Who should control the group sales for an airline – sales or revenue management?

Who should control the group

Whenever a request comes in for a group booking, it is common to find sales and revenue management at loggerheads.  

Airlines generally handle group bookings manually, and in the process, confusion breaks out over whether the group’s accommodation on their preferred flight is in alignment with the airline’s revenue maximization efforts. 

Another conflict that arises is the discounts that can be given to a particular group. In this instance, the sales team looks to fill up the flight with substantial discounts, while revenue management might want to hold out for higher yield passengers.  

Making these decisions manually has made group booking a tedious process for both passengers and airlines, which means that airlines are missing out on a major opportunity to boost revenue.

What if there was a way to automate the entire process of group booking that ensured the flight was filled with high-value passengers? 

Also, what if there was a way for the sales team and revenue management to work together to adopt the best pricing strategy based on demand and the previous buying pattern of the passengers? 

How automating group booking can work wonders

Airlines can manage inventory effectively and fill their plane with the most valuable customers if they had access to a single, web-based interface for accepting and managing group requests, deciding the fare based on demand, and negotiating for providing customers with competitive pricing.  

Here are the benefits of having such a solution. 

Providing the right fares to the right groups

With the dynamic pricing capability that an automated group revenue management system provides, airlines can come up with optimal quotes in a matter of hours depending on group size, load factor, demand, nature of the trip, requested fare, etc. 

With the sales and revenue management teams in sync when it comes to policies that affect offers, the airline can also present travel agents and tour operators with personalized offers in real-time.

Making timely pricing decisions

Since customers have a lot of options in the market, they have immense leverage for negotiating fares. Airlines need to keep constant track of competitor rates and customer history to keep potential passengers from switching. 

When the process of pricing is automated, airlines can make optimized and timely decisions on everything from discounts to surge fees based on the season and sector. 

This leads to more customer retention because the long quoting times associated with manual processes inevitably lead to lost sales.  

Selling to the right group at the right time

Automation goes a long way in helping airlines prioritize which groups to cater to for maximizing revenue, especially when hundreds of group booking requests pour in. 

With the right tools, airlines can accelerate the group sales cycle, close negotiations much faster, and even boost customer spend with personalized pricing and product offers. 

Conclusion 

Increasingly, customers want better prices and more specialized offers with group bookings. Using an automated group revenue management tool, airlines can eliminate nearly all the conflict between the sales and revenue management teams and make smarter pricing decisions that fuel a faster recovery from the pandemic. This is because having a single source of data allows both sales and revenue management to collaborate in ways that will foster efficiency and better customer experience. 

Speak to a revenue management expert today

GroupRM allows you to offer optimal pricing and a seamless booking experience to group customers. Book a demo to know more.

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