Tuesday, February 08, 2011

How Earnix Doubled Its Sales on the Heels of the Financial Crisis

Let’s start with the numbers. Since the financial crisis hit in 2008, Earnix has doubled its sales, doubled the number of customers, and turned profitable.

That’s impressive for any company. It’s even more impressive when you consider that Earnix sells to the world’s largest financial services companies, some of the same companies that have just been battered during the latest financial meltdown.

I asked Earnix CEO David Schapiro to share with us some of the reasons the company has been able to pull off this impressive feat.

Key to success #1: Focus on value to the customer

“From the very beginning of the company we have been intently focused on delivering value to our customers. I realize this is the goal of every company. The unique thing about the Earnix solution is that the value is proven in the very first customer engagement. You can actually see the money coming in to the customer’s bottom line.

We sell our solutions as a subscription, which forces us to continually deliver value. As a matter of fact, we even prove the success before the customer ever pays the subscription. There is no gray area, either it works or it doesn’t.

Our renewal rate is exceptionally high. Customers that have been working with the software have continued to renew their subscriptions even during the most intense period of the financial meltdown.

When the crisis hit, it forced us to be even more focused on customer success. Our people come from the financial services market, so it’s easy for them to align with the goals of the customer. The first thing I did was to get on a plane and go visit our customers. I wanted to hear firsthand what they had to say, and I wanted to make sure we were doing whatever it took to help them out. The good news for Earnix was that what our customers needed the most was a quick way to boost profitability, which is exactly what our solution was able to offer them.”

Key to success #2: Focus on core competencies

“Until 2007-2008 pricing optimization for insurers and banks was evangelistic sales to early adopters, primarily in Europe. Today it has become a mainstream solution in many places. We see it in the number of RFPs that land in our inboxes. We also see it in the number of customers that are willing to be vocal references and the number of partners that are looking to embed Earnix in their enterprise-class solution.

But you have to pay your dues in the financial services marketplace. You are not going to be taken seriously if you haven’t been around for 4-5 years . In the years preceding the crisis, we stayed focused on our core competencies, delivering pricing and customer value optimization solutions to the world’s largest insurance companies and banks. This worked out very well for us, unlike some of our competitors which spread themselves thin and did not survive the crisis.

With the onset of the crisis, some of the ways in which insurers and banks traditionally used to generate profits in the financial markets were no longer available to them. In turn, they were forced to focus on optimizing the value realized from their customer operations, which is exactly what we were able to offer them. Since we remained focused on these core competencies, we were ready with the solutions they needed and poised to capitalize on this growing demand.”

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