TripActions: How this B2B Travel Unicorn Reached $4B+ Valuation in Only Four Years

Episode 11 January 16, 2020 00:41:16
TripActions: How this B2B Travel Unicorn Reached $4B+ Valuation in Only Four Years
The Breakout Growth Podcast
TripActions: How this B2B Travel Unicorn Reached $4B+ Valuation in Only Four Years

Jan 16 2020 | 00:41:16

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Show Notes

In this episode of The Breakout Growth Podcast, Sean Ellis interviews Meagen Eisenberg, CMO at TripActions, a mobile-first corporate travel platform that has quickly achieved a $4B valuation. In the 10 months since Meagen joined the company, the overall team size has tripled from a few hundred employees to over 1000.  

In the interview, Meagan shares her insights into what is driving this breakout growth. She covers a  broad range of topics including:

Meagen credits a lot of the growth to strong product/market fit in the $1.5 trillion corporate travel market. She explains that TripActions delivers on a powerful value proposition for both businesses and their traveling employees. For businesses, TripActions helps drive significant savings, reaching up to 34% of their total travel budget (the second largest controllable expense in businesses). But where TripActions really shines is their ability to help improve the actual traveler experience.  Travelers get 24x7 365 travel agents to help them ensure their travel goes smoothly.  

See detailed TripActions growth study at https://growthhackers.com/growth-studies

Learn more about Meagen Eisenberg here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/meageneisenberg/

Learn more about TripActions here: https://tripactions.com/

Learn more about Sean Ellis at www.SeanEllis.me

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00 <inaudible> Speaker 1 00:03 <inaudible> Speaker 2 00:08 come to the breakout growth podcast where Sean Ellis interviews leaders from the world's fastest growing companies to get to the heart of what's really driving their growth. And now here's your host, Sean Ellis. Speaker 3 00:24 All right. In this episode, we'll look at trip actions. A B to B travel platform reportedly valued at $4 billion after only four years in business. So I'm speaking with our COO, Megan Eisenberg. And since she joined the team about 10 months ago, the overall team has tripled from a few hundred employees to over a thousand employees. So incredibly fast growth. And that's what I'm gonna really dig into with Megan and trying to figure out what is driving all of that growth. So Megan credits a lot of it to just amazing product market fit, really good product in a very large market. One of the advantages on the product side is that they launched four years ago, so that was after the iPhone was out. The legacy players have been around for a long time. And so they've been able to build a mobile first travel experience for the road warrior, which is really what they need. Speaker 3 01:12 So they're on the move. It's much easier to control the, uh, the travel experience with mobile versus having to pull out a computer. But companies love it because it helps them reduce their overall costs. Travel is one of their biggest costs and gain better control and visibility into the overall travel planning. And so in the interview, Megan's going to explain what she and her team are doing to keep this high rate of growth going. And obviously when you're growing that quickly, there's going to be a lot of challenges and just keeping alignment and everything else. So we'll dig into a lot of that. So let's get started. Hey Megan, welcome to the breakout growth podcast. Thank you for having me. I'm super excited to dig into trip actions with you. Um, I've been, uh, following it a bit for a while now and, and notice that in the 10 months that you've been there, uh, at least according to LinkedIn, it looks like the team size is more than triple to about a thousand people. That is some crazy growth. Speaker 4 02:16 It is. Marketing's grown from 10 to 50. Speaker 3 02:22 That's a, that's really exciting, I'm sure to be a part of that. Did you have any idea that it would grow that quickly when you, when you joined or, um, what attracted you to the opportunity? Speaker 4 02:33 Yeah, I, you know, actually I had some insight into it. The prior year we grew seven X, uh, this past year five X. And so, um, one of the things I think that matters when you're looking for a company, uh, to join, they're several things. Uh, certainly the people that you're going to join Ellen, Ellen, uh, or second time founders at building a company, uh, investors I think matter a ton. Uh, the VCs that are in a company are I think are strong indicators of, of growth. We, uh, have been Horowitz on our board and RF of Lightspeed. Um, and several other amazing investors and then, uh, amazing product market fit on a very large market. I would say there's not many markets larger. You know, we have a, uh, a Tam, pretty large addressable market. There's one point $5 trillion spent online, um, by businesses for travel every year. Speaker 3 03:30 Wow. So you, you did some of that research up front and looking at what the, what the market looked like and, and were you able to, to get any sort of product feedback before you, before you signed on to join? Speaker 4 03:42 Yeah, interestingly enough, um, at Mongo DB we were on Agencia and then before I left we had switched to concur. So I certainly understood the legacy providers. I had, not myself in a TripActions customer, but I had several folks that as I started to