Corporate Traveller

Our inside sales team are all fairly new so having Salesforce and well defined processes is really important. We wouldn’t be able to get through the volumes we do without it.”

Miling Harpur | Head of Sales for Corporate Traveller and Flight Centre Business Travel

Corporate Traveller sees productivity take flight while preparing for return to growth

Corporate Traveller is part of the Flight Centre Travel Group and is dedicated to serving the travel needs of small to medium sized businesses. These businesses typically spend anywhere between $100K and $2M per year on travel and Corporate Traveller aims to ensure they get the best value from their travel budget and their booking experience is simple, fast, and easy. 

“We take care of everything from booking and payment to changing flights so that businesses can save time and money and travel more seamlessly,” said Miling Harpur, Head of Sales for Corporate Traveller and Flight Centre Business Travel. 

Salesforce helps the global business build and manage relationships with customers and has been key to maximising the productivity of the sales team. The efficiencies gained will help the business return to growth as the industry recovers from the pandemic. 

Increasing the value of customer data

Salesforce has been used by various businesses within the Flight Centre Travel Group for around 15 years, driving improvements in areas such as sales, service, marketing, and procurement. However, for a long time, Corporate Traveller was only using Salesforce to keep track of pipeline and which sales reps were in contact with which customers.

It wasn’t until COVID-19 hit that the business realised just how important it was to have a centralised view of customer data. The pandemic’s impact on the travel industry also created an urgent need to  automate sales activities and drive up productivity. 

Corporate Traveller engaged Salesforce Professional Services to help it achieve these goals with a view to connecting the entire business on Salesforce Customer 360.

Modernising and accelerating sales

Working with Salesforce Professional Services, Corporate Traveller has made great strides in optimising its sales processes and readying itself for a return to growth. Key to its success has been the adoption of High Velocity Sales Cloud. Integrated with LinkedIn Sales Navigator, it provides their sales team with  information at their fingertips to work smarter and personalise conversations with new prospects. It also helps to focus them on what they should do next to drive sales. 

With Einstein Activity Capture, Corporate Traveller has also automated the process of logging email and call data in Sales Cloud. This reduction in administration and reporting has resulted in a monthly time savings of 25% for the business’ UK business development managers (BDMs), helping each one handle 200% more prospects. The average number of meetings with new prospects has also increased from just over one to nearly four per BDM per month. 

Professional Services has also helped to create a streamlined and consistent sales process to be used by sales reps globally. The process has refined and reduced the different stages that opportunities go through. It has also given management a better understanding of how deals are progressing, so they can work with sales reps to reduce the time it takes to push them through the sales cycle. As a result, the average sales cycle time has been reduced from 456 days to just 60. 

“Some of the benefits we’re experiencing are a result in shifting our focus from logging activities to looking at pipeline and strategising on how to deliver better outcomes,” said Peter Heidorn, Head of Product and Projects, Global CRM at Flight Centre Travel Group. 

The sales cadences set for reps using High Velocity Sales have also helped with onboarding. In the UK, BDMs required an average of four to five weeks onboarding in order to be successful. Now, the business  anticipates onboarding will take only two weeks.

Corporate Traveller in Australia has experienced similar benefits in onboarding new Business Development Representatives (BDRs) for their inside sales team. The team anticipates more value will be realised as travel increases in the wake of the pandemic and the company ramps up hiring. 

“Our inside sales team are all fairly new so having Salesforce and well defined processes is really important,” said Harpur. “We wouldn’t be able to get through the volumes we do without it.”

Streamlining collaboration

Corporate Traveller’s customer success team is now using Sales Cloud. It helps them pick up where the sales team leaves off and personalise communication and support. The team is also set to go live with Einstein Activity Capture which will reduce time spent on reporting and allow more time for planning. This will help to ensure customers are supported with the right products and services and that their experience is as seamless as possible. 

Travel managers and teams like finance have more recently begun using Sales Cloud, enabling the business to collaborate around a single view of the customer. 

“Every touch point we have with the customer is in Salesforce which guides us to deliver a more connected experience,” said Harpur. “This has been especially valuable during COVID-19 and supported a very targeted process to stay in close, regular contact with our 4,500 strong customer base.” 

Tracking everything in Salesforce and using that data to contact customers at the right time with the right messages also helped Corporate Traveller improve its NPS by 22 points to reach a high of 92. The business was also able to retain the majority of its customers during the pandemic, despite the decreased opportunity for travel.

Corporate Traveller is now streamlining collaboration with Quip. The sales team has taken the lead with the adoption and is using it to share and collaborate on documents and provide visibility of sales results. It has solved the challenge of collaborating with colleagues using different platforms and productivity tools and eliminated 15 days annually spent by management preparing quarterly and year-end sales reports. This is time that can now be better spent analysing results and coaching sales reps. 

With support from Salesforce, Corporate Traveller has replaced the manual reports with an interactive leaderboard which is refreshed automatically with information from Sales Cloud. Harpur shared that it not only saved time, but made performance easier to manage. 

“Our sales targets are constantly changing and as a sales leader that’s hard to manage, so to have access to all of these metrics updated live in Quip has been game changing,” Harpur said.  

Heidorn remarked that the support from Salesforce in delivering this and other productivity improvements had been key to helping the business navigate what was a challenging time. 

Corporate Traveller is now working with Salesforce to build on these benefits and reduce the technical complexity that’s been built up over the years with so many areas of the business using Salesforce and adding on new applications and integrations. With guidance from the Professional Services team, the business wants to simplify their technology landscape and use clicks, not code, in order to innovate faster and be more agile to change. For example, using Salesforce Lightning Flow, Corporate Traveller will be able to automate manual tasks like filling in forms which take up a large part of travel managers’ time. 

Salesforce integration with other systems used by Corporate Traveller will enable further efficiencies by initiating and automating downstream processes like the creation of customer accounts in the business’ online booking tool. 

“As a travel company in the middle of a pandemic we’ve had to continually find ways to do more with less and we’ve had really strong support from Salesforce throughout,” said Heidorn. “It’s super exciting to build on that partnership and create an environment that makes it easier to take advantage of all that Salesforce has to offer.”


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