Aimbridge Hospitality Focuses on Sales Performance Metrics for Success

Brand maximization and property positioning are two of three strategic components behind the rapid success of Carrollton, Texas-basedAimbridge Hospitality. The third, and conceivably its strongest driver, is sales and marketing.

The six-year-old hotel and real estate company was created by former Wyndham Hotel and Resort executives Les Bentley and Dave Johnson with a primary focus on the management of medium-sized hotels. Aimbridge Hospitality started in 2003 with eight hotels, expanding rapidly to own or manage 50 branded and independent properties across the United States. Its flags include Embassy Suites, Doubletree, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Sheraton, Hyatt, Marriott and Wyndham. Several projects are currently under construction and will carry the aloft, Embassy Suites, and Cambria Suites brands.

Between 2005 and 2007, Aimbridge Hospitality posted an astounding compounded growth of 179%. As a result, the enterprise was named to the prestigious Dallas 100 by the SMU Cox Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship, an award recognizing the top 100 fastest growing, privately-held companies in the Dallas area. The Dallas 100 winners are chosen solely on sales growth.
Establish sales standards, use technology to monitor
Tom Kenney, Aimbridge Hospitality's senior vice president of sales and marketing, credits the company's success to precisely measurable sales goals, management oversight and enforced compliance. "We established specific sales performance standards for our property teams and regional managers and we monitor performance across our portfolio remotely using the latest enterprise sales technology from hotelSystemsPro."
Employing a Web-based corporate sales and catering software system called hotelSalesPro, Aimbridge Hospitality has automated its entire sales system and centralized its property's client databases for access by corporate sales managers for cross selling and to control selling opportunities. Aimbridge Hospitality also uses hotelSystemsPro's catering software, hotelCateringPro, to maximize function room and banquet revenue, automatically generate BEOs, contracts and manage client accounts at the property level.

"hotelSalesPro enables us focus on the revenue potential for each hotel," Kenney says. "Just as important, the system also enables Ambridge to manage all its hotels' client account and contact information and activities, regardless of flag, to protect our future revenue." Aimbridge uses the enterprise sales tool which is scalable across all types of hotels, no matter their size or flag. "We can create customized reports that allow us, among other things, to set corporate group rates, access group bookings, follow regional performance, compare YTD for past years, and monitor sales performance for one hotel or our entire portfolio." 

Centralized information
The centralized oversight is essential with a sales force of more than 150 people. Three regional sales vice presidents report to Kenney, each managing properties based on geography, size and complexity. Kenney spends most of his time travelling and relies on the accessibility of hotelSalesPro's Web application to maximize his effectiveness.

"All the information we need to oversee and manage sales for our hotel group is available to us anytime, anywhere," says Kenney, adding praise for hotelSystemsPro's dependable customer service. Utilizing real-time reports, Kenney can set measureable goals and track accountability. "With hotelSalesPro, we can drill down into the 'why' behind our performance from the corporate perspective to the property level to maximize our revenue."

The hotelSalesPro system plays an integral role in Aimbridge's client and prospect account development. Historical and current data help Kenney create a sales priority guide that follows the 80/20 rule: 80% of business comes from 20% of the customers.
"We look at reports on every salesperson's efforts and outcomes and objectively fine-tune the deployment of their client focus to target their efforts to achieve the highest revenue potential.  hotelSystemsPro worked with us to create a very effective revenue report to accomplish this" explains Kenney.

Aimbridge Hospitality utilizes hotelSalesPro in a majority of its hotels. Kenney notes a significant improvement in sales productivity and performance, and an increase in the company's year-over-year attainment above the industry standard.  In many cases, Aimbridge's remaining properties will adopt hotelSalesPro when pre-existing contracts with other vendor applications expire.   
"One of Aimbridge's standards of excellence is the face-to-face sales call," Kenney said. "We pride ourselves on exceptional customer service and the long-term relationships we develop with our clients. Email is no replacement."

Regardless of market conditions, direct sales and marketing remains a top priority and winning strategy for Aimbridge Hospitality. Integrated with cutting-edge technology, says Kenney, Aimbridge Hospitality sets itself apart from its competition.
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