Kasvu Open Ltd

With Salesforce, we can make a bigger contribution to the Finnish economy by helping more SMEs realise their growth ambitions.”

- Jaana Seppälä, CEO at Kasvu Open


open rate on segmented emails


Kasvu Open helps hundreds of SMEs maximise their growth potential with Salesforce

SMEs may be small but their impact on the economy is mighty. They fuel economic growth, accelerate innovation, and provide employment opportunities to a diverse demographic. Kasvu Open, originally a subsidiary of the Central Finland Chamber of Commerce, has one goal: to connect SMEs with high growth potential to the industry experts who can help them thrive.

Competition to participate in the nonprofit’s free programme is fierce: only 350 of the 800 applicants are successful every year. “Our small team work closely with two partner companies to run events and match SMEs with advisors from our pool of 1,700 experts,” explained Jaana Seppälä, CEO at Kasvu Open. “With Salesforce, we can make a bigger contribution to the Finnish economy by helping more SMEs realise their growth ambitions.”

The programmes run by Kasvu Open are funded by corporate sponsors with mentors offering their time and knowledge on a pro bono basis. “People are excited by the idea of helping SMEs to succeed and want to share best practices for the good of the many across Finland,” said Seppala.

Website integration simplifies application process for SMEs.

To ensure it delivers maximum value to programme participants, Kasvu Open wanted to simplify its processes and improve communications. “We need a central CRM platform to help us increase visibility and efficiency,” explained Leena Räisänen, Business Development Manager at the nonprofit. “Salesforce helps us to manage thousands of relationships that underpin our growth programmes.”

Kasvu Open is just as unique as the SMEs it supports, which meant it needed a CRM platform that could be easily customised to match its requirements. “Our partner Ceili understands our business and customised Salesforce to enable key integrations and specific automated workflows.”

For example, by integrating Sales Cloud with its website, Kasvu Open has simplified the application process for SMEs and reduced administration for its team.

SMEs apply online for a place on one of 20 sector-specific Growth Paths. The application is captured in Sales Cloud and assessed by a panel of experts. Applicants are selected based on their growth potential, the nature of their business, references, and their customer base.

Centralised data boost collaboration with partners.

To better understand programme applicants and participants, Kasvu Open uses an analytics tool, which is also integrated with Sales Cloud. This means data can be visualised in

user-friendly reports and dashboards. “Being accountable to our sponsors is really important to secure ongoing funding,” commented Räisänen. “With Salesforce, we can tap into real-time insights that help predict how many SMEs might need our support in the future.”

The team can access data on the road via the Salesforce Mobile App, which maximises productivity. Improved and centralised access to data also helps the Kasvu Open team work smarter with its two partners. “We organise around 88 events a year and our partners are key to their success,” said Seppälä. “By giving them access to Salesforce, we can make sure we’re not duplicating efforts and everyone has visibility of all applications and relevant communications.”

When a series of events had to be cancelled at short notice, Kasvu Open used an existing integration between Sales Cloud and Howspace to deliver them digitally instead.

Smarter segmentation improves email open rates.

Kasvu Open keeps applicants and previous programme participants updated with a monthly newsletter and targeted communications. “Before Salesforce we had no way to track engagement levels,” said Seppälä. “We can now build stronger connections and create more compelling content for around 20,000 contacts.” Segmentation has already helped to push open rates up to 50% for emails sent to new leads.

Kasvu Open also engages on social media on a daily basis, which helps it maintain connections with its customers, partners, and the public. “With Pardot, we can communicate more effectively and accurately on social media channels and personalise posts for different segments,” confirmed Seppälä.

Kasvu Open helps Finland’s economy thrive.

With more processes automated and applications digitalised, the team is free to focus on enriching the experience for programme participants even further. “When an SME completes a Growth Path, we ask them to complete a customer satisfaction survey to make sure we’re meeting expectations,” explained Räisänen. In the future Kasvu Open plans to manage these surveys through Salesforce, to simplify capturing and analysing responses.

“With Salesforce, we can operate more intelligently and efficiently and better serve Finland’s SMEs and entrepreneurs,” concluded Seppälä. “We can’t wait to roll out more functionality so we can maximise our impact and help the country’s economy thrive.”

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