bring the name up, uh, were users of it and just responded with such love and passion. And we actually see it, our NPS scores above 50 and our customer sets above 90. And so I, as I started to learn more about the company and its customers, uh, you know, we were over 2000. Now we're over 3000 customers. And if you think about it, when I joined the company was four years old, uh, in order to have 2000 customers in four years when you probably have viable product at year one or two, and this is a pretty complex, uh, thing that you're, you're providing, uh, when it comes to booking and travel agency support, the fact that they had so many customers at such a high satisfaction, uh, told me there was something here for sure on product market fit and the fact that there was only 10 people in marketing, um, while that was a, an amazing marketing team, um, there had to be something there on the product side and that was leading to that kind of, Speaker 3 04:55 wow. So a four year old company that then has tripled just in the last 10 months in terms of people that's, um, why do you think, did, did it dial in, in that product market fit a little bit more during the, during the last 10 months? Or is it, is it more around how you guys are <inaudible> Speaker 4 05:11 no, I mean, we are constantly releasing new features. Uh, we are learning from our customers. We're obsessed with, um, our customer and traveler experience and taking that feedback and we're, um, iterating quickly. I mean, we launched things like the ability to change your flights within our app, uh, or even on the desktop. You know, every other solution you actually have to call in and talk to an agent if you want to change a booking, um, if you didn't book it straight through an airline or hotel. Uh, so just to be ability to, to change our flights. Um, we've adopted a lot of the most modern technologies like, um, the new storefronts, um, out there where we, we show you our inventory for flights on the ratings. It's a five star system, um, but it better allows them the airlines to, to show you airfares and statuses that, you know, the difference between, um, business class or economy or economy plus and across the different Island airlines, you know, they spend so much time on their branded fares, they want to make sure that they're correctly put in the right buckets and you can comparison shop across them. Speaker 4 06:22 So you know what you're getting. So we've done a lot of work, um, on the leading stuff that's out there in the industry. You know, we're just, we were invented after the iPhone, so we have all the advantages of an iPhone app of being able to collect tons and tons of data and to provide a much better personalized experience for our travelers on more modern. Speaker 3 06:42 That's amazing. So maybe we take a little bit of a step back and just, uh, even even just talk about kind of high level, what, what the product is and solution is. I mean, hopefully it's pretty clear by now that it's something to do in the, uh, in the, in the travel space. But maybe you can give a kind of quick snapshot of it. Speaker 4 07:01 Yeah. So, you know, if you think about businesses, the second largest controllable expenditure is travel and expense. So if you're a CFO and you're looking at your, you know, at your controllable expenses, you're, you're really trying to figure out how do I control these massive costs and how do I control the better we have delivered a solution that not only allows you to control your costs, to enforce your policy, um, but also to create an amazing traveler experience. And when you bring those together, if the Traveler's having a great experience, they actually adopt the tool. So we'd have over 90% adoption. And when they start using the tool, now you've got transparency into usage. You can do a lot better reporting, you can negotiate better rates with vendors, uh, and you just have a lot more insight around it. And then, um, with that, you can start to control and bring the spend down. Speaker 4 07:52 We see, uh, our companies save up to 34%, uh, annually, uh, when they implement us. So it's a big deal. Uh, and, and that world. Wow. So how do you guys then make money? Yeah, so I mean we, we certainly, there is a booking fee that you pay every time you book a trip. But how we're different than I would say the legacy players is we have one booking fee and that includes you book a flight hotel together, you have one booking fee, no matter how many times you need support, you can call in chat and whenever you want, we do not charge you more. Or you'll find with the legacy players, you call in, they charge you, you call an after hours, they charge you, you call from foreign country, they charge you and we would say they nickel and dime you and they're not very transparent on their fees. Speaker 4 08:38 Where you're, you're all in one a booking fee with us. You can forecast that out and it's a lot better way we believe, uh, to book because think about it, when you're on a trip and things are falling apart and your flight changes or is canceled, you're, you're at your lowest point of travel. The last thing you want to do is get charged $100 or $150 because you need to contact support or directed to not contact support. Um, because it costs too much every time. Uh, you can contact us as many times as you want and we're, we're really the only provider that has chat 80% actually of our travelers use chat. It's awesome. You're sitting there, you can do it on wifi, on the airplane. If you see your connections canceled or moved, you can