There are some natural born entrepreneurs who see a problem, challenge or need, and have a burning desire to find the solution - Karen Wessels is one such entrepreneur. Her latest venture SnappSales has found a solution for all those companies who need to create quality sales leads, but whose salespeople hate cold-calling. She has found an innovative and highly efficient way of appointment setting, harnessing the power of conversation and the talents of a great team of people.
LoA chatted to the ever inspirational Karen Wessels about this latest business venture and her ambitious aspirations for its future.
Tell us a little more about your company and what it does.
We do conversational appointment setting. We will setup appointments for you and your team, where the prospect is warmed up and ready to talk business. We have a great approach which mixes both the powerful human touch and also great technology, and which cultivates prospects to naturally want to engage with your brand. We focus on setting up quality appointments rather than quantity.
"Solving a real-time problem and bringing satisfaction to our clients on a daily basis gives me endless joy."
What inspired you to start your company?
We all understand the importance of quality appointments, but we all hate cold calling. I come from a strong sales background, where I still believe today that cold calling is crucial to any business, product or service, yet this important part of the sales process gets the least amount of attention. Sales people hate doing it, we all did. We also understand relationships and trust between companies, and as an applied differentiator it’s amazingly powerful. We totally saw the pain point, and built a great solution for it.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
More Appointments = More Sales.
We can become that extension to your sales force that will take care of the very important top of funnel activities, freeing up your sales people to close deals and build relationships. Our service will make your sales team happy, because they do not have to do that much cold calling anymore, and happy sales people will hopefully close better. Finally, it just makes sense.
"We want to establish ourselves as the market leaders in appointment setting in South Africa and employ 150 people in our 1st full year of operation."
Tell us a little about your team
We have an amazing team. What makes our team even more amazing is our business model. Our management team consists of our two Team Managers, Lynda and Audrey. They take care of our TeleStars, ensuring our Stars stay happy and also cover various other tasks as required, keeping in mind we are still a startup. Everyone pitches in where needed. Then it’s me and my co-founder, Albert, managing and building SnappSales. Our TeleStars are the real stars of this business. They are the cogs that make this baby run.
We employ TeleStars, DataMiners and Team Managers. Lynda and Audrey were both DataMiners and TeleStars before they were promoted. The wonderful part of our business model is that we can build a virtual call centre, allowing us to hire physically different, able bodied persons, mommies and students to work for us. Students tend to become DataMiners as it allows them to work at night, or when they have time, earning money while studying. Stay at home Mommies tend to become TeleStars. Our business model allows for them to work flexi-time, being available for the kids, whilst at the same time earning money. Each applicant goes through a stringent LMS process before joining the team.
"We can become that extension to your sales force that will take care of the very important top of funnel activities, freeing up your sales people to close deals and build relationships."
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
I started my 1st business in 2008, very unplanned. I honed my skills as a Virtual Assistant and quickly started my own Virtual Assistant agency. VA Connect is doing really well with 12 Virtual Assistants and a complete spectrum of skills. In March this year, we toyed with the idea of SnappSales, and in May it was born. We grew to 16 wonderful souls in SnappSales to date.
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
We want to establish ourselves as the market leaders in appointment setting in South Africa and employ 150 people in our 1st full year of operation. Then we want to go global, keeping as many of the TeleStar jobs in South Africa as possible, for as long as language and time zones allow.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
I’m inspired by helping others. And I must admit, I really enjoy being my own boss, creating and innovating workable systems and processes within the startup world. Solving a real-time problem and bringing satisfaction to our clients on a daily basis gives me endless joy.
#EntrepreneurAdvice: "Find a mentor who has travelled a path similar to the one you’re starting."
- Karen Wessels, co-founder @SnappSales
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
The best advice I can give any aspiring entrepreneur is to just start, dip your toes in and get them wet.
Find a mentor who has travelled a path similar to the one you’re starting.
Do quality networking and form meaningful partnerships with other startups.
Be open to learning, listening, failing. Then take the knowledge you’ve garnered from that, implement it in your business, and keep making it better.
Contact or follow SnappSales
Why LoA loves it….
At LoA, we love those women entrepreneurs who are passionate about finding solutions to some of life’s challenges, including those in the business world. Karen Wessels is just that kind of entrepreneur, not content with sitting back having established one successful business, she is now building another with potentially an even more exciting upside and future potential. She is a real inspiration to all those women out there who potentially have ideas and solutions of their own, but need the courage and faith to make it a reality. Karen would tell them to just go and do it - and, we applaud her for it. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa