Helen Brett Enterprises is a 4th generation family owned business. The company started life when the family put on a cash and carry jewellery and gift trade show, and it has now grown to become the leader in cash and carry trade show production and management in the United States. Helen Brett Enterprises promotes and runs nine large trade shows a year and is unique in its focus on bringing buyers and sellers together.
For each trade show, exhibitors reserve a trade show space and place a deposit with Helen Brett Enterprises. Using a manual, paper-based system, the sales team had difficulty keeping track of all the accounts assigned to them.
“The sales team didn’t have customer lists at their fingertips and they often had to combine lots of reports to get visibility of this kind of data. This meant that it was hard to keep an accurate and up-to-date record of those who had booked a place at a show and whether they had paid their deposit,” explains Brett Kolinek, the Director of Corporate Operations, “We also had a lot of contacts being called by multiple sales reps without other sales reps having any visibility of the previous communication to this customer.”
The company quickly realised that they needed a CRM system to enable them to keep track of all the buyers, sellers, people and organisations that they were contacting.
Brett heard about Workbooks in an article on CRM for small to medium businesses. He narrowed the search down from 15 vendors to a shortlist of 5 vendors including Workbooks, Oracle, Netsuite and InfusionSoft. The company unanimously agreed that Workbooks met all their requirements and seemed like the best fit for the company.
Despite being based in the US, Brett felt that the implementation process ran smoothly. Brett received training on the system and was then equipped to teach the rest of the company how to use Workbooks. “The sales staff dragged their feet initially but after 2-3 weeks we started getting a lot of praise from the team and have had really good feedback.” says Brett, “The thing that we thought would be challenging was the time difference [8 hours], but the Workbooks team have been very efficient and responsive. Workbooks has gone above and beyond and it’s been a great relationship for us.”
“We needed a CRM that could create cookie crumbs of the contact that we have made with people and organisations. Workbooks gives the entire sales team visibility of all communication that we have had with a person or their organisation.” says Brett, “With Workbooks, our sales team can keep tabs on who has reserved a space at a show and whether they have paid their deposit. The ability to collect money in a faster and slicker manner has been really helpful and we have noticed the number of deposits paid has increased by 3%.”
The nature of their business means that the employees of Helen Brett Enterprises send out a lot of email communications. Brett explained, “We were pleased to find a system that could integrate with Outlook. Workbooks enables us to keep a record of all the emails that have been sent to exhibitors and trade show attendees. Anyone in the team can track the emails that have been sent to a particular contact, even if they were not responsible for the initial email communication.”
With outside sales reps and field reps working on the road, Helen Brett Enterprises needed a web-based system that could be accessed from any location at any time. “With Workbooks our sales reps can add leads to our Workbooks system whilst they are on the road or at an exhibition. It is now easy to follow up with any company that we engage with at a trade show. Also, if an exhibitor at a trade show says that they requested a different booth location or a connection to an electricity supply, our reps at the show can log into Workbooks and check,” says Brett, “Workbooks has really given intelligence to our team so that they can speak with customers and deal with queries without having to go back and forth to the rep that initially dealt with the customer.”
The CEO of Helen Brett Enterprises is based in a different location from the rest of the team, therefore the fact that Workbooks is a web-based system is invaluable to him. He can log into Workbooks and run reports on the progress of the company with the confidence that he is seeing up-to-date numbers, and that the rest of the organisation can see the same numbers as he can.
Overall, Brett says, “The main benefit of Workbooks is that it has reduced the redundancies of business. I would recommend Workbooks and know colleagues who would as well.”