Charting new waters: Royal Caribbean leads the way with prestigious sales award

Charting new waters: Royal Caribbean leads the way with prestigious sales award
Royal Caribbean sales and leadership team: (L-R) Grant Van Ulbrich, Stuart Byron, with Maria Peterson (ISP), Ben Bouldin Vice President, Patrick Joiner (ISP) Shaun Lyons, Torey Kings-Hodkin

Royal Caribbean International is celebrating a new milestone in its dedication to guest experience by winning a second prestigious award from the Institute of Sales Professionals (ISP).

The Investor in Sales award is achieved when a sales team passes the ISP’s registration exam which tests selling skills and knowledge, professional ethics, and decision-making. The exam must be taken every two years to make sure those skills are kept up to date. Royal Caribbean’s latest award runs from 2023 to 2025.

At least 75% of a sales team needs to pass the exam to win the award, but in a clear commitment to professional, ethical selling, 100% of Royal Caribbean sales teams across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, (EMEA) Latin America and Asia Pacific have passed the exam. The number of Royal Caribbean salespeople sitting and passing the ethical registration test has also risen by an impressive 30% since their first award in October 2020, showing the company’s determination to lead the way with the continuous professional development of its people.

Ben Bouldin, vice president of Europe, Middle East and Africa at Royal Caribbean International, said: “We invest heavily in our sales teams with the aim of being a best-in-class example of professional ethics and conduct, not just in the cruise sector but across all sectors. The support our teams have received from the ISP has been invaluable and this award is a brilliant recognition of our efforts.

”We’ve worked on this project at an international level which means our sales teams across the world, including Singapore, Australia and Mexico, have really bought into this programme. I’m delighted we are moving as one and leading the way in our commitment to ethical selling.

“Our relationship with the ISP and our drive for continuous professional improvement has also helped us retain and attract the best sales talent to our business. Those joining know that they have the opportunity to build their career by developing their business skills and sales education.”

Grant Van Ulbrich, director international sales transformation at Royal Caribbean International and the first ever recipient of a doctorate in professional studies with a focus on sales transformation, said: “Customers want to be at ease buying from salespeople they trust who work to a high ethical standard. Outdated sales tips and tricks have no place in professional selling.

“Through our relationship with the ISP, our bespoke ethics programme forms part of a recognised sales accreditation process that has had an excellent response from our sales teams. We’re proud to be a pioneering force within the cruise industry with investment in our people being our top priority.”

Patrick Joiner, managing director, Institute of Sales Professionals added: "It has been an inspiration working alongside the team at Royal Caribbean as they have established the ISP as an integral part of their sales development programme. The passion, enthusiasm and creativity they bring to the task of supporting salespeople across continents, multiple languages and time zones is exceptional.

"Their commitment to being the standard-bearer for ethical selling in their industry is second to none. Not only have they supported their in-house sales teams to achieve our Fair ethics certification, they have also rolled it out across their travel agency partnerships.

"The Investor in Sales Award is a fitting recognition of a pioneering approach that is raising standards and delivering improved customer experiences across all their sales channels.”

The award presented to Royal Caribbean was accepted by Ben Bouldin vice president EMEA at Royal Caribbean on behalf of Bert Hernandez, senior vice president of international sales, Angie Stephen vice president of sales for Singapore and south-east Asia, Gavin Smith, vice president of sales for Australia and New Zealand and Alberto Munoz Quiroz, associate vice president of sales Latin America and the Caribbean in recognition of their sales teams.

Ethical code of conduct

The ISP’s professional ethics exam is based on the Institute’s Fair programme. Salespeople who are members of the Institute sign up to our code of conduct, pledging to Follow the rules; provide Appropriate solutions in the best interests of their customers, stakeholders and the organisations they work for; act with Integrity; and Raise the bar with continuing professional development.

Once a salesperson has passed the exam, they appear on the Institute’s professional register of competent, ethical salespeople.

The exam is not a simple test. To pass, candidates must score at least 85% and a new exam has to be taken every two years so salespeople need to keep their skills and knowledge up to date to remain on the register.

To learn more about the ISP’s Fair programme please follow the link, because customers and businesses depend on sales professionals and organisations they can trust.

About Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean International, owned by Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL), offers holidays to 240 destinations in 61 countries on six continents and has been delivering innovation at sea for more than 50 years. Click here to learn more about the company:

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