Full Job Description
Benchmark’s company culture is central to our management philosophy. The company’s stated purpose is “to provide an entrepreneurial environment where determined people dare to create, share, and build futures.
To be the “benchmark” by which all others are judged takes passion, courage, and dedication. We invite you to explore our extraordinary offering of unique opportunities, all with a common goal of providing an unforgettable journey.
Job Description Summary:
Benchmark, a global hospitality company is currently seeing a Director of Sales & Catering at The David Rubenstein Forum to meet the need for a University-wide facility for scholarly and academic discourse on campus. The venue will support and promote inquiry, the open exchange of ideas, and the power of academic, interdisciplinary convening. The Forum will be located on the site at East 60th Street between Woodlawn Avenue and Kimbark Avenue. It will serve as a place where scholars can gather and exchange ideas through activities that range from talks and workshops to multi-day conferences that span academic disciplines. The facility will provide spaces and amenities that are not currently available on campus, including highly collaborative, well-appointed meeting and event rooms commensurate with the types of conferences, special events, workshops, and meetings that University faculty and academic departments host. The project has a sustainable design target of LEED Silver.
Job Description Summary:
Provides day to day leadership to sales associates to achieve property sales objectives with overall responsibility for achieving booking goals and property revenues. The Director of Sales’ department serves as the primary liaison between the University of Chicago clients involved in meetings and events and the conference center. He or she works extensively with external group markets including the corporate, association and education segments.
Responsible for the leadership and management of all aspects of revenue generation at the property to include direct sales, catering sales, food & beverage sales, and for managing all public relations, promotions and advertising efforts to optimize profit potential and further enhance the Forum’s image.
QUALIFICATIONS: EDUCATION, KNOWLEDGE, TRAINING, & WORK EXPERIENCE
Extensive knowledge of sales, marketing and revenue management
Conference and food & beverage experience
Experience with the University of Chicago or another university a plus
Ability to analyze data and establish appropriate sales strategies
Bachelors degree with experience preferred
Minimum five to seven years of sales and marketing leadership in similar sized operation preferred
Excellent written and oral communication skills
Supervisory and personnel management experience required
Assertive, outgoing and self-motivating individual with pleasant personality
Demonstrated skills in supervising and building a team high performing sales team
Hotel industry work experience, demonstrating progressive career growth and a pattern of exceptional performance
Must have valid driver license and ability to travel
Be the Difference:
Understand all aspects of Benchmark’s Be the Difference culture
Set the example
Lead and inspire all employees to Be the Difference
Hold each team accountable for delivering the experience
Know the business
Set a positive direction
Build an outstanding team by employing the best talent
Uphold philosophy and values of owner and Benchmark
Lead and inspire all employees to work to their highest capabilities to achieve the highest possible standards
Hold team accountable for results
Provides day to day leadership to sales associates to achieve property sales objectives with overall responsibility for achieving booking goals and property revenues
Sales & Revenue Management:
Develop rates, group ceilings and deployment strategies through review of competitive data, demand analysis and mix management
Negotiate local hotel agreements and maintain positive relationships with the local hotel community.
Analyze and estimate total value of each piece of business and negotiate best situation for achieving optimum revenue while ensuring excellent customer service
Develop and execute the marketing plan to uncover new and potential business
Actively participates in the sales account management process
Direct the solicitation efforts of the sales staff through effective oral and written communication while overseeing rate, date and space commitments for sales within the conference center
Coordinate ongoing research of the travel industry to detect market trends and related information for development of new marketing strategies.
Collaborate with other UChicago venue managers to optimize sales and marketing opportunities across facilities
Researches competitor’s sales team strategies to identify ways to grow occupancy and increase market share
Conduct sales strategy meetings to provide input on weekly and overall sales strategy
Identify public relations opportunities and coordinates activities to augment the overall marketing communication strategy
Implement the strategy and applicable initiatives in all aspects of the sales process and focuses on building long-term, value-based customer relationships that enable achievement of the property sales objectives
Budgeting & Forecasting:
Ensure accuracy for forecasting of revenues with most updated information
Maintains successful performance by increasing revenues, controlling expenses and providing a return on investment for the owner
Achieve and exceed revenue goals annually
Manages the marketing budget to enable development of property specific campaigns, promotions and collateral to drive revenue and meet property objectives
University Client Relations:
Professionally represent The Forum in community and industry organizations and events
Develop and maintain collaborative partnerships with similar university venues and local hotels
Conduct one-on-one meetings with employees to provide direction and constructive feedback
Utilize employee feedback to improve performance and engagement
Communicate clearly with all employees and keep them informed of important matters
Develop creative recruiting strategies and tactics to attract top talent
Create employee development and succession plans
Stimulate self –development programs for all employees and provide opportunity for growth
Ensure that quarterly Career Conversations and First Impression touch-points are being conducted on-time consistently and effectively
Assist with managing, training and counseling conference services staff.
Assist with coordination and execution of group assignments after contracts are signed
Serve as a facilitator to assist Event Planning team with client issues and communication.
Maintain clean system management, such as Delphi, to record historical group data and report efficiently through event orders to all operating departments
Create operational standards for group guidelines for efficient planning
Ensure planning team adheres to appropriate timelines of group detailing and forecasting to operators
Implement and support program to enhance product and service at a AAA four/five diamond level
Direct programs for training and development of the management employee staff so that all areas of the operation are supervised properly and are geared to perform at the highest level
Direct the overall activities of the management team so that quality food, beverage, conference services, and other services of the property are consistently provided
Utilize guest feedback to continuously improve performance
Identify meaningful achievement goals. Provide standards to measure performance. Review periodically
Institute a program of regular inspections to see that standards are maintained
Performs other duties, as assigned, to meet business needs
Respond to any reasonable task assigned by General Manager
Assist in the sales calls, cold calls or in whatever capacity needed
Indoors, dimly lit, carpeted, climate-controlled environment. Hard kitchen floors with occasional slippery or greasy areas. Outdoors, cement surfaces, with exposure to outdoor climate and elements.