Corporate Traveler, the US corporate travel division of Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG), is dedicated to supporting start-up to mid-market travel programs. As a traditional sales organization, the team was heavily dependent on cold-calling and pen and notebook processes. That was until the team discovered the power of technology, including enterprise video platform Vidyard, to transform the way it prospects and sells. As a result, FCTG has dramatically cut its sales cycles, won new business to the tune of $42 million, improved sales team performance, and built its brand differentiation by using technology and video to communicate with prospects and customers in a uniquely warm and personal way.
Corporate travel is an important part of the travel market and FCTG’s highly successful corporate travel brands account for an ever-growing proportion of the company’s overall income and profit.
With a North American headquarters in Boston, Corporate Traveler serves approximately 3,000 small to mid-sized businesses across the United States. Built on the principle of personalized relationships, Corporate Traveler is committed to providing business clients (regardless of size) with better travel experiences.
For the sales team, outreach had always been a manual effort. Driven to meet aggressive sales targets of 400 phone calls and 600 emails a month, the team of 60 relied on cold calling, email, and dabbled in LinkedIn to prospect for new business.
“Our processes were quite chaotic with everyone doing their own thing,” confesses Alex Campione, Corporate Traveler’s Director of Sales Enablement.
In 2017, Alex’s colleague, Joyce Yi, Senior Director of Sales Strategy, set out to move the team from old-school pen and notebook sales processes to a modern sales approach, backed by 21st-century technology. As a first step, Joyce invested in Outreach to streamline sales engagement launching the platform with the sales team in 2018. That change alone had the sales team routinely exceeding its sales targets.
At the time, video wasn’t even on the company’s radar as a prospecting tactic.
Alex initially discovered Vidyard when she stumbled across the company’s blog while searching for a more efficient way to scale delivery of customer demos. “I found the content so incredibly helpful, I began experimenting with the free Vidyard platform. That quickly led to me advocating for us to use the paid Vidyard platform to scale our ability to reach more clients with our tech demos and keep up with requests from the sales team. I saw pre-recorded videos as a more efficient way to deliver our services,” she says.
In July 2019, nearly six months after discovering Vidyard, Alex was able to get approval to book a demo of the online video platform. She invited Joyce.
“Vidyard was an instant no-brainer for both of us,” says Alex. “By the end of August, we were doing the paperwork to get the first group of licenses over the line. I’ve never seen a ‘yes’ happen so fast.”
Right out of the gate, Alex recorded a full library of sales demos. “Vidyard was so easy and quick to adopt, I immediately started looking at other ways we could put it to work.”
“Corporate travel is a very competitive market. It’s hard to stand out in a person’s inbox,” explains Alex. “Being personable is one of our company’s core values. We pride ourselves on our dedicated service model and on building long-term relationships based on consistently friendly service. So personal video for sales prospecting fits well with that value. We can show off who we are in a personal way and separate from the crowd.”
Previously, Corporate Traveler used to do a ‘call blitz,’ where the team devoted an entire day to cold calling. Now, they do Vidyard power hours which have become a favorite of the sales team. Vidyard is integrated with Outreach. Video is offered up as part of every sales sequence. Vidyard also sends video view data to Salesforce, so salespeople can see which contacts viewed what videos and for how long.
Says Alex, “Video has made prospecting so much easier. Traditionally it took 40 calls or 100 emails to get a sales meeting. It takes 15 videos to achieve the same. With those kinds of results, I mean, why wouldn’t you use video?”
Alex relates one instance where the team was able to close a $3M deal with a Boston biotech pharma client after the managing director for Americas sent the client a personal outreach video. “Video created the rapport that clinched the deal,” she notes.
And it’s not just that one deal where the team is seeing stellar results. Alex shares that in the first six months of Flight Centre’s fiscal ’21 year, sales videos recorded using Vidyard helped close $42 million in new business.
Corporate Traveler’s President Amanda Vining has also been quick to show her support for personal video. She began using Vidyard to record internal communications and customer messages.
“She’s been an amazing ambassador for the platform,” says Alex. “She said to our sales team, ‘each of you send me your top three opportunities and I will send them a personal message.’ She recorded over 100 personal video messages. It sent a strong message to everyone that if the President can use personal video, anyone can.”
With video proving to be a winning sales-enabler for the US team, word is now spreading across the FCTG organization. The Canadian sales team is currently running a Vidyard pilot and there’s talk about going global with Vidyard, making the enterprise video platform available to all of FCTG’s sales, customer success, implementation managers and learning development teams worldwide.
Video has become even more critical to Corporate Traveler since COVID-19. The pandemic hit the travel industry very hard. Corporate Traveler’s 60-person sales team was downsized by two-thirds. But with 3,000 customers still depending on the company for support, video became the best way to stay personally connected.
“The pandemic quickly put the entire travel industry in a very bad spot,” says Alex. “Many travel companies shut their doors. We need people to know that we’re still here.”
Right at the beginning of the pandemic, Corporate Traveler’s corporate communications team tapped into video to send out an appeal for government funding to help bring stranded Americans home from abroad.
Now, the company’s customer success team is using video to reach out to all our clients who don’t have a dedicated account manager to re-engage with them and foster a warm and friendly feeling.
It’s working like a charm. The campaign has enjoyed a 55% email open rate and a 75% response rate.
Says Alex, “Never have we seen those kinds of results. Every single customer knows that we’re still here, still there for them, and it’s still the same service as we move into 2021. When they’re ready to come back to travel, we’re ready to serve.”
The Flight Centre Travel Group Limited (FLT) is one of the world’s largest travel groups employing more than 8,000 people across the globe. The company’s vast leisure and corporate travel sales network now extends throughout four major regions:
In addition, FLT’s global corporate travel management network, FCM Travel Solutions, extends to about 75 other countries through strategic licensing agreements with independent local operators. After starting with one shop in the early 1980s, FLT has enjoyed remarkable ongoing growth under its founder and CEO, Graham “Skroo” Turner.
The company now has more than 30 brands, including the flagship Flight Centre leisure travel brand and Liberty, the iconic US travel agency group. Key corporate brands include Corporate Traveller and FCM.
FLT has been listed on the Australian Securities Exchange since 1995 and currently has a market capitalisation in the order of $AU 5 billion, making it an ASX S&P 100 company.