Our recent webinar, Hotels Do, Do You? Cross-over Goals Demystified, captured just shy of 200 destination sales leaders into attendance. Mario Bass, Vice President of Sales and Experience, Visit San Antonio, and Eric Janecke, Acting Vice President of Sales, Explore St. Louis, both long time hotel sales executives, made the case for why destination sales leaders seeking greater collaboration with their hotel partners should understand the metrics most important to hotels.
In this case, we discuss “cross-over goals,” which hotels routinely build into their sales production goals. Essentially, the annual cross over goal will be the delta between the number of rooms they desire to have on the books by end of the current year, for the current and each future year, less the number of rooms on the books.
This illustrates how hotels marry the concepts of sales production goals and year end goals, yet few DMOs consider such targets for sales production goals. Should they?
First let’s dive into a list of possible reasons to consider:
- There’s a desire to continually establish credibility and respect from your hotel partners.
- There can be a disconnect between the DMO and hotel success metrics when the DMO makes their production goals, while their hotels are missing their targets.
- You want to align your sales efforts for maximum impact for both short- and long-term destination success.
- You’d like to bring focus and strategy to soft periods in future years to ensure long term success.
- You’d like to bring more data into production goals than just a % increase over last year’s production.
- And now, COVID recovery allows you an opportunity to do something different and change long established behaviors.
Ultimately asking yourself, what can we do differently… now that everything is different?
Before we dive into cross-over goals, it’s important to make some differentiation between production goals, which most DMOs are familiar with, and year-end goals.
Production goals are typically established for sales team booking goals/incentives, and are based on the date definite, regardless of which year the room nights will ultimately occur.
Year-end goals, also known as consumption benchmark, are based on arrival date and take into consideration the year in which the room nights will actually occur.
Cross-over goals bring together a marriage of two types of goals setting which establish sales team booking goals with a strategic focus of creating production goals with a year-end goal lens applied; targeting to place those room nights in the years in which they are most needed and will produce the greatest impact.
This visual illustrates how a hotel might apply cross-over goals to the current and future years to this year’s sales production goals.
While hotels have established their cross-over goals in a revenue metric, this simplified example uses room nights, a metric most familiar to DMOs.
Begin by examining the desired on the books room nights for each of the years under consideration in your goal setting. Then apply the “on the books” by the end of the current year for the current and future years. The delta becomes the cross-over goal applied to each year, and the combined delta for each year the sales production goal for current year.
While it is important to understand how hotels use cross-over goals, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we will mimic a hotel’s methodology exactly. In the DMO world, we are working with pace targets which are dynamically calculated, versus hotels who are considering where they want to be at the end of any given year in revenue. Our application is about bringing focus to placing business based on a well laid out strategy that fully considers the strength and weakness of business on the books for the current and future years.
This approach undoubtedly requires both communication and education within the destination, moving away from the assumption that bigger DMO production numbers are always better. As Mario Bass asserted in the webinar, “approaching cross-over goals requires a bit of pulling off the veil and taking a close look at the behavior standard production goals are incentifying and applying a strategy that aims at quality over quantity and placement by parameters.”
In the end, this kind of focus goal setting isn’t about doing less sales production, but about taking more accountability for that production. Entering into this kind of discussion and consideration with your hotel partners can be the first step in discovering how the DMO sales effort can be reengineered to lead to success for both you and your hotels.