Technology innovations in the travel space have made getting from point A to point B easier than ever. There are plenty of reasons why corporate travel programs should adopt new technologies to replace outdated and ineffective processes. Travel technology makes booking trips more efficient and straightforward for busy travelers, and it aids policy compliance.
To secure buy-in for new travel tech from senior leadership, however, travel stakeholders need an approach that clearly identifies the pain point and lays out a groundwork for a cost-effective solution.
Define the Challenge
When you propose that your organization make an investment in a new piece of technology, you are solving a problem. As someone close to the situation, you likely have a thorough understanding of the problem you need to overcome. But does your boss? How about other key decision-makers?
If the answer is no, your first priority is to describe to them the problem in detail and make the case that a solution is necessary. If you begin with the solution before the problem has been clearly defined, your boss might get caught up in the details before he or she can form a clear picture of the whole situation.
For example, if you want to give travelers a way to communicate better in foreign countries, you may want to ask current travelers about the challenges they have faced abroad.
Focus on the Solution
According to Harvard Business Review contributors Susan Ashford and James Detert, how you frame the problem is extremely important. Consider the main concerns of the senior leadership you're trying to convince, then tie your solution to those challenges. For instance, if your CFO is attempting to control the travel budget with greater granularity, you could explain how your solution saves the company money or provides that insight he or she is looking for.
Once you've clearly laid out the business challenge, focus on how you will implement the solution. It's easy to buy technology, but leadership will be more concerned with how easy the technology is to implement. For instance, will staff need to be retrained? If so, who will do the training? Address these concerns before presenting leadership with the challenge. At this point, you'll also want to identify potential business risks how you plan to mitigate them.
Use Numbers Whenever Possible
As you prepare to bring your proposal to executive leaders, look for ways to incorporate hard facts and figures. By using numbers, you quantify the situation in a manner that is both easy to understand and work from. Senior leaders deal in numbers every day, and they will have a good sense of how your figures fit into the larger picture.
Dollar amounts are useful, but consider other kinds of statistical information as well. Data straight from your travel program can inform leadership as to how big of an impact your proposal will have on the company at large. For example, if you want to implement a parking reservation solution, you may want to gather data on current parking spend and compare it to the estimated savings of the new tech.
Find a Knowledgeable Expert
Let's face it: with new technology coming out every day, it's difficult to determine which solutions are best for your organization. A travel management company can work with you to improve your travel policies and determine where technology can assist travelers best. Direct Travel has access to powerful technology solutions that can help your business control costs and make travel more enjoyable for your employees.
To learn more about how to optimize your organization's travel program, check out our Navigator Blog post: