Transformation projects can sometimes feel like a luxury when you’re part of a rapidly growing small or medium-sized business (SMB).
But growing businesses tend to outgrow their processes pretty fast, and preserving outmoded processes is like navigating a dark house with only a candle instead of investing in a full lighting system. You may be able to get by for a while, but your view will be limited, and progress tends to happen at a much slower pace.
During World Tour 2022, I’ll be sitting down with Salesforce Regional Vice President Merlin Luck to discuss how to drive small business transformation, so make sure to register and tune in. In the meantime, I’d like to share a few outcomes that demonstrate the ROI of this sort of transformation and the value of scalable processes — a ‘full lighting system’, if you will.
How our journey started
When I joined the business, Itoc was in the midst of starting its growth journey — and some sales platforms had outgrown the smaller scale. These earlier systems had served their purpose in the earlier stages of business but lacked the features to take us into the next growth phase.
In previous organisations, I had seen how much the right Salesforce instance could empower sales teams through a single, 360-degree view of leads and customers. To harness this potential and support continued growth, I knew we’d need to empower the existing sales team with a centralised, data-driven approach. We executed a data cleanse and an initial audit to determine which data we needed to get the ball rolling. Over two weeks, we implemented Salesforce and then spent an additional two weeks refining initial insights.
While no transformation project is ever perfectly seamless, and while Merlin and I will be getting into more details around how we did it, let’s take a quick look at some of the results.
1. Three-fold acceleration of sales cycle
After integrating some of our existing systems into Sales Cloud and DocuSign, we were able to streamline and expedite our sales cycles dramatically.
Previously, the average sales cycle ran for roughly two weeks. Now, sales professionals can complete discovery-to-proposal within three to five days while managing a more significant pipeline. That’s at least a three-fold acceleration of the sales cycle, with sales reps now delivering two or three times the established opportunity closure.
2. Go-to-market strategy transformed in one month
By gaining a complete view of customer data, we were able to determine where to invest our energy and resources, whether in terms of specific industries or products. This process helped us map a better path to growth, one that was evidence-backed and data-driven.
For example, we initially thought our customer base was heavily weighted in the financial services industry. After digging deep into the data, we uncovered additional business growth opportunities in industries such as health, eCommerce and Retail.
Through these types of insights, we were able to enhance and complement our existing go-to-market strategy within the first month of implementation.
3. Increased headcount three-fold
For the last two years, Itoc has doubled its headcount each year. While retaining and developing the right talent is crucial for supporting transformation projects, it’s just as important to make sure your teams are equipped with the right systems that can meet new expectations around hybrid workplaces and user-friendly, less manual tools.
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4. Revenue growth and business predictability
While revenue might not be the only important metric, it’s undoubtedly one of the most critical ones if you’re looking to prove ROI for your transformation project.
Two years ago, Itoc went through an organisational shift across processes, people and systems. Six months later, we began our digital transformation and — six months after that — we saw consistent revenue growth and business predictability. A year later, we doubled it again.
This outcome is a testament to our people, purpose, and commitment to our clients. But transformation also helped us simplify our sales processes, reduce overheads, and gain clean data integrity — factors that contributed to this performance in a very tangible, measurable way.
5. Consistent growth
It’s not just about spikes in revenue. It’s also that Itoc is experiencing consistent growth. This sort of growth is as much a measure of ROI as it is an imperative to keep evolving and scaling how we work.
For SMBs with the right talent, purpose, and products, it’s common to see significant growth and realise that not all of your processes or systems are fit to keep up. Investing in long-term solutions can help you lay the foundation to scale flexibly and adjust systems according to rapidly changing business needs. It can also provide insights to understand those changing business needs rather than making assumptions with incomplete evidence.
Transforming a growing business isn’t easy, but the benefits we’ve seen at Itoc prove that it’s a necessary step for charting a sustainable path forward. And quick wins like shorter sales cycles, better insights, and more targeted planning can make that long-term transition feel a lot more achievable.
We all know it’s not just about the ‘why’, it’s also the ‘how’. Watch Itoc’s session from World Tour Sydney 2022 to hear more about their transformation and how they made it happen — only on Salesforce+.