Spotlight on: Sales & Marketing at IHG
You could say that the Sales and Marketing department is one of the fastest paced and ever-evolving at IHG, which is no surprise given the ever-changing digital and tech landscape we live in. From innovative tech to world-class sales; this department really is achieving great things!
But while we move into a more digital way of life, now more than ever there is a need for a human touch. Our amazing team is what drives this department forward and so we wanted to put the spotlight on this. Here’s the Q&A we got to do with Alice, Senior New Business Manager we talk achievements, skills and learning!
Q1. Name the top three projects you’ve worked on
- KnowledgeNet Dashboard for Europe Sales – in 2015 I led the project of creating a customized Dashboard for Europe Sales on KnoweledgeNet. This was done in conjunction with World Wide Sales in Atlanta and I created a specific template for the sellers to get results from the portal.
The key achievement was creating expert searches on the managed accounts so that the sellers could then receive updates and news on the companies they are managing. It was great to be at the foot of this project.
- LinkedIn Sales Navigator – in 2016 together with the New Business team we launched the usage of LinkedIn Sales Navigator, premium subscription for sales. This has changed the way we target new accounts and pushed IHG to start social selling.
We had a strong return on investment and are now working on rolling it out to more corporate sellers and the hotels. The tool itself is very user-friendly and it’s crucial in finding and engaging with new potential contacts.
- Project business – we are currently working on building a programme for Project business which requires finding specific tools. I investigated and contacted a company called Building Radar which provides information on every type of construction project happening in Europe.
The tool is amazing, it has a very detailed map of Europe that you can navigate and extract detailed information on the location, the type of project, key contacts and companies involved. We are still piloting it and see if it makes sense introducing it to the sellers.
Q2. Which skills would you say are essential to succeed in your department in the current digital climate?
1.Networking – being able to identify the key contacts (stakeholders or not) and not being afraid to ask questions, give and receive feedback or just discuss trends.
2.Keeping up to date with the new trends – in sales I think it’s extremely important to know what’s going in your clients’ world, it might be a new competitor offer, a new tool that they might be using or partners to work with. Being aware of the context and the climate that surrounds it is crucial.
3.Leadership and influencing other – you need some sort of charisma to work in sales, not being afraid to bring your opinion to the table and be self-assured of the channels you wish to use
Q3. Where do you go to learn?
- Mainly online – LinkedIn is the key tool that I use; Coursera is also interesting for free courses, there are over 2000 to choose from!
- Newsletters – I subscribe to newsletters on hotel/travel industry and sales specific so that I can be up to date with what is happening, and it’s upper easy when they land straight into your channels or inbox – definitely something I would recommend.
- Books – Traditional learning but definitely a trusted form of education for me, I read books specific for the topic I want to develop, but more for motivational purpose.
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