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28% of Group Sales Inquiries Are Lost, Ignored, or Abandoned

We are always asking, “How can Tripleseat make the job of selling and managing events for sales managers easier?” or, “Where can Tripleseat streamline the booking and planning process?”

To answer these questions, we look for where the planning process breaks down, and where there is an opportunity to use today’s technology to improve revenue – because that is what it’s all about.

Let’s start at the beginning: Sales. The sale generally starts with an inquiry – no mystery there – but what has changed is how the inquiry is received. Consumers are starting their buying cycle on the web. A Cornell study showed that consumers (your potential customers) prefer reservation style solutions over more traditional methods like phone and email for communication. This is good news because a survey from Quality Track International clearly shows the phone inquiry process is broken, by finding that 28% of group sales inquiries are lost, ignored, or abandoned by catering sales managers.

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Email is not much better than the phone, as consumers have a nasty habit of not giving all the information restaurants need to call back or understand what kind of event is trying to be booked. The final death blow is that both email and the phone are data black holes that cannot be mined for future marketing and sales activities.

To fix this, we were the first event sales tool to develop SmartLead. Tripleseat’s SmartLead is a booking engine that is integrated with the restaurant website and/or Facebook page, and Tripleseat. With SmartLead, we have provided a tool that opens up a new inquiry distribution channel that enables restaurants to:

1. Provide an online booking platform for consumers in the style they are familiar with, therefore increasing the amount of inquiries restaurants receive.
2. Integrate the data from the website with the restaurant’s  Tripleseat database, eliminating the need to “cut and paste” data or lose data in a crowded email inbox or stacks of paper.
3. Respond faster to the inquiry and close more business. It is widely known that the first one in wins.
4. Reduce the number of lost leads by receiving the lead.

So, did we solve the inquiry problem? The evidence to date suggests we did. Our restaurant customers have seen on average a 30% increase in inquiries via SmartLead vs. the phone and email. In addition, the leads received via SmartLead are more qualified, and, therefore, the percentage of leads becoming revenue has increased. Finally, the percentage of leads not being followed up on has dropped to almost zero in comparison to the 28% of calls not being returned by sales managers. All this translates into an increase in revenue for group dining.

Respond quickly and increase your revenue
Login to your Tripleseat account to reach out to leads and grow your revenue. If you’re not a Tripleseat customer, schedule a demo – we’re happy to show you the power of SmartLead and how you can boost your sales inquiries.
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