Nineteen ninety-nine is going to be a very good year for Linda Fain, sales manager for the AAA Four Diamond, Mobil Four Star-rated Omni Mandalay Hotel in Dallas, Texas. One of Omni Hotels’ top sales associates, Fain is reaping the benefits from the company’s new sales incentive program unveiled in January. Expected to raise the sales bar within the hotel industry, Omni Hotels’ new sales incentive program is based on three major components: unlimited earning potential, monthly - as opposed to quarterly or annual - payouts and added incentives for sales made during hotel need periods.
Fain, who was with Westin and Rosewood Hotels before joining Omni Hotels in 1994, is a strong proponent of the new program.
“Its extremely easy to understand, and the monthly payouts provide instant gratification,” says Fain. “Its like getting immediate thanks for the work I have done and encourages me to do more.”
Competition from other industries due to a strong job market coupled with recent increased growth in the number of hotels and corresponding increase in demand for experienced sales professionals has made turnover the latest challenge for human resource directors, not to mention a bottom-line issue for hotel companies. Upon examining sales associate turnover and the costs associated with it, Omni Hotels took decided steps to create an incentive program that would help the company attract, and even more importantly keep, talented sales people.
Omni Hotels Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Dennis Hulsing says initial response to the new program from sales associates has been tremendous.
“This is truly a great program,” says Hulsing. “Our new sales incentive plan communicates to our sales associates that we value their hard work and intend to compensate them generously for their efforts. We have to remain competitive with the marketplace if we are going to keep our top producers. Our new sales incentive program is designed to help us accomplish just that.”
According to Hulsing, an Omni Hotels senior sales manager produces on average $2 million in sales annually. With replacement time averaging about three months, turnover costs in terms of lost sales production can be as much as $500,000 or more every time a key sales person leaves the company. Hulsing adds that Omni Hotels’ most successful properties in 1998 were the ones that experienced limited or no turnover. Hulsing believes the new sales incentive program will help boost the company’s employee retention.
Fain has already booked 40 percent of her sales goal for the year. Omni Hotels anticipates an overall 20 percent increase in company sales production for 1999 under the new incentive program.
“One of Omni Hotels’ company goals is to be the hotel employer of choice for our industry,” says Hulsing. “Our new sales incentive program is one more step in helping us achieve that goal.”
Headquartered in Irving, Texas, Omni Hotels is a privately owned chain of 43 first-class and luxury hotels and resorts located throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. Omni Hotels propertiesoffer four-diamond services ranging from gourmet dining, fitness facilities, tennis, golf, wine tastings, tours of local attractions, music festivals and children’s activities. Omni Hotels will continue an aggressive agenda for expansion in North America and internationally. For more information on Omni Hotels, call 1-800-THE-OMNI or visit the company Web site at www.omnihotels.com.