Disrupt Awards Q&A: Manoj Ganapathy, SalesTrip

SalesTrip is a finalist in this year’s Business Travel Show Disrupt Awards. Ahead of the final tomorrow, we hear from its founder and CEO Manoj Ganapathy

When were you launched?
SalesTrip officially launches at the Business Travel Show this week. The company was founded late 2017.

How many people are working for the company?
We are a team of 15 people, most of whom are industry veterans with decades of experience working for the likes of Salesforce, SAP Concur, Amadeus and BCD Travel.

Sum up what your company/product does in one sentence.
SalesTrip is an all-in-one travel booking, ticketing and expense management system on the world’s largest customer relationship management (CRM) platform, Salesforce.

Why is it unique?
SalesTrip can measure the real ROI of business travel. Everybody who travels, whether marketing, sales, support, account management or senior management, all contribute to the growth of the business, directly or indirectly. It’s important for businesses to understand the ROI for that spend.

With SalesTrip, you can measure the direct ROI of every single trip, against each customer or sales opportunity. In order to do this, you need a single system, not separate systems for travel, expenses, customers, business intelligence and more. Our product does this seamlessly, leveraging the power of Salesforce’s extensive reporting capabilities that enable decision making based on real-time, actionable insight – not gut instinct.

What problem does it solve?
According to the GBTA, global business travel will reach US$1.7 trillion by 2022. Travel has often been seen as a back office operation – an essential spend that nobody could directly relate to sales or company growth. At SalesTrip, we’re driven to change that by attributing every business travel and expense to revenue. Customers should be able to ask questions like: ‘How much do my employees spend on average to win a customer?’, ‘How is the win ratio affected by face-to-face meetings that require travel? Are the deals profitable?’.

With this in mind, organisations can use data to determine how much money they should spend on a given opportunity or at what point in the sales cycle, as they can see how much time and money has already been spent trying to win that business. In sales, there’s a science to spending, and without it, organisations are spending money on the wrong prospects and losing control of their travel and expenses.

What platforms is it available on/can integrate with?
SalesTrip is available on the Salesforce platform and works with customers’ existing Salesforce CRM.

What markets is it available in?
SalesTrip is available in the UK, EU and US with our teams located in the US and UK.

What do travel managers like about it?
Business travel managers are focused on enabling their colleagues to do their jobs effectively. However, when negotiating supplier agreements, setting travel policies, tracking travellers internationally and ensuring traveller wellbeing and safety, it’s extremely difficult to consistently satisfy commercial, contractual and employee demands.

SalesTrip can help balance all these factors to deliver dynamic policies and practices that work for the whole business. It enables travel managers to transform travel and expense processes by automating time-consuming admin, increasing productivity, and proactively managing traveller wellbeing and safety.

As a result, the role of the travel manager is elevated to have wider conversations around how all elements of travel management and procurement impact commercial operations. Not only does this reduce costs, it also allows businesses to see travel as an investment rather than an uncontrollable cost.

Why do travellers like it?
With SalesTrip, employees take back control and accountability for their own travel budget; say a percentage of the opportunity, customer, or activity they are managing. Alongside this, no matter whether the travel booked is in or out of the SalesTrip booking engine, the policy can be easily managed.

The system also searches for travel in a revolutionary way. Instead of showing 200 pages of results with 75 per cent of the irrelevant options, SalesTrip does a door-to-door search that takes into account total journey time. Gone are the days of spending hours switching back and forth between booking sites and Google maps to determine whether you’ll make the meeting on time.

What are your growth plans?
SalesTrip is focused on becoming the leading travel and expense management solution for Salesforce customers. Over the next few years, the product will expand to other platforms including Microsoft Dynamics and HubSpot, for example. Ultimately, there is an ambition for SalesTrip to be integrated with all CRM platforms, helping customers measure the true ROI of business travel once and for all.

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