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Here’s What It Takes To Crush It In The Cruise Space.

The cruise industry has been on fire and is continuing to grow and evolve at breakneck speed, which makes it the absolute right time for them to be doubling down on the channel that got them here (B2B) to bring in as much business as possible. If you believe you can do more to earn a bigger piece of the pie read on.

Let’s start by looking at the macro picture. There are 5 key trends occurring, that are fundamentally altering sell through.

1. The workplace has gone bananas. According to a recent survey, 40% of the U.S. population believes it is impossible to succeed at work and have a balanced family life. The average U.S. worker is now puts in 47 hours per week and 49% work 50 hours or more per week.

2. We are inundated with messages and information. Consider that in 1970 the average person was exposed to approximately 500 ads per day. Today that number is over 5,000!

3. Training has not kept up. While training continues to be a critical component of many jobs, the ability to train employees has not advanced to keep pace with how we now learn. Moreover, only a mere 1% of a typical work week is all that employees have to focus on training and development. That amounts to 24 minutes…per week!

4. The cruise sector has gotten considerably more complicated than even 5 yrs ago. While the cruise sector has been growing, the growth has brought on more competition. River cruising has exploded. Small Ships versus floating cities, and many in between. Cruise lines have been adding to their fleets like never before. And have been adding to the overall experiences on board. Staying current on the latest ships, the latest features, the latest itineraries, is a full-time responsibility.

5. Customers are better prepared. According to a Harvard Business Review article customers in an array of industries are often way ahead of the salespeople who are “helping” them.

So, what does all this mean?

Opportunity.

Investing More In The Agent Channel — The Fastest Way To Win Big.

In the current state of things, those who can provide better training AND on-going learning about their product — at scale — are going to win. It’s that simple.

And I believe the best place to do this right now is through the agent channel. Especially for some of the smaller players in the space. The amount of time, energy and effort to build up a consumer direct business is a very long process.

Right now, the short-term win is with agents. They need to be part of your 5-year plan.

But winning in this space means you have to accept the current state of daily chaos and ever increasing competitive noise in the marketplace. And you will need a new solution that can address some of those new pain points.

Let’s start with training.

There are three core problems with training as it exists today. One, most platforms are failing the agent community. That’s because they are still relying on purely text or scripts to train forcing sellers to read or passively watch presenters as the primary method to tell the product story.

News flash: people don’t want to read. Studies indicate that only 13% of consumers today prefer the act of reading to receive their information. Fifteen years ago that was 77%.

Let that sink in for a minute.

13% prefer to read. 87% are looking for other options. Today, educating a seller about your brand demands multiple sources including video, audio, and some form of interactivity in addition to reading. Yet few serving the agent community are doing this. By simply changing the way critical selling information is served up, will help you land you more business.

Guillermo Miranda, the current Chief Learning Officer of IBM, recently described the best-designed learning architecture for today like digital marketing:

“It embraces many types of content, it collects data on interactions and activities, it uses intelligent systems to promote content and monitor employee usage, and it is personalized for everyone.”Two, most providers anchor agents to their laptop in order to access and complete training modules. This may not be an issue for the company designing the training platform. It’s a HUGE issue for agents.

Look we live in a mobile world and agents need the ability to train wherever they want and whenever they have a few free minutes. According to one study, the average person interacts with their phone 2,617 times per day! It’s a fundamental part of our lives so why wouldn’t we allow agents to access critical selling information from this device?

Mobile needs to be part of the mix, as this technology can accelerate, amplify, and expand the impact of your great sales content.

And by mobile we don’t just mean the devices, but taking the training to the sellers.

Allowing the kind of portability and convenience they need will have a big impact on graduation rates and engagement rates with your training materials and ultimately will lead to more sales. Putting mobile first is not just smart…it’s good for business.

And that brings us to the third point.

Many need to rethink how their view of training. Too many view training as a fixed concept. In other words, they view it as having a starting point and a stopping point. A person begins training and then you complete training. And once you have “graduated” you are ready to go out and sell the product.

That model is outdated. Why? Because there’s too much info coming at us. Too many variables. And unless an agent can put this new-found knowledge to work immediately…they will begin to forget key product details and or misremember important facts.

