Workbooks News

Sep 08,2014 by Anonymous

Second eBook in Evolution series provides best practice advice on integrating sales and online CRM

In today’s web enabled business environment customers are better informed than ever when entering the sales process – meaning that your organisation now needs to be far more sophisticated in order to close a deal.

The sales process remains 80% science, 20% craft and the old fashioned disciplines of sales still apply. But there are still real opportunities to embrace new technologies and sophisticated sales methods to harness valuable data, greatly improve the end to end sales process and enable sales reps to become far more effective.

The second eBook of our Evolution series provides a best practice guide to integrating your sales and online CRM. Providing practical tips and advice, the eBook looks at ways to move from a primitive use of CRM to a highly sophisticated approach that embeds online CRM within the corporate growth model.

Key steps covered in the eBook include:

1.    Improving Lead Management

2.    Effective Pipeline Management

3.    Accurate Sales Forecasting

4.    Reviewing the Sales Process

5.    Improving Lost and Qualified Out Analysis

However good the leads or effective the sales model, closing the deal will still depend on the skills of each rep. It is therefore important to use the CRM to track the performance of each individual in the sales team. The objective is not simply to assess performance and identify the top performing reps, but also to understand how each is performing at every stage of the process. Online CRM provides the data to improve the execution of the sales team.


Find out how your business can move with the times and evolve its sales processes using online CRM to increase leads. Click on the button below to download the full eBook.



Aug 21,2014 by Anonymous

Caspian LogoCloud based CRM from Workbooks has helped Caspian Media overcome the challenges of its disconnected systems, providing a ‘joined-up’ system for all its customer interactions.

As a successful media and publishing business, Caspian Media generates revenues by selling advertising in its publications, selling delegate places and sponsorships for the events it organises. Over the years, Caspian had installed a number of ‘disconnected’ systems to manage its customer interactions, sales order processing, cash flow and invoicing.

Caspian had a bespoke, in-house CRM system, but it only supported a small portion of the company’s workflow and therefore had to be supplemented by a network of spreadsheets. In addition, the finance team used a separate accounting system called Opera Accounting, and had no visibility of the data held within the in-house CRM system.

With no central database accessible to the whole team, the sales order and invoicing process involved a number of time consuming manual tasks, which carried the additional risk of human error. Caspian recognised that it was time to search for a cloud based CRM that could be integrated with its order management and invoicing platform so that it could transform its business workflow.

Nick Henderson, IT Support Engineer at Caspian Media, said, “It was important to us that we found a system with comprehensive order management, order fulfilment and invoicing capabilities. Workbooks has delivered this in a single customer database that has streamlined our internal processes and resulted in improved cash flow for the business.”

Workbooks provided Caspian Media with a ‘joined-up’ system for its entire customer interactions, from capturing leads, all the way through to processing an order and invoicing the customer. With Workbooks, Caspian can now:

  • Manage sponsorship and track advert sales.
  • Carry out a full audit of order history.
  • Place a standardised workflow for order processing and invoicing.
  • Manage its KPIs and share reports across the team in real time.


Caspian Case Study



Click HERE, or the download button below to read the full Caspian Media case study and find out how a cloud based CRM from Workbooks can assist your media publishing business.



Aug 01,2014 by Anonymous

Top tips for businesses embarking on a Sage accounting system swap out for better CRM 

The range of Sage accounting system and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solutions has been the de facto choice for many organisations for the past decade.  In general, Sage products are good at tracking what happens in your business once you have an order from a customer. But what about winning the order in the first place?

Traditionally, Sage products have been poor at supporting the sales and marketing activities of businesses, yet to grow your revenues you need to be winning new accounts as well as selling more to your existing clients. This is why more and more Sage accounting system and ERP customers are implementing CRM systems to sit alongside their Sage back-office applications.

Our latest eBook looks at the key elements of any successful sales and marketing strategy and our experts provide seven top tips for integrating your CRM system with your Sage accounting system and back-office to maximise results. Key points include:

1.    A more targeted approach to marketing.

2.    Effective marketing campaign management.

3.    Achieving a 360 degree view of all your customer engagement - from the initial lead right through to the order.

4.    Improved forecasting and pipeline management.

…and many more.

But you don’t just want to take our word for it so we’ve also included quotes from customers that have already made the switch from Sage to Workbooks. This includes short comments from:

  • CSols Ltd.
  • EST Marketing.
  • ASK Europe Plc.



To read the full eBook and find out more about how Sage customers can grow revenues by successfully implementing CRM, click here, or the download button below:

Jul 10,2014 by Anonymous

Web Enablement eBookA web-based CRM system should be at the hub of your web strategy, providing a single platform to support all business transactions both on and offline.

Web enabling the business is now an essential part of any corporate strategy. From the Wi-Fi enabled Kindle support to accountants delivering online portal based services, the web provides a number of ways for organisations to change the way they interact with customers.

However, these services can only be achieved if they are based upon accurate, detailed, up to date customer information – and this information can be securely hosted within a web-based CRM system. Integrating a web-based CRM system into the web site enables businesses to control existing investments whilst creating an end to end engagement model that delivers a seamless experience for customers.

With the right approach to the web strategy organisations can:

  • Reduce costs.
  • Improve the quality, timeliness and relevance of information and services.
  • Transform customer understanding.
  • Create stronger customer relationships.

Having completed many web-based CRM integrations, our CRM experts have provided three top tips on how businesses can exploit a CRM enabled web strategy:

1. Enable Customer Self Service – for many organisations, the quick win from a web enabled strategy is the ability to provide customers with the information they need, when they need it. Enabling online self-service for customers reduces the burden on the organisation while cutting costs and driving down the administrative overhead.

2. Improve relevancy - capturing every customer interaction in a web-based CRM system provides the business with new depths of understanding that can be used to tailor communication and content that is relevant to each customer.

3. Improve upselling and cross-selling opportunities - a web-based CRM system will provide organisations with in-depth customer purchase behaviour and preferences to improve the upselling and cross-selling of add-on products and services.


For more information on the benefits of web enabling your business with a web-based CRM system, download our eBook “Five Steps to CRM enabling the Online Strategy”. Offering web enabled services to customers – whether business or consumer – is no longer a ‘nice to have’ option, it is essential. Can your organisation afford to miss out on this opportunity to consolidate, integrate and improve the overall customer experience?


Jul 02,2014 by Anonymous

World Cup - CRM ProviderENGLAND 0 – 1 CRM

This year’s football world cup has certainly thrown up some shock results - defending champs Spain getting knocked out in the first few games, England failing to progress through the group stages for the first time since 1958, Greece getting through to the final 16 and the unbelievable Luis Suarez biting incident……but what do all these have to do with choosing a CRM provider?

At the start of the tournament Spain were one of the favourites to win – so putting your money on them was perceived as a pretty strong bet. On the other hand, as one of the less-profiled footballing nations and up against strong competition, very few people had bet money on Greece making it through to the next round. Likewise, Uruguay’s star player was the Premier League’s Player of the Year, a reformed character on the up and now, remarkably after a ‘live’ catastrophic failure has come crashing down and his career hangs in the balance.

The key thread here is that you can’t rely on perception alone. Whilst it may seem like a sure thing to bet on the big guys, size, profile and presence in the market don’t guarantee a quality performance.

The same can be applied when selecting a CRM provider.

Whether you’re looking to implement CRM for the first time or just looking to upgrade an existing solution, selecting the right partner that fits your business is paramount. Choosing the largest provider or the one with ‘snazziest’ branding does not mean that they will deliver the features and functionality that your business requires.

Our eBook, Taking the Plunge – making sure you get the right CRM partner, provides advice and guidance on the key questions you need to ask vendors when looking for a new solution. These include:

  • How well do they know and understand your business?
  • What experience do they have in your business sector?
  • Can they guarantee results?

Taking the Plunge - CRM eBookTo find out what questions your business should be asking potential CRM providers, download our eBook HERE. Don’t be fooled into thinking that biggest is always best -  if the quality doesn’t exist in either the team or product then your new, expensive CRM system may not perform as you had hoped and will also be out sooner than you expected – just like Spain! Oh and er, Roy Hodgson and Co!

Jun 26,2014 by Anonymous

CRM and ERPIf you are not taking advantage of having your ERP and CRM systems integrated, then you are missing out.              

ERP systems typically do a great job of managing the order to invoice process, including all the logistics around manufacturing, bill of materials, stock control, invoicing and accounting. However, ERP systems are often poor at supporting the sales and marketing processes within a business.

A CRM system, integrated with the data held in an ERP platform, allows you to exploit your existing customer knowledge to full effect. By profiling your existing customers, by industry, purchase history and historic revenues, your sales and marketing teams will be able to more effectively target existing clients for upselling and cross-selling opportunities.

For example, in your ERP system you might have ten ‘accounts’ which represent the different locations or subsidiaries of a client, because they are all invoiced separately. In your CRM system, these ten accounts and location codes are consolidated into a single view of the client, so that your sales, marketing and customer services teams can see a holistic view of all the contacts and communication relating to that one organisation. This helps you understand which products are being purchased and where the opportunities exist for upselling and cross-selling.

Being able to market to your clients effectively requires you to have the transactional data in your ERP and CRM systems. If you know that you have got a new add-on for a product that you have launched then you want the ability to market it to all the clients that bought the products in the past. 

CRM and ERP eBook

For more information on the need for a powerful CRM alongside your ERP solution, download our 'Top 7 Considerations When Purchasing a CRM System to Work Alongside your ERP' eBook.

Jun 05,2014 by nbunn

Evolution of CRMEffective online CRM software transforms your marketing efforts and brings a sophisticated approach to your activities

The “aggressive” growth ambitions of many businesses place excessive demands on the marketing team: not only are they tasked with determining key areas of business expansion, they also need to exploit multi-channel marketing, manage third-party agencies and justify expenditure with clear Returns on Investments.

Effective online CRM software should be at the heart of all these activities but all too often it is regarded as nothing more than an unsophisticated way of recording customer data.

Our latest eBook explains the key steps that today’s Marketers need to take if they are to evolve from a primitive use of CRM to a highly sophisticated approach that reaps the full benefits that online CRM software has to offer within a corporate growth model.

The First Age of CRM

Build a detailed, accurate and complete database of both customers and prospects. The analysis of transaction data, lapsed customers, top-selling products and customer profiles will help marketers understand the total lifetime cost and value of each customer.

The Second Age of CRM

Armed with accurate customer and prospect insight, marketers can transform the effectiveness of on-going campaigns. By using marketing automation tools, intelligent email marketing and tailored landing pages with targeted calls to action, in combination with accurate customer profiles, they can improve lead flow and conversion rates.

The Third Age of CRM

Marketers use the CRM system effectively to close the loop between marketing and sales and transform the effectiveness of lead generation and sales conversion. Leads should be followed up on or marked with a ‘qualified out reason’ to refine lead generation programmes, either internally or via a third party agency. 

The Fourth Age of CRM

A company-wide CRM commitment creates a better understanding between sales and marketing. This means ensuring the right level of user training to ensure everyone knows how to get the most out of the system and keeping it simple: an overly complicated system will be counter-effective.

The Fifth Age of CRM

Marketers truly come of age and are free to explore new channels such as social media to improve brand awareness and generate new leads. The same metrics management should be embedded to ensure qualified sales opportunities regardless of online channel.


To find out why organisations should stop banging their heads against the cave wall and ensure their marketing moves forward into the 21st Century and beyond, download our latest eBook 'Stepping into a new age of Marketing with CRMhere.



May 23,2014 by Anonymous

Web-based CRM and integrated Sales and Marketing GoalsJoining up processes using web-based CRM transforms the way your Sales and Marketing teams operate.

Are your Sales and Marketing teams working in silos, not sharing information and not really believing that the other team is doing a good job? Is this independent approach constraining your business growth and ultimately restricting revenue growth? Whilst it may seem like an obvious statement to make, every professional services business owner is very aware that when Sales and Marketing is properly aligned and working closely together, better leads are generated and more opportunities closed.

But therein lies the challenge – how do you integrate the goals of these two departments and provide them with the tools they need to share data and information easily and quickly – without spending a fortune and ruffling too many staff feathers?

It’s important to bear in mind that the relationship between Sales and Marketing can’t be fixed overnight. However, with the right web-based CRM technology in place and the support of your Sales Director and Marketing Director, it is possible to join up processes and goals across both departments. Creating shared goals helps to unite the departments so they work as one team; and the web-based CRM solution means everyone has visibility of what Marketing is doing to generate the leads, which leads are most likely to convert and how successful Sales is being in closing each opportunity.

Our latest eBook provides Professional Services companies with useful tips and advice on setting well-defined, shared Sales and Marketing goals that will help to boost revenue performance.

Boost Revenue Performance by Integrating Sales & Marketing

To learn how you can integrate your Sales and Marketing goals and reap the benefits of a fully functioning web-based CRM solution, download our eBook Boost Revenue Performance by Integrating Sales and Marketinghere.


May 16,2014 by vdearsley

SaaS CRM will account for over 50% of all CRM implementations by 2020 says Gartner – what benefits does the cloud bring customer relationship management?

Have you noticed how much time is spent by employees looking for information? KPI Insight Consulting estimates it to be around 14% within professional services organisations – and we believe that this figure stacks up across other business verticals too.

Automating your business processes using a SaaS CRM solution will decrease the amount of time employees spend looking for information, leading to wider benefits including:

  • Increased turnover.
  • Increased sales team productivity
  • Better marketing results
  • Orders processed, fulfilled and invoiced more efficiently

And in the days of mobile and home working, a cloud solution is vital to ensure that staff can access all information, at any time and from anywhere.

The right SaaS CRM solution brings together the marketing, sales, finance and customer service functions onto one platform so information is no longer in silos and you have a holistic view of all your customers. For example, Customer support teams can quickly and easily gain a 360 degree view of every customer interaction and use automated follow-up features to ensure they deliver excellent customer service. Similarly, the finance team can ensure that they don’t chase for outstanding payments if they can see that the customer is having a support issue.

How to Automate your way to ProfitabilityA SaaS CRM solution that brings together all business departments into one place is invaluable, and Forbes hit the nail on the head when they said: ‘CRM’s real value is in unifying an entire enterprise based on its ability to sell, serve and retain customers better than before.’

To find out more about how an online CRM solution can benefit your business download download our eBook here: 20% IMPROVED EFFICIENCY: HOW TO AUTOMATE YOUR WAY TO PROFITABILITY


May 06,2014 by nbunn
What is happening to your marketing leads? Discover how to close the loop between sales and marketing by utilising Win, Loss and Qualified out analysis


Just like young siblings, sales and marketing can’t live with each other; but can’t live without each other either. Tension typically builds when the marketing team is left wondering why all the “brilliant” marketing leads that they are passing over have not been closed by sales, but, conversely, the sales team is continually disappointed with the quality of leads that they are receiving from the marketing team.

As is the case with most family squabbles, better communication and a more open dialogue between the two departments can turn this tension on its head and into something far healthier and productive. Key to this harmonious culture is a CRM system that is capable of meeting the needs of a busy marketing department together with the requests of an ever-demanding and pressured sales function.

