ケーススタディ Case Study

At Smart Partners we are all about doing

Our case studies highlight our passion for your success and our ability to make change happen.

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Overseas investment cuts overtime

Japanese group-buying firm

When an overseas investor moved in on a local group-buying firm, they needed an organized, methodical approach to their entire sales office. The plan was to maximize their investment while reducing overtime and stress.

We argued for a customized selling office solution that could be plugged and played – our Sales Office in a Box™.

We implemented our Sales Office in a Box™. This covers workflows, client interviews, client sales call sit-ins, benchmarking, paper-flow process, template documents, dashboards, and more.

The client can now gear everything towards revenue growth and profitability. Instead of chasing paper, over-reporting, and re-inventing the wheel, they can focus on running the local selling office.

Plug-and-play sales

Small IT services/outsourcing firm

With limited start-up funds and staff, this client needed a quick selling infrastructure to get deals in the pipeline and cash flowing.

We recommended our Sales Office in a Box™ as a quickly available, customizable selling office solution.

Our Sales Office in a Box™ is a plug-and-play solution that spans workflows, client interviews, client sales call sit-ins, benchmarking, paper-flow process, template documents, dashboards, and more.

The client quickly focused on revenue and profitability by working quickly within a selling framework. They gained a toehold in the market by not reinventing the wheel and not focusing on processes.

Projects, proposals and positivity

Global leader in financial solutions

The client needed an impartial, hands-on view on their sales process, use of CRM tools, and client-engagement framework.

We diagnosed the need for a training program that addressed the unique sales cycle and target clients.

As well as the training program, we interviewed C-level management. The result is a sales-training framework and benchmark structure that allows management and team leaders to identify and solve their own problems. We followed this with interactive, workshop-style training, role-playing exercises, projects, presentations, and periodic testing. These ensured that lessons were making an impact.

Questionnaires showed an immediate increase in client satisfaction and less frustration. The client reports a 22% increase in proposals sent, and an overall increase in positive activity.

Constructing structured training The client

Global Construction Advisory Firm

The client needed to shake their sales activity and turned to us for a structured, organized training program.

We told the client they needed a training program that addressed the unique sales cycle and domestic target clients.

After interviews and goal setting, we built a sales training framework and units of content that addressed the business’s specific needs. We followed this with early morning classroom-style training, roleplay, projects, and presentations. Periodic testing ensured that lessons were taking effect.

In line with our policy of achieving measurable results, we increased effective activity by 70%. Overtime has been reduced, new and old target client reach-outs have doubled, and the sales cycle is much shorter.

Crash course in close-outs

IT department of global firm

Owing to staff reductions, a junior admin team found themselves managing vendors and co-coordinating services with suppliers. They needed a crash course in sales training.

The trick was to get over to the team the need to understand selling from a sales person’s perspective and not just their own.

We taught the team all about sales basics, sales cycles, commission periods and targets. We then trained them on communication techniques (phone and email) – and on how to say no.

The team is now better able to manage their vendors’ expectations. They can control communication traffic, close out proposals and save management time in dealing with vendors.

Boot camp kicks life into sales

Bilingual gaishikei Internet services company

Our client had a diverse group of sales people with experience ranging from rookies to 20-year veterans. They called us in for a ‘sales boot camp’ to quickly ramp up their knowledge.

We quickly established levels of knowledge through on-site interviews. We then set about creating a unique training program that filled the gaps for some and increased awareness in others.

Through interactive exercises, reading lists, and presentations, we expanded minds and helped others climb out of their ‘sales shells’. This was a true boot camp, with intensive classes over three months, starting at 8am sharp. We covered sales basics, new-client sourcing, value first, questioning techniques, and deal closing. We created a fluid ‘closing environment’, rather than a sporadic, one-off ‘event’.

The result is increased sales, less office stress, and less overtime. Staff also now understand how sales can mean ‘partnering’ with clients rather than ‘taking’ from them.

Ramping up Sales

IT outsourcing firm

A small IT outsourcing firm turned to Smart Partners when it needed to ramp up some new sales team members. The current sales team also needed help with client management strategy, recruitment techniques and on-site staffing issues.

We quickly realized that a basic sales training course for new-hires was required.

We created a sales training course for new-hires that the client could implement themselves. The sales team got classroom-style training and the senior team received desk-side consultation.

With weekly updates and progress reports submitted, management can see the improvements in the team. They can also better understand knowledge gaps and overall team capabilities.

Location is everything for real-estate firm

Real-estate developer (multi-billion-dollar US firm)

Breaking into the Japan market for the first time, a top-five US real-estate developer needed local understanding from a sales/CRM and human-resourcing perspective.

We decided to find out about the firm’s goals so we could devise a localization package.

