Global Transport Forum specialise in organising technical conferences for the railway industry and the tank storage industry. Established in June 2009, the company has quickly become the market leader in this niche area, delivering conferences of the highest quality.
The company generates revenue from two separate areas; from sponsorship of conferences and from delegates who attend their conferences. This means that they needed a CRM system that allows them to manage data for both sponsors and delegates, and that will enable them to monitor the relationship they have with any given record.
Duplication and disunity
Prior to implementing Workbooks, Global Transport Forum were using FCPro, a kind of registration, invoice and CRM system- they also had a duplicate system of spreadsheets in Excel for sales and marketing. This duplication and disunity was causing a number of pain points for the company. Piers Bearne, the Business Owner of Global Transport Forum explains, “Because our sales and marketing database was not joined up, sales had no visibility of who had been contacted by marketing, and vice-versa. Someone from the marketing team might contact someone regarding a delegate place, without realising that someone from sales had recently contacted them about a sponsorship opportunity.”
Piers quickly realised the need for a CRM system to resolve these issues. His initial set of requirements was for a marketing database that could import lists, de-dupe data, assign a number of campaigns to a single record and allow his team to view the company’s interaction with that record from a number of different touch points; either as a potential delegate or as a potential sponsor. He also wanted to be able to report on this information in real-time and manage sales performance.
David vs Goliath
Piers first considered Workbooks after an employee conducted some research on CRM providers in the market and added Workbooks to a shortlist of providers to consider. The final shortlist consisted of Salesforce and Workbooks. “My initial feeling was that I wanted to go with a big brand name, such as Salesforce, with an off-the-shelf package. However, I was quick to change my mind after looking at the Workbooks offering. The user interface was more intuitive than Salesforce and Workbooks offered all of the functionality that we wanted from Salesforce, but at a much lower cost.” explains Piers, “Another key factor was that the Workbooks team offered extensive support and I felt that someone would be on hand to help if there was ever an issue. In the end, I chose Workbooks because I felt they were big enough to do a good job, but small enough to care.”
Up and running in no time
Piers was very pleased with the implementation of Workbooks and the training that his team received. “The intuitive user face means that the basic functions work well and the system has been successfully adopted by the sales and marketing teams.” Says Piers, “We have very complex requirements so the implementation team had to build a number of complicated reports that I don’t think we could have created using Salesforce or without the help of the Workbooks team. For instance, we need to run de-dupes of data when it comes in from different sources and we need to track responses from a single record in our database across a number of different campaigns.”
A joined-up record of all customer interaction
Global Transport Forum are already feeling the benefits of having a connected CRM system to support sales and marketing. They no longer suffer problems due to duplications and the sales and marketing teams have visibility of how the company has been interacting with any given record, and can plan their sales and marketing activity more effectively.
As the business owner, a real bonus for Piers is the ability to easily monitor and manage sales performance. “We can now instantly see real-time figures and management information. Previously this kind of reporting would have involved time-consuming manual processes, taking the equivalent of 20 hours per week to collate the relevant information.”
Piers concludes, “I would recommend Workbooks to anyone and I plan on using it in companies that I acquire in the future. It supports both sales and marketing functions; I think the interface and dashboards are very slick; and it is easy to run campaigns and reports. This is all packaged into a single database with a supportive team on hand to help.”