Lenders or borrowers, our series Behind the scenes goes on! Now is the time for you to find out how our Sales Team works.
After Pauline, our Operations Manager and Compliance Officer, in this article we sit down with Barbara, Head of Sales in Italy and in October since 2017.
Would you like to discover the Sales Team in all our countries? Visit the About us section of our website and meet the team…Hugues, Pablo, Marloes and many others!
Who are the members of the team and what are your missions?
Our Sales team is made up of more than 20 people across Europe.
In Italy, the Sales team is made up of five people: alongside three other Sales Executives, Alessandro, Lucrezia and Richard, I take care of our borrowers from the first click of onboarding to the final approval. The fifth member, Federico, deals with some strategic partnerships, ranging from embedded finance solutions to October Connect, our technology available to banks and financial institutions.
When October was launched in Italy, almost six years ago, I was lucky enough to be the first person on the Sales team. Creating a team from scratch was really inspiring and, of course, I was also in charge of developing the team’s potential.
Since I joined October, we launched October in other countries: in 2017 October has been already present in France and Spain, Italy was the third country in the middle of 2017 and then the Netherlands and Germany joined as well.
To what extent do you work with the Italian team and with the international team?
All our European Sales Teams are responsible for following up on loan applications and supporting businesses in their countries of reference.
The Italian Sales Team mainly focuses on Italian projects, related to Italian businesses and partners. Within our Sales Department, we like to share best practices and find together further insights to support our growth.
Of course, we also have an all-round connection with other teams in other countries, especially in termini of tech and product. We have a great day by day support from our Tech and Product team and they allow us to get the full potential of our technology/October platform.
Compared to the beginning of this adventure, we reached an instant eligibility check and a super fast timing of financing. This is also possible thanks to a continuous open interchange of information with our developers to ask for improvements, implement them and launch them on the market.
At which stage of the borrower’s journey are you involved?
Businesses apply for a loan directly via october.eu or through our partners, who access a dedicated area: anyway, the result is always instantaneous.
When businesses apply for a loan directly on our platform, they can finalise their requests fully autonomously and the request automatically moves to our credits team for the approval. Indeed, our platform is fully automated. In addition to an immediate first response, it provides highly predictive feedback regarding the final outcome.
If needed, the Sales Team will contact the borrower immediately. The Sales Team helps to solve any doubts about the product or minor technical issues and also reassures our clients. We are October’s voice, for partners and for businesses. And we our constantly alongside them throught the entire borrower journey.
How does it work with a partner?
When applying via a partner that presents us an opportunity, our goal remains the same, finance businesses better.
Our partners send us loan requests from companies that they know the needs of and who are their customers. Then, we work with our partners to propose the best solution to the borrower.
In this phase, after we reached a positive decision on financing, we get in touch with businesses. And we do this four-handily with the Operations Team.
The daily exchange with everyone involved in the process is valuable, because it allows us to continually optimise processes, communication and results.
The Sales Team continues to be a “beacon” for businesses, even after the funding phase, isn’t it?
Exactly! It is lovely when a company we have financed in the past remembers us, comes back for a further financing project and trusts us again. It always gives us great satisfaction and we strive to maintain a winning relationship with businesses and support their growth.
And this takes place thanks to a strong teamwork: who are your external and internal stakeholders?
Inside our company, our stakeholders are the Credit Team, the Operations Team, the Product Team, the Marketing Team and many others. In the market, Partners and Businesses.
What do you love most about your work?
Something I find extremely rewarding is to finance businesses we know and consider in our daily life for whatever reason: restaurants, fashion brands and so on. And I also appreciate, when we publish a project on our website, to track the level of interest and involvement in financing by retail lenders.
Teamwork is another aspect of my daily work that I cherish: “strive together”, one of our values, means precisely working together to achieve common goals.
Could you share with us the most meaningful project you managed?
The first project is always a special one: in 2017 we celebrated it and it will be unforgettable.
And it’s remarkable that we had the opportunity to finance the same company again, three and a half years later.
And how did the world change over these years?
Compared to the early years, thanks to our huge automation of the process, we can now focus directly on deepening the businesses’ needs and preparing the project for credit analysis.
After the outbreak of the Covid emergency, we speeded up some features in order to bring to market the most appropriate technological solutions for that momentum. And we did so with a winning proposition, which allows us to offer fast and simple online financing.
The launch of our instant loan was an absolute game changer: the analysis of hundreds of thousands of new loan applications enabled the development of our credit risk scoring models. And this allows us to focus on supporting all external stakeholders, helping them to make the most of our technology and to understand the strengths of our product.
What perspectives do you foresee for the future?
In a nutshell, technology and ever more embedded finance.
Being able to adapt solutions to the ever-changing market environment and even being able to anticipate needs is what we studied and what I experienced in October.
In the midst of the pandemic, we launched our instant lending and we immediately witnessed the “Wow effect”. And the same happens with our partners, as they can benefit from our technology and our data-driven approach via our platform, thanks our API integration with their environment, or through our October Connect modules, whereby our technology is also available to third parties.
This is both the current situation and also the next important direction of growth.