We met key decision makers to establish the venture’s goals. From there, we led and delivered a major CRM package localization/documentation project and group sales training for 40. We also advised the client on sourcing candidates, introduced specialist vendors, and helped to source key people in management positions.

The client now has an excellent understanding of local culture and relationships with the sales team was up and running in a fraction of time expected.

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Accountability for APAC

Market leader in engineering services

The 35-strong Asia-Pacific sales team had a ‘that doesn’t work in Japan’ attitude. The Head of Sales, drowning in reports, meetings, and stress, called us in frustration. He wanted an outside perspective and a framework for training and reporting that both sides could agree on.

Working nationally, we sampled sales data and conducted interviews. Then we mapped out the team’s situation and their major challenges. From there, we collected client data and organized a full situation report for APAC leadership.

The client got a sales meeting and reporting structure that removed ambiguity, frustration, and lack of accountability.

The client immediately enjoyed less stress during reporting time, fewer reports, and fewer meetings. The sales team now knows their concerns will be dealt with by a supportive APAC leadership team. New, upgraded training also reflects local flavors and APAC standards.

More team, less time

Gaishikei software firm

With poor results, low productivity, and budgets slashed, this 85-person office’s motivation was on the floor. They needed a release valve that covered team-building, time management, and work-life balance – and fewer meetings.

We diagnosed a review of meetings, reporting structures, HR benefits, and job descriptions.

We got down to core issues and came up with simple, practical steps to reduce negativity and deal with the culture of ‘island-ism’.

The software firm now has a platform for a frank discussion of issues. It also enjoys a more clearly defined job matrix, better teamwork, and less overtime. We also compiled a list of benefits HR could offer. A small investment has created a more balanced and happy working environment.

More hunters than farmers

Local Japanese branch of global financial services firm

The client had established a local sales team to service years of long-term client contracts. But, with the economic downturn, their needs altered. Suddenly, they needed hunters rather than farmers.

We decided a unique system that struck the right balance between current skills and changing business needs was required.

Our system spanned a system to recruit new sales people, KPI systems and a more practical go-to-market strategy. We ran short, impactful workshops and coached sales people in the benefits of working differently.

The financial services firm now enjoyed a fuller pipeline, potential contracts up over 20%, office activity up with email usage down (the phone became a medium of communication both external and internal). Net fees up over previous year.

Hunter-gatherers required

Local Japanese branch of global IT consulting services firm

The client had a local sales team that services long-term client contracts. In the years following the global financial crisis, the firm found their needs changed from a farming to hunting strategy.

We proposed a system that struck the right balance between existing skills and changing business needs.

Our system covered a system to recruit new sales people, the introduction of KPI systems, and a more practical go-to-market strategy. We ran short, powerful workshops and coached sales people in the benefits of working differently.

The IT consulting firm doubled their pipeline and reduced their closing cycle by more than half. Net fees up YOY, less overtime in the office, commissions earned by sales team up over 30%.

Leading the leaders

Tokyo IT services firm

The Tokyo branch of an IT services firm was dealing with organizational changes and a lack of sales leadership. They turned to us to help manage their team of five sales people whilst the Global Head of Sales found a replacement.

We realized sales had to be kept above target, so we recommended a new basic infrastructure for a sales team.

We introduced KPIs, communications plans, a sales strategy, training, and weekly coaching sessions to keep sales above target.

With sales up 12%, the client decided to promote a younger sales person internally, to the delight of local staff. We coached the new manager on managing a desk and creating a learning organization for selling. With remote access to us, the Head of Sales could attend meetings and push key agenda topics in Japanese (and report back in English). This allowed him to stay at headquarters more – and spend more time with his family.

Helping staff sell faster

Japanese market leader in online services

A local-language sales framework was required, blending western methodology and local Japanese tactics, cultural norms, and strong points.

We decided to break down the head office’s sales framework into value stream. Then we recommended a model-based, bilingual framework that put local Japanese sales processes and tactics side by side with their western ‘standard’ guide.

We built a manual that spanned several chapters. It gives new sales staff clear, step-by-step understanding of each client’s unique sales process, product knowledge, and various ‘closing’ models.

Withstandardized processes and BOK connecting, the sales team are now ramped up 80% faster than before. New staff sell faster, with a more confident, clear value proposition to clients. In line with our measurable output, sales increased 18% in the first two months, senior team members spent more time with clients. Sales people know what to do – and why.

The One that Got Away?

A global financial services firm

The client, a C level leader, frustrated with a lack of new business acquisition, asked Smart Partners to come in a asses the situation and offer hands on process related advice.

Their were frequent questionnaires and feedback requests made to current customers, but they missed the most important customer. The ones who said no.

