Lotus Innovations is a private equity fund in Southern California seeking to fill the gap for companies in the awkward stage between start-up and growth. In this stage, traditional sources of funding are hard to come by, and other investments are tough, because the businesses need to grow more to become attractive. Lotus operates in this important niche and has successfully created companies that are in demand by larger private equity firms, as well as strategic industry players that are on the prowl for acquisitions.
Lotus Innovations has a unique shared services approach to grow its portfolio companies, and recently revamped its sales processes, with HubSpot Sales Pro. It also had a need to undergo HubSpot sales enablement for its own internal fundraising. The goal was to streamline cumbersome processes, enable Lotus to attract ideal investors faster, and provide them with the information they need at the time they need it.
Challenge: Overcoming a Manual Process Legacy
The client had worked with Big Presence on sales enablement for its external processes with partner companies in which it had investments but was still in need of help with internal processes for fundraising. As is very common in the industry, the biggest challenge lived within a mix of disparate systems and processes, moving business development staff between Gmail and Excel spreadsheets. As Lotus continues to grow, streamlining sales enablement is more important than ever.
Lotus Innovations has a large and robust list of investors they currently work with and need to stay in communication with important content. Prior to working with Big Presence on HubSpot sales enablement, Lotus business development operated from five different excel documents, which followed a similar format, but was not connected. These excel documents acted as a “CRM” of sorts, and unfortunately, fields were not consistent (ex. sometimes first name and last name were in separate fields, and sometimes combined).
Lotus Innovations sales staff, seeking portfolio companies to buy and investors to fund, followed an in-house process of marking leads with their own proprietary scoring system, but there was limited visibility into process stages, and the need for a better system intensified as the business grew.
Approach: Cleaning the Database and Creating Better Processes
In exploring the systems in place for investor relations at Lotus Innovations, Big Presence realized classification of leads into life cycle stages was subjective and overlapping, making any kind of segmentation or automation impossible. We realized, for example, “3%” doesn’t mean the same thing across the board. It made processes confusing, especially with a team of investor relations staff working in concert.
Big Presence also needed to collaborate with Lotus to come up with a way to capture lead data in a central place where all members of the team could contribute, and reduce their dependence on more manual processes. It was time to was to clean up the database, create better processes, and start leaning on the capabilities of a well-designed CRM.
What we did:
Manually cleaned five existing Excel sheets and standardized the categorizations of data Ex. In one Excel document, someone would write “3%,” in others they would write “3% – new lead,” and so on. Big Presence converted the data in those fields to match and standardized over 15 new custom contact properties.
Implemented 40 sales email templates into HubSpot Sales Pro to keep communication consistent and streamline the sending process.
Now, Lotus Innovations can:
Use consolidated data that is clean and sortable to send linear email sequences to prospects and investors. Sequence example: When a fund is closing, send a sequence with one-click enrollment rather than relying on a manual process to identify which email to send to which contact and when.
Add task queues for calls, emails, and tasks, including choosing email templates to send based on task queues, or placing subscribers and leads into a sequence.
Results: Giving the Investor Relations Staff Time to Grow the Business
Before HubSpot sales enablement, the investor relations staff at Lotus Innovations spent large amounts of time on outdated, manual processes based in Excel spreadsheets. Our biggest result was eliminating as much wasted time as possible, so the investor relations team can now focus on improving engagements with investors, and gain better visibility into their communications between Lotus and their investors.
The client can now filter and sort their data in one clean system, that can be easily monitored and tracked.
By implementing templates in HubSpot Sales Pro, emails can be sent in 10 seconds, rather than 5 minutes (multiplied by hundreds/thousands of emails a week, this is a huge savings of time).
Now the process becomes a couple of clicks, rather than dozens of clicks and MUCH LESS MEETING TIME.
Program management of the ongoing investor campaigns was costing Lotus nearly 150 work hours per month. This new system allows a single individual to manage the program and enables real-time reporting and segmentation across all activities and leads. Conservatively, the savings add up to $5000 a month during fundraising cycles.
“The results we have seen from working with Big Presence on HubSpot Sales Enablement have far exceeded my expectations. My BDs are now making more calls, booking more meetings and passing more sales qualified leads through the pipeline. I can’t wait to see how this impacts our business once it’s been in place for a quarter or two. The results so far have been fantastic. We should have been on HubSpot a long time ago.”
– Jeff Luzze, Principal, Lotus Innovations