Workbooks News

Jul 02,2015 by

At Workbooks, we believe that sharing knowledge is crucial to success, and we want you to enjoy using our software to enable you to complete your day-to-day role with ease. Workbooks Wisdom is here to save the day bringing you monthly tips and tricks to enable you to do just that. See below for June's tips.

Reduce your data input time by auto-populating fields using API data and Dynamic Picklists

If you have records with fields that are populated by information dependent on other fields, you can speed up your data entry e.g. create an ‘Industry’ Picklist on an Organisation, where the Picklist selection auto-populates the SIC code in a separate field. See our example here.

Free up storage space on your account by condensing the size of your Database

Audit data is often a good place to look if you would like to reduce the size of your database(s). Historic audit data can be exported so that you can clean your database and free up space, this is explained here. Your export can be saved elsewhere should you ever need it for future reference. You can export your audit data from your Landing page or a Report. When exporting from a Landing page make sure that you add a column for everything you would like to export. Use filters to limit the data, for instance to be prior to a certain date.

Need support?

We are proud of our Workbooks support team, and here is how you can help us to help you as quickly as possible:

  • We are ready to support any technical issues with Workbooks and are available via telephone, Email or the web. If you have a question regarding how to achieve something within Workbooks, we can point you in the right direction and our Knowledge Base is a great help. Questions of this type are often related to training rather than technical problems, which are beyond the remit of support and become chargeable consultancy.
  • In order to reduce the time taken to resolve your Case it’s great if we can get as much information as possible, such as who is affected and how we can replicate the issue. For more details on the information required please check here.
Jun 23,2015 by

We all know that retaining customers is easier than finding new ones, but do you really know if your existing customers are happy campers, a little bit grumpy or down right mad about the products or services you provide?

At Workbooks we use a simple but effective traffic lights system to keep track of customer sentiment.  Customers are marked as either Red, Amber or Green.

Red = They are unhappy and at risk of leaving us;

Amber = A little unhappy, we need to improve their perception;

Green = All is good.

The old adage is that all customers should be treated equally, but this just doesn’t make any sense.  If you have a large customer who is unhappy, you really should invest more time in getting them back on track.

So how do you use a traffic lights system effectively within your business?  Well here are a few tips:

  1. Make sure all customer facing staff have access to the traffic lights.  This should include at least Customer Services, Sales and Finance.  The last thing you want is a sales rep trying to sell a new product to an existing client, only to find out they are really hacked-off because a customer services issue hasn’t been resolved.
  2. Make it easy to find:  Make the information front and centre and easy to access.  Can a sales rep get it on their mobile just before a customer meeting?
  3. Allow anyone to set a client account to Red or Amber and make sure people feel empowered to do so.  If the accounts department learns a customer is unhappy while chasing an invoice then encourage them to highlight the issue and set the status accordingly.  
  4. Make it easy:  Don’t create a complex workflow to put a customer at risk, a simple dropbox or checkbox on a CRM record should be enough.
  5. Make sure you have a process for following up:  Nothing is more discouraging for staff (or customers) if they highlight a customer problem and nobody does anything about it.

At Workbooks we use our CRM to support these processes, including:

  • We have a pick list on an organisation record that anyone can set to Amber or Red.
  • We have a scheduled email report which is sent round each day – which automatically notifies management of any customers that have been moved to Red or Amber.
  • We use a Case record to track ‘Management Cases’ to ensure they are resolved successfully.
  • We have a scheduled ‘At Risk’ meeting every two weeks, where the appropriate people review the management cases and Activities are created in Workbooks and assigned to people to ensure action is taken.
  • The ‘Red/Amber/Green’ Status is automatically populated onto Customer Cases and Sales Opportunities – so our Customer Services and Sales teams can see if there is an issue, without having to open the customer record.
  • We create Scheduled Activities in Workbooks for our Customer Care team to ‘check-in’ with clients.  This ensures all customers are called at least once a year to see if they are happy.  These calls are a valuable source of feedback, but they also generate new business opportunities for us, so the results more than compensate for the effort required.

