, sophisticated lead management is rooted in technology and training. The technology required to manage leads from multiple channels must have the following essentials.
First, it must have the ability to de-duplicate leads, connecting individuals from the same household and enabling agents to manage all lead sources from one repository. Without this ability, you will likely have leads from external sources feeding into the system in a round robin fashion, and this means you could have multiple leads from the same person farmed out to multiple agents. Not only is this inefficient, but it also increases the likelihood of losing track of the lead altogether, and it doesn’t allow agents to have a solid contact history for follow up or outbound calls.
Second, the technology should include email integration. Emails and phone calls must be tracked in the same place otherwise data collection suffers. It’s that simple.
Third, the technology should have smart routing. Call routing can work in a variety of ways. It serves to strengthen guest relationships by driving calls to the last agent the guest worked with, and if that agent isn’t available, the conversation history is present. Call routing can also direct calls to the highest converting agent in order to optimize sales volume and revenue.
Finally, and the value of this feature cannot be overestimated, the technology should prioritize the leads. Not all leads are created equally; some are not as valuable as others while some are more costly. When leads are prioritized in this way, profitability increases by offering availability to the most lucrative business.
1). TechValidate. TVID: 166-7A1-E5F
2). The Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics. http://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics