7 Key Steps To Creating Your Sales Strategy Plan For A Travel Business In 2023
Having a clear sales strategy plan in place will give your travel business the roadmap it needs to find new customers, generate revenue, and grow your business.
Without it, you could be missing out on some golden, missed opportunities.
Not only this, but you could end up wasting a lot of time and effort trying to make sales with the wrong approach.
This guide will walk you through the eight key steps of creating a sales strategy plan to ensure optimal success for your travel business.
What Is A Sales Strategy Plan?
A sales strategy plan outlines how a travel company will sell its services to qualified buyers. This composition should include how your business will differentiate itself from competitors, attract a relevant target audience, and what strategies the sales team will use to close deals.
You might have an amazing travel service offering, yet you might struggle to sell any packages without a clear sales strategy. A sales strategy plan provides the guidance and objectives that sales teams need to turn prospects into paying customers.
The more detailed your sales strategy is, the easier it will be to make your business stand apart from the competition and encourage as many bookings and sales as possible.
A sales strategy plan should involve multiple steps. It’s important that these steps all work together and share the same objectives. This will help you create a sales strategy that is more targeted and streamlined.
Your sales strategy also works closely with your marketing strategy. Marketing is how you generate awareness and interest in your travel business, and sales is how you turn this interest into revenue.
This means that the sales and marketing tactics you use need to merge into a well-oiled system.
8 Essential Items A Sales Strategy Plan Should Include
There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to sales strategies – no two companies are the same, ergo, what works for one may not work for another.
However, any good sales strategy should include a few key elements.
To help you create a winning sales plan for your travel business, here are the eight essential items your strategy needs to include.
Very importantly, you’ll need to outline your sales tactics in your sales plan. How will you warm up leads, get them on a sales call or booking page, and close a deal?
The tactics you use will depend on your sales funnel, and the kind of sales and customer journey goals that your business has. It’s important that you use tactics that align with your target customer’s interests and provide a smooth journey for them.
What are some sales strategy tactics you can use? While there are many tactics available, they all fall under two main pillars:
This is when you actively reach out to your target audience to put your brand in front of them. This could include strategies like running targeted ads on social media or even cold-calling prospects.
This is when you publish content that your target audience is interested in so that you can attract them to your travel business.
Examples of inbound strategies include SEO content marketing or running webinars.
When building an effective sales engine, many travel companies rely on a combination of inbound and outbound sales tactics. Whatever the case, it’s important that you map out a clear buyer’s journey, and ensure the tactics you use are targeted toward the right people.
Your sales tactics will be closely aligned with your marketing strategy. This is because your marketing team will focus on generating awareness about your travel business and generating qualified leads. These qualified leads can then be sent over to your sales team to close the deal.
Of course, not every travel business has an entire sales team at its disposal. Instead, they close sales through booking pages on their website. If this is the case, it’s important that you use the right software for tour operators to create these booking pages.
Using an efficient and reliable solution can help you create branded travel booking pages that align with your sales tactics – like displaying enough relevant information to prospective customers, being able to offer discounts, or running seasonal promotions.
2. Market Strategy
A key part of developing a sales strategy plan involves having a solid understanding of the market your business operates in. This involves understanding the competitors, and your target audience, and having a grasp on how the market conditions can change.
For example, in the travel industry, it is a known fact that there are slow seasons as well as highly competitive markets at certain times of the year.
Addressing this in your sales strategy plan could involve focusing on your travel business’s USP to stand apart from the competition, or looking at ways to target other areas of the market (such as running off-season promotions).
Using the right software for tour operators can help you improve your sales strategy plan during market fluctuations. For example, you could include free add-ons to tours during low season, or create an email blast offering a discount code during periods when sales start to drop.
The more you hone in and understand the market, the more you can refine your sales strategy plan to help boost revenue.
Your sales strategy plan should outline the different processes you’ll go through to make each sale. Again, this needs to align with the buyer journey and the tactics you’ll be using to attract prospects and close sales.
A typical sales cycle will include the following processes:
- Handling objections
It’s important that these processes work seamlessly with each other. They also need to work with the unique buying condition of the travel industry.
Travel industry customers face various unique elements in their customer journey – such as having to make a large investment for future gratification, or having to plan purchases around factors like weather and travel companions.
Understanding what travel customers go through and addressing this in your sales processes will enable you to close more deals.
Is there software available to assist you with this element of the process? Yes, definitely!
To demonstrate, you could incorporate payment plans into your travel booking system so that customers won’t be required to make too much of a large investment straight away.
You could also use travel booking software that allows for flexible date changes, or highlights attractive refund policies. All these nifty tricks can help you generate more sales.
Interested to see how WeTravel can help you excel in your 2023 Sales goals?
What are the goals of your sales strategy plan?
It’s crucial to establish this in order to analyze your achievements on an ongoing basis and ensure that your sales strategy is on the right track. This will also help to measure your success.
Of course, your main objective is to simply make more sales. However, if you don’t properly define this, you won’t be able to assess your sales strategy clearly and identify what areas need improvement.
Some sales objectives may aim to hit certain revenue targets, sell to a certain percentage of new customers, or increase repeat business by a particular amount.
When establishing your sales objectives, you’ll want to set up broad objectives, and then establish the smaller steps you’ll need to take in order to achieve said objectives.
These steps should cover clear, measurable KPIs (like revenue or number of customers) that you can monitor. By breaking down big objectives into small steps, monitoring your sales progress and achieving your objectives becomes a lot more manageable.
An essential element of developing a sales strategy plan for your travel business is forecasting what your sales will look like.
You can create forecasts based on your business’s historical transactions and analyze what the demand looks like for the year or season ahead.
It is useful to create sales forecasts for each quarter, or season so that you have a better understanding of how your business will perform.
You should also compare your sales forecasts to your sales objectives to establish how likely you will be to meet your sales tactics.
An important part of forecasting is also to plan marketing strategies you can use to boost your sales during low sales months. For example, you could use marketing software for tour operators to create and export a list of abandoned cart leads – these are prospects with a very high chance of making a purchase.
Set up an email blast that offers a discount code to these leads to try to convince them to make a purchase. Tactics like this could be a relatively fast way to boost revenue when you need it.
You need to spend money to make money – this adage remains true in sales.
Your travel business should set aside part of the budget for the sales strategy plan. This should align with the budgeted marketing campaign ideas such as running targeted ads or investing in travel marketing and sales software.
Having a clear budget in place is necessary for controlling your business’s spending and making sure your sales system is profitable.
Once your financial quarter or season is over, you can then run reports and analyze whether your income/sales exceeded your forecasted amounts.
Finally, your sales strategy plan should have a clear, realistic timeline in place.
This timeline should display when you plan to roll out certain sales tactics, how long you will run campaigns, and by what stage you aim to achieve your targets.
Without a timeline, you won’t have the accountability in place to meet your goals and objectives.
Your timeline should factor in aspects like how long it will take you to warm up a prospect and sell a tour to them. This could be measured by the moment a person discovers your brand to the moment they convert as a customer.
Establishing a sales timeline will keep you on the right track. This will also help you understand your revenue projections and goals and see how these elements can realistically fit into your sales strategy.
Carefully and thoughtfully developing a sales strategy plan for your travel business will help you target the right people, and opportunities and make sure that your company is on the right track to generating maximum revenue.
By incorporating all the elements listed above into your sales strategy, you should have all your important bases covered and have all the necessary components to attract and retain your target customers.
The right travel software can greatly assist you in saving time and money when executing your sales strategy plan.
It will also help support other efforts in your business growth, like management, marketing, finances, and more. This is crucial for building a more successful and sustainable travel business.