chat with the agent and change something. Uh, you could be, you don't have to go wait in line customer success or support, I would say to get something changed or look up a phone number to call immediately. You're online and our response rates are under 60 seconds and they average about 20 seconds. And we publish that across to all our companies. The response rate of our chat agents and our phone agents both under 60 seconds. Speaker 3 09:43 Wow. That chats gotta be really important because I know, uh, when I'm on flights, they don't let you speak on the phone a lot of times. So being able to have chat, you can maybe jump the queue in terms of everyone who's trying to rebook if something Speaker 4 09:57 it gets canceled. Yes. And we have proactive support. We'll even reach out to when we see an issue, uh, and recommend a change or give you your options or to automatically rebook you on the next light. Speaker 3 10:10 And so you mentioned that, uh, that, that your solution was really created after the iPhone was, was, uh, it became popular. So, um, it is the mobile app experience a big part of the, Speaker 4 10:23 yes, we're a mobile first company. Everything we designed was mobile first. And so yeah, I would say the magic of our solution is when you're on that trip, it's those 40 steps that you take from booking the trip, going on the trip and returning. That just creates such a different experience than I had ever experienced with the other legacy players. Speaker 3 10:43 Yeah, it makes a lot of sense. So, as I, as I mentioned, I'm a, I'm a bit of a road warrior these days, so I definitely kind of understand that, that the worst thing is when you have to pull out your computer when you're at the airport to do something really quickly. And occasionally I'll need to do that where it's a lot easier if you're running between terminals to be punching things into your phone and kind of get it getting travel figured out while you're on the, on the phone. So that makes a lot of sense to have that benefit. One of the things you mentioned on the, on the product market fit or the value proposition side was that you have both the benefit to the traveler, but also the benefit to the kind of administrative and finance side where you're helping them control costs on the administrative and, and, and, uh, finance side. And then on the, on the travel or just that experience of, of being able to make changes on the fly. Um, so, so that's, that's an important part of being able to keep traction in these companies. Speaker 4 11:39 Yeah. Also, uh, the other huge benefit for finances, uh, accounting, reconciliation, uh, and with, uh, such a large amount of your spend, uh, companies are taking days to weeks to reconcile where, um, our product is helping them reconcile down to ours and, and flagging anomalies and different things like that. So it's just a much smarter way of, um, reconciling your TNE. Speaker 3 12:05 So why do you think, why do you think that the, it took so long for kind of the business travel to, to catch up to the capabilities and, and you know, it sounds like, it sounds like you guys have just really the perfect solution for, for business travelers, but that it sort of surprises me that those things weren't available five or 10 years ago. I guess maybe that the mobile phone that you mentioned Speaker 4 12:28 legacy players are 25 years old, right? Their travel management models were built 25 years ago and it's time, you know, certainly before the iPhones and, and consumerization of it are really across the enterprise. If you think about it, who came in and disrupted, you know, CRM, you had Salesforce with marketing, you had to HubSpot Marquetto on the product side, you had Atlassian finance and HR, maybe Workday, you know, to think about it, it is surprising that travel management, a one point $5 trillion market has been left behind and we haven't given, you know, solutions out there that support what the company needs to do to control costs while also giving that experience that users need. And until now those users were, were, were not, you know, they were not using the platforms provided they probably have half a 50% adoption rate. You know, you go in there to book something, they don't have what you want. Speaker 4 13:27 You bounce, you go to a consumer site and you book a hotel or you book a flight or you go direct to, you know, United. I certainly did. I would go direct to United and just book. I couldn't even be bothered with the tools we were using. And so then you lose the visibility and you have the runaway costs when travelers are, are not using your system. You know, I think it's just a factor of their legacy technology. It's hard to replatform it's, you know, you've got a basic customers. Um, and you know, it's, it's here we have modern technology, modern databases, and we're just able to, um, think about it from the consumer standpoint and the mobile standpoint and just re-engineer something very different. And actually, Arlen, Ilan didn't come from the travel industry and there was a lot of skepticism that they could be successful. How could outsiders come into the travel industry and disrupt it? Um, but actually that's the best thing about it is they came and looked at it from a very different perspective and solved with a very different way, which is I think key from a disruption standpoint. So what was their background before? So they, um, had sold a company to jive, which eventually was bought by HP. So they're, you know, and earlier days mercury interactive. Um, so heavy tech. Speaker 