As globalization has become the norm, companies around the world also are globalizing their travel programs. This has changed the world of travel management quite a bit. Today, there are certain skills that every corporate travel manager should possess to be successful in their field. In fact, there are 5 vital skills corporate travel managers should have.
1. Negotiation Skills
Whether a corporate travel manager handles a single or multiple markets, being an expert in negotiation is a must. Corporate travel management nowadays is embedded in process-driven functions, like procurement or even finance. Hence, such managers have to be prepared to work with all stakeholders of the organization, including suppliers and vendors. They should be prepared to answer open-ended questions while negotiating and many of these questions are posed during corporate events.
2. Be Technology Savvy
The corporate travel industry is using a lot of technology to make it easy for travel managers make arrangements and book programs. However, just using the technology is not longer sufficient, considering stakeholders have access to smartphones and handheld devices that allow them to browse the Internet for information. So, it is expected travel managers also become adept in using travel-related technology to their advantage, while helping their stakeholders.
3. Persuasion Ability
Previously when travelers used to book a travel program, they wanted the travel manager to alter the programs to suit their needs. This was focusing more on the requirement rather than persuasion. However, now corporate travel managers are expected to have outstanding persuasion skills that allow them to persuade travelers to choose travel programs that are part of the company’s travel program. Through their exceptional communication skills, marketing techniques and ability to use social media, travel managers should be able to convince stakeholders to take travel programs as they are, without asking for changes or alterations.
4. Focusing on Collaboration
There are instances with corporate travelers may be unable to travel due to unforeseen circumstances. In this case, corporate travel managers should be quick enough to offer alternatives that do not require travelers to travel. For instance, one alternative could be offering video conferencing facilities. This skill set allows travel managers to expand their role and use collaboration management to satisfy the needs of stakeholders, while also fulfilling their role as corporate travel managers.
5. Understand Data and Financial Implications
Today, due to globalization, organizations have multiple offices in different geographical locations. However, a corporate travel manager is not expected to travel, but use technology to understand important data and finances that have a profound effect on the success of travel programs. Having the ability to analyze data and then translate it into actionable strategy and plan is imperative for the success of any corporate travel program. The data also allows travel managers to see which programs are more popular than others and by fostering good relationships with executives and other employees, the travel manager should be able to persuade stakeholders to try other programs as well.
The world of corporate travel management is becoming fast-paced and challenging. However, if a travel manager has the aforementioned skills, they will be up to the challenge.
DPV Transportation Worldwide helps corporate travel managers make their travel planning easier and more efficient, from VIP executive travelers to corporate groups.
Get in touch with our corporate travel planning department by calling 1.877.378.4445 or by clicking below to request a free quote.