The global bounce back from the disruption caused by COVID-19 is firmly underway, and hoteliers and estate managers are finding new and novel ways to maximise revenue streams in our new normal.
Revenue management strategies have been rightly focused on survival for the last 2 years, however, to guarantee operational success in our new normal operators have to make sure they are doing everything in their power to create sustainable cultures of efficiency within their business.
Legacy revenue management strategies – such as cross-selling, understanding booking curves, and data management – still very much apply in this new world of restricted but improving travel.
But an oft-overlooked element of effective revenue management is more holistic and more personnel-led than most would think – cross-departmental collaboration.
And while collaboration between teams is nothing new, revenue managers have to be cognizant of the effectiveness of departmental interactions across a broad swathe of business metrics, such as its centrality to creating the sort of working culture that retains staff and customers for the long run.
What is cross-department collaboration?
Cross-department collaboration is a business-wide cultural and operational decision to align each department’s goals and proposed outcomes with others and to work together to meet business targets as one.
Why is this so important to revenue management?
Rather than focus on the clear benefits, we want to draw attention to situations when departmental collaboration doesn’t exist – “When workplaces are dysfunctional, they can often operate in “silo” type situations where different teams fail to work together or even communicate effectively with one another”.
In a new era of revenue and venue management, where data is king and traditional streams of income are shifting in favour of direct customer sales, collaboration between business-critical departments is more important than ever.
If teams are siloing decision making, the operational cracks start to show, and ultimately customers will become confused, underserved and unhappy.
The power of data
Data is an essential element of a post-pandemic aware revenue management strategy for one clear reason – speed of service and service adaptation.
If customers demand more dynamic pricing, but you have a convoluted, unaligned system of data inputs that are laborious to administer, by the time you finally clear and understand said data it’s more than likely out of date, and your customer expectations will not be met.
This challenge – to bring together reports from different departments, quickly and clearly, to improve operational efficiency – is the core reason why cross-collaboration between departments is so vital and business-critical.
From a customer perspective, data drives everything – if you’re not doing your utmost as a revenue leader to understand customer motives and brand loyalties in a changing world (which data can indeed show you) you’ll find your business will suffer.
Data – from customer touchpoints, booking systems, marketing engagements, sales feedback and staff inputs – guarantees you’re ahead of the customer curve and provides maximum revenue possibility.
Creating a culture of revenue management staff understand
Another facet of good revenue management is building a culture where your departments look out for one another, lean on experts in certain circumstances to drive efficiencies, and do so while working toward an aligned goal.
In a piece by Revfine, Patrick Wimble, MD of Lightbulb Consulting stated, “Recognise that you don’t have to be the expert in everything. Draw on others’ experiences and engage them early”.
Humility in management and ego-free collaboration creates equal staffing ground, elevates certain skilled members of the team to make targeted, knowledgeable dedications, and decentralises legacy decision making to create a more agile business.
What departments benefit most from collaboration?
Most, if not all, departments that generate or manage revenue will benefit from retrofitted systems of collaboration.
Naturally, departments like Sales and Marketing cross-pollinate one another’s areas of work. But in the modern era of agile revenue management, operations, data, customer insights and even catering and events need to be hardcoded into strategy.
This isn’t just to make sure bookings, events, scheduling and operational efficiencies are met – it’s vital in creating an identifiable brand, effective and engaging marketing, and an engaged team of professionals who know where the business is headed and understand the myriad inputs that go into maintaining successful revenue streams.
How do revenue managers encourage cross-collaboration between departments?
- Monthly Forecasting – rather than annualising revenue reports, revenue managers need to provide monthly forecasts and establish real-time reporting.
- Cross-departmental reporting – use data to elevate the effectiveness of reporting between departments, and managers should create digestible sales reporting at senior management level to be communicated to all team members across the business. Software can easily identify demand patterns and revenue trends to better inform all teams, not just operations managers and revenue seniors.
- Have clear organisational goals – and communicate them, often, to your teams.
- Training and development – your teams want to learn, and an essential element of post-pandemic staff retention strategies should be to provide more personalised and more targeted L&D opportunities to team members. This, naturally, favours cross-departmental learning and more empowered staff.
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