An extra pair of hands for your business development team
Senior Global Partnerships Manager Kenny Smith used to spend up to 70,000 miles on the road each year as a Business Development Manager. He explains how OTT’s virtual account management tools provide an extra helping hand to the travel trade on the route to post-Covid recovery
The travel industry has suffered one of the worst cases of brain drain of all sectors as a result of the Covid pandemic. We’ve already lost a lot of good people and, what’s more, it’s also made some agents much harder to reach. WFH (work from home) as it’s commonly called, is no longer a temporary arrangement. For some agents the shift to hybrid working or fully remote, whether they’re working from home or in their local coffee shop, will continue way beyond the pandemic.
OTT provides a scalable solution
As the world opens up again, businesses are looking towards recovery and making the most of the opportunities they have to sell using cost effective models. OTT provides an extra pair of hands for your on-the-road business development team. While a BDM might be able to see 10-15 agents in three store visits a day, OTT acts as a virtual account management tool. It can complement your face-to-face training activities with scalable online courses taken at a time and a place to suit the working patterns of each individual agent. The courses also provide the added value of data and feedback on each agent’s learning.
OTT helps agents sell by building confidence – they know exactly where to find relevant and up-to-date sales information. With restrictions and entry requirements into different destinations changing all the time, having this information at your fingertips has never been more important.
The platform follows three principles: Learn, Inspire, Connect. Here’s how that continuous circle works… Agents learn about your product and engage with your brand, you can then market deals or vital information directly to them. Using the platform’s key analytics enables you to select the best way to communicate further with your agents, whether that's picking up the phone and ringing a specific travel agency or agent, or using the system to send weekly or monthly newsletters.
For partners, OTT’s mission is simple: to give travel brands access to the largest global travel trade community and tools which help you to reach all of the agents who have taken the time to engage with your brand.
Here are 5 ways OTT can lighten the load for BDMs...
1 Complimenting your direct training activities with consistent messaging
BDMs often use PowerPoint or in-person training tools or make sales phone calls. OTT compliments this with courses which provide consistent training messages. Plus, you can measure what agents have learned, track exactly how many agents have taken your course in a given day and even what sort of device they’ve used to access information.
2 Delve into data to make the most of in-person sales missions
Delve deeper into the data and work out the exact places to target face-to-face sales missions using OTT’s segmenting tools. Data can be segmented geographically to see where you can improve your marketing reach, giving travel brands the ability to nurture new commercial relationships, not only with other businesses, but with hard to reach agents such as homeworkers. For example, you can use the OTT system to pick up those people, who are based in Manchester and let them know you’re coming to their city or hosting an event there.
3 Keeping up the conversation with your engaged agents
OTT gives BDMs full exposure and access to agents who are highly engaged – agents who have chosen to opt in and follow your brand. Keep the conversation going with these agents through OTTOMail for newsletters, special offers and announcements creating a 360 approach to lead generation and brand awareness.
4 Add a personal touch
The Covid pandemic has led to a fragmentation of the sector and we are still on the way to reaching the new normal. OTT courses provide a platform where you can meet and engage with agents who may be new to your brand or who you might not have spoken to before. Using OTT, you can identify these agents, give them a call and introduce yourself - and maybe ask if they enjoyed their OTT training!
5 Reduce your carbon footprint
Reducing your carbon footprint starts with reducing carbon-emitting activities, you can then offset what you can’t reduce. With fuel prices rocketing, it also saves costs. BDMs can quickly rack up tens of thousands of miles driving around the country. As well as saving on fuel costs, using OTT reduces marketing overheads for elements such as brochure printing and window posters.
The new generation of Business Development Managers will be incredibly efficient. They will create highly productive business meetings both virtually and physically using technology designed to really nurture trade business relationships. BDMs will reach a much larger audience than ever before - both domestically and globally. OTT is proud to play such an important role in enabling this.
Want to hear more about how OTT can help your business grow? Get in contact with Kenny today at [email protected]