25 Aug Vortex
Board member, General manager, asset management division
Vortex Co., Ltd.
Established in 1999. Develop asset management consulting through investment/management of real assets based on a new business model of unit possession office. LiB Consulting is supporting the company’s long-term management, towards to company’s mission of “creating a century-long company”.
Please tell us the issues your company is facing in starting up a project.
Up until 4 years ago, our company has been conducting telephone sales in order to look for potential customers. We telephoned companies one by one, and explained the effect and benefit of unit possession office.
I previously worked in the insurance business, and has been conducting almost only referral sales. Therefore, when I see this company relying only on telephone sales, I think “what a waste” it is.
The message which could be conveyed during the short telephone call is limited. Even if the rate of successful appointments is taken into account, I think that referral sales still leads to more results. Moreover, if regulations on telephone sales are tightened, it would be more difficult to create the same success as in the past. The insurance industry has already faced regulations on telephone sales. Foreseeing the changes that could happen to our company, I feel the necessity of reforming our sales method.
While having that issue on my mind, I happened to have a chance to participate in LiB Consulting’s seminar. There are not many companies which support referral sales, and even if they do, most will have individuals, such as the top salespeople of insurance companies to give lectures. However, LiB Consulting is different. For example, in the lecture on sales method, they did not only simply teach the knowhow, but also explained the value of implementing referral sales, and also guided us in detail about how to instill the culture inside the organization. Also, about improving and reforming the sales activity from the perspectives of organization building, such as, how to utilize the power of each salesperson for the company as a whole, or how to change the system of the company from the current situation. I felt attracted by those points, and believed LiB Consulting could be a helping force for us.
How were projects carried out?
Firstly, we started out by explaining our business model, and what our company provides for the customers.
Our company works on real estate through a method called unit possession office, however, actually we are not a company which sells real estates, but we sell ideas. We possess a consulting concept of utilizing real estate to strengthen finance, go over the business handover barrier, and become a 100-year company.
In that sense, there are many similarities with LiB Consulting, and I feel that LiB Consulting’s concept of “companies that makes the world a better place in the next century” is quite similar to our company’s initiative. Therefore, LiB Consulting quickly understood what our company wants to realize, and as the talk went on, they could also clearly point out the strengths and weaknesses of our company’s sales method.
Moreover, when we consulted on business expansion in the future, we also received an advice that educating capable salespeople in the early stage is necessary. They did not only limit their talk to referral sales, but also established a “model” for the sales method itself for us. In another word, we learned that there is a necessity of establishing the knowhow and do-how of successful salespeople into an accessible format.
The sales manual creation project then started off. Until now, had there been no manual?
Our company originally used telephone sales as the main method, we placed important in practicing through OJT and therefore we did not prepare a manual. However, it is a different story when it comes to creating a “model” of the sales method. By using a manual, we could raise the overall standard of salespeople. Successful salespeople possess their own knowhows or do-hows, however, within those knowledge, many are tacit knowledge accumulated individually. Therefore, by verbalizing those knowledge, and making it accessible and applicable for other salespeople, we could change from the traditional way of learning from successful salespeople which was only done through sense and feeling, into a logical way of learning through a model.
Nevertheless, were you worried whether the employee will be accustomed to the manual?
The systems which LiB Consulting provided to us, be it the referral sales support or the manual creation, are not only the standardization of best practice of a company, but they also contain the elements of “sales consulting” which are the results from actual implementation by all LiB’s consultants. I heard that it is also the method taken by our company’s consultants when they conduct sales activity by themselves. We have a feeling of trust that what LiB provided could actually be implemented on-site and is not just an impractical theory on paper. Should we call it bottom-up management? I think that is the strong point of LiB Consulting’s sales support.
Please tell us the result of the project.
From the practical point of view, I think that the successful standardization of the overall sales activity is a ground-breaking achievement. Our company’s salespeople are divided into three layers, people who make appointments, people conducting sales talk, and people closing the deal. It was a good system for conducting sales as team, however, a problem of incomplete relaying of information to the next person in charge occured, and was an important factor which reduced sales efficiency. In this project, we are able to fill that gap, and as a result, we came closer to a system where one salesperson is in charge from the beginning to the end.
Moreover, the change in the attitude towards work is also a big achievement. Telephone sales is desk work, in contrast, referral sales requires going outside to form relationships with customers. I feel that participating referral sales leads to a shift in the sense of values as a salesperson.
Please tell us the future prospects.
Currently, many views us as a real estate company conducting an unconventional business, and there is a gap between how we are perceived and our desired image. Closing up that gap is our middle to long-term goal. One measure we have taken towards that goal is to invite companies which had a history of more than 100 years, and hold an exhibition. Through an opportunity like this, the secret and knowhow of long-term management could be conveyed to a larger group of managers, and by providing support on solving issues concerning education of successors, and business handover, our company’s vision of “creating 100-year companies” could be conveyed, and leading to more work as a result. Moreover, through this measure, due to many similarities to LiB Consulting on topics such as, business category, desired company image, and customer traits, there should be more cooperation opportunities in the future, and through that, we would be able to provide our company’s values to an even larger number of companies. From now on, we would continue to expand the new asset management business through unit-possession office, with the aim of becoming trusted by customers as a company which could assist in the making of 100-year companies.
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