Let me ask you this: Do you know how your sales and marketing efforts are translating into actual bookings and profits for your company? Can you tell me which marketing channels are bringing in the most results? How are you measuring your performance? Do you know what your numbers are telling you?
At the end of the day, you can't manage what you don't measure.
Regardless of how you're tracking your monthly bookings and sales, you need to make time each month to review your numbers to get an overview of your performance.
To make life a little easier, we've created a system to help you keep track of your monthly performance.
How to set up systems to track your monthly performance
1. Keep meticulous records of your bookings
While this might not be the sexiest thing on your to-do list, keeping detailed records of your bookings will pay off in the long run. At the end of each day, record the number of bookings you've received, which channel it came from and how much sales (total value of bookings) you've made that day.
If you don't use an online booking system like TrekkSoft that automatically tracks your bookings for you, have a look at this simple spreadsheet I've set up as an example.
2. Track where your bookings are coming from
When I said "meticulous", I wasn't kidding. You should also keep track of where your bookings are coming from because it tells you which distribution channels are generating revenue for your business. After 2 - 3 months of collecting this data, you'll be able to make smart decisions about where to invest in based on previous results.
Here are a few distribution channels I can think of:
- Travel agents
- Online Travel Agents (e.g. Viator, Get Your Guide, Musement, Stride, Expedia, Hotelbeds)
- Your website
- Offline / In-store
3. Track how much money is going out too
This category includes items like refunds, cancellations and commissions you need to pay your agents, resellers and OTAs.
Why track how much commission you need to pay out? So that you can determine your returns on investment. If agent X charges you a 20% commission while agent Y charges 25% commission, which agent should you allocate more trips to sell? You wouldn't be able to make the decision without knowing how much returns they've brought in previously.
4. Give yourself at least an hour to set everything up
This might sound like a huge time investment but again, it'll pay off in the long run when you look back on your results and feel confident about the business decisions you're making.
Start off with an hour and as you start building up this habit, you'll get used to the process.
5. Set a calendar reminder to update your records
As with every new system you're trying to implement in your business, it'll take a few runs before you and your team get used to it.
Set a daily calendar reminder, perhaps an hour before you end your day, to run through your final numbers for the day.
Set another monthly calendar to prepare your monthly reports to measure your performance.
6. Prepare your monthly reports
With an online booking system like TrekkSoft, all your bookings and relevant details (like the ones mentioned above) are already tracked and calculated for you. All you have to do is export the data and input it into your monthly report.
If you don't have a booking system in place, fret not. So long as you've kept consistent records, you'll be able to extract all the numbers you need to fill up your monthly report.
Key figures to track in your reports:
- Refunds on bookings - Keep an eye on which booking channels or agents or resellers are refunding a high volume of customers. This could be an indication of something going wrong in your sales or marketing processes.
- Booking channels - I think this is worth repeating: Knowing where your bookings come from help you decide how you want to allocate your trips and where to invest more resources.
- Most booked trip - You can easily tally this up at the end of each month to figure out what your customers are looking for and give you an insight into the type of trips you can run more frequently (or up the price!).
- Returns on investment - You should make it a priority to calculate the returns on your marketing and distribution efforts to find out if you're making your money work as hard as it can for you.
Published by Nicole Kow
Having graduated from the UK, Nicole travelled around Europe before joining TrekkSoft's marketing team. She is now based in KL and regularly blogs about her travels at Next Train Out.