So, you're getting copied on Cvent leads. What does this mean, and how should you respond?
In recent webinars, DMAI and its Sales and Marketing Committee shared the DMO Recommended Practice for Handling a Cvent Lead. Consistency is key to encouraging planners to include DMOs as a part of their sourcing process, so make sure you're aligned with the industry in adding to the planner experience by avoiding these five common pitfalls.
Pitfall #1. Send the Cvent lead through your own CRM system.
We found that duplicating the lead within a DMO's CRM system and distributing it with hotels is a common practice, mostly done to signal to hotels that the DMO has been copied and is involved in the process. Ultimately, this has been a way to ensure that the appropriate parties get credit for the leads they influence.
The problem is that this action contributes to confusion on the part of both hotels and planners. The duplication of the same lead creates the perception of redundancy and undermines the DMO’s reputation in the long run.
Solution: Cvent has released several enhancements which include notifying the hotels on the front end and during the lead response process when a DMO is copied on the lead -- so you don't have to!
Pitfall #2. Assume the planner is all set.
We find that DMOs do not first and foremost confirm receipt of the lead and then do not assess how the selected hotels will respond.
Therefore, we could miss some great opportunities to add real value for our hotels and planners by first researching the lead. Is there another event or citywide convention over the requested dates? Does the lead include flexible dates? Is there ample history listed?
By noting what the lead is missing, what additional insights we can provide to improve the RFP or improve the rate and quality of the responses, DMOs can truly shine.
Solution: Remember to explain who you are and how you provide value, and then walk the walk! You are the best first point of contact to help a planner find the right fit for any size meeting. The DMO alone has the local expertise, the extensive in-market relationships, and the comprehensive view of the destination. The best part is that you're free to planners.
Pitfall #3. Add hotels without consent.
Especially when we've already committed the cardinal sin #1, we can fall into the trap of adding hotels to a lead, or forwarding leads to hotels without the planner's knowledge or consent.
This pitfall, which well-intentioned, can lead to the planner being overwhelmed by responses from suppliers they did not expect to hear from, and it further undermines the DMO reputation that all of us haphazardly blast planner leads to anyone and everyone.
Solution: Again, contain all lead forwarding through Cvent program and always do so with the planner's consent. Explain why you're recommending the hotels that you've chosen, taking into account other destinations that the planner is considering. Limit your hotels to 8-10 within the destination, so that the planner is not completely overwhelmed by responses, and so the hotels have a higher probability to close the business.
Pitfall #4. Service with limited vision into hotel responses.
We discovered that DMOs often suffered from a limited or fragmented visibility into their hotel responses.
It's difficult to be of service to your hotels and your planners when leads are duplicated in different places, leading to responses becoming fragmented, or simply invisible to you, the DMO.
Solution: Train your hotels to allow the DMO to view their responses in Cvent. Explain that this allows you to monitor responses and communications to the planner from the entire destination, and to ensure that the planner is getting the information they need and their requirements met. Your Cvent representative can assist you to do this training.
Pitfall #5. Leave the lead hanging.
By working in Cvent, there's a risk of not closing the loop on a piece of business when leads and responses reside outside our normal operating system. However, this creates a risk of not closing the loop with the planner.
Solution: Be sure to follow up inside the Cvent system, making sure they have all the hotel responses they need, confirming if they would like to add more hotels. Once the lead is booked, be sure to pass this Cvent information to your services team.
What are some other ways you're working to reduce confusion and clutter with your Cvent leads? Share your practices below.