3 14:45 Okay, okay. Interesting. And then, so again, I mean it sounds like the, that the one that the growth is amazing that you're having right now and that a lot of it's based on product market fit. But if you, if you were to really sort of nail down what are the key factors in driving growth right now, what, what would you, what would you narrow it down to? Speaker 4 15:04 Yeah, I would certainly, as you said, product market fit. I would say execution. You know, we, our culture and values are, are really about raising the bar, working hard, running hard. And imagine if every single function at the company continues to run really hard or if you're all rowing in the same direction, how much faster you get there. And I think it starts at the top with our leaders. Um, you know, they have a strong vision and belief. They work hard. We have good work ethic, um, while staying humble, uh, to get all this done. And so, you know, you hire the right team and they're all working really hard. It's not, Hey, Oh, I can do that in the morning. No, I do it in the morning when you can do it tonight and do that across everything. And um, it's just impressive the speed at which we are building and running and hiring and then aligning. Speaker 4 15:55 We're very clear on our, our strategy and what we're doing and what we're focused on. Um, and you know, I was very lucky when I joined. We inherited, I inherited an amazing brand. They had redone the brand, uh, probably last August or two. Ah, not this year, but the prior year. And so I, I inherited amazing brand and decided to focus a lot on building pipeline, uh, content. Uh, we re, you know, we rebuilt our website, we wrote the code, um, wrote all the content. Um, but I, I had, I was lucky to have a great brand and a foreign brand. I mean, we're a fun, cool company that really thinks about travelers. I would say we're, you know, like a Zappos, if you're having a, you know, a rough day and your flights are changed or canceled and you get in late, we may just deliver you some wine and a dinner just to say, we know you've had a rough go of it. Here's something hopefully to ease it. And so we do really think about every single step along the way for our travelers. Speaker 3 16:59 That's great. I think when a, again, it just, because I'm on the road so much, I, I can definitely empathize with a lot of, of your customers and the, um, you know, the difference between travel being something that's, that's fun and exciting and, and you're out there and you're hustling versus something that's just wearing you down and, and driving you into the ground. It's, it's so much around that, that travel experience itself. And so it's a, it's, it's an interesting opportunity that you have to kind of push people into the, into the positive bucket and out of the negative bucket. Speaker 4 17:30 Yeah. I think the other thing that's part of the growth is on, on the legacy players, uh, implementation or change management, uh, can be over a year where we have customers implementing in 48 hours branch, uh, did less than 48 hours. Um, let go was less than a week. The, because of the way we've structured your, your ability to quickly set up policy and load your users and get them going is so much faster than I would say legacy technology that we can onboard companies very fast. Speaker 3 18:02 <inaudible> wow. And so when you, when you compare to what you were doing at Mongo DB and every business has different kinds of challenges and opportunities, are there some unique challenges and opportunities that you see at TripActions? Speaker 4 18:17 Yeah, I mean, I would say both have pretty large addressable markets. The database market's pretty large. Um, travel business travel I would say is even larger, but both and their, their segments quite large. Um, obviously we sell to different personas among new be we had developers and VPs of engineering and CEOs. Uh, but here we're, we're really targeting travel managers, CFOs, procurement. Um, but it's understanding those personas and understanding the pain that they're dealing with every day and then making sure that we're delivering, um, the right content and solution that they need to make a decision pretty quickly. Speaker 3 18:57 So what, um, so you mentioned, uh, travel managers, CFOs as, as kind of the profile that you're selling to. What's the typical company size? Speaker 4 19:06 Yeah, so I mean, we can address all company sizes. We have, uh, companies that, you know, spend a hundred thousand a year on travel to over a hundred million on travel. So, um, you know, all, all different ranges. Certainly there are different selling motions and different go to markets, um, that we're supporting across SMB, commercial, mid-market and enterprise. Speaker 3 19:32 And, and then, uh, looking at, so you talked about, you know, product market fit obviously plays a big role in the growth, but execution has, has been important as well. So from the marketing perspective in particular, how are you guys organized for, for, uh, growth? And I mean, in terms of why don't we start even just with you, what's, what's the scope of your responsibility as COO? Speaker 4 19:56 Yeah. So I have responsibility for all core marketing functions and growth. And so what does that mean? I'm aligned by function. I've got product marketing team, I have a growth team, I have a website systems team, I have a <inaudible> and APEC team. I have a corporate communications and brand team along with PR. Uh, and I have a field and events team and they're all focused on, you know, some across the entire funnel and others, you know, are focused more on awareness, uh, versus uh, pipeline, gen and closing business. And I also have a customer marketing Speaker 3 20:32 is product a different organization then? Speaker 4 20:35 Yes, product management is a different organization that we partner very closely with, of course, as we'd launch different features and products on the platform. Speaker 3 20:44 Yeah, that makes sense. And then, um, but you said that the team reports into you and not into product? Speaker 4 20:50 That's correct. Um, the growth team, I would equate more to a demand gen team, but yes. Speaker 3 20:56 Okay. And, and for demand gen is it, so it's mostly like channels then like, uh, your test testing. Speaker 4 21:03 We also, I also have a partner marketing team. So that's different from a, when you say partner channel partner, but from a, if you're talking social media, email, online kind of channel format, then that um, some of the programs are creating. Certainly actually all the problems are creating go out through the different marketing channels and we have a social media team and a influencer teams. Speaker 3 21:29 But, and then you also mentioned that you know, full funnel is part of what some of the teams are doing. So like for, for new customer onboarding, is that something that uh, that you, someone in your group does or someone on the product side or do you guys Speaker 4 21:43 elaborate on that customer success team? Uh, and we, you are assigned to CSM and they're really focused on onboarding and launching a, that's how we're able to get you out the door in less than 48 hours and up and running. Um, so that team, but we are certainly thinking about it from a marketing standpoint. What can we do to enable the CSM team? What can we do to help the travel managers get best practices right away? Get resources, network, uh, and then how do we amplify the success they're seeing so that we bring in, you know, we drive awareness and bring in net new customers in, in their, you know, world and segment. Speaker 3 22:21 And then even what about like for the actual traveler themselves, like getting, getting them to download the app and kind of iterating around that experience. Is that, is that something that, that the product team mostly focuses on? Speaker 4 22:36 A customer success is focused on that? Uh, so the CSM is working with the travel manager to drive, um, the awareness downloading and usage of <inaudible> Speaker 3 22:46 sorry. Are they actually iterating on, on that product experience of getting started with the product? Speaker 4 22:51 Certainly, yes, all the time. Thinking about that experience and how we streamline it. Speaker 3 22:56 And then S, sorry, have you already mentioned this, but so customer success reports into the marketing organization? Speaker 4 23:02 No, it does not actually. It reports into the chief customer officer who runs success and support. Speaker 3 23:09 Okay. Okay. Interesting. Obviously you guys have grown so quickly, so it's there. There's probably, there's always growing pains somewhat when you grow quickly. And you mentioned as one of the key factors is that having everyone rowing in the same direction and being aligned is something that you feel like you do really well there. Is that, is that something that you, you guys have have really actively worked to kind of foster that alignment and cross functional collaboration? Speaker 4 23:34 Yes. You know, I'm actually quite impressed by the leadership team. Every, every week we do a company all hands for about an hour. And uh, we often, you know, we're very in what's going on, we're very forthright on what our strategy is, what we're focused on, what are the metrics that we're driving. We talk a lot about our culture, we talk a lot about our mission and when we have different orange present on different topics and then we field a lot of questions. But I think being very upfront and, and focused on what our strategy and execution is and getting everyone aligned around it is a, is a big part of our ability to execute fast. And then just, we have a very high bar of excellence and we're always, you know, Speaker 5 24:20 Mmm. Speaker 4 24:22 You know, just stepping it up, there's always something better, something more that we can do, um, that could, you know, drive the business and create a better experience for our travelers. Speaker 3 24:33 And then, um, uh, do you guys have like an any, I'm sure you're familiar with this concept of a North star metric, but kind of a single metric that helps you gauge impact on that growing customer base or progress on mission or both? Speaker 4 24:48 Yeah, I mean we are very, we, we do do two of them. We do our NPS and our customer sat scores. So we're tracking each of them and we do it across all companies. But we also provide that to the travel managers. We have a, an amazing admin dashboard that allows them to see in real time traveler activity, travelers by groups and segments. What is the NPS of their travelers, what does their customer says faction. Um, so those are certainly key for us. And then we're looking at, uh, T bum, uh, total bookings under management and how quickly we're growing that. Speaker 3 25:24 Okay. So that would be kind of the expanding the breadth and then the other ones kind of controlling the quality as that, as that breath keeps expanding. Speaker 4 25:33 Yes. Speaker 3 25:34 Cool. And then is uh, is this, do both of those numbers get updated in the, in that weekly meeting that you talked about? Is it talked about much? Speaker 4 