A Venue CRM Can Be A Major Competitive Advantage
Why do some of the UK's most prestigious venues rely on their venue CRM systems? Today's conference and convention centres need to be more flexible than ever. With international competition steadily growing, venues of all sizes need to figure out how to gain particularly strong competitive advantages and ensure the profitability of their spaces.
Venue CRM and sales systems can support venues in their efforts to generate new business and manage relations with existing clients. While there certainly are a number of good generic CRM software systems on the market, many successful venues, such as London's prestigious conference centre ExCeL, rely on event-specific CRM systems that have solely been designed for the event industry.
Venues should consider the following three steps in their CRM and sales activities:
1. Be Strategic & Plan Ahead
Growing a relevant client base and following up on prospective client requests requires solid planning efforts and a clever strategy in the first place. In order to implement a long-term sales and CRM strategy, a venue needs consistent processes and state-of-the-art technology as well as a suitable CRM system.
From the very first client information that is entered into your venue CRM system, you should define which information is critical for your business and make sure you implement mandatory data fields within your CRM system so any staff member knows what they need to enter – it needs to be easy to learn, navigate and use. By planning ahead and being consistent with data entry, you will facilitate your reporting and avoid any frustration around missing client data.
2. Complete the "Client Puzzle"
Documenting sales-relevant steps in your CRM system will help you identify sales opportunities and successfully follow-up on them. Write down what you know about your prospect and what you still need to find out. Whenever you are able to collect more missing “pieces of the client puzzle”, make sure you enter the new information in your CRM. Thanks to all relevant information available at your fingertips, you will be well-prepared for your follow-up calls.
Many successful sales teams work with reminders and activities so they can reasonably time their follow-up calls and make sure no important information gets lost. From a strategic perspective, it certainly makes sense to implement standard follow-up steps for the entire sales team.
3. Use Venue CRM & Booking Solutions Together
Ideally, all of your client and event data should documented in the same system. Event-specific CRM systems that were designed for the event industry understand the particularities of the events business and tie together client and event data in one platform.
By using a venue CRM system, venue sales managers can quickly generate revenue forecasts and report on the economic success of the venue. This makes their lives and jobs much easier and helps them to evaluate the success (or failure) of their venue's event business.
A consistent data entry process in your venue’s CRM system right from the beginning helps you to pull precise and meaningful reports, for example on the number, value and reasons for the lost business opportunities. This is of high relevance when it comes to optimising a venue's sales pipeline and maximising the venue’s occupancy.
What if a sales opportunity was lost due to lack of breakout session rooms in your venue? What if this was the reason for several lost business opportunities? You may gain valuable insight from your CRM system depending on the data you enter in the first place. Which leads us to the first step again – planning ahead!
The Wrap up
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