Tips for Tracking Motorcoach Quote-to-Close Ratios

Posted on March 13, 2013 by Nicole Schlosser, Senior Editor - Also by this author

Page 3 of 3

GO Riteway Transportation Group follows up all online requests with a phone call within 24 hours to ensure closing sales.
GO Riteway Transportation Group follows up all online requests with a phone call within 24 hours to ensure closing sales.

3. Engagement
In the last year, Anchor also centralized its sales office to provide more time and resources to better engage with customers and track quote-to-close ratios.

The sales office was segmented into one sales team with the responsibility of generating quotes and making sales, and another that is responsible for post-sale details and administrative functions, such as checking itineraries and making sure balances are paid.

Having two sales teams created an environment more conducive to focusing on customers’ needs, Stancil says.

“The team that’s focused on sales knows they have time built in to follow up on phone calls and emails because they know that their [goal] is to generate and close quotes,” he explains.

One result of this was that 2012 year-end charter sales revenue was Anchor’s highest ever. Measuring customer feedback indicated that the sales team got a 99% approval rating and that its sales process is helpful, easy and timely.

“We realized that we’re able to communicate [with] our customers so they know that we want their business,” Stancil says.

The new structure also gave the sales team the flexibility to visit with customers. One of the most successful visits was with school clients.
“We rented ice cream trucks during the week just before school starts when [only] the teachers and staff are there,” Stancil recalls. “We had so much fun showing up with an ice cream truck after lunch and talking with the teachers about places to go. We strengthened our solid business relationship for the entire school year over an ice cream cone.”

While school-based customers can be price-sensitive due to budgets, and easily swayed over a cheaper price, Stancil says, that resistance went away because “they knew we were spending our time there with them.”

“Getting customers engaged with us was our focus this past year, and we’ve seen an increase in sales,” Stancil says.

4. Sales process
The sales process is simple but critical, Dipert Brown says, yet most people don’t ask for the business.

“If at the end of the call, you don’t say, ‘Can I book that for you now?’ you’re losing a lot of sales,” Dipert Brown says. “It’s a [matter] of using the sales process, closing the deal, making sure you get as many leads as you can and then working those leads.”

GO Riteway is focusing on training operators on the sales process to raise quote-to-close ratios, Bast says. He admits that while GO Riteway’s sales staff is customer service-focused and friendly, asking for the order is the part of the call that can be challenging.

“We give them the amenities, but the most crucial thing we don’t ask for is the sale,” he says. While it may sound simple, he adds, asking ‘May I book that for you?’ makes some staff think they sound like a used car salesman.
“That’s one thing that we need to work on,” Bast says. “[Among] a lot of other motorcoach operators we know, that’s the part that everyone needs to work on.”

Feedback is also crucial to improving the sales process, Bast says. To supply this, Go Riteway uses a call recording system as a sales training and coaching tool. About twice a month, managers listen to employees’ calls with them and give them feedback.

“When they hear themselves sell to the customer, it made a big impression,” he adds. “You can hear improvement [after] reviewing the calls. They remember, ‘this is how I close a sale.’”   

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