Reimagining sales force deployment over a geographical area of over 3.2 million km2

Intelligent Operations

Expedia used PocketFunder© to instantly increase its salesforce for ETAAP in India


Challenge

Travel agencies are businesses that operate by selling tourism and travel-related services to the public on behalf of different travel suppliers. In addition to recreational tourist activities, they also provide accommodation and transportation services, as well as handling the logistics of booked trips, among other services.

Expedia have an ingenious programme which allows travel agencies to use the Expedia platform to access supply of tourism and travel-related services. The agency can can then re-sell the offering to their customers.

In India, there are about twenty five registered travel agencies but at least 10x unregistered agencies that have the necessary paperwork to operate as a travel agency but are not on the national databases. And the challenge was to acquire travel agencies in the vast, unstructured and predominantly ‘brick’ travel market of India.

If this was to be done in the traditional way then the cost of setting up and maintaining the multiple sales teams across the various regions in india would not only be a huge cost but also create great inefficiencies.


Strategy & Solution

Expedia selected Big Blue Road to innovate a solution to increase the sales force at under 1/10th the cost of setting up a traditional sales force.

The approach was to utilise the vast unstructured workforce available in India. The idea was to provide this external workforce all the information and tools at the touch of a button and real-time access professionals to assist with the acquisition process. The efficiency was garnered from automating the processes based on user and business logics.

All of this centres around PocketFunder© – a mobile application that anyone could download for free. It holds all the marketing material that an individual would need to convince the travel agency to register with the ETAAP. The individual can share the information with the travel agent directly from the mobile application. Each individual has an unique ID to allow for tracking progress, providing assistance and rewarding with incentives. The entire experience was gamilfied which provided great stickiness and easily allowed to manage each individual’s KPIs.


Centralised and Automated

The mobile application centralised all the information in one place and automated the onboarding process

Micro Targetting

The mobile application allowed for immediate workforce scaling and geographical micro targeting.

Gamified

The entire process was gamified to get desired results to meet the business objectives.


Transformation

With the help of Big Blue Road through the PocketFunder© platform, Expedia was able to quickly scale the acquisition of travel agencies from all across India (cities, towns and villages) to the Expedia Travel Agency Affiliate Programme. The solution was a standalone offering that easily plugged into the existing systems, processes and technologies to enable easy integration and greater efficienies. It brought a saving of above 90 percent, if Expedia had to establish traditional sales systems across the span of the country.