A Publication of WTVP

"Database marketing for effective team sales" sounds like a mouthful, but savvy database management coupled with an enthusiastic sales team always equals success.

This month, a 22-member team, brought together by our hospitality industry will be aiming for major convention growth as we host our first-ever, six-day "telemarketing blitz."

The goal is precise: seek out and qualify new convention business that has a pattern of utilizing mid-sized, Midwestern cities.

The International Association of Convention and Visitors Bureau’s CINET System offers a repository of exacting information about association and corporate meetings and is available to the members who participate in the program.

By cooperatively contributing to the database, members in turn gain access to the demographics, preferences, and histories of several meetings that then become potential leads for their own bureaus.

The question then becomes how to effectively use the information that is available. The PACVB is using the CINET database to isolate groups that met from 1998 to 2000 in mid-sized cities in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri and Nebraska.

With some tightly-focused searches and cross-references, we isolated more than 600 potential meetings and conventions that would be new to the Peoria area. New business equals new dollars across our communities.

Then, by recruiting a corps of 20 to 25 hospitality industry members, the PACVB is ready to set up shop for a telemarketing blitz utilizing our offices as the call center and headquarters. The team players will work in three to four hour shifts making qualified calls to these qualified meeting planners. Training for the blitz took place during the last week in October, with awards and incentives given to top producers during and after the blitz.

Over the course of six days, this sales team will put in more than 144 hours of calls. The capability exists to book between 75 and 125 new meetings into our area that would meet here within the next 18 months.

How will this blitz become a success? Any piece of new meeting or convention business brought into the Peoria area benefits us all.

By working together, we create a force that is much more likely to bring success. Data on the leads with the highest potential will be circulated to all telemarketing team members within two weeks of the blitz.

The best phrase that comes to mind when planning this entire process, is the "greatest good for the greatest number." At $130 per delegate per day, the return on investment to our communities from this blitz will certainly provide the "greatest" number of dollars for the "greatest" cross-section of our businesses and citizens in the Peoria area. IBI