Empower and Revitalize Japan for Next Generation

Enjoy our initiatives and ideas that embody SOPHOLA's Vision, Mission and Values.
We will update our employees' daily lives and thoughts so that you can understand the SOPHOLA culture.

Streamlining processes and the freelance mindset

Over the past 2 months, I have been working with my coworker Kenta to streamline our work processes to minimise repeatable tasks and maximise our effective time. This quarter our targets, as individuals, a team and company as a whole, have risen considerably and as a result it is increasingly challenging to manage the balance between existing client tasks and lead generation.

The streamlining has focused on those two main areas:

Managing Existing Client Tasks

– We have been improving our task management by using Asana.
– Support tasks for clients were taking too much time and so we added support checklists for the clients’ reference in Asana.
– We are adding a streamlined onboarding sheet to Asana to centralise all information and communication to a single channel.
– We created an agency template using our existing client as a model. This will considerably cut down on the onboarding time for new clients. The changes above are also included in this template so ongoing support and tasks will be greatly reduced as well.

Lead Generation

– We have begun using an e-signing platform to streamline the contract signing process. As we were preparing agreements for new clients, we incorporated this into this process. One issue we were having was that contract signing was taking too long via email, but this should be resolved now.
– We were having issues with our email deliverability due to faulty DNS record settings. As we were planning a large scale email campaign, we resolved this issue.
– We experimented with an email based sales automation platform to be able to manage the large scale email campaign mentioned above. While the multi-step campaign we created was useful and is something we can continue to use, the service had some issues with deliverability. After evaluating the tool, we decided to move forward with manual emails to ensure the deliverability of the campaigns.
– We are now evaluating a lead gen and cultivation service for our B2B sales. This has long been the biggest issue that we have and we haven’t been able to increase the number of leads at a sufficient rate. This service could potentially go some way toward resolving this. As opposed to the previous campaigns we have run, they deliver appointments with leads familiar with the service offering rather than just qualified leads, which should cut down on the time to closing as well as the improve the overall lead intent.

I was asked by my coworkers why I had taken it upon myself to start trying to optimise these processes. To be honest it had never occured to me that this was unusual. Having primarily worked for startups as a freelance consultant for the past 5-6 years and not in large teams with set structures, you are continually having to find better and more streamlined ways of working as resources are limited. You also have to solve most of the problems yourself due to the remote nature of the work both in terms of geography and time difference. As a freelance consultant any time savings you make while achieving targets makes a huge difference to your business and that thinking becomes ingrained in your way of working.

As I’m still getting to grips with working in a new environment, I’m glad that some of my previous experience is having a beneficial effect on my current work.

Sebastian Benedikz