November 2009 – Successful sales in the hospitality industry might be all about relationships, but in the case of Hampton Inn Fishkill in New York’s Hudson River Valley, it is also about having the right support from its hotel management software. The 99-room property has increased its profitability and its sales to higher-revenue transient guests using technology from hotel SystemsPro, a leading provider of ASP-based enterprise solutions that helps hotel companies increase market share through improved hotel operations in property and staff performance.
“When you’re a team of one like I am, hotel SalesPro really helps me stay on top of the 100+ local organizations who book with us—the local spas, golf clubs, and of course West Point Military Academy,” said Indira Naidu, director of sales for the property, which is managed by Coakely & Williams hotel management company. “I couldn’t do my job without it.”
Higher profits, more transient guest revenues
After installing hotel SalesPro in 2004, Hampton Inn Fishkill has achieved impressive results, according to Naidu. The hotel has gradually reduced discounted group business, which currently makes up 40% of the property’s revenues, to a projected 20-30% next year as non-discounted repeat transient business from small local business increases.
Reports ‘look into the future’
One hotel SalesPro feature Naidu appreciates is the hotel management system's “Accounts without Future Traces” report. “All of our accounts have traces that keep me up-to-date on when to follow up with the business,” she said. “The reports help me look into the future to see which of my accounts are booking next year and when they expect to come. I can also use hotel SalesPro to send e-mails to specific accounts, like tour groups, to remind them about our property and how close it is to the attractions they may want to visit.”
Though a local university accounts for a large share of the hotel’s group business, it also means plenty of transient business during graduation and the football season. “These are major drivers of our occupancy—about 10% of it is related to activities at this institution,” Naidu said. “I carefully choose which accounts I pursue in our area, and I look for transient business, in addition to company business, because transient delivers higher ADR.”
Technology for a ‘people person’
One of the ways Naidu builds transient business is as a people person. I’m out and about so people who run our local businesses know me and know we have a quality hotel,” she said. “I also spend a lot of my time greeting guests in our lobby so they can recognize me and know they can come to me with any requests to make their stay more comfortable. The point is that hotel SalesPro helps free me from my desk so I can do these things.”
Naidu also works hard to promote businesses in the area that would enhance a guest’s stay at Hampton Inn. She makes menus available from local restaurants and compiles lists of laundries and other services. The commensurate benefit is that when these business owners have guests visiting the area, they look first to Hampton Inn for accommodations.
“Especially in a smaller community like Fishkill, a good reputation isn’t a static thing but has to be constantly worked,” Naidu said. “A solution like hotel SalesPro helps structure my efforts and ensures I’m putting my energy in the right areas.”
Good for group business
Though Naidu is always driven to build more transient business, she also recognizes the value of keeping group business steady. hotel SalesPro’s “Group Team Sales Success” report is a weekly function that summarizes new group business booked and monies received, so Naidu can see at a glance which groups are delivering and which need extra attention. She can also easily check their preferences, which, typical of any group, are constantly changing.
“For example, we booked an extended stay group whose needs kept changing from week to week, and their contacts in-house keep changing. hotel SalesPro has helped me track their requirements, contacts and other details from week to week to keep current,” said Naidu.
Better communication, too
“Our general manager uses hotel SalesPro to assess our sales activity and the system acts as an automatic update for him,” Naidu says. “He reviews my daily activity without me having to tell him about all the details.” She also uses the system to create specific productivity reports to send to the corporate Marketing VP at Coakley & Williams.
About Hampton Inn Fishkill
About hotel SystemsPro
Founded in 1996, hotel SystemsPro is a technology company operated by hospitality professionals who provide high performance, ASP-based enterprise and property solutions that enable hotel companies grow market share through better management of assets, increased sales, reduced operating expenses, and a higher quality guest experience. hotel SystemsPro partners with clients to provide solutions that scale across a broad range of properties in North America and around the world. Whatever the size of the property operator or its challenges, hotel SystemsPro solutions do the heavy lifting for operators to streamline operations and boost staff productivity and profitability. Solutions include hotel SalesPro, hotel CateringPro, hotel ServicePro and hotel WebSpace. For more information, visit www.hotelsystemspro.com.
hotel SalesPro is a multi-property ASP sales and catering system with scalable functionality that increases sales efficiency for hotel chains and independent properties. hotel ServicePro is an economical hotel maintenance solution that preserves property asset value and improves guest service by automating the communication, scheduling, tracking and reporting of tasks surrounding best practices, guest requests, safety requirements and preventive and equipment management. hotel WebSpace, is an effective new online marketing solution that drives market share for hotel companies.
Kathy Bannasch, CHA
Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Corporate Training
280 Interstate North Circle, Suite 600
Atlanta, GA 30339
Phone: 770-303-9911 or Toll free: 877-263-3645
Julie Keyser-Squires, APR