If your property's sales organization is like most, you probably choose materials for each site visit and call from a confusing array of one-pagers, presentation decks, checklists, and assorted marketing collateral that has built up over the years. Some of it may be out of date, and none of it is particularly tailored for the planner prospect you’re speaking with. Frustrated, you may decide to create your own hotel sales assets, possibly ending up with off-brand materials that don’t get shared with other team members. Of course, there’s a better way.
With the right hotel sales asset management process and tools, your event sales team will have quick and easy access to all of the most up-to-date collateral. You’ll be able to share new pieces with your colleagues, choose the right materials for your prospects, and never lose a key asset that you need for a meeting.
A strong hotel sales asset management strategy includes:
Content stored in a consistent place that is easily accessible for all team members
Up-to-date and contextually relevant sales assets
Reporting and analytics on which pieces of content were most helpful for sales
Consistent branding and messaging across all assets
A repeatable process for creating, storing, sharing, and updating all assets
Read on for 7 tips to improve your hotel's sales asset management process:
Your sales assets are any information the sales team needs in order to move prospects further down the sales funnel and towards a close. This involves the delivery of information at the right time, to the right people, in the right place. To begin creating a strong process for managing and sharing that information, you’ll first need to do an audit of existing resources.
1. Audit your existing hotel sales content.
Before you begin adding content and improving your sales asset management process, you need to know what you’re working with. Take the time to do an audit of all the content that your sales, marketing, and operations teams use (as well as all the old content you have stored that no one uses anymore). Note where everything is stored, and in what format. Then take a look at the day-to-day workflow of team members across the three departments to see where they create, store, edit, retrieve, and share their content. For example, see what diagrams your Sales & Catering Director is using versus everyone else.
By auditing existing event venue content, you may find items that could be repurposed as sales enablement content. Identifying content that closely aligns with specific questions prospects have as they make their way through the buyer journey and engage with sales reps will save you time and money on the content creation process.
Not all the content you identify as being good for sales enablement will be a perfect fit right away. Some of it will have to be adjusted or re-worked to fit within the context you’re hoping to use it for. Make sure you have a system in place throughout your audit to ensure that you can identify which pieces will need additional work, which are ready to be used as sales enablement content as is, and which pieces have no place within your current strategy.
2. Get sales and marketing together to create a process.
The only way your sales asset management process will work for your team is if everyone comes together to create the process. This ensures that everyone’s needs have been accounted for, that you’re creating the right materials, and that all of your team members will use the process once it’s in place. Take the time to get everyone together and talk about the challenges in your sales asset strategy, including what is working and what needs improvement. Some areas to think about include:
Does everyone know where all of the assets are stored?
Does everyone have the access they need to edit information, retrieve it, and share it with others?
Have you agreed on what types of information to produce for specific types of planner personas?
Is there a process for updating the information?
Who is responsible for maintaining the system?
Once you identify each team’s needs, brainstorm a system that gives everyone access and allows for easy retrieval and sharing. For example, this may mean that the marketing team accesses documents directly through Google Docs to edit them, while the sales team relies on your CRM system for storage and retrieval of those documents. Your system should be flexible enough to accommodate different teams and how they use the resources.
3. Create materials for each stage of your sales process.
Creating the appropriate sales enablement content is only the first step towards a strong sales content strategy. Sending highly personalized content based on the stage of the funnel and the user profile will guide the lead through the funnel and make closing the sale easier later on.
Work with your sales reps to identify the most common questions and concerns they encounter at each point in the planner's journey. Additionally, source questions from Guest Relations to get an idea of where disconnects are happening between your guests and your property. Using insights from your buyer’s journey and your content audit, come up with a list of content that ties specific stages in the journey directly to different pieces of content that you expect to use at those times.
Where does each asset fit into the customer journey? What kinds of questions or concerns are expressed at specific times in the buyer’s journey? Working with your sales reps to identify the best times to use types of content will ensure the content actually gets used, and is effective for your prospects.
Make sure you’re creating a balanced approach and have a wealth of content at each stage of the journey. The engaging top-of-the-funnel content is just as important as the deep-dive product-related content you might find at the bottom of the sales funnel.
4. Know what type of venue content to use in what situation.
Your overall content can be broken down into three categories:
- Customer-centric content: Blog articles, case studies, white papers and other downloadable material (Such as eBooks and guides), etc.
- Customer-informative content: Presentations, emails, brochures etc.
- Internal sales content: Competitor analysis documents, sales scripts, talking points, training material, sales playbook, etc.
Within your customer-centric content, you can further categorize types of content based on the stage of the buyer’s journey that your prospect is in, the prospect’s role in their organization, and their industry. Make a distinction in your asset management system between marketing content (used to draw in new users and get them interested enough to be qualified as leads) and sales content (used to move leads further through the buying process and close the sale).
5. Use your CRM to keep track of and store assets.
Sales reps often spend much of their time working inside the CRM. If you want to encourage your reps to use sales collateral, integrate your sales content management system with your CRM. Giving reps access to content directly in their workflow within your CRM is an effective way to optimize your sales process and improve sales performance.
Sales reps should note in the CRM when they use a certain piece of content with a planner (and ideally the stage the content was used in). This allows for better tracking of content effectiveness, and creates a helpful way for sales teams to replicate successes with certain prospects, industries, or journey stages. For example, if you find that a certain document really helped your reps to close sports teams, you can attach that document to all sports team profiles for use during closing.
6. Track which pieces of content are helping you close.
When you deliver content to prospects, do you track how it’s used? To better understand the effectiveness of each piece, make every effort to track and optimize the content you deliver. Who’s viewing each piece? How many times are they viewing it? What areas of the content are they interacting with the most?
Like any piece of marketing content, sales enablement that’s passed from your team to prospects should be tracked and optimized. Those insights should be used in the content creation process when creating future pieces as well. Content with high engagement rates should serve as a model for future pieces that you create.
7. Work to update and improve sales content over time.
Sales enablement isn’t a one-and-done type of project. It’s an ongoing effort. For example, you’ll need to shape assets for specific buyer personas. As your venue expands into new markets such as business travelers or luxury, targets new corporate meeting planners, and builds new relationships, the types of sales enablement content your sales team needs will change as well.
Sales enablement content is an up-front investment, and you should expect to have to make continual improvements and updates. Like with marketing content, needs shift over time. You should be continually improving and adding to your content to reflect the needs of your customers. Sales reps should note objections in your CRM so that sales and marketing teams can use them as inspiration for new sales content. You should also plan to review content quarterly to make sure it still reflects your values, up-to-date property information, and insights you’ve learned about your prospects.
Now you’re on your way to better event venue sales asset management!
With these tips, you can build out a strong sales asset management process that keeps all of your team members informed and enables the best performance for all of your reps.
Ready to take on more? Check out these 11 surprisingly effective tips for in-person sales presentations.