Zelda Robertson, 35, has been recently appointed as the new Three Cities Group Sales Manager. With a host of certificates and diplomas under her belt (including a Management & Leadership National Certification, a Business Management & Administrative Diploma, a Marketing Management Certification and a Sales Management Certification), accompanied by 16 years of experience in the industry and her entrepreneurial spirit; Zelda’s ability to perform the job successfully is unquestionable!
Also in the process of completing a Management and Leadership Degree, Zelda has a big dreams and goals for Three Cities.
We interviewed her to find out what a Group Sales Manager actually does, and what she envisages for the future of the Three Cities Group!
1. How long have you been at Three Cities and how did you come to work at the hospitality company?
I have been with the Group just short of four weeks now. When the position had become available, a client of mine mentioned to Marius Earle (the Operations Director) that I was available. Before I knew it I had met with Mike Lambert (Three Cities CEO), had a panel interview and was offered the job!
2. What are the most important responsibilities of a Group Sales Manager?
Any sales management position has to drive revenue and achieve targets. I am responsible for setting the Group Sales Strategy and executing it successfully. I need to ensure that all client relationships are managed and maintained and that a mutually beneficial relationship is enjoyed by all involved parties.
3. What do you envisage for your role at Three Cities – what are your goals?
I would like to play an integral part in taking the Three Cities Group into the future and would like to ensure that we become far more competitive and slick in all our dealings.
At the same time, I want to build strong bonds and unity among our people; we want to let them know we appreciate them for their efforts and we acknowledge their achievements.
4. What do you like most about the company?
I think Three Cities is at a very good stage at the moment! I love the entrepreneurial spirit, and people’s willingness to work hard and put in the effort necessary to move forward.
5. What three main changes would you like to institute as the new Group Sales Manager?
Firstly, I would like to provide the sales division with my full support and all the tools they require to become an excellent rather than just average team!
I would like to improve on the current systems, structure and procedures to ensure more effective and efficient output to our customers.
Lastly, I want to build on our current national and international client base to secure solid business relationships now and into the future.
6. What are your long-term career goals?
I want to complete my Management & Leadership Degree, succeed and exceed all expectations at Three Cities. My long-term goal would be to achieve a Managing Directors post!
7. What do you predict for the future of the industry in SA?
The hospitality industry needs to level out first. Currently, we have an oversupply of stock that our local market on its own cannot sustain. So I see the sales function becoming more focused on senior sales individuals with a higher level of negotiation skills. I believe online sales will become more focussed.
8. Do you find that South Africans travel much in their own country?
Local leisure travel, in my professional opinion, has been on the increase due to people not neccessarly having the money to travel abroad as much as in the past. Furthermore, the luxury stay component has been on the decline. This is because the majority of local leisure travellers chose more affordable options such as Guest Houses and B&Bs when travelling. The market trends are however showing a slight improvement as we claw our way out of the recession.
9. Have you noticed an increase or decrease in the amount of international tourists visiting the country – what are your reasons for this?
There has been a definite decrease in international travellers visiting South Africa. This is not just due to the economic down turn but also because of various natural disasters that have recently occurred.
10. When is the busiest time for travel in SA?
Various market segments show different trends and various regions attract different travellers at different times of the year.
11. Do you notice political activity affecting the amount of travel to our country?
We are still affected by political activity and the type of information sent out by the media. However, it is not as bad as the tourism decline in the early 90′s.