In fact, up to 75% will be forgotten or misremembered within days! See Ebbinghaus’s Forgetting Curve for more on this topic).

Think about that. Consider all the time, energy and money your organization is allocating on training and yet the majority can only remember 25% of the material delivered. That’s a horrible ROI.

To improve these numbers requires a different mindset. One that acknowledges the importance of training and that also accepts the idea that training is just the starting point. In today’s world, with so many messages bombarding agents from all sides, requires ongoing engagement and learning. And that is called Sales Enablement.

Training isn’t the end game. It’s just the starting point. Tweet This!

Sales enablement comes in and provides a safety net once training is completed. And when done correctly, it’s the solution ensuring agents have anytime, anywhere access to critical selling content allowing them to start more conversations, engage with more customers, and ultimately close more business. And when sales enablement is matched with a new approach to training…boom.

Delivering Results

As we have discovered with our clients, this powerful combination of training paired with enablement has delivered unbelievable results. For one client, training graduation rates have skyrocketed by over 50%. And retention sessions, agents that have returned after graduation, have gone up by over 100,000. For another client, we helped deliver a 43:1 ROI based on their initial investment.

Since launching, we have been obsessed with changing the way the game is played and we are committed to challenging the status quo. We have built our entire platform to be mobile first. We’ve engineered training to connect with the way people consume information in today’s world. And we’ve pioneered sales enablement in the travel space. All of these changes are not only transforming the space they are delivering wins for our clients.

So, with all the investment in new ships and new on-board activities, don’t you think it wise to have a solution that can help agents understand what is being offered?

The cruise space is getting more and more complex and unless you have a strategy in place to effectively communicate your story and what makes you different from not only the other 20 cruise lines but from other vacation options that are out there, you run the risk of not just losing business — but becoming irrelevant.

The time to act is now. This is a golden opportunity to gain market share, grow your business and win in ensure long-term. And at TravPRO we are ready to help. Let’s talk some more. Email me at: jcooper@travpromobile.com.

Here’s What It Takes To Crush It In The Cruise Space.

The cruise industry has been on fire and is continuing to grow and evolve at breakneck speed, which makes it the absolute right time for them to be doubling down on the channel that got them here (B2B) to bring in as much business as possible. If you believe you can do more to earn a bigger piece of the pie read on.

Let’s start by looking at the macro picture. There are 5 key trends occurring, that are fundamentally altering sell through.

1. The workplace has gone bananas. According to a recent survey, 40% of the U.S. population believes it is impossible to succeed at work and have a balanced family life. The average U.S. worker is now puts in 47 hours per week and 49% work 50 hours or more per week.

2. We are inundated with messages and information. Consider that in 1970 the average person was exposed to approximately 500 ads per day. Today that number is over 5,000!

3. Training has not kept up. While training continues to be a critical component of many jobs, the ability to train employees has not advanced to keep pace with how we now learn. Moreover, only a mere 1% of a typical work week is all that employees have to focus on training and development. That amounts to 24 minutes…per week!

4. The cruise sector has gotten considerably more complicated than even 5 yrs ago. While the cruise sector has been growing, the growth has brought on more competition. River cruising has exploded. Small Ships versus floating cities, and many in between. Cruise lines have been adding to their fleets like never before. And have been adding to the overall experiences on board. Staying current on the latest ships, the latest features, the latest itineraries, is a full-time responsibility.

5. Customers are better prepared. According to a Harvard Business Review article customers in an array of industries are often way ahead of the salespeople who are “helping” them.

So, what does all this mean?

Opportunity.

Investing More In The Agent Channel — The Fastest Way To Win Big.

In the current state of things, those who can provide better training AND on-going learning about their product — at scale — are going to win. It’s that simple.

And I believe the best place to do this right now is through the agent channel. Especially for some of the smaller players in the space. The amount of time, energy and effort to build up a consumer direct business is a very long process.

Right now, the short-term win is with agents. They need to be part of your 5-year plan.

But winning in this space means you have to accept the current state of daily chaos and ever increasing competitive noise in the marketplace. And you will need a new solution that can address some of those new pain points.

