ENOUGH of the Data Entry Already!
Probably the most common topic that hotel sales people complain about is “how much work it is to enter a new booking into <insert sales and catering system here>”. Often this is voiced as a complaint when discussing time constraints or the banality of loading bookings. “Why am I paid a Sales Manager salary when all I seem to do is data entry” is often a common complaint.
The complaint is generally even louder for those that work at branded properties where the number of incoming leads requiring responses can be huge.
I hate entering leads! I find data entry to be one of the most mundane parts of my job. I really wish we could return to the ‘good-old-days’ when I would’ve had an assistant to enter my bookings for me. But alas we all know those days are not going to return!
After years of staying back at work late into the evening loading these leads, I decided it was time for a rethink. There really must be a better (read: faster) way of getting those bookings into the system
Good news: there really is a better way!
The method that I am about to describe is based loosely on one particular sales and catering system (which for those of you that know me, will instantly know which fabulous Greek-character-named-system I am referring to) but I am sure the concept can easily be replicated in all systems.
The idea is based around having template bookings that you always copy from when creating a new booking. Template (or ‘dummy’) bookings can be created purely for the purpose of copying.
I generally create an account in my name, and then load template bookings of a Turn Down status. I rename the booking with my name and a descriptor of the booking. Common examples might be:
- Template Conference Group Booking
- Template Training Group Booking
- Template Wedding Booking
- Template Family Reunion Booking
When I create the template bookings I fill in all the fields, then load the typical room block requirements, and common rates, and then most importantly load all possible events for the maximum number of conceivable days.
Then whenever a new lead comes for a Conference, I just open up my Template Conference booking and copy it to a new booking. All I have to do is then delete the events that don’t apply and make the necessary tweaks to the room block. Many people complain that loading all the events ( breakouts, breaks, lunches, general sessions etc) is often the most time-consuming part, so being able to just delete the events that don’t apply is a huge time-saver.
Obviously you could create different templates based on length of stay – there really is no limit to the number of templates that you may way to use. Many people are accustomed to copying bookings, but most have overlooked the possibility of creating bookings purely for the purpose of copying from. Maybe it’s because many people are unaware it is possible to copy a booking from one account to another.
This method it also ensures that I am never in trouble for forgetting to fill out certain fields or not enter all the details as they are already loaded in my template.
I suggest you give it a try – you will be amazed at the amount of time you will save, just by taking 15 minutes to create a few template bookings that you can copy over and over again. I know it sure rescued me from data-entry-induced-insanity more than once
Less time doing data entry
more time to book business
finally making my numbers again!