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Interview with Stanley Chee, Co-founder and CEO at SalesCandy

A Software Engineer with Bachelor of Science in Computer Systems Engineering from Arizona State University, Stanley Chee graduated Magna Cum – Laude honor in the year 2000, worked as a JAVA Servlet Developer before returning to Malaysia. He has co-founded OffGamers Group and a few other startups, mostly in digital and eCommerce fields. He is a Mensa member with an IQ of 164. He is a Google Regional Trainer in Google Ads products

TDE: Thank you so much for taking our questions! Tell us a little about your business and its history?

Stanley Chee: My co-founder Jeffry Chan and I were running performance marketing agencies when we realised a common pain point – there was no transparency in the lead management process. We couldn’t find a way to prove to our clients that we were generating quality leads that, if followed up immediately and diligently, could’ve brought positive impact on the sales.

SalesCandy is a mobile app that picks up leads generated through multiple traditional and digital channels and routes them instantly to the salespeople’s mobile phone the moment they submit an enquiry, enabling them to be contacted immediately. Our solution shortens your lead response time from an industry average of 14 days to just 5 minutes to increase your leads closing rate. The solution works on all Android devices and allows you to proactively control the entire sales process from receiving the leads, scheduling follow-up actions with reminders, to managing your sales funnel, all while you are on-the-go. It also offers comprehensive tracking on lead histories and provides statistics that give you insights into the effectiveness of each advertising effort to allow you to maximise the sales from your marketing budget.

TDE: What are your thoughts on the current pace of digital transformation in your industry? Do you feel overwhelmed with the prospect of introducing technology solutions to manage & streamline parts of your business?

Stanley Chee: It’s happening at a gradual pace & different markets have different paces. For example in Klang Valley, decisions are made much faster as everyone is moving at fast pace, largely due to the stiff competition. Whereas for the other part of Malaysia, it was not as fast as Klang Valley. As for SalesCandy internally, since we are technology-based startup, everyone is by default ready to embrace any kind of tech solutions that will help them to get the job done faster & more efficiently.

TDE: What is the one technology trend within your industry that cannot be ignored?

Stanley Chee: Digitization of the entire online/offline to offline sales journey.

TDE: What has been the most significant technology integration/implementation so far, at your organization? Why? (could have impacted your employee efficiency, customer satisfaction, profit margins etc.)

Stanley Chee: As a startup, we had to derive technology implementations based on the operational pain points that our employees were facing on a day to day basis. For instance, implementing Zendesk for customer support to automate mundane tasks that were slowing down the support team, whilst implementing Copper to automate data collection and filtering from our repository of data within Google Drive. To increase server efficiency, we also made a move to switch to the AWS serverless technology, where it allowed us to save on costs when our lead routing technology was not in use. The questions we would always ask ourselves before implementing a new technology, is whether it would make operational and business sense. Also, we use Google Suite for productivity tools (email, calendar, chat, contacts, docs, spreadsheet, shared drives). Kakitangan for payroll management and claims, where this will help us to reduce the need for a stand-alone HR department.

TDE: Do you have a dedicated in-house IT team? What are some of the challenges your IT team and employees faced before, during and after bringing in this solution? How did you resolve them?

Stanley Chee: One of the key requirements of choosing a solution is to make sure we don’t need a dedicated in-house server (hardware) and team to support it. All the solutions we implemented are cloud-based and we don’t host a single server in the office even though we are a tech company. We also design our product, SalesCandy, with the same philosophy in mind.  We have started the company with the above solutions in place. However, the challenge that we usually face is the hesitation of adopting the new technology from certain employees, especially when it requires the mindset shift as well as the workflow change. For some, it will be doing things out of their usual comfort zone, hence the hesitation is slightly greater.

TDE: What’s the internal technology challenge your organization aims to resolve in the immediate future? (could be internal workflow/workforce automation or having internal operations such as CRM, HR, Inventory powered by front end mobile apps)  

Stanley Chee: As startups can be pretty volatile, it’s hard to predict challenges that may occur a year down the road. As a rule of thumb, with every operational challenge that comes, it’s always good to weigh the options available in the market and which solutions will be a best fit for your company. There are plenty of technology-as-a-service companies out there which you can run for a few months before deciding whether this is an initiative you decide to make in-house if products in the market does not make operational sense. Another example is the full rollout of KPI measurement and tracking across all departments.

TDE: From an external viewpoint are you considering using mobility solutions/mobile apps to promote/sell your products online, or to promote/sell your products to your dealers and allow them to order online?

Stanley Chee: Yes, especially looking at the market opportunity, we foresee the first mobile approach that we take right now will bear the fruits once we introduce all products in the pipelines now.

TDE: How do you keep yourself updated? What are some of the websites or magazines or apps that you subscribe to or read regularly?  

Stanley Chee: Tech blogs like theverge.com, techcrunch.com. Also startup-related blogs, especially ones that cover Asian market like techinasia.com, e27.co. Global financial news, forecast, upcoming challenges on tech companies.

TDE: What’s your favorite social network – Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter?

Stanley Chee: Linkedin as a startup networking platform has been one of my favourites so far. With the Linkedin Premium account, it has enabled me to widen my network beyond prospects, but also peers within the startup industry such as fellow startup co-founders, VCs, venture builders, accelerators and so on.

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