Numbers That Lie, and Those That Don’t: Five Steps to Improving Travel Companies’ Performance Through Metrics

Glenn Hollister and Jayesh Patel


After a prolonged slump, business travel is on the rebound—so how is the industry planning to take advantage? Are travel suppliers content to ride out the wave, or will they make the most of the opportunity by optimizing their sales forces?

U.S. business travel spending will reach $292.3 billion in 2014, a 6.8% year-over-year increase, according to the Global Business Travel Association. GBTA attributed part of the increase to strong investment in international (outbound U.S.) business travel spending, projected to increase 10.3% this year. The GBTA said that although “individual business travel volume is only expected to grow 2.3% in 2014, spending is expected to increase 5.6%.”

Though the increase is good news to the industry, suppliers are wondering how they can maximize sales and profits. In order to do so, sales metrics that provide guidance (even as the market is expanding and changing) are essential.

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About the Authors

Glenn Hollister
is a ZS Principal based in Chicago. As leader of ZS’s Transportation and Logistics practice, Glenn has advised a number of the world’s leading transportation companies, as well as companies in the hospitality, loyalty program and travel technology sectors. His work has included large-scale sales force transfor­mations, growth strategy, value proposition development and other areas of sales effectiveness.

Jayesh Patel
, a Manager based in Chicago, has focused on B2B sales and marketing within the transportation, hospitality and pharmaceutical industries. His experience includes go-to-market strategy development, organizational design and operations.