Complete Cruise Solution is overhauling its UK trade sales team from next month in a bid to manage small and medium-sized travel agents more effectively.

CCS – which represents P&O Cruises, Cunard Line, Ocean Village Holidays, and Princess Cruises – has split its field sales team in two. Nine staff will be dedicated to multiples such as Thomas Cook, Thomson and The Co-operative Travel, and four to independents.

The teams will no longer work on a geographical basis nor deal with account management; instead they will focus on training and brochure racking.

For the first time, agents with revenues of under £2 million a year will be managed by a new Southampton-based account team of three. Larger agents already receive this service.

CCS has an ‘active’ relationship with around 300 agents. Head of sales Mark Pilkington said: “We feel we can give them [small and medium-sized agents] a more consistent service with a weekly phone call rather than a quarterly visit by the field team.

“We want to move away from cup-of-tea account management so small and medium sized businesses can grow their business with us in a more proactive way.”

There are plans for the new account management team to specialise by, for example, having a staff member dedicated to entrepreneurial agents.

Meanwhile, CCS is bringing its 20 onboard sales staff, who sell future cruises to customers during their holiday, into its main sales team to interact more with agents.

This is part of a bid to get agents to support the onboard programme as CCS attempts to double its onboard cruise bookings, for which agents still receive commission. Each year half of CCS’ business is from repeat customers.

The restructure comes as Pilkington admitted the company “was not out of the woods yet” in terms of late sales for this summer. He added: “There is still a fair bit to go but each week we are selling a bit more than we need to.”