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Sharegate, Montreal, QC, Canada

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2012, Click to Enter The 2014 American Business Awards

Company: Sharegate, Montreal, QC, Canada
Company Description: Sharegate is proud to be a Montreal-based software development firm specialized in SharePoint Tools (Migration & Management). Since 2011, the team went from 5 to 31 people, an increase that speaks for itself. As we say: it's all about team spirit! We are young, full of new ideas and definitely like to keep things simple and fun. Our team is now helping thousands of organizations around the globe
Nomination Category: Sales Awards Achievement Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Sales Growth Achievement of the Year

Nomination Title: Doubled customer base and more

Tell the story about how your organization has improved its sales growth since the beginning of July 2013 (up to 650 words). Begin the essay with the percentage growth in revenue and/or units during that period, over the prior year. Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

Is a 188% average sales growth with a 105% growth of unit sold possible? Yes, it is. At Sharegate, we believe nothing is impossible. We worked hard last year, and it paid off, we doubled our client base, thus reaching more than 10,000 organizations worldwide. However, it wasn't and still isn't' an easy journey.

In the last years, we’ve faced numerous challenges. Amongst them was keeping the sales team small even though, sometimes, adding new people to it seemed to be the easiest way to increase our sales. We also had to organize the sales team for future scaling since after all, we are planning on keeping the same growth pace for the years to come.

We've always bragged about being a small team from Montreal, Canada, and doing things differently. Keeping the team small allowed us in the past to be more flexible and made us very quick to adapt and react to what was going on in the market, and we wish to keep it that way.

What we call our “startup mindset” is very dear to us and we wouldn’t abandon it for the world. We believe we’ve accomplished what we have because we’re true to ourselves. That's why becoming a huge and static corporation, outsourcing our workforce, or any compromise to who we are, is and always will be out of the question!

And Truthfully, we think it can be said we did a pretty impressive job, resulting in enormous growth for Sharegate over the period:

- 188% average sales growth since July 2013.

- 105% of unit growth.

- We doubled our customer base.

To accomplish all of this without doubling the size of the team, we had to take a step back and really think about how we could use all the tools that were available and maximize their usage. The answer was "Just Damn Simple" as our slogan has it, we simply had to innovate.

Our biggest solution: rethinking our sales process. We decided to automate the lead generation. This allowed our sales reps, or Customer Satisfaction Guardians as they are called, to work on more qualified leads, since every customer is followed during the process by one member of the team for a more personalized service. We’ve also set rules to nurture the remaining ones with a series of actions and emails to make sure we didn't lose any prospects. This sales automation system helps us convert more leads from the first time they interact with the company (ie. eBook download, online training attending, software trials, etc.) into sales.

The second part we implemented to support our sales growth: Lead Scoring. Since 100% of our business is done online, one of the obstacles we had was the ginormous amount of leads generated by our inbound marketing team. Our sales team wasn't able to concentrate on the most promising ones. So we put a smart lead scoring system in place to realign their focus on highly qualified & promising leads.

They can now directly nurture those hot leads instead of following each opportunity generated by inbound marketing. Each time a customer interacts with us, his score improves until reaching a "hot" status. The sales team then takes over to assist the prospect in his purchase process. All of this helped our team focus on highly qualified leads and maximize all of our actions.

Many other actions were taken to accomplish such growth, like a complete revamping of our website, and the increased value offered by our tools. But what has made a tremendous difference is the increased attention we’ve given to our Customer Service and its personalization. By answering any incoming inquiries in under two hours, we’ve succeeded in raising the bar and serving our customers and prospects to unprecedented levels in our market.

This only makes us predict the same kind of growth during the upcoming year, if not a bigger one.

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