Customer Acquisition Mission

vstores is an ecommerce platform aiming at making ecommerce DTC a mainstream in the middle east.

Situation

vstores founders put huge investment to build state-of-the-art platform that would help them attain their vision and enable their value proposition.

The platform they built would help entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized brands build their online store with a click of a button.

vstores founders put huge investment to build state-of-the-art platform that would help them attain their vision and enable their value proposition.

The platform they built would help entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized brands build their online store with a click of a button.

They would also offer personalized services through which, customers can have a fully managed ecommerce store having everything handled for them from design and products' catalogue building, to on going maintenance and handling of customer services and shipping fulfillment.

vstores had sales and marketing processes in place designed for brand promotion and customer acquisition. The processes were based on the following:


  1. Data miners - responsible for generating leads and creating a pipeline through which leads' data would be input into CRM and sent to direct sales team.
  2. Telesales team - responsible for called calling leads, qualifying/disqualifying them, and nurture qualified leads.

Task

vstores hired me to help them improve and manage their sales and marketing processes and workforce. Specifically, they needed help optimizing customer acquisition process.

Actions

I evaluated the effectiveness of the team and processes in place and found that it's highly ineffective. After being in place for months, the process proved ineffective in acquiring new customers and helping growing the business. Not to mention the inefficiencies association with the process itself.

In order to acquire one customer, the following needed to take place:

  1. Hire a team of data miners and direct salesmen.
  2. Train the hired team on ecommerce in general and vstores product in particular. This step in itself, involved creating a process to streamline the hiring and training processes. These processes needed to be revisited and evaluated for effectiveness.
  3. Manage the team in place to make sure they are delivering results and have a positive ROI. That includes, building creating KPIs and objectives, evaluating team members against the set objectives, and take necessary actions to optimize performance.

That kind of processes is very hard and costly to build, maintain and optimize. That is why I proposed a different approach.

I saw that positioning vstores as the market expert in ecommerce would be the right approach. More of a consultant than just a platform to build an online store. The reason behind this positioning is that the market lacked this type of players. In addition, this positioning would be aligned with the customized service offering that vstores is offering to its clients.

In order to implement this vision, many actions needed to be taken. Firstly, we had to refine vstores' website copy to be more user friendly and to reflect the new value proposition. Secondly, it was a must to completely ditch the old sales and marketing process and its underlying teams and use a more efficient and sustainable approach.

That said, we built a sales and marketing funnel that would simulate the leads' path throughout the journey and introduce some automation in the process.

We also started an online campaign with two main objectives: 1. create some brand awareness, 2. introduce vstores as the right partner the it comes to ecommerce. The campaign involved creating an ebook, as a lead magnet, on a topic that is well researched in terms of how popular it is among those looking to start take their brands online. The ebook was used to attract qualified leads using a Facebook ad. The leads' data were automatically send to the CRM to be nurtured by the sales team. Moreover, we started an email campaign to further institute the value proposition of vstores and offer more incentives for potential clients to buy in.

ANALOGY

The old sales and marketing process used by vstores, and used by many other businesses, resembles an inefficient fishing technique where fishermen use their rods to catch all types of fish and then test if the catched fish would be interested in the bait they have. This kind of more or less random selection is of course very inefficient and time and resource consuming.

The new sales and marketing process is much more efficient in that it puts the bait in the water and wait for it to be picked by a fish. That way the fishermen knows for sure that this fish is truly interested in the bait. In other words, the lead (here, fish) is more likely to be a qualified lead. That mean less time is spent trying to qualify leads and less time and resources are needed to nurture that lead, because the lead is already interested in what we are selling.

Results

The results were seen on many aspects. The first of which was a whopping 44% conversion rate achieved by the Facebook ad. In other words, 44% of those who saw our ad, clicked on it and downloaded our ebook. We also received communication requests from several leads inquiring for more information. Not to mention the positive comments on the value gained from our ebook.

The sales team was able to further communicate with many clients who are interested in vstores' services and interested to know more about the packages. As of now, the deals closing rate cannot be shared. However, comparing the before-closure results of the new strategy with the old one, we can say that we have definitely improved the sales and marketing performance for vstores great times.

After our changes, the company had a fully automated sales and marketing funnel that is easy and much less costly to maintain, scale, and optimize.