Travel technology is a relationship business. The best hoteliers and restaurateurs strive to know their best customers personally and well, and expect the same from their vendors. But given the industry's fragmented ownership structure, the number of personal relationships that a successful vendor has to manage can be daunting. The same is true from the buyer's perspective--both industry standards and industry startups alike face an enormous challenge of being heard through the marketing noise. Buyers want to be kept abreast of the latest innovations, but faced with chronic time poverty, are quick to dismiss anything that doesn't appear to apply to them, or that hasn't hit their radar as a competitive issue. They rely on trusted advisors to guide them along their digital transformation, and the most successful tech salespeople have been those who know how to seek out these relationships and fill this role. The best thing for their bosses to do was to stay out of the way.
But there's a problem. The traditional sales approach doesn't scale to match the pace of innovation now required to compete. There are only so many of those "eagles" out there who can consistently stay ahead of the learning curve and work personal relationships. And given how many decisions are still made at the unit level with stubbornly long sales cycles, their deals can carry a cost of sale which is increasingly unsustainable: not just their commissions, but also the multiple plane tickets, trade show registrations, restaurant checks, tee times, and bar tabs along the way. Travel Technology Vendor CEO's have bemoaned these costs for decades, but in the age of SaaS subscription models with their elongated revenue recognition rules, they bring even more front-loaded pain and suffering to the business model. Even worse, they do nothing to achieve the customer retention that SaaS models depend on. For many companies, that is a whole new area of investment.
Meanwhile, buyers need your help more than ever. Just because the industry is enjoying an unprecedented wave of innovation fueled by both startups and traditional providers, doesn't mean buyers have any additional time to stay on top of it all. They need to be pointed to the most relevant solutions that will get to value the fastest, and give them a competitive edge in their niche. Under relentless cost pressure from owners, they need you to show them opportunities where they can lead as early adopters--not just where they need to play catch up. By then it's too late. If only they'd take your cold calls, right?
Lodgital Insight's Practices for Travel Technology Vendors are all designed to help you engage with your prospects and users in a new way that respects the unique characteristics of our industry, and can scale to match the pace of innovation - as well as your company's growth expectations.
The industry's respected consultancies tend to offer deep expertise on particular categories of travel technology, such as central reservations, property management, or networking infrastructure. Lodgital's core competencies span an unusually broad spectrum of the hospitality technology universe, with first-hand experience as a vendor in most cases.
Lodgital will come to the table equipped with an understanding of what the industry typically expects from your category of technology, and more importantly, how it must integrate with the rest of the ecosystem. Traditional vendors may come away with a new awareness of what their differentiators are. Startups and new industry entrants will gain sound advice on how to articulate where they fit in the ecosystem and what their value prospect is, in terms that buyers, investors, and partners will quickly understand. They will be able to position themselves better not only against direct competitors, but against other technology categories vying for the attention of buyers and investors.
(Bolded categories indicate first-hand vendor experience.)