Travel Chapter: a go-to-market success story

Working with holiday home owners to build an amazing collection of quality properties, Travel Chapter’s mission is to showcase great places to stay in the UK. With a dedicated team of over 800 people, Travel Chapter manages over 40 local offices and a portfolio of more than 15,000 properties in all corners of the UK and Ireland.

In 2018, having focused on the Travel sector for decades and recognising Travel Chapter’s specific potential for exceptional growth, ECI invested and began working closely with management to help maximise their potential.

Turbocharging organic growth

Fuelled by ambitious growth plans, Travel Chapter had already invested in a dedicated new business team, implemented a new CRM system and made significant process improvements. However, working with ECI’s Commercial Team and Sales Growth Specialist, four key opportunities were identified to enable the turbocharging of sales performance.

  • Sales consistency: Develop a clearer, consistent and systematic methodology for selling and measuring sales performance.
  • Owner relationships: Maintaining strong relationships with existing property owners, to drive loyalty by demonstrating value proposition.
  • Competitive landscape: Increased competitor pressure required a sharp focus on Travel Chapter’s premium value proposition and creating the confidence to sell it.
  • Leadership development: a leadership program to identify and create strong leaders with the right tools to maintain momentum for sustained growth.

ECI were instrumental in supporting Travel Chapter on their growth strategy”

Joby Mussell

Chief Commercial Officer, Travel Chapter

Sharpen the sales process

ECI’s Sales Growth Specialist, Chris Ginnelly, worked closely with Travel Chapter’s management team to design and implement “The Travel Chapter Way”, a bespoke 7-step program that helps salespeople and account managers engage with customers and prospects in a non-pressure, consultative style. This enabled Travel Chapter to:

  • Stay in control of their sales.
  • Deliver consistent reporting.
  • Implement accurate forecasting.

An immersive “Essentials Programme” was quickly trialled using the best sales personnel from the company to crystallise internal advocates and drive buy-in from the wider business development team. A common methodology quickly demonstrated a measurable difference (driving further buy-in) and the tailored program, that let everyone know what good looked like, was rolled out across the sales and account management teams.

Build sales team confidence

To build on the initial effect and prevent a return to old habits, a “Master Cadence” programme was implemented to re-enforce the correct techniques, behaviours, and attitudes. This ongoing support ensured a long-term confidence mindset and covered crucial areas including:

  • Pain and gain: connecting to property owners’ emotional drivers.
  • Building confidence: selling at a premium.
  • Unlocking potential: prospecting and generating referrals.
  • Value-based: positioning against competitors.
  • Time management: closing drills and tightening the close.
  • Hold your ground: objection handling and dealing with ‘no’.

Drive management accountability

Monthly performance review sessions became a cornerstone of the approach and where real value was added. These sessions involved all the sales leaders, ensuring they felt valued and included, and each session was tailored, allowing Travel Chapter to become extremely agile in adapting to trading conditions and sales requirements, even through the depths of Covid in 2020!

Measure the outcomes

The impact of the approach was clear; with robust metrics in place, Travel Chapter experienced “a north of 10x return” on the cost of the GTM review and delivered impressive year-on-year results:

  • 150% increase in revenue from new properties signed up.
  • 67% growth in overall property sign-ups.
  • 13% improvement in conversion rate.
  • 16% reduction in sales cycle time.

The power of an engaged private equity partnership

Travel Chapter’s story exemplifies the transformative power of a well-structured private equity partnership. By combining Travel Chapter’s vision with ECI’s capabilities and experience in People and Sales Toolkits, the company was able to propel themselves to the forefront of the UK holiday rental market.

ECI’s investment wasn’t just about capital – it was about equipping Travel Chapter with the tools and confidence to thrive. The sales methodology has become engrained in Travel Chapter’s culture, ensuring ongoing success and a bright future.

From an investor’s point of view, the partnership was successful, with the exit of Travel Chapter delivering a 2.7x return and 35% IRR.

ECI announce close of latest fund

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