- Sales Partner, the Romanian car sales automation solution provider, brings in EUR 650K of investment
- The API-based solution allows for prompt integration with any existing systems for sales processes
- The investment will be used for geographic expansion and product development
Romanian car sales API-based automation startup Sales Partner attracted EUR 650K of investment. The round is led by the well-known Cluj-based fund Fortech Investments (invested in Synaptiq, among others).
From Custom Development to Car Sales CRM and BI
Seasoned IT entrepreneurs Felicia and Sorin Bârsan have over 15 years of experience in custom development (sales and tech respectively). Originally, their business was custom development as it evolved from creating websites to niche CRM products and business intelligence systems.
In 2016, they entered the automotive industry through the implementation of a business intelligence solution. Being closely linked to dealership data and the systems involved, they quickly found out that the solutions were outdated, incomplete, and not integrated.
‘Based on this identified need, validated with our clients and the know-how accumulated in both the automotive and solution development, we directed our efforts towards creating the Sales Partner Platform for the automotive sector,’ Ms Bârsan recalls.
She attributes the lack of an adequate solution to a certain degree of conservatism in the industry, a higher inertia than in other industries, and the maintenance required for the integrations. According to her, a ‘recipe’ is required to deal with these three aspects.
Automotive-Specific Sales Automation
‘The automotive industry is a specific and standardized one, so the sales flow is also quite specific here, following clear steps imposed by standards. At the same time, there is a set of parameters, statuses, and constraints in the flow that differ based on certain criteria, such as the sales case, the buyer, sales policy, reservation policy, financier, implications from after-sales, acquisition conditions, etc. Sales Partner uniquely and fully automates all real sales cases, without the need to work in other systems,’ Ms Bârsan explains.
The Sales Partner platform helps dealerships, importers, and car sales services to automate their entire operational and business flow, from capturing leads from whichever sources they use to quoting commercial policies, document generation, and all the processes all the way to the car leaving the dealership gate and reporting on the entire activity.
‘We have designed our platform to provide a unified, web-based solution that integrates existing applications and connects information throughout the entire chain: manufacturer-dealer-financing-end-user. Our end-goal is to help provide a simple yet meaningful car buying experience, in the same way as the first time you enter and ride your car for the first time,’ Ms Bârsan states.
More specifically, Sales Partner reportedly takes less than 5 minutes to complete the following sales processes:
- Collecting leads from multiple channels and allocating them automatically using certain criteria (load, location, campaign, specialization)
- Completing sales funnel – from lead generation on social media (for example) to automated allocation, custom offering, sales process steps and negotiation, and sales closing. Integration with Business Intelligence allows Dealership to know the exact ROI for any sale, on any channel, any location, etc.
- Online sales processing from website, car reservation, contract generation, digital signature, API status connection with car sales platforms
- Automated financial confirmation of payment through bank integration, automated payments mapping and invoice generation, including eINVOICE systems
- Automated background check of companies through APIs with the obtained data further used for issuing documents
- ‘Rolling stock’: APIs and RPA connections to get the data related to cars configuration directly from the factory (saves hundreds of hours per month for large dealers)
- Automatic creation of future leads based on the customer’s financing periods and criteria
- Possible implementation of the work-from-anywhere policy
- Reduction of paper usage, contributing to ESG-focused transformation to a more environment-friendly dealership.
‘Our years of experience in working with data due and business intelligence revealed that most companies experience issues with connecting their systems to work properly together. Sales Partner has an API based structure that allows fast extension and seamless integration with almost any system. Large car dealerships could finalize the implementation in less than 4 weeks and have everything transformed from hard copy to digital processes,’ Ms Bârsan adds.
As of now, Sales Partner’s portfolio of partners comprises a total of 45 locations with over 500 active users. This amounts to 10% of all new cars sales in Romania being processed with the help of Sales Partner. The startup’s ambition is to reach 35% by the end of 2025.
Investment and Plans
‘Sales Partner attracted our attention by the complexity of the product, the possibilities of scaling, and seamless integration, as well as the determination of the two entrepreneurs behind this business and the team they coordinate. We joined the investment round with full confidence in the potential of this innovative solution, not only for the region. We intend to support Sales Partner not only with financing, but also with our expertise in this competitive and extremely dynamic field,’ Fortech Investments’ managing director Valentin Filip tells ITKeyMedia.
The amount of EUR 650K represents the cumulative investment of the founders up to this point, along with the investment received from Fortech Investments. The startup will direct this budget toward the development of the CRM module for after-sales, as well as international expansion – more specifically, Poland, Germany, and the UK. The geographic expansion will be realized through creating a network of partners in these regions, as well as expanding partnerships with multiple manufacturers and importers by integrating with their systems.
The startup’s further ambitions include becoming a leading enterprise-level solution in the automotive industry with presence in +10 countries and partnership’s with world’s top car manufacturers and dealers.
‘Our 5-year mission is to include in our solution stack all the relevant tools to help dealers, services, OEMs, and car importers to achieve ultimate client satisfaction yet in a profitable and secure way. Our vision is to help the automotive industry deliver a remarkable customer car buying experience,’ Ms Bârsan concludes
Kostiantyn is a freelance writer from Crimea but based in Lviv. He loves writing about IT and high tech because those topics are always upbeat and he’s an inherent optimist!