We have outlined below six key tips businesses should consider in order to create a more open communication channel and close the loop between sales and marketing once and for all:

1. Put in place a reliable process for tracking where leads have come from.

This involves recording the specific marketing activity that generated the lead (e.g. email marketing, advertising, social media, PR) as well as the marketing investment that was made to acquire the lead. All of this information and data should be visible to both sales and marketing within your CRM.

2. Put in place a strong lead scoring and lead nurturing process.

Don’t treat all sales leads as equal!

As well as being able to send carefully tailored content to nurture leads, marketing also needs to be able to recognise when a lead is not of a good enough quality, or not far enough down the buying process, to be passed over to sales. Only hand over marketing leads when they are ready!

3. Clear processes and guidelines on how to define leads is crucial. 

This is particularly important to ensure that each department is committed and understands:

  • What defines a lead that should be nurtured by marketing.

  • What defines a lead that is ready to be passed over to sales.

  • What defines a lead that should be passed back to marketing.

4. Record why a marketing lead was successfully converted. 

What was it that pushed that lead over the line? This is important in replicating again with similar prospects and leads.

5. But - perhaps more importantly - have a clear process for recording why you lost a deal or why sales qualified it out.

Understanding why sales have qualified out a deal is perhaps even more important than knowing why a deal was won. For marketing to ensure that only the best quality leads are passed across to sales, the team needs to understand what qualifies them out from a sales perspective. Perhaps the company size is wrong, perhaps the lead was from the wrong territory, perhaps they are not looking to switch systems but instead make better use of the competitor software they have…? Whatever the reason, marketing can only target its activities correctly when it knows what ‘wrong’ looks like.

Including a specific area in the sales lead record and sales opportunity record in your CRM system that captures the “Status” of a lead (e.g. ‘Qualified Out - Not a real lead’ or ‘Qualified Out - too small’ or ‘Lost to Competitor’ or ‘Won’) and a more detailed “Qualified Out Reason” where the sales rep can enter why the lead was lost or won can easily solve this. But remember - your sales team must see the value in adding this information and your marketing team must track this information and listen to it!


A summary report:

Lost or Qualified Out Category

Total Leads or Opps

Total Amount / Value

1 Lost – Price



1 Lost - Bought Competitor



1 Lost - Product issue



1 Lost - Didn’t make short list



1 Lost - Didn’t like brand



1 Lost - Outsold



1 Lost - Other reason



2 Stayed with existing product



3 Qualified Out - Not a real lead



3 Qualified Out - Could not contact



3 Qualified Out - Too small



3 Qualified Out - Other reason



4 Won



A detailed report:

Lead or Opp Name

Lost or Qualified Out Category

Amount / Value of Lead or Opp

Marketing Campaign

Won, Lost or Qualified Out comment

Motor Car Insurance Plc

1 Lost - Price


Social Media

Product too expensive. Went for cheaper alternative

The Transport Company

3 Qualified Out - Not a real lead


Email Marketing

Doing research for project, not looking to buy.

Train Lines Inc

4 Won


Linkedin Sponsored Update

Preferred the on-going vendor support that we offer and felt the price was very reasonable.


6. Share dashboards and reports between sales and marketing teams.

Provide your teams with visibility of what marketing activities are resulting in won deals along with where you are losing leads and why. This will make marketing accountable for quality; it will make sales accountable for what is happening to leads after handover and also provides sales with a lead feedback channel that is shared across both departments.

Download our eBookWhen CRM data is captured properly and accurately, it can make a huge difference to the whole organisation. In particular, this data can be used to:

  • Inform the product roadmap or product development.
  • Inform changes in the marketing strategy or where the marketing spend is allocated.
  • Inform changes to the internal marketing and / or sales processes.

If your sales and marketing functions are running in harmony – hooray – you must already be a Workbooks customer?! But if like most mid-size organisations you are still looking for more effective marketing strategies, then download our eBook: 5 ways a Marketing Director should keep ahead in the ‘Big Data’ world.