25:43 Yeah, they're actually updated. Um, every week. And we, we post our, our numbers on a trust and transparency side on our website. If you go under product or down to the footer and click on trust and transparency, you could see six of the metrics that we're following. Speaker 3 25:57 Wow, that's, that's cool that that's, I mean, so it's, it's transparent like outside of the company you're saying? Speaker 4 26:05 Yes. Yep. As well as <inaudible>. Speaker 3 26:07 Very cool. And then how much, how much testing do you do kind of across all these customer touch points to try to accelerate growth? Is, is testing a big part of the culture there? Speaker 4 26:17 For sure. We're constantly testing to optimize our efforts, whether that's in our product with our customers and users or in marketing with our strategies and tactics to drive awareness, purchase and use. We're doing a lot of work on web optimization, um, you know, working with our sales team, what are different things that we should be trying. But yeah, I think that's the fun part about marketing certainly in, in growth. But the fun part about it is, um, you know, you're always, and you want to have an innovative culture. I want my team, I expect that we will fail on some things and not others just because we're, we're testing different ideas and I want them to do that. If we get too conservative, we're not going to innovate and we're not going to, you know, take the market. Speaker 3 27:00 Sorry. Are you comfortable sharing anything that maybe didn't work out as well as you hoped it would from the test? Speaker 4 27:05 Oh, I definitely think about that. I mean, we certainly have had things, um, I don't know if I have anything off the top. Speaker 3 27:11 Yeah, we can come back to it if something jumps out at you. But, um, let's kinda take a look at the overall sort of customer experience from first discovering trip actions to, to what, how does a company become super engaged in a, in a big advocate or you know, somebody who's really being one of those, uh, net promoter giving you a nine or a 10. Um, what's, what's that path look like? Speaker 4 27:38 Yeah, we actually have a ton of inbound coming to our site, uh, signing up for demos. And probably the most prominent thing on our site is you can sign up and get a demo and we see really high conversions off that. Um, so I would say organic is, is running well, uh, paid search is running well. Um, and then we certainly have gotten our fair share of coverage this year, um, which is driving, you know, a lot inbound. Uh, and we've, we've upped our field marketing, I would say an event at where we're at. So if someone comes in, they take a demo, um, and uh, you know, we go through this, the sales qual process and then, uh, close them. And, and onboarding, as I said, is pretty quick. Anywhere from, you know, two days to probably six weeks, uh, to get folks up and going Speaker 3 28:32 for the events that you mentioned, what would be a typical type of event that you would, uh, do? Speaker 4 28:37 Yeah, so I mean we've certainly have industry events. GBTA, global business travel association has a large event, uh, every year. Uh, BTN has some events, gift has events. Uh, and then we've certainly have CFO vents, like money, 20, 20, a lot of procurement events and partner events. And then we on our own and the, and the different, uh, regions, which we try to, you know, do some fun stuff to get people engaged and to build relationships. Speaker 3 29:06 Great. And, um, so, so you mentioned that that the onboarding is anywhere from like a couple of days to maybe six weeks. What, um, do you ever have sort of, uh, people who aren't effectively onboarding and, and, and maybe give up on it? What and if so, what's the difference between the successful ones and the less successful? Speaker 4 29:28 You know, we are actually quite fortunate that our adoptions quite high. Uh, when someone, um, is, is signing up and then implementing, so signing the contract and then starting to book travel. And we've gotten it down a pretty good science from a CSM standpoint. And from a sales standpoint, you know, you don't, you don't get paid out just for signing up a customer until they start booking. So we're very much aligned to bringing on customers who are going to implement and start booking and, um, you know, going through all the right discussions to make sure that, you know, they're ready and they understand. And then we do a lot of work just to make sure they're successful on implementation because of that. You know, you don't really, you don't make money and if they're not booking and you have to make sure that they're booking and then that they have an amazing experience right away. So every, that's why it matters. You know, part of our values is it's about every user, every single one of them. You know, you can't afford to not have folks having a good experience on your platform or the, or they don't adopt it. Speaker 3 30:32 <inaudible>. So when you said that they, that they sign a contract, there, they, are, they essentially like giving you exclusivity to their travel or what are they agreeing to since they don't really pay until they tell they book the travel. Speaker 4 30:44 Oh, well, I mean, you're signing up for the platform. You're, you're signing up for, you know, being able to login and load your users and set your policy. You know, you're, you're agreeing to the booking fee and I guess the rules of engagement when you may have certain vendors that you want negotiated contracts with that are part of that certain