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Boosting Tour Bookings: The Power of Sales Automation

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Tour operators can automate their sales process without a salesperson by using technology to their advantage and implementing different strategies. This leads to more tour bookings and spending less time selling them. This frees up your time, so you can get back to doing what you love (which is probably not taking customer service calls).

Before we start, ask yourself these four questions. After reading through the different ways to sell more tours automatically, you can use your answers to develop an automated sales strategy:

  1. Why are your customers interested in your tours? How can you get them excited about it before they even talk to you?
  1. What do they already know about your tours? How can you take what they already know and what they should know and present that to your guests before they decide they want to go on a tour with you?
  1. What kind of “problem” are they trying to solve? How can you show you can solve it for them as early in the process as possible?
  1. What are their value and cost expectations? How do you position your tours so that when they see your prices, they’ll think they’re getting the best bang for their buck?
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What Is Sales Automation?​


[Tour] sales automation is using technology and software to streamline and simplify sales processes by automating repetitive tasks, such as lead management, contact tracking, email communication, and reporting to improve efficiency and productivity in sales operations.

Essentially, when you automate a lot of your Sales tasks, you free up your time to do other things—like getting back outside.

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Why Should You Automate Your Sales Process?​


As a small business owner, you only have so much time to do all the things required to run a business. If you can automate selling your tours, you’ll grow your business faster than if you did sales manually and by yourself.

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Here Are Some Ways To Sell More Tours Automatically​

Use An Online Booking System​


As an online booking system ourselves, we can’t not bring this up. But did you know that 83% of US adults want to book their trips online (StratosJets)? Most people want to be able to book a trip without having to call. In fact, In 2022, 64% of those booking online made online purchases on desktop and 44% made them on a mobile device. This shows a shift from 2021, when 59% of tourists booked via desktop and 41% via mobile device (SalesCycle).

Like it or not, online bookings are growing steadily and to stay competitive, you’ll need to have an easy-to-use, user-friendly online booking system on your website. This allows customers to browse and book tours or services without the need for human intervention. Don’t worry, you’ll still get calls and AI won’t be replacing you.

Not sure where to start with an online booking system? Need more reasons? Check out our blog and learn why you should streamline your online booking.

Add Chatbots To Your Website​


Integrate chatbots on your website and social media platforms to answer common customer inquiries, provide information about tours, and even facilitate the booking process for sales automation.

Why are chatbots so important?

Well, 46% of customers expect companies to respond faster than 4 hours. Further, 90% of customers view an instant response as crucial when they need customer service help. And of these, 60% consider “instant” to mean within 10 minutes or less.

Think about how long you take to respond to a customer service request. Is it longer than 10 minutes or 4 hours?

Find out your First Response Time​


To find out your First Response Time (FRT), take the total time it took to respond to emails during a selected time period and divide that number by the total number of responses sent in that selected time period.

FRT = total time it took to respond to emails / the total number of responses sent

Make sure the time period is the same for both numbers to get an accurate number. Knowing this number will help you decide if it’s worth getting a Chatbot (it probably is).

Chatbots are a relatively new technology that continues to evolve and improve. Early statistics show that Chatbots have a promising future in the tourism industry. One study by the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas used a ChatBot, Rose, to interact with guests. They saw guests who interacted with Rose spent up to 30% more money than similar guests who didn’t.

Use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software​


Implement a CRM system to manage customer information, track interactions, and automate follow-ups. This will help you maintain relationships with clients more easily, offer personalized deals, and increase your client loyalty. You might be wondering if it’s worth the money to pay for CRM software. Well, 64% of small businesses use email marketing to reach customers (Campaign Monitor, 2021), so you’re part of the minority if you’re not using it already.

Email Marketing Automation​


The perk of CRM software is email automation. You know there are a lot of emails sent through the tour booking process: confirmations, waivers, reminders, trip updates, and review requests. Not to mention the emails exchanged from customer inquiries.

Instead of doing this manually, use email marketing tools—like customer relationship management software—to send automated sales emails to potential and past customers. You can even group your email list to send personalized messages, promotions, and follow-ups to entice potential customers and encourage repeat business. And this can all be done automatically so you can spend more time outdoors.

