(hoh-tel seylz man-ij-muhnt) (n.)
The practice of selling blocks of rooms or conference room time to clients. Hotel sales managers work in this specialty and may work with corporate clients and travel package operators to secure the space required for the event. Hotel sales managers are employed by larger private hotels as well as by hotel chains.
Sales managers in the hotel industry research potential clients to find corporate clients and travel package operators that could be interested in the location, type and price of accommodations, conference room services and other facilities that the hotel or chain has to offer. They then contact the decision makers in these firms and arrange to meet with them to discuss the benefits of choosing their particular hotels and to close deals that usually include a bulk discount for accounts that purchase large amounts or blocks of hotel rooms or conference center time. Some hotel sales managers may also serve as event managers, and most sales managers assist their clients in event communication with hotel facilities management is needed.
Hotel sales managers must have prior experience in the hospitality or travel industry as well as in sales. They usually begin on the sales staff and work for at least three years before promotion to managerial positions. Sales managers for hotel chains can start with sales responsibilities for one hotel in a chain, and then move up to positions where they are responsible for overseeing sales managers in a city or region.
While a college degree is not a requirement for hotel sales positions, employers look favorably upon candidates with bachelor's or associate degrees in business management or hospitality-related fields.
The hospitality industry is consolidating into chains, and this means more opportunities for experienced sales managers to advance to regional and national positions. Entry-level sales jobs in chain hotels are created at a slow rate, although smaller boutique hotels do offer some opportunities that allow talented sales people to get the experience necessary to become hotel sales managers.