Our CRM system makes managing this customer care process simple and easy for everyone.   Helping us keep our customers glowing green and not angry red.

Jun 15,2015 by

Reading, England, 15th June 2015 - Workbooks, one of the fastest growing providers of web-based CRM and business applications, has been recognised as having the highest customer satisfaction rating and rated a high performer by  G2 Crowd, the trusted site for enterprise software reviews. G2 Crowd named Workbooks a High Performer in its Grid for CRM. The Grid by G2 Crowd helps businesses select the best CRM software based on insights aggregated from independent customer reviews and social data.

In G2 Crowd’s Spring 2015 report Workbooks is shown in the G2 CRM Grid Ranking as having the highest Customer Satisfaction ahead of systems such as Salesforce, MS Dynamics, Sugar and Netsuite.

Workbooks achieved High Performer status thanks to the high satisfaction reported by its customers, who became G2 Crowd users and reviewed the Workbooks CRM product. In their reviews, Workbooks customers reported very high satisfaction and ease of use and adoption in comparison to other CRM systems.

John Cheney, CEO at Workbooks, commented, “We are pleased at the continuing recognition Workbooks receives from both analysts and awards and our continued high rating from real customers for our ease of use, user adoption and affordability.  We thank our customers for their continued support in rating us as the best CRM for all round customer satisfaction.”

Matt Gorniak, Cofounder and COO at G2 Crowd, commented, “Our site gives real users a voice and enables them to share their experiences with enterprise software with peers. This process delays the emergence of more innovative solutions, and buyers might miss newer technologies that could be a better fit. Workbooks is a great example of how G2 Crowd works in real time, giving awareness and visibility to a highly rated CRM that otherwise many customers would not have found to consider.”

G2 Crowd provides a trusted resource for the enterprise technology community by authenticating its users through LinkedIn and validating their contributions to ensure that reviews submitted reflect authentic feedback from real software users. G2 Crowd’s founders, during their 15 years in the enterprise software industry, saw the shortcomings and inefficiency in the software selection process, which relies primarily on business users slogging through vendor spin, industry-sponsored white papers and dated analyst reports.

Workbooks has consistently demonstrated a position of innovation and as a challenger to the bigger names of Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics by winning Network Computing’s CRM Product of the Year 2014 & 2013. Workbooks also is rated by the Gleansight Analyst report on CRM as one of the leaders across four CRM categories: Ease of Use, Ease of Deployment, Features and Functionality and Overall value.

Download the G2 Crowd’s Spring 2015 report.

About G2 Crowd

G2 Crowd brings the same highly valuable peer-review perspective that is widely available to consumers on sites such as Amazon and Yelp to the business software industry. G2 Crowd covers a wide range of both cloud and on-premise solutions, including CRM, marketing automation, ERP and accounting, HR management, CAD and IT infrastructure software, plus a wide range of hosting and IT consulting services. More than 4,000 professionals have already contributed over 15,000 ratings and reviews of 1,500 products and services. G2 Crowd is a second-generation startup, co-founded by Godard Abel, serial entrepreneur and founder of SaaS leader BigMachines, and his BigMachines colleagues Matt Gorniak and Tim Handorf. G2 Crowd is self-funded with proceeds from the successful sale of BigMachines to private equity. For more information, please visit

About Workbooks delivers world-class CRM and business applications to the mid-market, at an affordable price and with functionality that transforms business.

Unlike traditional CRM solutions, extends beyond sales, marketing and customer support to include order management, order fulfilment, invoicing and supplier management. This business functionality is delivered out-of-the-box at a price which is typically 50-70% less than enterprise solutions such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics and NetSuite. For more information, visit

Jun 09,2015 by Samuel Jefferies

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Cloud Computing has risen from an unheard of terminology to the base technology powering Dropbox, Amazon & Gmail.

Click on the below image to see a larger version:

But just how fast is Cloud Computing actually growing? Which are the best countries for Cloud environments?

To answer these questions we've put together the following inforgraphic that covers this exact topic:

Click on the image to see the full size version

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Cloud Computing is huge and it's growth continues to grow year on year.

