Bigtincan has aided in the acquisition of over $50 million in meeting and convention revenue since we began using the platform.
The pressure is on to make the best first impression
The Group Sales organization is responsible for attracting and closing event planning prospects who are interested in booking high-profile, multi-day conferences with substantial room blocks.
These bookings represent significant revenue for the hotel and a significant expenditure for the event planner. So it’s no surprise that the prospective event planners want to be able to see what the site looks like and get a feel for its style and quality as early in the process as possible. They need to be sure the site will be professional and stylish and support their efforts for a successful event.
In years past, site visits were the most common way for event planners to decide on where to host their event. These days, planners often cull down their options without ever stepping foot inside the hotel. Before they decide to engage in a serious discussion with Sales, prospective event planners can now access the information they need on line, and base their short list of possible venues on site descriptions, available services and most critically, of photos of the hotel and its meeting facilities.
Even though the site selection process can take months, fierce competition from boutique and other large hotel chains has made it crucial to visually present the most appealing site as quickly as possible.
The Group Sales team in Denver were getting frustrated trying to sell their site virtually without the benefit of a visit from the potential customer. “We would get really creative, trying to make the best looking, visual PowerPoint possible, without being able to add video, or high res photos, which didn’t represent the beauty and quality of our space.” Brian Atchison, Director, Sales and Marketing.
Cobbling together visuals and website links not only proved a clunky visual experience for the customer, but Brian and his team found they were wasting valuable time in trial and error with PowerPoint file sizes, and were unable to gauge at what point in the long sales cycle, they should be following up with their customers. As a result, too many sales calls ended with no bookings.
Bigtincan enables our sales team at The Westin New Orleans Canal Place to effectively communicate our message to prospective meeting and convention clients who sometimes do not have the time or budget to conduct site inspections prior to making purchase decisions.
Put a library of rich content at event planners’ fingertips with Engagement Hub
During sales calls, Brian and his team began using Bigtincan Engagement Hub to share rich photos, site maps and videos, instantly with prospective event planners. In some cases, they were able to completely eliminate the need for a site visit and jumped right to the contract process, because they were able to show in such clear detail the beauty and capacity of their downtown Denver site. “Because we are able to quickly navigate between presentations, we always have an answer at our fingertips, and we look like a very resourceful sales force.”
In addition to using the instant demo as a valuable sales tool, Brian’s team relies heavily on the slide-view analytics Engagement Hub makes available. By watching the slide views and forwarding activity of their prospects, they know exactly what the prospect is interested in and when they are closer to making a decision on the event location. “From a sales leadership perspective, I appreciate the analytics features that measure usage and customer engagement.”
Site visits may be down, but closing rates are up
The Group Sales team at the Denver Downtown Sheraton is always happy to host site visits for prospective event and meeting planners. But now Brian’s team can also successfully do business with prospects who prefer to narrow the field or even make their final choice virtually.
By using the Engagement Hub platform’s easy-to-use content management and sales engagement capabilities, sales team members are never left without a compelling visual representation of their property.