Mobile Handheld Tool Helps Buffalo Lodging Increase Sales and Profitability

Wendy Clubine is a seasoned producer who built an award-winning career in hospitality sales for Buffalo Lodging Associates, LLC, without much reliance on new technology. So she was reluctant when the company recently provided her with a mobile handheld device equipped with the hotel SalesPro automated sales solution from hotel SystemsPro, a provider of ASP-based enterprise hotel sales software and service solutions for hotel companies. Today she wonders how she ever lived without it.

"I grew up with a party line telephone, and am not well-versed in technology," says Clubine, who earned hotel sales awards for multiple hotel locations in the eastern U.S. and Canada. "But now that I am comfortable with hotel SalesPro on my mobile touchpad, I connect with prospects better and faster and make more sales. It's a great timesaver I resisted. Now I cannot resist using it."

'Rocking within four business days'
Clubine was accustomed to using a Blackberry for e-mail communication, but when it came to using a touch-screen to find and input information in hotel SalesPro, she was reluctant. "Buffalo Lodging uses the hotel SalesPro system and has had it on the sales team's laptops since 2005," says Clubine. "But, when I was asked to use the remote device I was hesitant. I should not have been because the hotel SystemsPro training team did a great job of guiding me through the system and I was on the street closing deals and rocking in four business days."

Buffalo Lodging is a strong advocate of outside, person-to-person sales calls, and Clubine and the rest of its sales team are on the road 60 percent of the time selling transient, corporate and group business. According to Clubine, hotel SalesPro on a mobile touchpad device is the best business tool she has ever used. "hotel SalesPro has a valuable GPS feature that knows where you are and shows me the shortest route from one appointment to the next.ÕIt replaced my GPS and enables me to be more productive and efficient."

Clubine says hotel SalesPro enables her to:

  • Quickly pull up a record of all the previous interactions she and other Buffalo Lodging salespeople have had with a prospect or client so she always has current company information,
  • Input essential information about prospects and customers immediately after a meeting, while the details are still fresh,
  • Cross-sell between brands operated by Buffalo Lodging since she has all sales histories for all the company's corporate and transient accounts available on her handheld.
Great for cross-selling
"If we find that a prospect has multiple offices across the country and is Marriott-loyal, for example, we can enter that information in hotel SalesPro and send e-mails to all our Marriott properties letting them know they have a qualified lead," she says. The functionality is ideal for a firm like Buffalo Lodging with multiple flags, where salespeople in Orlando can quickly access information about a corporate client in New England. The system enables multi-flag operators to own and control their sales account information and leverage it to cross sell all their properties to the most appropriate accounts.
The hotel SalesPro prospecting tool is also valuable for zeroing in on pre-qualified prospects. "For example, I can say, 'I'm in Rochester, New York and need to find all the database services companies in the area that have business with Buffalo Lodging,' and the system will locate them for me. The more you use this tool, the more you rely on it."
Essential prospecting tool
Clubine tells a story of making cold calls in an industrial park and finding three companies not on her list for appointments. "I went into my hotel SalesPro handheld and found one company had done business with Buffalo Lodging in Columbus, Ohio. I was able to read the company's background information and when I walked in to the cold call, was able to mention I knew the company did its training in Columbus and had booked with a Buffalo Lodging property there. I was even able to give the sales director's name as a reference. The gentleman ended up booking business with us in Buffalo. I would not have been able to book that business out on road without hotel SalesPro."
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