Matthew Geldard was among those whom walked away from the financial services industry in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis, choosing instead to follow his passion for tourism and sailing by starting up a small chartering service with his friend's boat in Brisbane.
The business has grown from humble beginnings into AdventureFree – a full advice travel agency with industry dominating comparison websites which follow the simple doctrine of 'Find, Compare and Book'. AdventureFree delivers travel product advice to a large number of clients across a significant product range, all while maintaining a personal touch. Brands include SailFree, FraserFree, ReefFree, WhaleFree and OutbackFree, with a roll out plan for more brands over the coming months.
By standardising and developing industry leading sales processes within the Salesforce Sales Cloud, AdventureFree has become a business that is rapidly scaling with minimal incremental cost.
Based on efficiency Geldard is delighted when asked by peers how many people he employs – still only a few. He says " We are rapidly scaling our model, all while maintaining our headcount."
Their sales process also provides strong guidance to new salespeople. "There's no need for us to invest heavily in training or hire specialists – Salesforce captures and controls our sales process well beyond what we thought what was possible, and this underpins our ability to deliver the controlled yet rapid roll out of our brands " says Geldard.
Specifically, SailFree.com.au is a SalesForce Platform success story. The SailFree website in particular has been designed and built in Salesforce. SailFree.com.au offers customers a simple way to choose and customize their sailing holiday based on three core page templates: Home, Search, and Vessels. Integration with the Sales Cloud delivers a CRM back office for managing customer interactions and ensuring excellent customer service.
Building the business on a Salesforce Platform foundation has given SailFree the agility to expand geographic reach with no further website development. What was essentially a one-boat service now boasts over 200 vessels – 80% of Australia's yachts for charter, and with supply agreements now in place for another 500 vessels worldwide for release in the coming months.
Linking online data to internal pricing tools means loading a new vessel onto the website is as simple as loading data into a couple of custom objects. Where other businesses have a to-do list of changes to make at the end of each month, SailFree can update its web data on the fly. Services stay current and maintenance stays low.
"I haven't had to redesign the platform since we first set it up," explains Geldard.
"Each charter can be quoted within three minutes using the auto-pricing tool developed within Salesforce, versus 18 minutes manually," says Geldard. "More importantly, quotes are processed instantly in response to enquiries, not amassed in the inbox."
SailFree is now Australia's largest domestic private yacht charter brokerage. It attributes its growth in no small part to its choice of system, Salesforce Platform, which provides it with the flexibility to scale quickly and easily.