Corporate Travel Services And Sales Explained

Every commercial/business account has three key individuals who must be considered by every corporate travel seller: the traveler, the travel arranger and the decision maker. These three corporate individuals have different priorities which may be in conflict with one another. It is up to the travel agency and each agent to balance these diverse priorities when selling and servicing the account.

Decision Maker: The decision maker chooses the agency and decides if it is performing up to par or – hopefully – is exceeding the service expectations from the agency! The owner or sales manager of the agency should know this individual and ought to call on the decision maker regularly to make sure that the company is satisfied with the agency’s performance.

The priorities of the decision maker for commercial accounts are:

1. Price: Purchasing travel at the lowest cost is the top priority.
2.

Information: The decision maker wants regular verification of the fact that the agency is purchasing travel at the least possible cost.
3. Quality: Reassurance that the agency understands the commercial account’s desire for quality travel at all times.
Travel Arranger: Most corporate/business travelers do not work with the agency directly to book their airline tickets and hotel/car reservations. This vital task is the responsibility of the travel arranger at the corporation (typically, it is the traveler’s administrative assistant).
The travel arranger has three priorities, too, but distinctly different from the priorities of the decision maker and the traveler:
1. Responsiveness: The most effective agent is the one who does not cringe when called by the client but instead provides -service with a smile- promptly.
2. Comfort and knowledge: Travel arrangers want peace of mind from the agency. And they want to be kept abreast of industry events and trends.
3. Total Support: when the heat comes down from the traveler to the travel arranger, the arranger wants assurance that the agent would cover for them.
Traveler: The person who takes the trip has three priorities as well:
1. Availability: the agent is available to meet every need (even if they call a few hours before flight time and must get on an overbooked flight!)
2. Familiarity: They expect the agent to remember details – only book an aisle seat, to get them into a queen size bed, etc.
3. Recourse: in case of emergency due to an overbooked hotel, they need to reach their agents quickly to solve their problems, hence the 800#, 24/7.

Also, there are two steps you should take before targeting your corporate travel accounts:
A) Market Definition: It is very important that you target your selling effort by first defining your market.
– Be realistic about your agency’s capabilities versus the account size.
– Your size, number of locations, and chain or consortia affiliations all play an important role in determining your -sales territory.-
– Target corporate accounts that go to destinations that make economic sense to your existing business.
– Your targeting should go as follows: full service then online (self-booking).
– Credit cards are always the preferred form of payment.
B) Product Definition: Present your products by enumerating various service options and how each benefits the corporate client.

Provide your prospective clients with a list of options such as:
– Bundled (full service)
– Unbundled (fee based)
– Additional service
– Information management
– Meeting management
– Travel products

The secret to success is the client’s perception of the unique services you provide. Once you have defined your market, and subsequently your product, you have created an opportunity to compete successfully in an extremely competitive arena. You are positioning your company for success by enabling the client to make choices and obtain perceived value.

Corporate Travel Management Now Easy with Expense Management Software

 

There was a time when companies favored face-to-face meetings to establish, maintain and grow business relations. But when the economic and market conditions became volatile and unpredictable the companies and enterprises were forced to look for green pastures. The advancements in communication technology in the form of internet, email, VOIP, video conferencing, and so on made companies to look at technology as a less expensive replacement for face-to-face meetings. Advocates of virtual meetings considered it as a great time and money saver.  But the fact of the matter is however cost effective or time saving option virtual meetings might be, nothing can replace the human elements that is ingrained in face-to-face meetings. These human elements go a long way in developing mutual trust, good faith and confidence, which no amount of virtual meetings can bring about. Hence, in today’s global business environment, business travels are the indispensable tools for building and fostering business relationships.

It is a fact that in a slow economy steps must be taken to cut back on costs but it should never be at the cost of company’ potential growth prospects. Business travel is definitely one of the largest corporate costs but rather than reducing business travel budgets, a proper management of business travel expenses can do the trick. Instead of taking extreme cost cutting measures that impede company’s progress and development, enterprises should look at effective business travel management to facilitate continuous growth and development.

In today’ tight unpredictable economy, most companies and enterprises cut down business travel budgets as a means to tide over financial crisis. Such a move do more harm than good since  studies have proved that those companies that increase their business travels during economic slowdown succeed in making new business deals than those who cut down business travels. Hence, what is required is the development of business travel management as a core function of businesses. This would help companies to

· Properly manage company’ travel policy
· Negotiate shrewdly with vendors
· Efficiently manage day-to-day activities of the corporate travel program
· Ensure adequate levels of safety and security for travelers
· Proper credit-card management
· Effective management of  travel and expenses (T&E) data

More and more companies are now depending on expense management software for effective corporate travel management. This helps them to lower direct travel costs, to speed up employee’s travel administration, to ensure that internal rules and policies are followed, and to achieve better travel spend analysis.

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Corporate Environmental Champions

Green corporate identities are becoming a feature of the new business environment. They tend to be individualists, but they have a significant impact on others. This is teaching by example, and the real innovators of the environmental movement have developed methodologies which have spread around the world. With the concepts theyve developed, environmental impacts have been drastically reduced, and new design models have revolutionized the whole concept of industrial production.

Ben Cohen

Ben Cohen was the founder of Ben and Jerrys, an ice cream business in Burlington, Vermont which began in the 1970s. Cohens idea for ice cream was driven by two factors: A need for flavour, and a concept of sourcing natural raw materials. The result was a runaway success, based on natural flavours and a strongly sustainable business model.

It was also a blow for real food. Modern ice cream is a combination of materials which include a lot of artificial materials, and is expensive to make, as well as an inferior quality product. Many dieticians have expressed the view that the human metabolism is designed to eat real organic foods, not artificial materials, and Ben and Jerrys proved by its success what people wanted. The business was taken over by the giant US food manufacturer Unilever, which maintained the concept. It was a major success in terms of identifying the relationship between sustainable products and commercial best practice in the food industry.

Anita Roddick

Anita Roddick is the founder of The Body Shop. This business began as part of a quasi-entrepreneurial, sole trader home business which Roddick describes as a combination of economic necessity and inspiration from her travels around the world experiencing different cultures. From that combination was born a synthesis of natural products and good business practice.

Roddicks business idea, based on natural materials, has become one of the great success stories of modern business. From a small beginning to over 1000 outlets around the world, the Body Shop is the upmarket model of environmental consumerism.

Ray Anderson

Ray Anderson of Interface Inc. is a highly acclaimed environmental industrialist. He was originally a conventional carpet manufacturer running a business hed started himself in 1973. He had what he describes as a spear in the chest revelation reading Paul Hawkens 1993 classic sustainability-themed book The Ecology of Commerce. This was the inspiration for a major change in methodologies in an industry which was highly environmentally unfriendly, using lots of petrol products and producing large amounts of waste.

InterfaceFLOR, which has pioneered sustainable carpets and the famous modular carpet tiles used around the world, has worked for over a decade on Mission Zero, the target of eliminating all negative impacts of Interface products on the environment by 2020. The change in production methodologies has resulted in major efficiencies. Interface has succeeded so far in creating a large range of sustainable technologies and producing a long list of cost benefits. Interface has identified cumulative savings of 3 million US in avoided costs alone, in the period 1995- 2010. Greenhouse gas emissions have been cut by 82%, and water usage cut by 75%.

Interface is now a market leader, and has rewritten the whole concept of manufacturing in the industry.