Universal Avenue

On-demand sales as a service

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Hi all, I’m the founder of Universal Avenue. The idea behind Universal Avenue came from a previous idea that my co-founder Petter and I had for people to work whilst traveling. We were always meeting a lot of people who were looking for freedom and flexibility but at the same time wanted to do something meaningful and qualified. The idea evolved a lot as we discovered a gap for offering this to people in all kinds of situations, which led to the creation of Universal Avenue. We’re introducing Sales-as-a-Service, with an on-demand direct sales force that can be instantly activated in any location around the world and have built a platform that that is used by the world’s top online brands to grow in new markets. On our platform we recruit and train Brand Ambassadors; they live and all over the world, set their own schedule, and are free to work wherever they choose to go. Together they form a distributed network that gives brands and other online solutions the freedom to grow in any market at any time. The main problems that we are solving are: • Difficulty to reach decision makers in B2B sales – cultural differences, missing contact details and limited online presence create a need to have a face-to-face approach. • There is no easy way for brands to try out new markets internationally at a low cost - especially for US based brands entering a scattered European market. • Customer acquisition speed and cost are key metrics – many well funded startups are looking for ways to grow faster while being cost efficient and keeping risk low. Hope you like the concept, we are available right now to answer any questions! Johan
Interesting model, good potential sales channel to try out. What types of brands/industries work well with UA?
@ryangum Great question, so typically the kind of brands that work well are those that target physical venues as customers, for example those who want to acquire shops, restaurants, cafes, hotels, etc. We also have a slight preference to those with digital products (though sometimes hybrids can work too like in the case of iZettle). We generally also tend to target small to medium sized venues where it's easy for our Brand Ambassadors to reach decision makers quickly (and likewise, where it can be difficult for growing companies to access on scale in markets across the world). Does that make sense Ryan?
Looks like a great concept. How do you vet the ambassadors to make sure they represent the brands in the right way? How curated are they?
Cheers @fredriknas , lots of great comment here, keep them up! We're extremely careful who we take on as a Brand Ambassador. Anyone can apply, but we curate the applications very carefully looking for a basic core understanding of sales skill and ability to hold professional meetings. Once an Ambassador is accepted they then go through our rigorous training process, which covers both general training on direct selling, but also specific content around the brands our Ambassadors represent. We have a full in-app 'academy' section that takes them through this and then quizzes each ambassador on what they've learned before they are accept. Even once thats completed, we have in house brand coaches on hand who then work with our Brand Ambassadors closely on a 1:1 basis. Since we only charge for results, ensuring brands are represented in the right way are as much our concern as for the Brands we work with.
Have pinged Johan Lilja (@Dysso) to give his comments as CEO/Co-Founder on the inspiration behind Universal Avenue. In the mean time you can read some more on Techcrunch at http://techcrunch.com/2015/04/27...
Nice, very interesting! How come you choose to expand into the UK?
Thanks a lot @parse_ So, UK... For us its always been a big target for us due to the fact its the first entry point in Europe for many brands (particularly in the US). We're intending on launching in the UK as early as next Month and will be ramping things up over the next year.