Growth Con PH: 6 Entrepreneurs Share Strategies for Better Sales Productivity

Sales productivity is something that all companies strive to attain. In the recently concluded Growth Con PH, six experts share how this can help businesses grow.

According to a LinkedIn study, salespeople spend less than 30% of their time focusing on sales, as they are weighed down by their non-selling responsibilities. This shouldn’t be the case, however, since money is the lifeblood of any business—making it an important focal point.

But more importantly, the numbers also show an area of improvement for any business. And that is to make sure that salespeople focus more effort on selling in order to generate revenue.

Why is that? Generating high revenue is one of the main targets of any business. This is why it’s always important to check the effectiveness and efficiency of the brand’s sales team. After all, the money going into a business is the one factor that is being measured by sales productivity, especially since this can properly assess whether the team is doing well or needs improvement. 

Given how some companies find this aspect challenging, The Business Manual gathered a roster of experienced entrepreneurs to share insights and strategies for improved sales productivity. This happened during the first-ever Growth Con PH, which was held at Ascott Hotel last June 29, 2023.

We list these entrepreneurs, as well as a summary of what was shared in the panel discussion.

From L to R: Brian Poe Llamanzares, Ph.D. of Arifract, Jon Carlo Lim of DragonFi, May Leuterio of Rent.PH, Dennis Velasco of, Dean Bernales of Uniquecorn Strategies, Bam Meji of SariSuki, and RJ Ledesma, the Editor-in-Chief of The Business Manual. Photo by KLIQ, Inc.

Brian Poe Llamanzares, Ph.D., Co-Founder of Artifract 

As one of the pioneers of Fine Arts Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs) in Asia, Artifract is focused mainly on helping art estates, museums, private collectors, and artists protect their artworks. How? By creating a unique token on the blockchain—more popularly known as the minting process. By producing official minted versions of artworks, owners and artists alike get to maintain their authenticity and traceability. 

According to Dr. Llamanzares, the company was born out of a group of art enthusiasts who met up with blockchain enthusiasts and a finance person. “So when you get them all in one room, what happens? You digitize and save art and culture,” he narrates.

Noting a pain point that art only appreciates in value once its creator passes away, he devised a way to remedy that. “One of the biggest problems artists is they don’t get to enjoy the fruits of their labor. They pass away, and sometimes their art goes for millions of pesos—[which] the next generation doesn’t get to appreciate,” the entrepreneur explains. “So we tried to solve it using blockchain and smart contracts so that the NFTs are able to give back royalties to families and estates.”

As for his advice for businesses that want to grow their sales by using technology? “If you’re patient, you’ll be able to find good companies that are able to help carry you through on the development side. Once you get that company that’s going to do the development for you or that site, you want to make sure that you have ownership of it.”

“Make sure that the fine print is there, and that your company owns anything that is developed on the tech side because that is going to be a big chunk of your valuation as a startup,” he adds.

Given the volatile nature of NFTs, Dr. Llamanzares, through Artifract, devised a way to protect them. “We were able to work out an agreement with the art houses that every NFT you buy comes also with [something] of equal value,” he explains. “So even if NFT suddenly disappears off the face of the earth, your money is protected because those prints—those sheets signed by the artists and authorized by the families will always hold value.” Photo by KLIQ, Inc.

John Carlo Lim, CEO and Co-Founder of DragonFi 

DragonFi is one of the renowned platforms that allow people to learn more about decentralized finance (DeFi)—a process that involves using ledger technologies to allow lending, investing, or trading on crypto assets without relying on traditional intermediaries. This is why they also have the necessary tools that investors can make the most out of, including a fully customizable trading experience and a comprehensive guide about the stock market. 

“The volume and diversity of stock exchanges actually paltry compared to let’s say, the developed markets. And so we felt that this shouldn’t be happening in and that’s why we came into the picture,” Lim explains in the panel discussion.

Lim also shares that what inspired them to take the uncompromising route was when they saw most of the existing players in the retail investment space still using 2002 technology. By acquiring the best technology they saw, they now “share the same technology as the best for purchase in the US and customize it for the Filipino’s case, [so they can] allow Filipinos to invest in the financial markets.”

With his expertise in both the US and Philippine stock markets to invest in, he shares what he thinks is the best way to invest. “The way to invest in the US [market is] to invest based on momentum, but in the Philippines, the base invest [should be] based on value,” he advises.

The business model that John Carlo Lim had in mind for DragonFi showed incredible promise that he was able to sell his stock market up to the country’s biggest tycoons: Tony Tan Caktiong, the Founder and Chairman of Jollibee Foods Corporation and the Co-Chairman of DoubleDragon, and Injap Sia, the Chairman of DoubleDragon Properties and the founder of the Mang Inasal fast food restaurant chain. Photo by KLIQ, Inc.

May Antonette Leuterio, Chief Operating Officer of Filipino Homes and Director of Rent.PH

Rent.PH is a website that allows its users to find rental spaces that are in line with their wants and needs. With a wide range of available properties located across the country, users can input their preferences and find something that best matches their preferred property type, location, and budget.

The site was built with the main mission to help Filipinos, most especially Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) with their real estate investments—whether it involves renting their property or finding a property to rent. Aside from sharing how the business came to be, Leuterio also shared that they “take care of that (the property investments), do the property roadshows internationally, and promote the developments here in the Philippines and teach the investors what to invest [on].”