We expect to see more and more services switching to Cloud Computing as it's benefits continue to grow whilst it's cost continues to drop.

Do you use Cloud Computing within your business? If so, what benefits have you seen?

Jun 02,2015 by

Is customer service the weak link in your business model? Why create a slick and sophisticated sales and marketing model to acquire customers, only to lose them as a result of a bad customer services experience? Good customer service is essential to:

  • Improve retention rates.
  • Ensure customers make the best use of a product or service.
  • Identify opportunities for cross-selling or up-selling, especially for consultancy or professional services.

An effective CRM should be at the heart of all of these activities - but how many organisations regard the CRM as nothing more than an unsophisticated way of recording customer data? Can customer services use the CRM to:

  • Prioritise cases based on actual customer demands?
  • Monitor performance in real time?
  • Identify bottlenecks?
  • Inform on-going product development?
  • Deliver measurable business value?

Read our free eGuide to putting the Customer at the heart of Customer Service here

May 27,2015 by

At Workbooks, we believe that sharing knowledge is crucial to success, and we want you to enjoy using our software to enable you to complete your day-to-day role with ease. Workbooks Wisdom is here to save the day bringing you monthly tips and tricks to enable you to do just that. See below for May's tips. 

  • Massively reduce search times with ‘exact match’ – The search functionality in Workbooks is a powerful tool that not only finds exact matches with the text you input, but also finds additional records you may be looking for. If you would like a search to only return exact matches, you can input your text between quotation marks. This will significantly reduce your search time and is particularly useful if you search for email addresses. More detailed information can be found here.
  • Launching – ‘Constrained Dynamic Linked Items’ (DLIs) – One of our favourite new features of the latest Workbooks release (4.5) is being able to constrain DLIs. This can significantly reduce the number of search results returned by a DLI report. One example is, after selecting an employer, the picklist for selecting the primary contact will only show People employed by that Organisation, rather than everybody. These can be set up in Customisation by your system administrator, however, we recommend trying this out on a test database first. Detailed information can be found here.
  • Want a free £15 Amazon voucher? – At Workbooks we are proud of the support we provide our customers with. If you agree, and would like to claim a £15 Amazon voucher then why not complete a G2 Crowd review for us? You can do so by following this link. As always, if there is anything you think we can improve on please let us know by emailing us at
  • Have you tried Workbooks mobile? – We have recently launched our mobile app in the Google Play store for Android and our iPhone version will be launching soon. You can also access the mobile version of our website at, please be aware that this is still in beta. Any feedback should be sent to and would be greatly appreciated.

Remember, you can find more useful information about all of the Workbooks features on our Knowledge Base.

May 14,2015 by Samuel Jefferies

We are pleased to announce an update to Workbooks that adds many new features including a new Wizard to help you make all the right changes to records when a Person moves from one Employer to another, and the ability to restrict the values on a picklist to just those relevant for the record you have open.

Note: The Workbooks service will be intermittently unavailable between 08:00 am - 09:00 am UK time on Saturday 16 May 2015. If you log into your database on Saturday, you may get a message informing you that your database is being upgraded. Your database should be available for use within approximately 30 minutes of receiving the message.

Change Employer Wizard

When you change (or delete) the Employer field from a person record, Workbooks will launch a short wizard to help you make all the right changes to the CRM system.  It will ask you when they left their previous employer, will create the 'previously employed by' relationship and also prompt you to archive their previous work email address and contact details.  This wizard will make it easier for you to deal with people who have left, rather than just putting (LEFT) after their surname!

External Links

You will now be able to use a unique URL in notification and scheduled emails as well as in email templates and reports which, when clicked, will allow the recipient to link directly to the relevant record within Workbooks (assuming they have an enabled login), thus saving time looking for the right record.

You will also be able to copy the URL link into an email or other communication to send to a user that has a valid login to the same database.  When you first login after the new release, you’ll see a request to allow Web Notifications on your screen.  You can Dismiss this request but you’ll see the message again at every login until you either Accept or Deny/Block the request.  We encourage users to accept Web Notifications so that Workbooks can offer a better interface when loading External Links.  If you change your mind later, you can change the setting in your browser’s configuration area.

