Three Reasons Why Improving Your Business Travel Strategy is a Must
Today’s business landscape is competitive and rapidly changing. Technology has transformed how we conduct business, data is at our fingertips, and the ways companies today both market and sell themselves has changed dramatically. Modernization aside, sometimes the most successful strategy is old fashioned face-to-face interaction.
Now, some may argue that business travel is an unnecessary expense thanks to video chats, virtual learning, and the many communication modalities at our fingertips. If this scenario sounds all too familiar, we ask you to pause the next time you view your business travel program as a nice-to-have instead of a must-have. In fact, this mentality will likely have the opposite impact and eliminating business travel programs could cut into profits versus saving you money.
The Business Benefits of Employee Travel
The business benefits of work travel isn’t anything new. A full decade ago, Oxford Economics USA published a well-respected study titled, The Return on Investment of U.S. Business Travel. The research highlighted that every dollar spent on business travel results in a resounding $12.50 in incremental value.
Next we’ll review why business travel is a strategic must for your company and how it can enable your team to close more business, build rapport with customers, boost employee morale, and help your workforce enhance their skill set. We will also highlight how to align your business strategy to support the various types of travel.
Reason #1: Close More Deals and Build Better Relationships
In decades past, business deals were solidified with a handshake. Today, it’s not always possible to close a business agreement in-person due to an increasingly global economy. However, when the opportunity presents, the outcome is likely to be a faster close and a stronger relationship if the deal can be hashed out in-person.
How to align your business strategy: Understand that not all business trips can be booked weeks in advance. If a big deal is coming down the pipeline and the decision maker wants to meet to work out the details, don’t let your road warriors get held up waiting for booking approvals. Arm your road warriors for success with a technology-enabled managed travel program that will allow them to book trips within budget, provide 24/7 support, and wrap policies directly into the platform. Booking and expense reporting will be a breeze and your finance department will be able to review trip costs and provide reimbursements quickly.
Reason #2: Boost Employee Morale
From remote employees to multiple office locations, distributed workforces are commonplace. However, when you expect employees to work together as a well-oiled machine, some in-person time is a great way to boost morale and solidify relationships. Company-wide town hall meetings, quarterly business reviews, and sales kick-offs are prime examples of ways to bring your team together, boost morale, and even provide training or key product information to your workforce.
How to align your business strategy: From a financial perspective, we understand that the travel costs associated with bringing the entire team together can be a deterrent–not to mention the time away from projects. However, most business leaders can attest that the return on investment of bringing everyone together far outweighs the monetary expense. Remember, you don’t need to book an exotic island to bring everyone together. TravelBank’s Travelator will even allow you to predict travel budgets needed based on real-time market data including airfare and lodging rates.
Reason #3: Cultivate a Stronger Workforce
Continuing education is a great reason for employees to hit the road. By encouraging your team to attend a certification program, go to a conference that offers sessions and superb networking, or attend hands-on training, you are not only investing in your business, but also telling your employees you are investing in them as well.
How to align your business strategy: As you think about budgets, consider building in a bucket for continuing education. Think about certification programs or courses that would benefit your workforce and put dollars in place to enable them to continue to advance their abilities. The investment you make in their education will benefit your business tenfold once applied to the work they do for you and your customers.
We can help your employees put together trip estimates to include in continuing education proposals so that managers are able to get an accurate cost estimation prior to approving. For more information on the benefits of continued education, check out our post on Building the Business Case for Conference Attendance.
Improve Your Business Travel Strategy with Managed Travel
Business travel is a key strategy for today’s modern organization. It can help your team close more deals, keep customers engaged and happy, boost employee morale, and strengthen your team through continued education. Further, managed business travel provides peace-of-mind for finance and leadership teams as they know employees will be supported on the road, travel policy compliance will increase, and expense reporting accuracy will improve significantly.
Ready to align your own business strategy with your corporate travel program? We’re here to help you get started. Let us know if you would like to chat.