When asked about the sheer scale of properties they rent out and which ones are in demand, Leuterio answers, “I think every area in the Philippines, Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao has a different percentage. So example in Cebu, We are strong in rental base on the condominiums, [while] in Cagayan, [it’s] warehouses. Also in Mindanao, we have General Santos, [which is] very strong in houses.”

As for her advice to business owners and entrepreneurs, she stresses on the importance of learning. “Train [your people] how to adapt [and use] the technology of today,” she says.

May Leuterio built Rent.PH around the mission of “helping a lot of people, especially the Filipinos,” especially the OFWs, which make up 70% of her investors. “It’s a dream of an OFW [to have their own] investment [in the Philippines]. So, we take care of that. We do property roadshows internationally, promote the developments here in the Philippines, and teach the investors [about] what to invest here in the Philippines,” she explains. Photo by KLIQ, Inc.

Dennis Velasco, CEO and Founder of 

Prosperna is an e-commerce platform that provides businesses with the chance to launch their own online stores…in just a few minutes. Given its main objective of empowering over a million Philippine MSMEs with simple and affordable solutions, the company is working with the best venture capital firms that share the same mission with them.

Founded just three months before the pandemic in January 2020, Velasco reveals the pain point that inspired him to create the business. “Prior to Prosperna being around, if somebody wanted to go online and go into e-commerce, they would have to choose an online store builder that was primarily from abroad that wasn’t very localized.”

“They’d have to go out and fill out about 10 pages of paperwork for payment gateway A, payment gateway B and try to develop and integrate it together. Then they would have to go out and fill out another 10 pages of paperwork,” he laments.

This is where his business model comes in. “With Prosperna, a Philippine small business can have one signup, one account, [and] access to all services with no coding skills, so they can really launch their business online in just a few minutes.”

When asked for a piece of advice for entrepreneurs, he says, “I believe you can create a digital flywheel [or simply a process of helping organizations solve their business problems by leveraging technology] by educating your target audience. And then, of course, driving them back to your online property.”

By making e-commerce accessible and convenient for business owners in the country, Dennis Velasco happily reports that “thanks to all of our MSMEs today, we have over 8000 Philippine small businesses. And they range from your brick-and-mortar companies that want to go online to at-home sellers, or what we call social sellers, and also digital creators.” Photo by KLIQ, Inc.

Dean Bernales, CEO and Founder of Uniquecorn Strategies 

“All of us came here to PR ourselves, PR our companies. What we do is tailor fitness for start-ups, you can see it on our brand”, begins Bernales, the CEO of Uniquecorn Strategies.

Uniquecorn Strategies is a public relations (PR) company that focuses on helping startup companies in the country. The company’s immense understanding of the startup industry—combined with its commitment to helping companies in their early stages—makes it a great partner for clients who want to level up their marketing efforts.

“We’re actually moving to our advocacy, which is to really shape a positive perception of the entire startup ecosystem,” shares Bernales says. “So we’re partnering with organizations that are accelerating the growth of startups, and basically, telling these stories across the world—not just in the Philippines.”

As for what is considered a necessity for businesses as a whole? “It’s important to communicate because that helps the industry overall to really decide on how to move forward—especially during this time of economic downturn. So technically, media has a really good appetite for data stories right now,” he opines.

In the Philippines, there are many PR companies. But what makes Uniquecorn Strategies special? “What we do differently is [to] really tailor-fit [our strategies and efforts] for startups. You can see it in any other brand. It’s unicorn strategies,” Dean Velasco explains. Photo by KLIQ, Inc.

Bam Mejia, Chief Commercial Officer and Co-Founder of SariSuki 

SariSuki is an online buy-and-sell platform that helps people become grocery sellers. What’s more, it serves as an avenue for people to get fresh and affordable items delivered to them—directly from the suppliers themselves, sans the middlemen. One of the impressive things about them is that they work closely with “ka-Sari” community leaders, which is why they’re able to ensure that the products they offer are all of good quality. 

“So the average Filipino is paying for inefficiencies in the current supply chain for fresh produce. That’s the first thing that we’re trying to solve. [The] second thing that we’re trying to solve is [that the] average Filipino pays too much for the inefficient shopping trips that they do,” Mejia says when asked about the pain point that he hoped his company could address.

Given his experience in working hands-on with store owners and alleviating the struggles that come with selling, the entrepreneur shares one profound piece of advice he hopes fellow business owners and entrepreneurs will take to heart. “What’s the problem that you’re trying to solve? If you just hammer down on that one, apply digitization, but just boots on the ground. Just remember what the problem that you’re trying to solve is, and know your customer as a deep deep down.” 

Addressing the pain point of overpriced goods and the inefficiencies of frequent shopping, Bam Mejia founded SariSuki, which “creates online sellers of fresh produce and fast-moving consumer goods via an app.” Through this app, sellers can sell their goods to neighbors within their vicinity, while earning around 6 to 10% commission. Photo by KLIQ, Inc.

These are the key entrepreneurs who shared their expertise and knowledge about sales productivity and how they applied it to their brand. By sharing what they know about it and what measures they take to uphold it in their respective industries, Growth Con PH attendees were able to leave the event with insights and takeaways that they can apply to their respective businesses.