THE CASE FOR DBR
Daily Business Review, RevMax, Sales Stand-Up -- no matter what you call it, many hotels hold a daily meeting for sales team members to make business decisions and review selling activity.
Wait, you are holding a DBR meeting, right?
There are frequent periods of controversy about this meeting in the hotel history timeline. I have even wondered myself if having a daily meeting made sense. When I've surveyed sales teams about it, I learned that not only is it a key piece of the business-decision puzzle, but it also provides "softer" benefits I hadn't considered. Some of the answers I heard:
It's a chance to share our ideas and successes.
I like that it is a place we can all come together and discuss any doubts regarding rates, space and daily topics that may affect sales.
It's a good way to start the day.
Great opportunity to bring issues and questions to the table and receive honest feedback from the team.
Good to know what the hotel did in terms of the whole picture the night before.
Of course, there were negatives that arose in the survey responses, too; here are some of them:
Takes too long, hard to pay attention.
Some people babble on and on to make themselves look busier than they are.
We get more details than are necessary.
People stray away from business which causes the meeting to go longer than necessary.
Attendees come unprepared.
Overall, the survey told me that, while there are things to improve, a DBR meeting is important to the team. After working with lots of hotels in transition, I can safely say that this is borne out by my experience.
What are the benefits DBR?
It builds team cohesion.
Junior people learn from senior people.
The hotel's strategy is communicated and repeated so that it sinks in.
Sellers practice their presentation skills.
Leaders can share best practices and direction for closing business.
The GM gets to observe sales talent and stay on top of the pipeline of business.
Creativity is multiplied exponentially in a group setting.
The team learns why some business fits and doesn't fit; open selling guidelines are understood and challenged.
Need and hot dates are identified and discussed.
Sales people are accountable for their activity.
Client relationships are leveraged across types of business.
The various sales disciplines learn how each other work.
Sellers get a taste of winning when their business is approved.
Leaders can evaluate the skills of their team.
Cross-selling opportunities are identified.
Customer behavior and segment characteristics are better understood.
The overall financial health of the hotel is communicated.
Sales people learn about the profit implications of concessions.
Strategies for contract negotiations are worked out.
Competitive pros and cons are discussed.
I could continue this list, but at its core are three main qualities that make the case for DBR:
Learning | Accountability | Cohesion
With the whole team in attendance (this includes catering/CS folks who may not have business to review), leadership can communicate strategy, best practices, and direction -- whether formally or by observation. The junior members of the team learn from the senior members, and the various disciplines grow in their understanding of each others' priorities. Not only will this help each person do a better job, but it can also develop skills and knowledge that will allow them to move up to the next position on the career ladder.
In order to have a recession-proof sales office, a sales leader should work to get as much learning, accountability, and cohesion out of the daily business review meeting as possible. In the next part of this series, I'll talk about the mutual accountabilities -- what each player must bring to the table in order to fully maximize this process.