30 Nov Turnover jumped tenfold in a year: how to manage fast business growth
Ekenex is one of the largest timber trade companies in the Nordic region. Main Ekenex export markets encompass Middle and Far East countries. In 2019 Ekenex revenue amounted to 2.3 million Eur, yet in 2020 this figure increased more than tenfold – reaching 27.8 million Eur.
“Our last year’s results indicate that viral growth is not limited to technology startups”, – says Head of Sales at Ekenex Andrius Kubiliunas.
Ekenex was founded in 2012. The company recorded consistent year-on-year growth, yet the tipping point came a year ago.
“We cannot attribute the record year to a single factor. Since Ekenex was founded, we have built up connections with partners in Asian countries. In these markets, deals do not happen overnight. You have to build trust, showcase your experience, understand market specifics and customer demands. After proving ourselves year over year, we moved to bigger and more frequent orders”, – notes A. Kubiliunas.
When growth poses a challenge
According to A. Kubiliunas, the record growth resulted in startup-like challenges – managing an increased volume of orders and associated documentation, ensuring timber delivery to clients, handling invoicing. For business process management Ekenex deployed the Salesforce platform.
Salesforce Sales Cloud Dashboard Example
“For me, it is essential to see the whole sales funnel overview in real-time. I can effortlessly review what actions were undertaken with a particular contract, what decisions were made and approved. Earlier this data was dispersed over Excel sheets or in the heads of sales executives. Sales management required the preparation of ad-hoc status summaries. With the holistic sales funnel overview, I can more easily plan my team’s effort. This overview also helps to better plan the activities of other departments”, – says A. Kubiliunas.
Business operating system
In the next stage of Salesforce deployment, the platform will allow Ekenex to track the full customer sales journey: from the initial touchpoint with the client, to order delivery and final invoice issued. All sales executive actions – calls, email exchanges, documents sent – will be automatically reflected in the Salesforce platform.
“Such a unified way of handling information is great when you need to pass an account to another executive, for instance, while a sales manager is on vacation or absent. This also helps to onboard new employees more quickly”, – adds A. Kubiliunas.
With the sales process closed, the customer account in Salesforce is forwarded to Ekenex supply and transportation departments.
“We are developing a company process map for digital transformation, according to which we could transfer and manage all core company processes in the Salesforce platform”, – says A. Kubiliunas.
Basis for further growth
In the last year, Ekenex headcount grew from 17 to 27. The business development team currently includes 5 sales executives.
According to A. Kubiliunas, in 2022 the company is planning further expansion in terms of market geography, as well as product offer.
“In 2021 we put a lot of emphasis on adapting company processes and digital solutions to perform ‘in a higher league’, also ensuring that they will not become a bottleneck for further company growth and future business plans”, – says A. Kubiliunas.