Oct 13, 2021 | Hotel Management | Reading Time: 5 minutes
Are you aware of how hotel sales commission programs can affect your revenue and your Sales team performance? Have you ever considered implementing this type of program but didn’t know how to do it?
Sales commission programs can be an effective strategy when it’s done right. By “right”, we mean that to get the results you want, you need to first train your staff so they know every little detail of your product or service.
After all, your staff will be the soul of the sales commission program. The way they behave will impact the success of it, and ultimately, the guest experience – for better or worse.
To help us understand the challenges and best practices in hotel sales commission, we Jutta Moore, Director at Moore Hotel Consulting, to one of the episodes of our hospitality podcast The Hotel Cast. During our chat, among other topics, she shared insights and tips on how to structure sales commissions for hotel employees. And we decided to highlight some of them here for you.
In this article, you will learn:
- what commission plans are
- the basics of a good sales commission program
- valuable tips from hotel revenue expert Jutta Moore.
What is a hotel sales commission?
We can define Sales commission as the amount of compensation paid to a person based on the number of sales generated. This is typically a percentage of sales, which is paid on top of a base salary.
Hotel commissions have been around the market for quite some time now. Over the years, the way they work has changed.
According to expert Jutta Moore, nowadays, hotel sales commissions are heavily associated with the guest experience. Guests who had a good experience in your property are more likely to purchase an upsell next time, for example. And even more so in the long run!
Providing a ‘wow’ experience to your guests must be your priority and you can only accomplish that by knowing who your guests are. This will also help you decide the type of upselling that can be implemented in your hotel.
👉When developing your strategies, you have to know who your hotel’s target audience is. So, do you know your Ideal Guest? Learn in our article: [Ideal Guest]
Example: If you are an international hotel you need to understand that the international market has its differences and that everything depends on what you are targeting. As Jutta Moore says:
‘’It depends on your target marketing and the type of hotel that you are.”
Customer satisfaction is the ultimate goal if you intend to create a good commissions program.
Train your Commercial and Reservation Team
There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to strategy. The strategy you use in a big hotel group should be different from the ones used in smaller properties.
As Jutta explains, the systems are different, the decision-making is undeniably distinct. In a smaller hotel, you can make choices as long as the owner or the asset manager agrees. As in a larger operation, you need to work with different sectors in the hotel and layers of the sales organization.
However, no matter the size of your business, your sales and reservation teams should always be on top of their game, Jutta emphasized. Constant communication is imperative to make sure that vital information is being passed on and executed properly.
Training your staff for delivering an outstanding guest experience should begin with the reservation and sales teams. Reservations should always be flexible. As Jutta pointed out, reservation agents and managers should:
“have great interpersonal skills but most of all they need to be hospitable. Because we are all about hosting, all about making customers feel good we are all about welcoming guests and delivering that welcoming experience.”
The expert also highlighted other skills, such as listening. Listening makes all the difference for guests. You can use the information acquired to learn their tastes and preferences, making it easier to offer the upsells or the best activities of what to do on your property, according to their profile.
“Listening it’s so crucial because it’s one of the biggest stops for someone to actually book with you.” – Jutta Moore
Another great skill is creativity. For the Sales Department, creativity can go the extra mile. The competitive market demands it from the sales team. They need to be able to create special offers, including knowing the best time to make the offer.
Define Your Product and Make it Attractive
If you are starting a commission program, you must take your time to define the items that you will be upselling, explained Jutta. It is important to take your time to understand if those items are measurable and achievable for your team to sell.
“But keep in mind that having a commission program doesn’t mean you have to oversell your product”, warned Jutta. People don’t like to be pushed when buying something, and employees don’t always feel comfortable keeping pushing.
In other words, don’t make the experience of upselling unpleasant for your team and/or your guest. Again, reviewing your product is the smart way to go, and training your staff properly for selling such items will make a major difference in their results.
Another tip by Jutta is segmenting your clients. It can also be an easier way of ensuring the upsell of certain products. Some clients are already more inclined to take the higher rate room, so have that information in hand when making the sale.
Hotel sales commissions in a nutshell
Working with upsells, commissions, and guest experience is always complex work. You have to be prepared for what comes your way and have smart strategies aligned with your objectives to succeed.
The tips given by Jutta Moore are valuable, so don’t forget:
- Have in place training for your selling and reservation team;
- Know your upsell items and create strategies for selling them without forcing your customer to buy them;
- Praise your team on their accomplishment: commend them when they make an upsell, even if it weren’t someone from the sales team;
When commissions work properly, they are also good for the guests. With that training in hand, they will know when and where to offer the correct upsell, be it a spa time or a higher room category.
There is no greater motivator than rewarding people. There are, of course, other ways of motivating your staff, but that is the best way to go for upsells and commissions.
With that in mind, you can start to structure a commission program. Not only that will bring you extra revenue, but you’ll also create extra income for your team, depending on how it’s done.
The conversation continues on our Podcast! Learn other insightful tips given by Jutta Moore on our episode of Hotel Cast: Commissions in Hotel Sales here. Press play!