Small business owners do it tough. Stressed about day-to-day operations, it can be hard to find the time and energy to think ‘big picture’. Particularly when the big picture requires an injection of capital. Many small businesses lack the financial literacy needed to make the best decisions about taking out loans. They may not realise that some business loans suit specific circumstances; others don’t.
Valiant Finance is solving this problem. How does Valiant Finance do this? It has created an online business loan marketplace that brings together over 100 loan products from 60 lenders. To match a small business to the right loan product, it uses an intelligent loan matching algorithm. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it takes the guesswork out of finding the right loan.
From day one, Valiant Finance has used Heroku to build its platform, and then integrate its algorithms into the website for a seamless user experience. Heroku has proved invaluable for the small team of developers at Valiant Finance – as it so easy to get the company’s apps out in front of real users, and then iterate fast.
“It is pretty amazing to have a dev-ops, systems engineer and analytics engineer in one box. This is what we get with Heroku. Plus, it is a scalable solution that also gives us invaluable reporting and analytics,” said Co-Founder & Head of Product, Ritchie Cotton.
While a smart algorithm is at the heart of Valiant Finance’s success, it’s the human touch that really sets the business apart.
“We are a hybrid of a traditional finance company and a cloud based technology company – but when it comes to the crunch we are a customer service organisation. Once the algorithm has produced a recommendation for a customer, our Credit Solutions team is ready and waiting to answer any questions and guide them towards a decision,” Cotton said.
Given this, it’s critical that the credit team has easy access to customer data. Via Salesforce, the team can instantly pull up a customer’s complete history and make accurate recommendations about the shortlisted loans. The team is trained to advise on the customer’s evolving credit journey, including those times that it may not be in the customer’s best interests to take out a loan just yet.
Internally, Salesforce helps Valiant Finance make more strategic business decisions. Reports on revenue, team performance, referrer relationships, and even the reliability of lenders’ criteria can be pulled up on the fly – any team member can access reports to help guide daily operations.
Salesforce streamlines workflows, too. As a new customer lead comes in, it is auto-assigned based on certain characteristics. Then, the sales team can track the customer’s status through the pipeline and easily see what work needs to be done.
For the marketing team, Pardot has automated a large proportion of the customer journey and day-to-day tasks like follow-ups with customers and lenders. Given that email campaigns are a powerful tool for Valiant Finance, this lead scoring and automation allows the team to focus their time on more strategic tasks.
Cotton sums up the benefits of Salesforce in four words: “efficiency, scalability, manageability and transparency.”
“When the credit team is on the phone to a customer, they don’t have to search through spreadsheets to find the information they need. When management has to make an important business decision, the reports that will guide the decision are instantly available. When a sales rep needs fast access to lender or partner details, it’s at their fingertips.”
“Salesforce simply makes our life easy. And it will make life even easier as we grow.”