The New Alternative to Standard Sales Training

Everywhere we engage with CVBs, we hear the same refrain, “We need more tactical and strategic sales training!” And yet, those same CVBs are reluctant to continue to invest in more generic sales training that doesn’t deliver quantifiable results.

It’s also disheartening when individuals attend off-site training and the teachings don’t line up with the destination sales approach, and there isn’t the budget or time to create customized training to fit the needs of sales professionals at varying experience levels within the organization.

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This is one of the reasons why we are so excited about the possibilities of Buyer Insights to provide a unique way to bring your sales and marketing teams together for tangible learning, straight from the mouth of the customer.  Yes, that’s right…actual one-on-one interviews conducted with your destination’s most recent wins/losses examine the buyer’s journey and reveal actionable ways for your sales and marketing professionals to be more helpful and less “hypeful.”

We are going to deliver an entirely personalized half-day sales and marketing workshop which is information rich and loaded with actionable take-aways from your customers for each member of your team to employ.  This isn’t a sit back and listen session, this is a roll up your sleeves and figure out some concrete strategies in relation to your customer’s direct feedback.  

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If you’ve been lamenting sales training and doing nothing because there just aren’t any suitable alternatives, now there is!  Buyer Insights is the real deal and it will help your sales and marketing professionals think and act differently, and it will prevent you from spending additional dollars on standard training that won’t amplify results in your destination.  

2Synergize Partners With Industry Leader George Fenich, Ph.D.

Duo To Empower Destinations With Actionable Insights

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (July 2019) - 2Synergize, LLC. – a Simpleview consulting firm based in San Diego – has partnered with George G Fenich, Ph.D., co-founder of the firm Trends Analysis Projections (TAP). Fenich has long been a leader and innovator in the travel and tourism industry, creating analytics and solutions that help CVBs gauge their performance and make educated decisions on their sales strategies. 2Synergize now is the exclusive licensee of Fenich’s work in the CVB space.

“Partnering with George is a great opportunity to provide CVBs with tailored resources they need to be more competitive, effective and aligned with their stakeholders,” said 2Synergize Managing Director, Christine “Shimo” Shimasaki.

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George G. Fenich, PH.D.

Professor at School of Hospitality Management, East Carolina University

As a well-respected consultant for CVBs, Shimo understands the challenges that destinations face. In partnering with Fenich, Shimo looks forward to empowering destinations with the actionable insights they need to fuel their sales strategies. 

“I’ve always been about finding ways to solve our industry’s oldest problems, where lack of information and inefficiency have plagued us,” said Shimo. “With Fenich’s research and analytics, we have an opportunity to help CVBs standardize goal setting, redefine success metrics and lead a collaborative sales strategy with stakeholders.”

Of joining forces with Shimo, Fenich notes, “I am pleased that 2Synergize and Simpleview have agreed to embrace the analytics I have developed over the years. I believe they have the resources and expertise to take the analytics to the next level and to provide CVBs with even more in-depth resources to achieve their goals.”

Fenich will be working closely with 2Synergize and Simpleview to find new ways to use his research to serve destinations across the world, including a reimagined pace report, plus destination attractiveness, consumption benchmark, need period impact and event scoring profile analyses. 

Does Anyone Know a Good Interpreter?

Creating Common Language Between CVB Senior Sales Executives and Data Analysts

“Data, data and more data-the most valuable currency in hospitality.” Carson Booth, SnapShot CEO and veteran technology expert, former global vice president of property technology at Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, expresses what I know so many of us are feeling.  The game has shifted and the focus on metrics and performance through the analysis of data is front and center.  

While I am not a subject matter expert on data, I am a consultant who focuses on destination sales performance and sales strategy.  In fact, over the past year, I have interviewed over seventy-five hotel general managers and directors of sales and marketing.  The one consistent take-a-way…their world has CHANGED!  More accountability, more meetings with owners and asset managers, can only mean more data.  

Within the hospitality industry, the impact of greater accountability doesn’t stop with hotels.  Destination sales leaders have to appreciate how this translates into the expectations our hotel stakeholders will have for us to substantiate and express the destination marketing organization’s value through data as well.    We no longer have the luxury of telling a story solely focused on room night production.  We must expand the narrative to include the overall impact of those room nights; including seasonality and our impact on low occupancy periods, along with optimal arrival and departure dates in high occupancy periods.  

So, what keeps us from harnessing the benefits of telling a “data rich” story of the value of our efforts?  Much lies in our ability to clearly express to our data analyst the bigger picture we are trying to convey, and their ability to understand not just the data,  but also be able to extract and organize it in a way that is both credible and easily understood by those with whom we share it. 

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This got me thinking…sales executives and data analysts to be steadfast interpreters!  A quick Google search revealed the traits any strong interpreter would possess.  It falls upon sales leaders and their data analysts to build a relationship that allows the analyst to become a superior interpreter for the destination’s sales effort, and the sales execute to understand a thing or two about data!    So, let’s take a look at those skills.

Understanding of Sales Language and Discipline/Industry Knowledge 

When an interpreter is working in a field, they must understand not only the language, but the nuances of the language and be able to fortify their understanding with both discipline and industry knowledge.  In the case of meeting sales, there are some key areas data analyst must have a keen grasp of, in order to be consultative when providing data that will satisfy sales leaders and their stakeholders.  

A good place to start is a deep-dive conversation to make sure there is a thorough understanding between the sales executive and data analyst around several key areas of sales reporting.  

Impact:  What are the particular ways we need to define and express the impact the sales team’s production is having on the destination?  

Future Outlook:  How do we need to report predictive analysis around booking pace and our ability to lead proactively? 

Seller’s Performance:  How can we best continuously gauge sales team productivity comparative to goals and incentives? 

Team Activities: In what ways can we examine and quantify the sales team’s account management activities? 

Boardroom Competency 

Beginning with the end in mind, a good data interpreter should also have real life experience in interacting with stakeholders and see first-hand their ability to grasp the information being presented.  It’s always prudent for the sales executive to actively involve their data analyst in the meetings and forums in which the data is discussed.  

Taking “Oz out from behind the green curtain,” will allow for a deeper understanding of the end result of the reporting and inform future reporting in a way that is both tangible and insightful.  Don’t always leave the data gay/gal back at the office crunching the numbers, give them a seat at the table and a voice in the conversation, so everyone grows exponentially in their knowledge of data capabilities.  

Good Two-Way Listening 

Interpretation situations, especially of data, can be intimidating for the “non-native speaker,” in this case, the “non-data heads!”  If the data analyst is going to support sales, everyone needs to take a more active role in listening, which always begins with good open-ended questioning.  Conversations about business impact and the objects of key areas of sales reporting laid out above will provide an opportunity for less back and forth, and considerably less frustration, between the sales leader and data analyst.   

Any Story We Tell is Only as Good as the Data We Tell It With…A Word About Data Quality

In conclusion, there is much to be gained in coming together for more conversation and understanding around the metrics we are reporting.  Yet, at the end of the day, the story we relate about our value will only be as good as the data with which we use to tell it.  Even the best interpreter will be limited in their ability by data that is inaccurate or incomplete.   It’s in everyone’s best interest to take continued measures to improve data health and quality.  BUT, that’s another story entirely!  

For now, let commit to coming together to gain a more complete understanding of the hospitality industry’s most valuable currency, becoming savvy investors and wise spenders.