As technology continues to evolve, the expectations of today’s business traveller have continued to change with it. Travellers expect more personalization, convenience, and ease of use. In fact, research conducted in 2018 found that 65% of air passengers are willing to share more personal data if it leads to process improvements.
As you look at ways to increase compliance and combat leakage in your organization, providing a satisfying traveller experience and integrating effective technology into your travel program is essential. But first, you need to gain buy-in from the leadership team.
To effectively secure support for corporate travel technology, you will need to identify the distinct challenges being faced at your organization and illustrate how the technology you are recommending will overcome those challenges in a cost-effective way.
Step 1: Clearly Illustrate the Pain Point
As a travel buyer, you are the subject matter expert in your organization. As you focus on gaining buy-in for a technology investment, keep in mind that other personnel may not understand your role, procedures and strategies. These stakeholders will require more information from you to gain a clear understanding of the challenge you’re facing, the impact it is having on your program objectives, and the consequences for your organization as a whole.
To start with, outline the problem in detail. Give some thought to any examples or data to support the challenge you are defining. It is important to note that how you frame the challenge is extremely important and can have an impact on whether you’ll achieve your audience’s support.
Once you’ve clearly illustrated the pain point, you can present the solution you’re recommending.
Step 2: Focus on the Solution
Consider the perspective of every member of your audience. What concerns do they have? To effectively gain their buy-in, plan to address their concerns as you present your solution. For example, if a key area of focus for your CFO is improving travel spend, demonstrate how your proposed solution saves your organization money or provides strategic insights they will benefit from. Or, if HR is involved, illustrate how your solution can improve the traveller experience and increase program compliance, which provides more insight into traveller movements and improves duty of care.
After you have effectively outlined both your problem and the solution, explain your plan to introduce the solution in your travel program and mitigate any business risks. Implementing new technology can be disruptive and your leadership team will question the impact this could have on your organization so it’s important to address these concerns at the onset. For example, will there be a need to train or retrain any employees? If so, who will be responsible for this and facilitate the training?
Step 3: Support Your Proposal With Data
After proposing the solution to your problem, incorporate data or statistics to support your proposal. Using numbers will help you quantify the situation in a simplified way which is easy to work from. Senior leaders make use of numbers every day, and this will help them see how your solution fits into the organization’s bigger picture. To this end, work with your TMC to utilize data directly from your travel program.
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