From team to team, suite sales processes can seem like the wild west.
If you mapped out how each professional team currently approaches their suite sales, you’d see notable differences across organizations:
- How do buyers purchase a single-game suite? What about leasing? Lead forms? Email inquiries?
- How are billing and invoicing for suites handled? Deposit? Check? Spreadsheets?
- How are game day catering purchases handled and upsold, and by whom? Online forms? Email? PDFs?
While processes vary by team and market, the best practices don’t. At the end of 2021, suite sales gained tremendous momentum compared to general admission ticket sales. How can teams ensure their suite sales processes are optimized to meet the expectations of new, first-time buyers?
With today’s prominence of digital management tools, best practices have fortunately emerged for suite sales teams. These practical tips can help teams speed up the suites sales process, maximize customer satisfaction, and save time and headaches.
Below, we explore how organizations can ensure their suite sales process can capture more opportunities and secure new, long-term clients.
1. Show, don’t just tell
In suite sales, there is no substitution for strong visuals.
Be it including a robust photo library, a video walkthrough, or a full-fledged 360 experience, how suites are presented online generates deeper interest among prospective buyers, leading them to take action.
Hospitality purchases are very visual-driven journeys, just like when you may book a hotel room. Similarly, you want to make sure your suites media assets are up to par and visually engaging, to illustrate the perfect picture of your team’s in-suite game day experience.
2. Be transparent on pricing and availability
Along with a strong presentation, your suite’s webpage should have all of the necessary information to help educate a prospect.
Suite buyers want to know how many guests can be invited, what food and beverage options are included, what parking looks like, and what other amenities there may be. Deciding which suite is right for their group is a crucial step, that you as the venue can guide them on.
Two great examples of suites websites would be the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta United. The site is well-organized, providing suite buyers with a seamless booking experience:
This begs the question, when is the best time to share price with a potential buyer?
Consider this: without listing your suite prices, your sales team is vulnerable to chasing opportunities that are of lower quality. Omitting your suite price points adds friction to the process, and can tie up your sales team in lengthy correspondences which ultimately take your prospects longer to make a decision – especially for the first-time suite buyer.
It pays to have transparent suite pricing and availability on your site. You can simply list the price per suite experience, or price per person if your suites are sold on a more flexible model.
3. Provide frictionless transactions
How do your suite buyers currently submit payment for their leases, rentals, or F&B? When it comes to billing and invoicing, teams have started to find the greatest efficiency in having payments handled through a secure online system.
Manually taking a customer’s credit card information over the phone can be slow. If deadlines aren’t met, this inaction can hold up pre-event arrangements for suite buyers and cause day-of event staff to scramble. Thus, teams have shifted their point-of-sale to online, customer-facing interfaces and platforms, where payments are submitted on the spot.
From booking the suite to purchasing game day food, beverages and merchandise packages, self-service can improve the speed at which suite buyers’ requests are handled.
4. Simplify how food and beverage packages are purchased
For many guests, the food and drink selection is the main in-suite attraction. An easy and hassle-free ordering experience can help your suite buyers arrive at the right packages for them, quicker.
Emails and phone calls for meal package selections are time-intensive. Just in the last year, many teams have started to explore self-service ordering and catering tools, like FanFood’s premium suite ordering platform:
With self-service ordering, suite buyers can enjoy faster and more convenient checkout experiences for their desired day-of food, drink and dessert packages. Teams like the Chicago Cubs, Rocket City Trash Pandas, Tennessee Smokies and others have implemented FanFood’s pre-ordering portal to save their suite holders significant time and energy.
5. The backend is just as important as the frontend
Having a reliable backend makes it easier for a suite sales staff to manage all aspects of the operation. Spreadsheets aren’t always reliable, and can prove a major headache if not updated regularly and relied on by multiple staff members.
An organized backend system makes suite inventory management and listings much easier. If your suite inventory backend is integrated with your frontend software, this can minimize hours lost to searching your suite inventory for a particular date, at the request of a new prospect.
6. Capture suite buyer feedback
As much as numbers can tell a story, the chance to capture customer feedback from these high-value buyers is something suite teams should capitalize on.
For single game rentals, feedback can be captured through a simple follow-up “how did we do” email. Depending on how closely your suite sales team manages relationships individual suite buyer, it may be a good idea for them to facilitate follow-up phone calls or personalized emails, to ask suite buyers about their experience with the overall process. Especially for repeat suite renters, nurturing those relationships matters greatly.
The premium suite buying experience needs to keep pace with the evolution of online shopping. Consumers are becoming increasingly tech savvy, and the teams which make the process easier and more frictionless for prospects will yield real results for their organization.
To learn more about how FanFood helps teams streamline their suites F&B catering process, explore a case study here or get in touch with our team below: