Your sales pipeline is a representation of the journey your customers take when they interact with your company. From the moment they first make contact with you to well after they book with you, your sales hospitality sales pipeline is key to providing guests with a smooth customer journey.
A great hospitality company sales pipeline requires fine tuning and monitoring to produce great results for your business. So, how do you manage a sales pipeline efficiently?
In this post, we’re going over six strategies for managing a hospitality pipeline effectively. Keep reading ahead to learn more about each one, including how you can integrate it into your hospitality pipeline management strategy today.
1. Define your hospitality company pipeline stages
Effective hospitality pipeline management starts with having clear, definable stages. Your pipeline stages represent how far through the pipeline your leads have traveled. With clearly defined stages, your team can track leads as they progress through each one and monitor how close they are to converting.
Every business has different stages within its pipeline according to its industry and unique sales and conversion goals. For example, a hospitality company sales pipeline could look something like this:
Prospecting: Using top-of-funnel marketing to attract qualified leads
Inquiry: Leads interact with the hospitality company and request information about a potential reservation
Proposal: Offering a potential price in response to a lead’s request
Negotiation: Negotiating any changes to the proposal and pricing
Booking: Closing the sale and turning the lead into a guest
Follow-ups: Providing support during the guests’ stays and encouraging them to book again for future trips
Again, not all hospitality pipelines are going to look exactly the same. You may add or take away some of the above steps (or change them altogether!). The key is to clearly define your unique stages so you can track your leads’ progress.
2. Keep your sales cycle short
The longer it takes someone to progress through your pipeline, the greater the chance they could leave without converting. That’s why it’s best to keep your sales cycle as short as possible.
To speed up your sales cycle, try some of these methods:
Identify and remove potential barriers to moving to the next stage in your pipeline
Make the reservation process as easy as possible for potential customers
Use lead scoring to hone in on your target audience
Directly address customer pain points in your marketing efforts
A long or complicated booking process usually leaves a bad impression on guests, and they’ll remember it when making future reservations. It could be the deciding factor for them to book with competitors. Not to mention, leads will take longer to convert and generate revenue when your sales cycle is drawn out.
3. Score your leads
We briefly mentioned lead scoring as a way to help speed up your sales cycle, but what exactly is lead scoring?
Lead scoring is a practice where prospects are assigned numerical values based on how likely they are to convert. This way, businesses can better prioritize their most valuable leads and focus efforts on those with the best chance of converting.
Through lead scoring, businesses can avoid “dead” leads, or people who showed interest in your company but aren’t showing promising signs of converting. Instead of losing high-quality leads who got tired of waiting while you were helping dead leads, you can immediately focus on those who are actively looking to make a reservation with you.
4. Use a CRM to streamline your sales pipeline management
A customer relationship management (CRM) platform is a powerful tool that can help businesses in all industries manage their sales pipelines. CRM platforms gather customer data in one place, enabling you to manage customer interactions and potential deals.
With a CRM, businesses can generate real-time reports about their sales pipeline, including valuable insights about who their leads are and how they’re moving through each stage of the sales pipeline.
CRM platforms come with features like sales automation, contact management, email marketing, and more, making them a must-have item for your hospitality pipeline management toolkit.
5. Follow up with your leads
The customer journey doesn’t end once leads hit that “Reserve Booking” button. When managing a sales pipeline for a hospitality company, remember to follow up with guests after their booking has passed.
An extra nudge every now and then via automated emails, seasonal rate offerings, and more will remind leads and customers of your business and encourage them to book with you again. Creating repeat customers is an important part of managing a healthy hospitality pipeline because it keeps new and existing leads flowing through it, generating sustainable revenue for your business.
6. Analyze key hospitality metrics to improve your sales pipeline
Finally, managing a hospitality sales pipeline means always being on the lookout for ways to optimize and improve it. A data-driven approach is the best way to do this.
Analyze information about your leads, customers, and key performance indicators (KPIs) to gain a better understanding of how leads are moving through your hospitality sales pipeline. Ask questions like:
Where are my leads coming from?
Are there certain stages where leads are disappearing?
What are my highest-converting leads?
What actions are leading to the most conversions?
Finding the answers to these questions through your pipeline data can help you make improvements to your hospitality pipeline to ensure continued conversion and sales success.
Manage your sales pipeline with Nutshell, a CRM that hospitality companies trust
When managing a sales pipeline for a hospitality company, one of the best tools you can have on hand is a CRM platform. But with so many options out there, which one is right for you?
Nutshell is an all-in-one CRM solution for industries like yours. With thousands of integrations available for hospitality businesses and tools like sales automation, pipeline management, and prospect mapping, you can streamline your hospitality pipeline for maximum efficiency.