rates, we can help you on all of that. Speaker 3 31:08 Okay. So they're not like making a kind of minimum commitment or anything, it's just, just more about, okay, we're, we're agreeing to try to make <inaudible>. Speaker 4 31:16 Yeah. I mean, I haven't really heard it described that way, but yeah. I mean, you're, you're either going from unmanaged to having a managed program or you're moving off onto the legacy providers, uh, over or so you're, you know, you're unplugging from one and plugging into the next, Speaker 3 31:31 right. Yeah. It just, uh, the reason that I was asking from that direction as a, seems like it because it is sort of transaction driven in terms of where the, where the revenue is. It's um, it's, it's interesting that it's, that even requires a contract. I mean it's almost feels like almost feels like you could gradually pull away some of that business. But um, obviously I don't understand it that well. So that's why I want to dig in a little bit more. Speaker 4 31:54 Yeah. We don't let the individ you know, we do actually have self service. Very small companies can go and sign up, but they still have to sign a contract through that process. It's just they're doing it online and not with a sales rep. <inaudible> Speaker 3 32:07 and so then, then you also mentioned that um, NPS is really high. Is there, are there <inaudible> how important are referrals to the, to the actual, so when you, you also said organic, a lot of people are top of funnel just getting there and signing up for the demo. So is that mostly coming in through those referrals? Speaker 4 32:24 I, I, it's not just referrals, but word of mouth is a big part of it. You know, having social proof and the, you know, in the different, um, industries even, you know, we're not just tech, we're retail and we're oil and gas and chemical and finance and you know, we've got a ton of different companies across different industries and they're, you know, they do look to their industry cohort to see what they're using. Um, and to, you know, it, it reduces risk when they, in their minds, when they see their, their industry on it. And so all of that word of mouth matters a ton. And certainly if you're using it at a company and every employee that travel uses it, and we have people that, you know, people change from companies to companies and we have a ton that will bring us in. They'll go to a new company that doesn't have us and they'll say, no, we've got to have TripActions like bring them in. <inaudible> Speaker 3 33:15 so is it, is it typically then the kind of administrative type people when they go to a new company or, or even did the user start asking for, Speaker 4 33:23 Oh, we, we've had, uh, the administrative travel managers go to a new company and bring us in and we've had the users go, you know, heavy sales travelers demand that the company get TripActions. Speaker 3 33:35 And then I guess the last part of that, that engine is that, that sort of ongoing engagement, what, what does the typical usage pattern look like for both the user and for an admin? Like would they be accessing weekly or just when around travel on the user side and then on the, uh, on the administrative side, is it something that they, that they engage with pretty regularly? Speaker 4 33:58 Yeah, I mean, our administrators are in there all the time looking at, you know, NPS, maybe they have duty of care, things that they're looking at. They're pulling reports, uh, for finance. Uh, they're negotiating contracts or working with us to negotiate contracts with, uh, inventory providers. And I would say our admins are certainly in there. Uh, or if there's a question that comes up, uh, and the travelers, it depends, you know, they'll, they'll be heavy road warriors that travel once a week, um, that are booking trips all the time or their EAs are booking trips for them. Uh, there's executives that are traveling and then there's some that maybe travel, you know, a handful of times a year if that. And then some that maybe just go once a year. So we've got, you know, usage depends on your role on how much you need to travel certainly. Speaker 3 34:48 And then when that road warriors traveling, do you, do you actually have the, um, their, their travel agenda in the app as well? Like where Speaker 4 34:56 we did, so you and I obviously use TripActions myself, but it's on the app. It pulls up my, uh, itinerary. I know my hotel, I know obviously all the flight information, it, you know, it helps me when I need to check in. When I land it automatically, you can pull in Lyft or Uber and it'll auto populate the location you're going to. So you don't have to go look it up on your calendar. Cut. And paste the address or trying to search. Yeah. It's just stuff like that that just makes the trip so much more smooth and then automatically clicks your invoices and receipts. Uh, we integrate with expensive FYS, so easy to do expenses. Uh, there's just a lot of, um, things that they really thought about from traveler standpoint. And so the app's awesome and itinerary stuff's great. Speaker 3 35:41 And does it give updates like if the, if, if you have delays on a flight or something? Speaker 4 35:46 Wow. Yes. Yeah, it does. Even a couple of days before it'll say, Hey, you're, you know, you're getting ready for your trip. Here's some things to think about. Uh, so it kind of checks in with the traveler, uh, as well. Speaker 3 35:58 I think even that from a, uh, just the, um, end user Traveler's side just seems, if I compare that to the PDFs of flight itineraries and other things that I'm getting, when I, when I have, uh, you know, outside companies booking travel, for me, it, uh, it's really hard to keep track of all of that. So Speaker 4 36:16 it is, and trying to go find those and look them up where we just have an integrated and all your loyalty programs are loaded in there as well. So it's automatically, you know, I'm, um, I do a lot with Marriott Bonvoy when I'm traveling, so, you know, they're automatically and they're accruing. I fly United a lot based out of SFO. Uh, so all of that, just being able to have that in there and automatically on there. Certainly your passport information, uh, olden, uh, just makes everything, um, easy. Speaker 3 36:46 Yeah, I can actually even see the benefit of when I've landed and a lot of times like a car will be at the airport to pick me up, sent by like kind of an organizer of a, an event and I don't even know where I'm staying for the hotel sometimes. And then I'm going through immigration and they're asking me, where are you staying? And I'm like, Oh my God, I have no idea where I'm standing. So just having all of that consolidated must be super convenient. So I think that again, that that points to the potential of making a great travel experience versus a grinding where you down travel experience. Speaker 4 37:19 Yeah. And how we're so dramatically different. We are your booking tool and your travel agency all in one. So when you chat in or call in, we know who you are immediately. We know your company's policies. We don't have to ask you, you don't take five minutes to figure out who you are to figure out how to help you. We know immediately what your plan is, what trip you're on, where you are in the world, uh, what you need, who you prefer, uh, and the company's policies so we can keep you in policy. Wow. That's great. Speaker 3 37:49 And do you ever work with individual people or individual business travelers or is it, is it always companies? Speaker 4 37:57 No, I mean it's the end of when, when you say, do we work with, I mean it's the end of the world traveler that's chatting in. Yeah. Speaker 3 38:02 Yeah. I'm dying. I'm now becoming selfish and saying, gosh, that sounds like it would be super useful for me. But as I as an individual on my own, but I'm, I'm, Speaker 4 38:11 yes, yes. Like what you were saying. No. You know, if you, if your company uses it, you can use us for personal travel. So there's a toggle and you can switch to personal, it's your card information and then if you booked a trip through us, then yes you get access to our agents and all the support we give to our business travelers just by nature of being part of a business that's on there. But we don't, we don't target consumers or just consumers for personal travel if they're not associated. Speaker 3 38:38 Yeah, no, mine's still business travel, but it's just a, an individual business travel. I think it's Speaker 4 38:44 throttle over a hundred thousand dollars worth of travel a year though. I bet. Speaker 3 38:50 Cool. Well then I better let you get back to things. So I'll wrap up with just a couple more quick questions here. So one is I, I like to just ask, you know, obviously you've experienced a ton in the last 10 months and I know you have a lot more experience before that as well. So is there something over the last couple of years that you feel like you understand about growth today? Probably a lot better than you did even a couple of years ago. Speaker 4 39:14 Yeah. You know, I think it's the job of the COO to align the company around your story and to have it be the right story and um, there's power and everyone understanding the story, talking to the same story and extending that out. And so more than ever making sure that, um, you've, you've got it down, it makes sense, it resonates with the personas you're talking to and then you've enabled the field on it. Uh, I think helps with growth, being lockstep with your sales team and your sales leadership, making sure you're aligned on your targets and goals and there's a really strong feedback loop and that you're, you're giving feedback, taking feedback and iterating and working together I think is a big part of a go-to-market engine and the success of one. Speaker 3 39:57 Great, well that, that definitely maps with some of the takeaways that I'm getting from, from the different parts of our conversation today. Like, I think the, in addition to aligning around the story when you talked about just the fact that everyone is, is like, you use the rowing analogy kind of rowing in the same direction. And a lot of that is driven by these weekly meetings where you have a, were you really coming back to the kind of vision and mission and progress and um, everyone's understanding what their role is and then obviously layering that on top of great product market fit. So having a really good solution in a really big market that, um, clearly was not being served very well before you guys came onto the scene. So it, uh, it feels like there's a lot of things aligning there that are leading to this incredible growth that you guys are having. Speaker 4 40:44 Yes, thank you. Speaker 3 40:46 Well, I really appreciate you sharing with the listeners today and, um, and to the listeners, thank you everyone for tuning in. Speaker 1 40:53 <inaudible> Speaker 2 40:58 thanks for listening to the breakout growth podcast. Please take a moment to leave us a review on your favorite podcast platform and while you're at it, subscribe. So you never miss a show until next week.

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