Let’s start with training.

There are three core problems with training as it exists today. One, most platforms are failing the agent community. That’s because they are still relying on purely text or scripts to train forcing sellers to read or passively watch presenters as the primary method to tell the product story.

News flash: people don’t want to read. Studies indicate that only 13% of consumers today prefer the act of reading to receive their information. Fifteen years ago that was 77%.

Let that sink in for a minute.

13% prefer to read. 87% are looking for other options. Today, educating a seller about your brand demands multiple sources including video, audio, and some form of interactivity in addition to reading. Yet few serving the agent community are doing this. By simply changing the way critical selling information is served up, will help you land you more business.

Guillermo Miranda, the current Chief Learning Officer of IBM, recently described the best-designed learning architecture for today like digital marketing:

“It embraces many types of content, it collects data on interactions and activities, it uses intelligent systems to promote content and monitor employee usage, and it is personalized for everyone.”Two, most providers anchor agents to their laptop in order to access and complete training modules. This may not be an issue for the company designing the training platform. It’s a HUGE issue for agents.

Look we live in a mobile world and agents need the ability to train wherever they want and whenever they have a few free minutes. According to one study, the average person interacts with their phone 2,617 times per day! It’s a fundamental part of our lives so why wouldn’t we allow agents to access critical selling information from this device?

Mobile needs to be part of the mix, as this technology can accelerate, amplify, and expand the impact of your great sales content.

And by mobile we don’t just mean the devices, but taking the training to the sellers.

Allowing the kind of portability and convenience they need will have a big impact on graduation rates and engagement rates with your training materials and ultimately will lead to more sales. Putting mobile first is not just smart…it’s good for business.

And that brings us to the third point.

Many need to rethink how their view of training. Too many view training as a fixed concept. In other words, they view it as having a starting point and a stopping point. A person begins training and then you complete training. And once you have “graduated” you are ready to go out and sell the product.

That model is outdated. Why? Because there’s too much info coming at us. Too many variables. And unless an agent can put this new-found knowledge to work immediately…they will begin to forget key product details and or misremember important facts.

In fact, up to 75% will be forgotten or misremembered within days! See Ebbinghaus’s Forgetting Curve for more on this topic).

Think about that. Consider all the time, energy and money your organization is allocating on training and yet the majority can only remember 25% of the material delivered. That’s a horrible ROI.

To improve these numbers requires a different mindset. One that acknowledges the importance of training and that also accepts the idea that training is just the starting point. In today’s world, with so many messages bombarding agents from all sides, requires ongoing engagement and learning. And that is called Sales Enablement.

Training isn’t the end game. It’s just the starting point. Tweet This!

Sales enablement comes in and provides a safety net once training is completed. And when done correctly, it’s the solution ensuring agents have anytime, anywhere access to critical selling content allowing them to start more conversations, engage with more customers, and ultimately close more business. And when sales enablement is matched with a new approach to training…boom.

Delivering Results

As we have discovered with our clients, this powerful combination of training paired with enablement has delivered unbelievable results. For one client, training graduation rates have skyrocketed by over 50%. And retention sessions, agents that have returned after graduation, have gone up by over 100,000. For another client, we helped deliver a 43:1 ROI based on their initial investment.

Since launching, we have been obsessed with changing the way the game is played and we are committed to challenging the status quo. We have built our entire platform to be mobile first. We’ve engineered training to connect with the way people consume information in today’s world. And we’ve pioneered sales enablement in the travel space. All of these changes are not only transforming the space they are delivering wins for our clients.

So, with all the investment in new ships and new on-board activities, don’t you think it wise to have a solution that can help agents understand what is being offered?

The cruise space is getting more and more complex and unless you have a strategy in place to effectively communicate your story and what makes you different from not only the other 20 cruise lines but from other vacation options that are out there, you run the risk of not just losing business — but becoming irrelevant.

The time to act is now. This is a golden opportunity to gain market share, grow your business and win in ensure long-term. And at TravPRO we are ready to help. Let’s talk some more. Email me at: jcooper@travpromobile.com.

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