OVERVIEW

*The name of the company has been keep anonymous at their request*

The company was a 25-year-old software solutions vendor to the Mortgage industry.  At the time we met them, they had lost nearly half of their customers due to the Great Recession.

Furthermore, due to the financial meltdown, Congress had passed the Dodd-Frank Act, which made the Mortgage Industry one of the most regulated industries.

A tight economy combined with tight lending guidelines made mortgage lending a very costly business, pushing even more lenders to sell to larger financial institutions, or go out of business.

Our client’s business model was based on volume transactions—high volume of lending was good for business, and the reverse was equally bad. Volumes were at a historically low level.

KEY CHALLENGES

The company had three major challenges:

1

Revenues had significantly decreased, by nearly 50%. The company had to quickly increase revenues or face having to lay off long-time employees—something the CEO was loath to do.

2

While the company had been very successful prior to the financial meltdown, it was having significant difficulty winning new business.

3

Existing customers were not only processing fewer documents due to overall reduced lending volume, but they were complaining about the customer service, which deeply concerned the CEO.

WHAT WE DID

After interviewing members of the management team and key people in the various departments, as well as reviewing systems, processes, compensation plans, and other documents, we presented our findings to the Senior Management Team.

A summarized version is listed below:

  • The industry was going under significant consolidation with smaller lenders either being bought out or going out of business. Our client’s sales and marketing teams knew how to market and sell to small lenders, but not to mid sized or large lenders. This incongruence or gap prevented our client from closing the necessary deals to meet growth objectives.
  • The Customer Service team was bombarded with detailed requests to do more work than ever before, for the same revenue coming in. As a result, the Client could not afford to hire more agents, and yet customers were complaining of slow response and resolutions times.
  • The client charged its customers when they processed documents, and therefore earned no income until they processed documents. Even after new “customers” signed a contract, it took them months before they actually started to process documents, because they were afraid of falling out of compliance with new regulations. As a result, they spent far more time trying to make sure everything was right and postponed actually going into production.
  • Other than print and banner ads, the company did very little outbound Marketing or Sales campaign and was not setup to do outbound campaigns.

RECOMMENDATIONS

After interviewing members of the management team and key people in the various departments, as well as reviewing systems, processes, compensation plans, and other documents, we presented our findings to the Senior Management Team.

1.  Outbound Sales & Marketing

  • Set sales quotas for the sales team, including Key Performance Indicators to help them know where they stood.
  • Build marketing content and establish industry thought leadership to attract the mid to large sized customers
  • Utilize best practices in B2B Sales, Prospecting, and Sales

2.  Change Sales Compensation to Emphasize New Business Acquisition

Sales reps were drawing commissions indefinitely, reducing their incentives to get new business. We recommended making commissions heavily up-front to incentivize new business acquisition with very little commission in subsequent years from existing customers

3.  Project Management for Onboarding New Clients

Setup process for on-boarding customers in a timely manner so that they begin processing and thereby paying for services

4.  Automate Customer Service Operations

  • After analyzing some of the work done, it was clear that a great deal of time was spent in manually creating layouts for forms that were used a great deal of time. Automating this step would cut time by 40% and that can be realized almost immediately in a matter of days
  • Agents were manually responding to customers to update them of status changes in their tickets. By automating this process, agents would be relieved of at least 30-40% of their daily work, thereby freeing them to respond faster to customer requests.

RESULTS

Since then, the company has grown an average of 30% a year and is now generates about three times the revenue it did when we started working with them in 2012.

%
New Sales Increase

Within the first year, the customer saw new customer increase of nearly 60% and overall new sales increase by 57%

Improved Customer Service

Existing customers were not only processing fewer documents due to overall reduced lending volume, but they were no longer complaining about the customer service, which deeply concerned the CEO.

90
Days

Time for onboarding customers dropped from over 90 days to under 30 in most cases.