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Background and Brief

Simpson TravelSimpson Travel believes in treating their guests as individuals and is totally committed to offering the kind of holiday that they would like to take themselves. Destinations include Corsica, Greece, Mallorca and Turkey as well as an ‘Exclusive’ division promoting some exquisite long-haul destinations. The company is led very passionately by Graham Simpson, a pioneer and veteran of the luxury holiday market. With an industry heritage spanning more than 30 years, Graham reflects on why he chose ‘the road less travelled’. He explains that “it symbolises an alternative attitude rather than an alternative destination, and by choosing to take the harder path we can continue to offer a superior experience to all those who travel and work with us.”

Challenge

The luxury holiday market is very competitive and one of the constant challenges to Simpson Travel was how to maximise sales revenues and increase conversion rates, whilst still upholding the company’s core values of providing the highest levels of customer experience. Sales were already increasing, however, more rigorous and creative thinking was required in order to ensure that any growth was sustainable and that the business was not reliant on just a handful of star performers.
Graham had head about Sales+Profit being able to work alongside other business owners, and made contact to find out what they could offer to help with some of Simpson Travel’s challenges. After detailed discussions, a number of areas for improvement were identified whilst keeping a very close eye on upholding the company’s core values. Improvement areas included:
  • Gradual transition to a more commercial mindset whilst upholding quality at all times
  • Identifying Simpson Travel’s competitive advantages in the market to create leverage
  • An A greater investment in staff development through training and mentoring
  • Addressing any levels of performance that did not meet with Simpson Travel’s very high standard
  • Complement the Operations Director to improve user adoption of the new reservation and CRM system
  • A different perspective on sales recruitment and cleaver ‘on-boarding’ of new sales staff
  • Simplification and enhanced clarity of the sales process to maximise client satisfaction
  • To win the hearts and minds of the sales team whilst striving for continual development
In addition to the specific areas above, there was also a full review of all key performance indicators in order to measure the quality of individual and team improvements

Implementation

In order for Sales+Profit to fully understand the challenges faced by Simpson Travel’s sales consultants, it was agreed that sufficient time was set aside to really understand their roles. The company already invests a huge amount in its staff by ensuring that all consultants have experienced the product for themselves by visiting all of the key destinations and villas. As part of the implementation phase, it was agreed that combining this great product knowledge with a more structured sales approach would enable the consultants to not only speak with passion but with a more commercial thought process.
The sales consultants took part in a number of focused coaching and development programmes where when every consultant was given personalised one-to-one tuition. This approach gave each salesperson time to develop and hone their skills with the company benefiting from their renewed confidence and enthusiasm.

Results

By complementing the progress that Simpson Travel was already making the engagement with Sales+Project has delivered great positive results for a company resulting in:
  • Sales growth of 19% in excess of £17m during the period of engagement
  • Demonstrable increase in conversion rates from enquiry to sale through improved follow-up
  • A more commercial mindset is now being applied to Customer Service and Client Retention
  • An increase in positive feedback of the sales experience in client post-holiday questionnaires
  • An ‘across the board’ increase in sales standards and a ‘raised bar’ for all incoming sales recruits.
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