Automated Follow-ups​


You can also use CRM software to send automated follow-up emails or messages to past customers, asking for referrals, or offering special deals for repeat bookings.

The great thing about using Origin’s online booking system is that we’ll automatically send confirmations, waivers, reminders, trip updates, and review requests to customers so you don’t have to. Plus, we integrate with MailChimp, HubSpot, Google, and more.

Run Search And/Or Display Campaigns​


If you have some budget for marketing, but not enough to hire a part-time or full-time salesperson, your next best option is running search and/or display campaigns for sales automation.

Paid Search​


Paid search is when you pay a platform to place your marketing front and center for your specific audience who are actively looking for what you offer. Learn more about paid search here.

Display Ads​


Digital display advertising is a promotional and visual graphic placed on websites, apps, or social media platforms in a variety of different forms in order to increase brand awareness and drive users to a landing page. Learn more about display ads here.

The benefit of running search or display ads is that they sell for you, or at least generate leads, and then you or your website “close the deal.” Once you set up ads, they run in the background (which can be a good and bad thing). You’ll want to check on them regularly, but overall, search and display ads act as your salesperson without having to pay a full-time salary.

Social Media Marketing​


Another way to automate sales is using social media marketing. The most common platform for building brand awareness is social media marketing, which consistently outranks all other mediums. Most people are on some social media platform. A lot of travelers search social media for their trips. People use social media to post during and after their trips. Not only that, but social media helps you formulate your brand identity.

Social media is a powerhouse of a tool.

Organically, you can use hashtags on posts and connect with people on the platforms to get your name out there. Alternatively, you can run paid ads to show up in users’ feeds and build brand awareness that way.

Utilize social media scheduling tools to automate your posts and ads. Schedule posts ahead of time so you don’t have to think about them every day. You’ll actually get more done when you do batch posting instead of one-off postings. It’ll also give your followers more consistent posts and they’re likely to engage with you more because of that.

Here are 9 social media automation hacks you can implement to make posting that much easier. You can reach a broader audience and drive traffic to your website using hashtags and advertising on the platforms when you use social media marketing.

Customer Reviews and Testimonials​


Word-of-mouth referrals, testimonials, and reviews go a long way for tour businesses. Most travelers will look at these before booking a trip with you, so it’s imperative you have a way of gathering and publishing them. Plus, positive reviews can help build trust and automate part of your sales process by showcasing your quality.

Origin automatically sends review requests to past clients and publishes them publicly on our site. But don’t stop at Origin. It’s important to have reviews on Google and other public platforms too. You can use your Origin tools to request reviews on other platforms as well or your CRM to craft automated emails requesting reviews quarterly.

Affiliate Marketing​


Our last sales automation suggestion is affiliate marketing. Affiliates, also known as marketers, enroll to promote your service by receiving a dedicated tracking URL. This unique URL allows communication with your website, and when their audience clicks on it and makes a reservation, you compensate them with a predetermined commission.

To attract more affiliates for marketing your outdoor adventure tours, it’s crucial to provide a competitive commission rate to ensure their efforts are worthwhile and incentivize them to direct traffic to your website. There are a ton of affiliate programs and we wrote about them on our Affiliate Marketing and Adventure Tours blog.

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Conclusion​


In conclusion, tour operators can significantly enhance their efficiency and increase tour bookings by leveraging technology and automation to streamline the sales process. Implementing various strategies such as online booking systems, chatbots, CRM software, email marketing automation, and social media marketing allows for a more hands-off approach to sales, freeing up valuable time.

By asking essential questions about customer interests and needs, operators can develop an automated sales strategy that caters to their target audience. Additionally, harnessing the power of affiliate marketing with competitive commission rates can help attract affiliates to market outdoor adventure tours, further expanding reach and visibility in the industry.

Ultimately, automation empowers tour operators to focus on what they love, rather than handling customer service calls, while growing their businesses more effectively.

The post Boosting Tour Bookings: The Power of Sales Automation appeared first on Origin.
 
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