Hotel Sales Manager: Job Description, Requirements and Career Overview

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a hotel sales manager. Get a quick view of the requirements and details about degree programs and job duties to find out if this is the career for you. View article »

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Essential Information

Degree Level Bachelor's or master's degree
Degree Field(s) Hospitality management, business, or related field;
Experience Critical; internships or hotel experience required
Key Skills Leadership, sales, and presentation skills; flexibility, decisiveness, motivation, reliability and creativity; ability to work well under stress and pressure
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 8% growth (for lodging managers)
Median Annual Salary (2015) $49,720 (for lodging managers)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Lodging businesses hire hotel sales managers to generate revenue by attracting customers from around the world to be guests at their establishment. Meeting with clients and arranging business deals are some of the primary job duties of hotel sales managers. Leadership skills, a proven sales record, and presentation experience help hotel sales managers to succeed in this stressful career.

Education Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), education for this career varies, but employers generally look for applicants with a bachelor's degree or master's degree in a business related major. Business and math courses like economics, accounting, statistics, sales, and finances are recommended. Acquiring a specialization or minor in hospitality management is also suggested. Work experience is crucial to succeeding in this occupation, so acquiring an internship is highly desirable.

Job Description and Career Overview

Hotel sales managers are responsible for bringing in guests and making the hotel money. They may work with senior sales managers or owners to plan sales promotions, set sales goals, and train staff. These professionals not only seek out business with individual guests but also typically meet with larger groups such as churches, traveling executives, and family reunions to stay with their hotel. Agreements with large groups allow for successful repeat business, which generates sales for the entire company.

A hotel sales manager also sells prospective and current guests on the hotel's services, such as dining options, swimming pools, and exercise rooms, and notifies them of room upgrades. Possessing complete knowledge of all of the services the hotel offers is important for making a successful sale.

Many hotel sales managers start in hotel support positions then receive promotions after having been with the company for some time. Hotel sale managers have the option of venturing into public relations, marketing, or convention sales within the hotel industry. Upscale and luxury hotels typically require a college degree and extensive experience in hospitality.

Job Requirements

Working irregular and long hours on both weekends and evenings are commonly required of hotel sales managers. Sometimes, they have to work longer than the traditional 40-hour week. Traveling locally, regionally, and nationally to meet with prospective guests and other sales managers to discuss business is often necessary. Transfers from one office to another are also common in this career, so hotel sales managers should be comfortable with relocating if needed.

Employers look for hotel sales managers that are flexible, decisive, motivated, reliable, and creative. Due to the potential pressure to generate sales, hotel sales managers should be able to handle and manage stress appropriately. Creating and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships with customers can clinch sales and lead to repeat business.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to the BLS, lodging managers earned a median annual salary of $49,720 in May 2015. The employment of all lodging managers is projected to grow 8% between 2014 and 2024, per the BLS.

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