Organic Growth Masterclass: Global Freight Solutions, backed by Phoenix Equity

Organic growth is essential for materially improving a company’s professionalism, geographical reach and product and service offering. Richard Daw, Phoenix Equity Managing Partner, explains how Phoenix Equity helped Global Freight Solutions transform its sales and marketing functions to accelerate growth.

Global Freight Solutions (GFS) is a technology provider for small to medium sized ecommerce retailers. Increasingly, consumers are expecting much richer suites of delivery options to be available to them when they purchase online. GFS assists these retailers to maximise their sales by providing a set of parcel delivery options to their customers.

Marketing and sales function

When Phoenix Equity invested, we saw a unique, high quality service that is valued by clients, and also a massive market opportunity. In the UK, there are roughly 600 million parcels delivered yearly by small to medium sized retailers. We believed there was a real opportunity to improve the sales and marketing capability of the business to accelerate organic growth.

By introducing a marketing function, which the company had never had before, and transforming the sales function, we were able to radically accelerate the rate of winning new customers and a greater proportion of each customer’s wallet.

The business had a terrific sales director but no marketing director, and the sales team were, therefore, generating their own leads. So, on the marketing front, we worked very quickly and closely with the CEO to hire a marketing director, who worked to ensure that the customer proposition was very sharply defined and articulated through their marketing channels. She then worked to drive lead generation for the sales team, which could now turn its focus to relationship development and sales conversion.
We also collaborated with a specialist sales management consultant to do three things. Firstly, to introduce up-to-date and rigorous sales management processes and controls, and pipeline management. Then, we recruited to expand the sales team and invested in training. We also reshaped the incentivisation programme to ensure that what the business needed to get done is incentivised in an appropriate way.

Tech efficiencies

Sitting alongside this, there are three dimensions that we worked on in relation to the technology component of the business. The first was a complete reengineering of the website and marketing messages to clients.

The second aspect was introducing a CRM system. This isn’t overly complex, and we’ve done it time and time again to improve businesses’ internal operations and storing of data.
Thirdly, the business is now using a number of external data feeds, which provide the sales team with access to the data they need to market to the 600 million parcels worth of market opportunity. This means there is now a professional front end to lead generation.

Overall it has been a combination of people and processes on one side, and embedding that and supercharging it with technology. In the calendar year 2019, the business arranged the delivery of 11 million parcels in the UK; this year it will be closer to 17 million.