Constrained DLIs

We have extended the capabilities of Dynamic Linked Item (DLI) custom fields so you can constrain the picklist of results using a value from a form field.   This is very useful to reduce the number of search results returned by a DLI report to only include entries that are relevant.  For example if you want a DLI on an organisation record for the finance contact, you will be able to constrain the report to only include people that are 'Employed' by the organisation by passing the organisation field into the report as a constraint. 

Configuration, export and print activity audit

We have extended the audit functionality so that changes to the configuration of Workbooks are also audited.  This means you can see who added a custom field and when.  In addition, auditing functionality has been extended so that it’s now possible to see audit records showing who has exported or printed data.

Import Template Generator

Using the Importing tool you can now generate import templates to make it easier to load your data into Workbooks.  The import template generator will create a CSV file with the correct column headings into which you can populate your data.  The templates will create columns for all the standard fields and any custom fields you might have created.  You can even generate import templates based on page layouts, which will only include the fields that are relevant for a specific page layout. 

Enhancements to Advanced Security functionality

Recalculate Permissions

If you’re using the Advanced Security functionality and change the sharing rulesets that you want to apply to records, it is now possible for you to update all the relevant records so that they adopt the new sharing rulesets, making controlling the security of your data much quicker and easier.

Resetting Permissions on Queue assignment

Now when setting up a Queue you can decide whether or not adding a record to that Queue resets the Permissions that apply.  This functionality will enhance the control of visibility of records within a workflow.

Matching on blanks in import

When importing data, looking for matching records based on blank values can slow the import down considerably.  Our import wizard no longer defaults to matching blank values, although a user can make a conscious decision to enable it if required.  By not looking up blank values for matching purposes your imports will run much more quickly.

Reporting on relationships

It is now possible to build a report that includes one column listing all the relationships that between Organisations on your database, rather than having to create different columns for each relationship type.

Custom Fields on Notes and Emails

Custom Fields can now be added to Note records or Emails, which can be positioned on the Main area of the form or within the Additional Fields area.

API data is reportable

To make integration work more maintainable, API data is now reportable.  This also opens up possibilities to use API data to build Dynamic Linked Items and Dynamic Picklists.

May 12,2015 by

Reading, England, (12th May 2015) - Byte Night is the IT industry’s annual sleep out in support of Action for Children. Each year, hundreds of individuals and teams from across the technology and business community spend a night exposed to the elements in a bid to raise sponsorship and awareness of Action for Children’s work to help prevent youth homelessness.

A team of Workbooks staff will sleep outdoors for a night at the Thames Valley Byte Night event, taking place on the 2nd of October this year, in aid of homeless children in the UK.

John Cheney, CEO at Workbooks commented: “We have had a sleeper team for the past 2 years and it combines good corporate social responsibility and internal moral and team building with a little fun, all in aid of a well deserving need.  Imagine your own kids in the future left in this unfortunate situation, sleeping rough and living hand to mouth,  through unfortunate circumstance that befalls them, something that seems unfathomable, but that could happen to anyone. We encourage others in the sector to do the same, giving a little back for all the good we enjoy in the IT sector. A mix of well-known and lesser known companies around the UK are taking part and it’s easy to do and gets strong customer support. We are pleased and proud to be taking part for a 3rd consecutive year.”

The Workbooks team slept out in 2013 & 2014 and raised several thousand pounds each year for the charity, led by several Workbooks Directors. Anyone wishing to support Workbooks efforts and offer sponsorship should visit:

About Byte Night

Byte Night is the technology industry’s annual ‘sleep out’ in support of Action for Children. Each year hundreds of individuals and teams from across the IT and business community spend a night exposed to the elements in a bid to raise sponsorship and awareness of Action for Children’s work, who focus heavily on supporting homeless young people. It all began 16 years ago when 30 individuals from the IT industry slept out and raised £35,000. Since then the event has grown to over 1000 sleepers taking part each year, raising an amazing £5.2 million since it began. The Thames Valley Byte Night will be taking place on Friday 4th October in Forbury Gardens, Reading and Byte Night is looking for volunteers not only to give up their time and their bed for the night to raise money, but to get a feel for what some people have to go through every day.

