The Sales Imperative: What Hotels Need to Do to Survive Post Covid

When the economy is good and hotels are making money, sales is something that flies under the radar and is not closely inspected or even fully understood by people in operations who oversee this function.

To successfully recover post Covid, hotels, brands and management companies will need to look at how the sales function is structured in their organization. They will need to determine if they have the right people with the right skills, and the right tools and training to compete in an environment that will be scarce with new opportunities and largely dependent on stealing business from the competition.

Hospitality organizations will need to consider 3 fundamental shifts if they are going to survive:

1) Everybody is in sales (or at least they should be)

    • Hotel teams can no longer operate in a silo. Sales, revenue management, operations, all need to come together, develop a strategy, and communicate vs. having competing priorities.
    • Front desk plays a critical role in the success of a hotel’s sales strategy. Too many front desk associates see their role as “checking people in and checking people out.” They can be great lead catchers for the sales department to further qualify and close.
    • The battleground for converting incoming inquires into reservations, will be the dialogue front desk agents have with the potential customers. Do they have the ability to communicate with confidence and clarity, the cleaning and social distancing protocols of the hotel and what is being done to keep guests safe? Train your front desk teams and do not leave these important policies open for interpretation.

2) What worked before will not work in the future

    • Pre-Covid many sales departments kept busy managing existing accounts and incoming inquires (aka “Farming”) as our industry enjoyed 10 straight years of REVPAR growth. With many demand generators, such as large conventions, sports tournaments, corporate, not travelling until 2021 and beyond, the pie has shrunk and there are not enough incoming inquiries to provide hotels with base business.
    • Sales people who only know how to farm, need to learn how to hunt. This requires a different mindset and a different skillset.
    • Prospects are not waiting for sales people to call and these modern buyers will not have the time or patience to engage with sales people who have not done their homework and are simply “smiling and dialing.”
    • Hotels will need to consider business from market segments they have not considered in the past to replace business from segments not travelling right now.

3) Sales is not a tactic deployed when the chips are down

    • It is an imperative business strategy that requires a seat at the same table as operations and everyone in the organization needs to own a piece of it.
    • Sales is proactive and consistent; not reactive and only thought about when there is an economic downturn, an increase in competition or a pandemic.
    • Sales is a marathon, not a race. There is no instant gratification in this sport.

Now is the time to recalibrate and ensure that sales has a seat at the executive table to drive the desired results hotels will need to recover from this pandemic. Organizations have an incredible opportunity to hit the reset button and build a high performing sales team with the right strategy, the most qualified people, and effective processes and tools in place to support the execution.

Some of Our Clients

Proudly Serving Clients throughout US & Canada

"As a management company with 4 smaller hotels in busy transient markets, we have struggled to keep our sales and marketing costs relative to the size of our hotel.  The cost and time invested in attracting, training, and retaining good salespeople with the current job climate can be not only daunting but frustrating with turnover.  With varying demand in the market, a sales manager needs to recognize when to take the business, and when to say no to it.  The right rate, at the right time!

We have solved all these problems through turning this demanding role in 3 of our hotels over to Gillis Sales.

Gillis is a trusted, credible partner who has supplied me with experienced professionals who know the fastest route to the business I need.  This has become our most effective resource, and I 100% recommend the Gillis solution to my colleagues."
Patti Barker -

Vice President of Hospitality, Metropolitan Hospitality Management

We have the pleasure of working with Gillis Sales, and couldn’t be happier with the results. Their expertise in the hospitality industry, combined with their innovative sales strategies, have delivered exceptional revenue growth for our property. I highly recommend Gillis Sales to any hotel looking to boost their sales and increase their bottom line. Their commitment to excellence and personalized approach make them a valuable partner in the competitive world of hotel sales.
Preena Patel -

Preena Patel, Administrative Director,  A-1 Hospitality

"The math is simple: Gillis equals heads-in-beds!

The sales pro's at Gillis have been instrumental in building occupancy at Motel 6 and Studio 6 hotels in Canada over the past several years.  Working collaboratively with owners and managers, Gillis takes the time required to find and convert prospects to guests.  Gillis provides a best-in-class solution for hotels that don't have a dedicated, well-trained sales team."
Irwin M. Prince -

Irwin M. Prince, President & COO, Realstar Hospitality

“We had the good fortune of engaging Gillis after years of managing our sales effort inhouse. They came highly recommended through brand leadership and seasoned sales professionals – and they haven’t disappointed. Despite only a few months into our relationship, they have had an immediate impact on our hotels and key account relationships. The Gillis team has already established themselves as one of our most valued and trusted advisors and partners. They have always displayed the professionalism, passion and accountability demanded by their profession. The Gillis team is well prepared, highly engaged and goal orientated. To this end, they have solidified accounts, delivered new bookings and helped to diversify our business drivers. As a result, they have earned the deep respect and trust of our organization. I would not hesitate to recommend Gillis for any organization that requires the highest levels of sales performance, execution and professionalism.”
Perry Batke -

CHA, General Manager, Denham Hospitality Organization

“Tammy Gillis and her organization have been nothing short of amazing! We have seen an approximate ROI of 10x at our BW PLUS hotel as well as a ROI of 4-5x at our BW hotel. The sales team is so dedicated, passionate and driven to deliver revenue to hotels. I just wish we started sooner with Gillis!”
Hitesh Patel -

President, Colorado Hospitality, Inc.

Contact Us for a Complimentary Sales Consultation

800.296.2962 |


Sales is the life blood of your organization.

No business has ever succeeded without sales. Knowing where to start can be overwhelming.

The good news is, we can teach you how to do it OR we can do it for you.

Our services will help you sell more rooms, stand out and succeed in a competitive market, and train your staff to implement sales more effectively.

Interested to learn how this applies to you? Contact us for a complimentary consultation.