They’re both essential aspects of hotel management that overlap sometimes, but the fact is hotel sales and reservations are not the same thing.
If you look up the job descriptions of both sales and reservations managers on LinkedIn, for example, roles and responsibilities often look alike, which gets even trickier with marketing in the equation.
Two sides of the same coin
What makes it so hard to define roles and areas of responsibility in hotels is that, by the end of the day, all departments in a hotel work toward the same goal: to keep rooms full and customer loyalty high. So, let’s start by defining the areas concerning sales and reservations:
The hotel reservations department:
- Handles booking status, availability, distribution, cancellations, and ADR
- Reaches out to travel agencies and OTAs
- Manages distribution and aims for full capacity
- Involves front-desk teams as a Revenue Management extension
- Hires reception teams and customer service support
- Bridges the gap between the hotel and its guests
- Applies and interprets metrics to help the hotel project future occupancy
- Predicts seasonal trends and plans accordingly
- Coordinates the hotel’s deals and discounts to build guest loyalty
Listen to episode #17 of Hotel Cast to learn about the must-haves of reservation and sales agents.
The hotel sales department:
- Brings large groups and conferences to the hotel
- Makes corporate deals and offers unpassable discounts
- Nurtures relationships with clients and local partners
- Prospects new customers to expand the guest base
- Speaks to different market niches, such as business/leisure travel, tours, and groups
- Travels and networks to represent the hotel
- Coordinates marketing efforts and targets campaigns
The hotel marketing department:
- Supplies sales with content, strategies, ads, and materials
- Woos travelers to each stage of the sales funnel
- Promotes brand awareness
- Cultivates trust between travelers and hotels
- Identifies qualified leads for the sales teams to convert
- Collaborates with the sales team to boost revenue
- Designs marketing campaigns to attract new customers
- Partners with local influencers to promote the hotel on social media
Not every hotel has all three departments (sales, reservations, and marketing), as it usually depends on its size. With so many roles and responsibilities split among these departments, the aim is to collaborate and see each other as essential assets.
As these departments work closely as a well-oiled booking machine, hotels avoid conflicting strategies and too many simultaneous targets. It ensures everything runs smoothly as far as occupancy is concerned. Working as a continuous source of reliable future projections assists in successful marketing campaigns and sales strategies.