After launching a subtle but persistent communication campaign, we learned several areas of their sales process that was impersonal, unfriendly and boring. After presenting the findings to heads of different BUs, we gave practical, outcome based process frameworks to start the process of running a customer focused selling service.

A clear understanding of what was holding back the sales teams. A once and for all statement from the most important company resource “unimpressed customers”. With our input the positive disruption brought ideas out of the woodwork to help reduce wasted paperwork, unfriendly process and quicker to close actions.

Shaping up customer services

Globally recognized gym

A global name in athletics called us in when they needed a top-to-bottom review and analysis of their services, customer service offerings, products, and marketing plans. They also needed practical ideas on the nuts and bolts of how to increase revenue.

We realized we would need to carry out training on site for a few weeks to learn the customer’s perspective.

After on-site training, our reports and recommendations focused on flow of information from registration to entering training, operations and pricing strategy, training content, and areas of potential revenue increases. We suggested they profile three types of target client and create services around their unique experience. We also created a tab system so that clients could buy drinks and other items quickly (in the middle of a structured, timed routine, searching for loose change is inconvenient). We also recommended using the site for corporate training for global HR consultancy firms and weight-loss organization tie-ups.

The gym now enjoys a new outlook. They map out business sources, offer structured feedback, and have better marketing and revenue-sourcing ideas.

Shaking up the sales team

Local advertising agency

A veteran Japanese agency had a ‘been there, done that’ attitude towards selling. It was damaging business and they needed a shake-up. They called us in to analyze their entire sales and client-engagement structure from the ground up.

It was our job to bring clarity, documentation and organization to the firm’s ‘secret sauce’ that made them once so successful.

We got to grips with the client’s business through onsite listening tours and by shadowing sales people. We then totally revamped the team’s sales structure through process mapping, policy creation, templates, tactical desk-side training, workshop-style training, role-playing exercises, and projects by job function.

KPI dashboarding has rocketed positive activity by 47%. Overtime has dropped and revenue has increased 38% on the previous year (with a smaller team). Clients are happier and the management team can focus on next year’s growth – not this month’s revenue.

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Updated: April 1st, 2012

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Past and present
  • "I have had the pleasure to work with Smart Partners on several occasions and have been impressed by their professionalism and delivery. Working with them has allowed me the opportunity to close critical business gaps and provided a clearly defined repeatable process for testing for my teams. Smart Partners has deep knowledge in both subject content as well as market knowledge."
  • "I brought Smart Partners to my division to help with a few areas: process advisory/workflow re-engineering, industry specific expertise in employment issues in Japan, Japanese language support and deep understanding within the contract business here in Japan. Their sales training helped our people to focus on improved client outcomes, not tasks and how to better prepare for working with customers. I highly recommend Smart Partners."
  • "We contacted Smart Partners to help us with company incorporation, accounting infrastructure, and business / sales consulting to help us grow our new business. Smart Partner's advice and insight on how to generate new business in Japan was eye-opening and helped us to increase activity much faster than expected."
  • "No one knows my business better than me. I didn't work with SmartPartners to lecture me on what I already knew. My reasons for engaging them was to bottle my experience, create repeatable frameworks, KPI dashboards, policies & procedures, on-boarding structure for new sales hires and most importantly, to create a -culture of accountability and urgency amongst my sales teams. Smart Partners worked closely with my people and I was pleased with the clear, measurable return on my investment."
  • "As a Managing director, I focus on measurable results and the bottom line. Smart Partners's, methods were not theoretical or flashy, they were practical, easy to understand and brought agreed results. They worked directly with both my Japanese and Foreign salespeople, to implement changes and give life to training concepts, I can therefore recommend them."
  • "Problem: underperforming business unit and complicated, inefficient processes resulting in a net loss. Solution: Smart Partners came in and analyzed the problem, proposed changes and then worked closely with my people to implement the changes and turned the business around to be growing and profitable - in 6 months. Their people skills and ability to simplify processes in a practical way were well received. They are energizing to work with because they "walk the talk."
In the Media;?>

-In The Media-

01 June 2012

Smart Partners makes selling easier for all.
Smart Partners KK’s Jason de Luca brings the Tokyo selling community 1 major step closer to successful selling.
Tokyo – 01 June 2012 – Finally, a locally ran, fully bilingual system to plug into your existing sales team to make them more successful, with less effort.
“Sales Office in a Box© creates an organized, effective, repeatable selling engine for small to mid sized clients that fills in all the gaps that get clogged with excuses. A out of the box but tailored, solution covering templates, tool kits, training, coaching & managerial advisory, shadow trips and more.
One call to us now, stops the excuses today.
About Smart Partners KK
We are all about RESULTS. Be they: increased profits, more revenue or reduced waste in your business/work flow process.
Hands on, practical, measurable, we won’t work any other way.
We can be reached here:
www.smartpartners.co.jp