on July 20, 2020 (last modified on August 19, 2021) • 5 minute read
Where in many areas of the world small business owners have moved to a digital storefront model, in other areas the transition has taken more time.
In Latin America, for example, a strong precedent of catalog-based sales has long prevailed against the social selling trend. The market was ripe for renovation in a solution that could bring the best elements of the catalog tradition together with a robust tech solution for a new generation of sellers.
In Colombia, Co-founder and CEO Zach Oschin launched Elenas as a way to step into the social selling space and do just that.
Since the launch in 2018, they’ve helped support a thriving network of over 100,000 sellers with social media sales support, product research, vendor integration to bring name-brands such as L’Oreal to the Latin American market through the relationship-based resale model.
To harness the complex data metrics and research that fuel sales for their sellers, Elenas turned to Databox. Using the features in the solution, the team has been able to track its internal and external metrics, demonstrate its effectiveness to stakeholders, investors, and vendors, and drive growth by revolutionizing a $26B industry.
Data forms two sides of a coin for Elenas’ 30-person team. A considerable amount of the data they evaluate relates to the seller side, ensuring that the sales and order fulfillment process is smooth from beginning to end.
Using Databox’s Databoards, the team keeps a watchful eye on important metrics, such as sales growth, time to fulfillment, ordering or cancellation issues, and more.
“It’s super important because we’re able to see what’s working right away and which products are making the most of the current sales, while also comparing the results to last month,” explains Zach.
Additionally, the team uses data to motivate its base of end-users, promoting retention and adoption of the platform by incentivizing top performers.
The team offers promotions for its top-performing business owners such as awards and bonuses. In this case, the leaderboard feature makes it easy to keep track of sales and deliver on its incentives at the end of the month.
The team also uses the data it derives from the sales process to inform business decisions in the near term. For example, the team might see movement on an item or category within its top producers, and collect those items into a collection released to the general seller pool.
These collections of featured items can drive sales for the entire end-user community.
On the other side of the coin, every member of the Elenas team has access to internal Databoards that help them understand the metrics, contextualize and spot trends, and hit KPIs the organization is currently prioritizing.
This visibility into the data makes that progress possible much sooner. As Zach has observed, “We’ve seen that when we focus the team on certain metrics, they move. Because when the team really understands a metric and is looking at it every day, we start to build the initiatives and the focus for how to build that metric.”
For example, the team recently began to look at retention metrics. Once averaging in the 40% region month-over-month, retention numbers had slipped to about 20%. By focusing on how to improve the conditions for their retention, they were able to boost retention rates to over 55%.
The team also uses the data to reduce friction for sellers, improve their delivery, and smooth the vendor fulfillment process in order to support their sellers.
“It’s a cycle of understanding from our Databoards,” says Zach, “moving into our product and working with the tech team to build improvements, and then tracking how those improvements better our metrics.”
Elenas relies so heavily upon the data available through Databox, they’ve actually expanded their internal education in order to make full use of its capabilities.
“Oftentimes, we’re pulling fairly complex sets of data from the database,” Zach explains, “and sometimes it’s hard to be able to build those metrics in the query builder.”
As teams have become more reliant on the boards and their usefulness, the company decided to offer SQL programming training to allow each member to create Databoards independently. This training has allowed the company to make the best use of the data with as little friction or lag-time as possible.
The Databoards are saving Oschin directly, as well. Where often, reporting is a time-consuming, necessary task for the C-suite, the easy-to-use, on-demand Databoards have replaced the need for building complex presentations to show earnings and justify spending.
“Companies end up spending a lot of time building slides to show different things,” says Zach.
Now, the team simply pulls up the appropriate Databoards in order to demonstrate data, saving Oschin five to 10 hours a month of manual work creating presentations for investors, internal stakeholders, and sellers. “For internal and external purposes, it makes reporting really easy.”
One of the areas in which Databox has helped Elenas is understanding how their newly acquired customers perform by acquisition channel.
The company set out to create a more intentional organic acquisition program through referrals. Not only was the data available to show their efforts, but they were also able to contextualize the data. Zach and the team realized that “our people who get referred have a much higher retention percentage, and are actually selling a lot more.”
This data insight helped solidify the rationale of the referral program and create a strong target metric for the teams to focus on.
One of the major benefits of realtime data and up-to-date boards is the ability to react to unusual fluctuations in the metrics. For Elenas, getting an alert on a specific metric (such as a dip in sales, a change in cancellations, or an increase in errors) allows the team to address issues as they arise.
Using Alerts and spotting trends, the team can figure out what’s going wrong and how to fix it. Though they mostly use Databox in a proactive manner, the ability to react to change quickly can be invaluable in course-correcting in cases where the fix is internal (such as a code problem or a vendor issue).
The team also use integrations with Slack and email to keep everyone up-to-date about their goals.
As the team grows and helps its seller base to thrive, Elenas is looking forward to expanding with Databox and is excited about new features on the horizon.
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