Remember the days when you would gather around a table and sales managers would bring their group inquiries to hash out which business to accept and at what rate? Sales managers would be anxious to take as much business as possible, F&B managers would be concerned if minimums or rental weren’t high enough, and general managers would question whether the rates were too low.
Oh, and remember those days when someone was on vacation and people didn’t know what to do? It’s hard to believe someone would call you for a group rate and then they’d have to wait 24 hours to get a quote while you were getting it approved. This was just asking for another hotel to swoop in, quote a rate, send a contract and close the deal…all before you got your coffee for that morning’s sales meeting. Looking back, you probably wondered if this really was the best way for a sales team to stay competitive.
Then came the days when you would load minimally acceptable rates (MARs) into your sales & catering system or provided them in a spreadsheet to the sales team. This gave sales managers the power to quote instantly, but all we really provided was the minimum price we were willing to accept. Never mind these MARs were probably only updated a few times a year, and were based off transient pricing, when the demand for group and transient varies significantly. How could we really expect to enable the sales team to quote optimal prices for their prospective groups?
Thankfully, we now have group pricing technology, a strategic and vital component of the Ideal Pricing methodology that IDeaS offers. With group pricing, revenue managers and directors of sales can empower their sales teams to plug in RFP details to receive an optimized rate quote in seconds. System configuration rules can be set in advance to ensure the sales team has access to rates that make sense for the business. Sales managers can load in room block patterns and provide critical details around concessions like comp rooms, commissions, rebates etc. to obtain a detailed and insightful displacement analysis. This displacement analysis considers the revenue the group business will drive against forecasted revenues displaced to paint a clear picture of which business will be the most profitable for the hotel.
Group pricing has evolved, but in the spirit of the recently-concluded summer Olympics, IDeaS’ revenue technology will not settle for silver or bronze. What really sets our group pricing technology apart from other providers is its ability to calculate and provide recommendations for alternate dates that may be more profitable for the hotel. When groups have flexibility, or are more price sensitive, this indispensable functionality automatically provides alternate dates so the sales manager doesn’t have to determine which dates to offer. Or, if a group inquiry provides multiple sets of dates as options, the sales manager can run an analysis to find out which set of dates is most profitable to the property.
Group pricing also provides rate quotes by room type to provide the correct, analytically-determined rate for each room type a group requests. This means premium room type inventory can be managed more efficiently, and rates can be provided to each unique room type when prospects want more than a run-of-house rate. Quote details are captured and organized in the system so managers can review it later – without having to make prospects wait 24 hours to get a rate quote.
Never has a group pricing tool been this powerful, and it’s important to make sure your hotel selects the gold standard for your group pricing and revenue management solutions.