How Did a 10-Person Company Achieve 200 Million Yuan in Annual Foreign Trade Sales?

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Over the years, the foreign trade industry has experienced ups and downs, filled with uncertainties and challenges.


Nevertheless, many foreign trade companies are continuously thinking innovatively and seeking breakthroughs to cope with the changing environment and fierce competition.


One such success story is Dewen Ma of Shanghai Umeng Industrial Development Co., Ltd., an 18-year partner of Tendata. Leading his 10-person team, they achieved a sales revenue of 200 million yuan. How did he lead the team to create miracles?

Click the Video to Watch Dewen Ma 's Story ↓

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1. Utilizing Parent Company Resources to Realize Internal Entrepreneurship Dreams

Umeng’s history dates back to Shanghai Union Magnetics Co., Ltd., their parent company. In 2008, some shareholders of the parent company founded Shanghai Umeng Industrial Development Co., Ltd. and invited Dewen Ma to join the shareholders’ team, marking a model of internal entrepreneurship.


In the early explorations, Umeng ventured into various fields, from display props to office furniture. Dewen Ma led his team through continuous trial and error, learning, and adjustments. After a series of attempts and reflections, they ultimately chose the advertising materials industry as their main battlefield due to its vast market capacity and development space. “By 2016, our momentum was strong, with exports approaching 100 million yuan,” said Dewen Ma.


As 2018 arrived, they witnessed the continuous growth of industry capacity, with unlimited market potential. However, as Dewen Ma foresaw, competition intensified with expanding capacity. He deeply understood that success in this large and competitive market depended on providing high-cost performance products. The challenge for Umeng was not only survival but also standing out in fierce market competition and achieving sustainable growth.

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2. Blind Development Wastes Time and Effort, Customer Quality Difficult to Assess

Initially, Umeng developed potential customers through offline exhibitions and diversified online platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google.


Over time, they found that customers developed through LinkedIn, Facebook, Google, etc., did not meet their target expectations. These channels often brought in customers who were not the target customer group they wanted to pursue, wasting time and missing out on major clients. They hoped to invest more energy and resources into more promising customers.


Moreover, they found it challenging to assess the quality of these customers. Many were intermediaries or agents, and obtaining detailed customer information relied on salespeople searching online, making it hard for the Umeng team to accurately understand their procurement needs and annual procurement volume. The information provided by customers often lacked authenticity and reliability, complicating their decision-making process. Even making price concessions to attract these customers did not guarantee expected returns.

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3. Choosing More Precise Development Methods to Open the Door to Customer Acquisition

Dewen Ma decided to re-examine and adjust the customer development strategy. He encouraged his team to actively seek more precise and efficient ways to identify and attract customers who truly fit their strategic goals.


He particularly emphasized Tendata's "precise customer development path," stating: "Tendata's precise customer development path has really inspired me, especially regarding customer profiling and background checks. In the past, we often fell into a state of blind and scattered customer development, lacking clear direction and strategy, leading to inefficiency and resource waste. But since adopting Tendata's precise customer development path, it feels like we've found a key to more targeted work.

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Tendata's database can automatically track key background information about customers, including 'purchase volume, supply chain situation, competitors, and contact details for purchasing.' With such precise customer development, the conversion rate is much higher.


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Through the data provided by the Tendata iTrader SaaS platform, we can accurately grasp a customer's annual purchase volume and understand their sourcing origins, such as whether they purchase from China or other countries." This allows them to conduct in-depth analyses to determine whether a customer belongs to their target customer group.


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Reflecting on the past, for instance, from 2002 to 2006, their method of finding customers was relatively single-tracked, mainly through blind searches on Google. At that time, they could not accurately understand the scale and quality of customers and could only judge based on some clues whether customers might be interested in their products. This method was both inefficient and inaccurate.


Now, through preliminary screening and collaboration, they have accumulated a large number of high-quality, long-term cooperative customers. "In 2023, we successfully signed six new customers through the Tendata iTrader SaaS platform. These customers were carefully selected through the platform and have high cooperation potential," Dewen Ma emphasized. This transformation not only improved their business efficiency but also brought more stable income sources.


4. Individual Ability Has Limits, But Team Potential Is Unlimited

"Our company highly values teamwork, believing it to be the key to success. Even when facing large customers or projects, we do not rely solely on the efforts of top sales personnel. In this team collaboration, everyone has their role, including myself. Sometimes I directly liaise with customers, providing necessary knowledge and studying the feasibility and development of projects. Therefore, every success should be attributed to the collective effort of the entire team, not just individual salespeople," Dewen Ma said in an interview.


In addition to precise customer development, Tendata also brought new changes to Umeng in team management. The Tendata iTrader SaaS platform integrates with CRM to precisely filter and classify target customers, centralize their management in the Tendata CRM system, and formulate effective development strategies for core customers.

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With the improvement in team performance and morale, it's essential to delve deeper into enterprise management and operations from a higher perspective. Regarding the previously mentioned difficulties, Dewen Ma stated: "When conducting business, it is crucial to have clear goals. We must focus on our products, find the correct market positioning, and effectively develop customers. Based on our past experience, we explored various models but ultimately chose to focus on the advertising materials field. Because we quickly found our area of expertise, Umeng's brand influence in the industry gradually strengthened.


In customer development, we also adopted more efficient methods, such as using the Tendata iTrader SaaS platform, which enables us to reach target customers more precisely. In team management, the Tendata CRM system can boost team enthusiasm and systematically manage customers.


"The cooperation between the two can connect multiple links within the team, achieve resource sharing, make work more visualized, and enhance team cohesion," said Dewen Ma.


5. Leveraging Digital Power to Achieve the Next Milestone

In an increasingly competitive market environment, those who seize the initiative will have broader development prospects. They are fully prepared to face future challenges. Digital marketing has become an inevitable trend in enterprise development, and Tendata has provided them with precise and effective customer sources, demonstrating high cost performance.


Currently, Umeng's annual sales have exceeded 200 million yuan. Looking ahead to the next three years, they have set a goal of 300 million yuan. To achieve this goal, their next steps include optimizing the company's internal structure, actively recruiting more professionals, expanding their team, and continuously improving service levels to create more value for users.


More importantly, whether in customer acquisition or management, Umeng will continue to focus on digital development and management, fully realizing the digital transformation of the enterprise. Dewen Ma firmly believes: "By leveraging digitalization to provide a competitive edge to the enterprise, continuous innovation and optimization can meet customer needs and continuously expand the space for performance growth."


Tendata will continue to strive to provide high-quality products and services, maintain innovation and a progressive mindset, and work closely with partners to empower foreign trade enterprises with data, aiding in their efficient and stable growth.

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