United Airlines this summer made available a new self-service portal for corporate and agency customers. Now it’s training salespeople on the internal component of the platform. Based on Salesforce, the customer relationship management tool is meant to streamline planning and interactions with existing and prospective corporate clients.
The CRM system is on the same platform as the Jetstream portal, which lets customers view their spending data and manage soft dollars. That means all sides are viewing the same data, said Karen Catlin, managing director of United’s worldwide sales resources. By using it, the carrier’s salespeople can automate much of their work, freeing them to be more consultative with customers, she said.
United vice president of sales Jake Cefolia said that while Jetstream helps the airline be more relationship-oriented, “now we’re enhancing more of the science to the sale, with more discipline to tackle opportunities with customers. If we have long term-strategic objectives, this allows us to be more systematic in what activities we engage in and how we track progress. We look more coordinated to the customer, and more cohesive.”
The platform will help the sales team track leads, quickly view objectives and prepare for contract renewals. It allows for collaboration among account mangers around the globe. Cefolia said coordination with United’s joint venture partners would come in a later phase. He even suggested the Salesforce system could one day play a role in actual contracting.
United expects full adoption in January.