Case Study

Southeast Asia's largest SME financing business scales client acquisition through specialization & automation

A leading SME financing business was struggling to acquire new customers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, management was having difficulty motivating the sales team to continue prospecting, with several reps claiming that their account management workload alone was overwhelming their schedule.  Working with senior management, we first proposed to restructure the sales team so that reps would specialize as either 'hunters' or 'farmers'. Then, we implemented a sales engagement platform to help the reps automate their outbound prospecting efforts, and designed a comprehensive training program to enable both the 'hunters' to have more effective phone-based conversations and the 'farmers' to better handle difficult client situations. The engagement helped the financer to triple their new client acquisition in the following months, and set them up with a technology playbook that they could roll out to their regional subsidiaries.

The Full Story

The Situation

A leading SME financing business was struggling to acquire new customers organically.

At FinancingCo*, every sales rep was responsible for both customer acquisition and account management, and outbound prospecting was executed through a spreadsheet shared between 9 sales reps.

Many startups have built their success keeping technology costs low while growing their sales teams. But times were changing; the sales team had reached a size where monitoring individual reps’ activities was becoming a burden for sales operations. Additionally, management was having difficulty motivating the sales team to continue prospecting, with several reps claiming that their account management workload alone was overwhelming their schedule.

Our Approach

Together with senior management, we designed an engagement to help the sales reps achieve optimal productivity. The engagement involved four steps:

  • Specialize reps as either ‘hunters’ or ‘farmers’ so each individual can better focus on one task rather than switching between multiple work modes.

  • Implement a sales engagement software to replace the shared spreadsheet and allow for more sophisticated prospect outreach.

  • Overhaul the sales messaging being sent to prospects and customers to increase meeting conversion rates.

  • Train the sales reps on phone-based messaging and how to handle difficult client situations.

The Results

1

An Exponential Increase In Customer Acquisition: Monthly new customer acquisition increased by an average of 300% when measured during two post-engagement monthly review sessions.

2

Better Reporting: Daily, weekly and monthly activity reporting is now 75% automated, saving sales operations hours of time per week while allowing for more granular insight into the performance of sales campaigns and individual reps.

3

A Platform For Expansion: FinancingCo is currently working to roll-out the sales engagement software to their subsidiaries across Southeast Asia.

*We take our client’s confidentiality seriously. While we’ve changed their names, the results are real.

In 2 months, the client succeeded in both restructuring their sales team and implementing a new technology platform which their 16 sales reps now use on a daily basis. The speed of this transformation is a direct testament to the vision and leadership ability of the Chief Commercial Officer, who oversaw this engagement from Day 1. I have never seen a project of this scale completed so quickly and deliver real, tangible results for the business in such a short time frame.

- Stephen Gonzalez, SAGE Co-Founder & Engagement Lead