A remote job is something you can do from anywhere. It is the ultimate freedom when it comes to your workplace, allowing you to work from anywhere.
You can be a remote worker for a company, as a freelancer or independent contractor, or become an entrepreneur.
Check out Forbe’s Top 100 companies offering remote positions in 2017!
Each month, we will highlight different remote jobs to give you an idea of what is possible as a remote worker. These jobs will be in a variety of fields – being a digital nomad isn’t just for techies.
This Month’s Remote Job: Director of Sales
The director of sales and marketing position is responsible for many tasks. These include planning and implementing sales, marketing, and product development programs, among much more.
In this profile, we will be looking at a director of sales for a hotel. In this position, they sell rooms to travel agencies and partners, tourists, and corporate clients around the world.
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Featured Remote Worker: Natalia Burykina
Natalia’s job is to sell rooms to travel agencies & partners around the world. She also sells to corporate clients, individual tourists and groups of tourists. Her department is also responsible for food and beverage sales. This includes conference-halls for various events and the restaurant.
A major part of her role is to partner with online travel portals and keep the rating and positioning of the hotel high. She also needs to be able to assess competition and regulate room rates based on multiple factors on a daily basis.
Surprisingly, this job can be done completely remotely. The hotel she works for is located in Russia, while she lives in India! Read on to see how she does this.
Natalia was born and raised in St.Petersburg, Russia. Three years ago, she moved to New Delhi, India. When she finished school, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. Her mother suggested tourism and hospitality as she wanted to work with foreign languages. So, she joined St.Petersburg Institute of Management and Economy, Faculty of Tourism and International Economical relationships. By her first year, she had an internship in a travel agency.
The year after, she managed to get an internship in a 5-star property in the housekeeping department. It definitely wasn’t an easy job to do though she was still fascinated with the entire hospitality ambience and she decided to stay. After some time she found a job as a receptionist in small B&B and then moved to a bigger hotel where she slowly started to take on more responsibilities and move up within the hotel.
She was later able to keep her same job as Director of Sales – but work remotely from a country 5500km away!
Whilst in India, she partnered with another passionate traveller and started a travel company in Delhi called “WanderTrips” where she specializes in designing & booking customized experiential & luxury vacations around the world.
At a premium boutique hotel, it is important that I understand and work closely with the Operations Team to bring balance in the clients expectations and the hotel. It is important for me to understand each functionality of the Operations Team to be able to cater to the clients requirements and make sure that the Operations Team understands each traveler who stays with us.
More about the job:
While currently a remote job, Natalia got to her position initially by working (in person) up the ladder. She started as a housekeeper, then moved on to reception, reservations management, and sales management. This path gave her experience as well as the understanding that a hotel’s success is always a result of teamwork – not just one person. Natalia continues to attend various webinars related to hospitality, revenue management, etc. for further education about her industry.
It also requires the ability to adjust immediately to all kind of situations since you are working with people around the world. Plans get changed at the last minute, various documents are required based on the country of citizenship of the traveller, payments get delayed or stuck in the banking system, and better rates & competition needs to be assessed on a daily basis. This is just a small part of the everyday routine and most of the time all of this has to be addressed immediately.
All this is possible to be handled remotely only when you have the right training and in-depth experience. Years in different roles in the organization is helpful. Working remotely as a Director of Sales also is possible only when you have experience in managing your team and understanding their personal traits, professional capabilities, strengths and weaknesses.
This job requires full-time responsibility. Since it is Natalia’s job to achieve sales targets, occupancy targets, and review ratings of the hotel on all online travel portals.
Salary depends on a lot of factors, such as how big a hotel is, how experienced the Director of Sales is, and even what country the hotel is located in! Normally, the remuneration is a composite of a fixed salary based on the position and number of years in the job and incentives which are sales and target based.
Natalia’s “Typical Day” as a Remote Director of Sales
I always start my day with checking my hotels’ ratings on every major online platform. Then, I respond to every review on these websites. If something has to be addressed immediately, I forward the information to the office and coordinate with the related department to bring about a solution.
I review the previous day’s reports from my reservation and sales personnel – Number of reservations received, date analysis of the reservations and occupancy for that particular date. This needs to be checked for the next three months to be able to plan for the short term. Then, I check revenue for the entire property. Based on reports, I compare them with the previous year for the same period. After checking all reports, I reply to emails.
I’m continuously in touch with my team through Skype, Viber, WhatsApp, etc. Based on my discussions and feedback with my sales manager, I finalize rate offers to corporate clients. Together with my reservations manager, we work on payment and rate issues.
Since I’m 2.5 hours ahead of my office, people can call me from anywhere early mornings and as late as 10-11 pm. Occupancy has to be checked and revenue forecast for the next three months re-targeted each day. This gives me an idea about what has to be done: for example, do we need to give a special offer to our partners or increase rates due to high demand.
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