Stanley Chee and Jeffry Chan managed their own digital lead generation agencies back in 2016 and worked together on a few client projects.
One day, they had conversations over lunch at a Japanese restaurant at Amcorp Mall. They shared the frustrations about their clients not attending to the leads fast enough and the lack of trackability in the whole lead-to-sale (L2S) journey.
Their conversation led them to initiate SalesCandy, a tech startup that provides solutions to improve the clients’ lead-to-sale conversion rates and eventually close more sales.
In 2016, with just a 40-slide presentation and without a developed product, co-founders Stanley and Jeffry acquired RM200,000 pre-sold contracts to four early adopters. They also invested their own pocket money worth RM170,000 into their business.
Last year, they were awarded CIP300 Grant (worth RM300,000) by the Cradle Fund. Now the team tells us that company is valued over RM20 million in the latest round of fundraising.
In less than 18 months of operations, they have secured clients from Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.
Stanley is the CEO of SalesCandy who oversees product development, financial and human resource departments.
His experience in software engineering helps him to direct the product development with technology, scalability and redundancy in mind. He also assists in sales and marketing as he used to be a Google Regional Trainer on AdWords.
With 5 years of experience in performance marketing, Jeffry is the COO of SalesCandy who oversees the business development, marketing and customer success operations across five countries.
The journey to closing more sales
SalesCandy LMS is an action-based instant-routing lead management system that encourages lead follow-ups while improving accountability in salespeople across various industries.
The unattended leads will be automatically rerouted to the next available salesperson within five seconds of submission.
“We provide services to real estate, private education, automotive, health & wellness as well as banking & insurance,” said the co-founders. “We currently have 30 clients across five countries and more than 1,000 salespersons subscribed to our app.”
For pricing each project, they go by the number of salespeople.
The company offers a money-back guarantee if the clients don’t see a minimum of 15% improvement in sales conversion rate within 60 days.
The upcoming SalesCandy Booking is planned to be released in the 3rd quarter of this year. This app is mainly designed for property developer clients, to enable real-time inventory tracking and booking across multiple sales operations.
Many features are added to the app to enhance the lead-to-sale (L2S) experience. It also offers the case routing and tracking feature to third-party vendors such as bankers and lawyers. All unit reservation and booking are being tracked in the app.
“SalesCandy LMS and SalesCandy Booking are designed to work with and without one another,” they explained. “However, with the subscription of both products, our property developer clients will be able to experience seamless integration from incoming enquiries all the way to the booking of the units.
“These are designed to improve efficiency and reduce error in their internal sales team and external sales agent.”
Reaching clients locally and across Southeast Asia
SalesCandy acquires and retains the clients outside Malaysia because of these countries’ big populations, and more importantly, each country has a sizeable middle class.
However, just because all the countries are in SEA doesn’t mean that the SalesCandy team can apply a one-size-fits-all strategy.
In Indonesia, the property developers’ team size and growth development value (GDV) are much bigger. They have a two-tiered sales process instead of one.
The sales professionals in Vietnam are responsive and eager to close a sale. They are able to achieve a First Real Response rate (being attended in-person instead of an automated notification) in one day, before using SalesCandy LMS, as compared to an average of five days.
The company ran a study a few months ago to understand the average response rate for some lead-to-sale (L2S) industries in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
They found that out of the ten enquiries made online via website or online ads, only two enquiries received the response from the salesperson.
“Out of those that were responded, it took an average more than four days for the salesperson to make the first call to the lead,” they explained.
Seeing these results, SalesCandy feels there is more room for improvement.
“We have to further optimise the sales team efficiency as SalesCandy LMS enable our clients to achieve a First Real Response Time in less than five minutes during the routing hours,” they commented.
Implementing the technology in Malaysia
As B2B SaaS (Software as a Service) may not be well-known in Malaysia, it is hard for SalesCandy to recruit cloud system developers and UX/UI designers.
“We resort to hiring from outside Malaysia, thanks to our MSC status, for our tech developers and we grow UX/UI designers internally,” said the co-founders.
“We learnt that as a startup, we just have to be unconventional in solving a problem.”
Another challenge for them is to clear the technical debt.
They found that they will hit the limit of their old architecture pretty soon as they continue to scale the system to cater more clients across Southeast Asia. It is particularly painful to revamp the system in place from the ground because that system is already live.
The company is still in the midst of a major revamp, which will be released in the 3rd quarter of this year.
They found that this is unavoidable as there was a constraint on their resources when they first developed the product.
“We could have had Continuous Integration (CI) built in the DevOps since the beginning,” they commented.
Next year SalesCandy will be focusing more on the machine learning as they have been getting and processing more data.
It can help them gain better insights on how to improve the sales conversion better which will benefit their clients on improving their ROI for the marketing spend.
- Read more about how SalesCandy assists in improving lead-to-sale (L2S) journey and closing more sales at their official website.
Feature Image Credit: SalesCandy