Question for Our Revenue Management Expert Panel:

Successful Total Revenue Management strategies rely on great communication between all hotel departments. What tips can you offer to Revenue Management teams to help ensure a collaborative effort?

Industry Expert Panel

Our Industry Expert Panel exists out of professionals within the hospitality & travel Industry. They have comprehensive and detailed knowledge, experience in practice or management and are forward-thinking. They are answering questions about the state of the industry. They share their insights on topics like revenue management, marketing, operations, technology and discuss the latest trends.

Patrick Wimble
Patrick WimbleManaging Director, Lightbulb Consulting

“For any TRM initiative, think of yourself as the DJ in a nightclub. You might not have written any of the music, but you expertly recognise what beat is needed and when, the best pace, how loud it should play and for how long (not to mention when to drop the beat!). But how does this translate to TRM?

Recognise that you don’t have to be the expert in everything. Draw on others’ experiences and engage them early.

The revenue meeting is the place where the joint TRM initiatives are agreed – but they aren’t where they are born. You might do the analysis to uncover the issue and its cause, but the solution starts with just sitting down with the leaders who can help you co-create an initiative. The Revenue meeting should just be the “rubber stamp” – i.e., the final agreement on details and timing on the way forward.

Think about who might derail an initiative and why? Look to keep them on board all through the process and involve them from the beginning. Too often I see great initiatives fail because a GM (or other senior leader) has been kept in the dark and given no opportunity to give input.

Finally, what you may think is over-communication, probably isn’t. Just because something is important, doesn’t mean everyone else sees it the same way. Communicate your plans, get other more junior people from other departments involved in the rollout and make them accountable. Once launched, build excitement. Talk about the initiative at morning meetings, 1:1’s with other leaders, give recognition to others and celebrate “micro-wins” along the way. Use the revenue meeting as the place to decide if you need to course correct or change the plan.”

Theresa Prins
Theresa PrinsFounder, Revenue Resolutions

“Revenue Managers are responsible for creating a culture in the organisation that is focused on revenue optimisation. It is very important that we enrol each stakeholder into this process, but in many cases, this is easier said than done, considering the personality type of a typical revenue manager.

It is important that each income department reports on their own income and expenses. They need to own their results in order to drive the outcome. At the weekly revenue management meetings, we hear and discuss each department’s results and discuss optimisation strategies.

Something fun I do for communication is a monthly (but can also be done quarterly) newsletter on revenue wins and losses which includes a crossword or wordsearch puzzle. All correct entries are added into a draw.”

Chaya Kowal
Chaya KowalDirector of Revenue Management, Potato Head Family

“Revenue Management has long been focused on maximizing room revenue, but in the past few years, we can see an increased interest in Total Revenue Management.

To ensure a collaborative effort, I would say that the first step would be to change the mindset. Revenue Management can be applied to all potential revenue-generating streams of a hotel. Whether it is F&B, Wellness, Events (meeting spaces, weddings, groups), or Housekeeping and minibar – everything that can bring ancillary revenue can be optimized.

The second important aspect would be for all stakeholders to understand the common goal and how they can all contribute – therefore training and constant communication are essential. Having common KPIs, regular revenue meetings that include all those concerned, and taking customer feedback into consideration would definitely help. Creating some incentives could also be a good idea.

In terms of technology, very often the tools are not all integrated (e.g., the software used in a hotel for Rooms, F&B and Events might be different). It might be a good idea to integrate systems or plan to invest in better tools so that data and behaviour can be tracked.

Depending on the hotel type, it would be interesting to work with other departments to create value-added packages that are authentic (i.e., not what everyone else is doing, like upgrades, resort credits etc.) but going beyond that and understanding post-pandemic customer behaviour and what they are really looking for.”

Paulo Aragao
Paulo AragaoRevenue Management Professional

“For a successful collaborative environment among different departments, revenue managers must go beyond the weekly meetings. The coffee break/water cooler conversations are a big part of it. It is during those 10, 15 minutes when workers are away from their fortresses, without their laptops as their armour, inhibited and open, that valuable insights and exchanges can happen. Leaders should take that opportunity to talk about the challenges they are facing, the commonalities of concerns, and even comment on the last meeting they attended together.

Also outside of the water cooler time, it is important for revenue management leaders as well as leaders from other departments to visit other areas, work side-by-side for few hours. So often we get caught up in our work, we become glued to our desks and our ‘little world’, when in fact there is so much value in working together with people from other teams (respecting social distance safety measures of course).

When those rapports are built, revenue managers should create an environment of revenue mindset. They should have ‘revenue ambassadors’ in every hotel department -i.e., team members that will be guardians of the revenue mindset in their own areas, that will communicate with revenue leaders on new insights, changes, suggestions, etc.
Coffee break/water cooler conversations, working next to each other, and setting up ambassadors, are the key elements to make any total revenue management strategy thrive.”

Sandra Gannon
Sandra GannonCommercial Consultant, Revenue Puzzle

“Revenue teams can not work in a silo; they are the ones with access to the data and numbers. It is vital that trends, expectations and even details as to what worked and didn’t work, are shared with all departments. There is no need to bamboozle the operation teams with overly detailed information, but instead, share the overall numbers combined with the WHY.

Every associate of the total hotel team is a sales & revenue generator in their own way. In order to succeed with the revenue strategy it takes the whole team to buy-in. I would also strongly encourage brainstorm sessions with various departments, as other areas see revenue generation through different eyes.”

Nikhil Roy
Nikhil RoyRevenue & Pricing Manager, Key Hospitality B.V.

“Collaboration between teams/ departments is extremely important, even more so now during these times. For instance, the Revenue Management team must always be in sync with the Front Desk. Also, awareness about revenue management amongst front desk employees is an essential element. Team collaboration such as this helps you increase the chances of getting the most out of the property and selling the maximum number of rooms.”

Daniel Feitosa
Daniel FeitosaRevenue Management Specialist

“One of the useful insights I’ve experienced is when we can provide opportunities for all the staff to create actions of revenue increase or ancillary revenue where the staff profit from this revenue – for example, with gift vouchers, partners discounts, day spa, etc. We pay commissions for all the partners that sell the hotel, why can’t we commission our team and create this vision in the staff?

Another interesting strategy is to train all the departments in a didactic way, bringing daily situations and a sales vision for the teams. Showing best cases can always be good to create healthy competition amongst the hotel teams.”

Daphne Beers
Daphne BeersOwner, Your-Q Hospitality Academy

“My suggestions for boosting collaboration are as follows:

  1. Have an effective communication strategy in place with the whole team. Not everything should be a meeting. Easy-to-understand reports (automatically generated) are key to this. For example, a 10 minute one-on-one can be much more effective than an endless monthly revenue meeting (or any other meeting you can think of!).
  2. Make sure that the information you provide and share is relevant to the department. This makes them much more involved in the results.
  3. Show them their contribution! What is it that they achieved personally or as a team? This creates a result-driven organisation and gives the team more value, pride and motivation to be involved.
  4. Celebrate successes! Acknowledgement is a key driver for success.”