About Workbooks delivers world-class CRM and business applications to the mid-market, at an affordable price and with functionality that transforms business.

Unlike traditional CRM solutions, extends beyond sales, marketing and customer support to include order management, order fulfilment, invoicing and supplier management. This business functionality is delivered out-of-the-box at a price which is typically 50-70% less than enterprise solutions such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics and NetSuite.

For more information, visit

May 05,2015 by

Reports and dashboards give you a powerful insight into past and current performance. In today’s environment it is critical to be proactive. You can use your dashboards and reports to be reactive and act on trends straight away.

From a customer service perspective it is vital to check the average time to close cases to meet SLA’s and improve customer satisfaction. You can use your dashboard to gain visibility into how your organisation is handling support. You get an overview of the current issues, determine their risk and focus on the key areas that require your attention in order to meet your goals.

You want to be able to see real time data on the status of your customer helpdesk cases, see how your agents are performing and improve performance over time. It’s easy to set up dashboards and reports that give you full visibility over your service organisation without having to use IT resource.

Reports can cover a multitude of performance metrics, including:

  • Number of cases opened this week.
  • Number of cases awaiting a first response.
  • Number of cases closed this week.

Performance can also be monitored by individual agent and by customer.

How does agent performance compare?

Drilling down through the top level information to understand performance differences can be very informative – lower apparent performance figures may be because an agent has been out of the office for a day; or because he is very experienced and hence routinely allocated the most complex and time consuming cases.

How does customer performance compare?

Are some customers more demanding than others – and if so, why? A ‘top five customers’ list – by number of cases raised – each month, can be interesting:

  • Are new customers making the most calls?
  • Do customers need more training?
  • Is there an on-going product/service problem?

You can use the dashboard to get an overview or you can drill down into the underlying report to get a more detailed view of a record. You can create reports that show all of the cases that your agents have open and you can customise these by grouping rows or columns, add filters, summary views and highlighting to format the data exactly how you need it. As these reports are fully integrated you can simply click on a case or customer to look further into that record.  You can add the most important reports to your homepage so you can see it as soon as you log in and you can share these reports automatically by email whenever you like.

Download our Putting the Customer at the Heart of Customer Service eBook to find out more. 

Apr 28,2015 by

At Workbooks, we believe that sharing knowledge is crucial to success, and we want you to enjoy using our software to enable you to complete your day-to-day role with ease. Workbooks Wisdom is here to save the day bringing you monthly tips and tricks to enable you to do just that. See below for April's tips.

  • Workbooks Outlook Connector – It is important that any communication you have with Organisations is stored and accessible to colleagues to help with day-to-day communication and to help remain professional to your customers at all times. The Workbooks Outlook Connector synchronises many different record types so that all meetings, contacts and communications are kept together. Click here.
  • Beta Programs for additional functionality – We are currently running various beta programs: Google Calendar Synchronisation – creating meetings in Workbooks that appear in Google calendar; testing our mobile client; and the Workbooks to Exchange Synchronisation Service – allowing Workbooks to share information directly with Microsoft’s Exchange Server. If you are interested in taking part please email us.
  • New Workbooks Release 4.5 – The next release is scheduled for early May. For a full list of features please check our Roadmap. Here are some of the most exciting:
  1. Constrained DLIs – Dynamic Linked Item picklists can now be limited by previous selections, for instance, upon selecting an employer the primary contact picklist can update to only show people working for that employer.
  2. Change Employer Wizard – Upon the change or deletion of the employer field on a person record a wizard will open asking the relevant questions then automatically make the correct changes to update and archive employer information, retaining all historic correspondence.
  3. Workbooks Hyperlinks – A hyperlink can be sent to a colleague, for instance via email or instant messaging, this will open Workbooks and take the user straight to the specific record, removing the need to copy, paste and search.

Remember, you can find more useful information about all of the Workbooks features on our Knowledge Base.