Optimizing workflow with Solve & Google
Web design companies overhaul their sales processes
Consistent growth requires dedicated sales teams, effective processes and powerful systems that everyone will use. Just ask Justin Angelson. Based in Cleveland Ohio, Angelson Group sets up clients a with a digital strategy targeted at growth.
In 2013, Justin began working with two American web design companies. One was focused on financial advisors and the other on recruiting and staffing. Both companies had global mandates of sales and business development in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.
“In less than 6 months, I grew my sales by 400%”
In the coming months, Justin would use marketing automation to deliver significant results to each company by introducing Solve and Google and optimizing workflows.
When Justin began, both companies lacked defined sales and marketing processes. Sales were handled solely by technical support and customer service, rather than a dedicated sales team. They were using tools ill-suited for the job, like Excel spreadsheets and email to track lead generation, sales and related activity, leading to dismal results. Too much time was lost trying to locate prospects in the pipeline and forecasting was next to impossible. Not only was the sales process unorganized, they didn’t have a system in place to follow-up consistently. Justin’s clients were leaving a lot of money on the table.
“To date, the lack of a cohesive process and procedural technology solution, coupled with lack of dedicated personnel or resources, handicapped growth of these companies.”
Justin’s job was to create standardized, measurable and scalable processes for marketing, sales and business development, with the goal of rapid sales growth and client acquisition. This was a huge opportunity for growth, which Justin planned to address with business wide Customer Relationship Management, business application tools and best practices. He would look for full integration with Google for Work, quick setup, easy customization, automated workflows, follow-up tracking and additional integration with popular cloud products. On top of that, getting staff at both companies to adopt these new tools and tactics would be a challenge.
For each company, Justin selected Solve CRM because of its tight integration with Google for Work, its ease of customizing fields & tags and integration with leading web apps like Freshbooks and MailChimp. Additionally he set up Solve’s activity templates for process automation.
Having taken advantage of Solve’s two-way integration with Google contacts, calendar and tasks, the entire team would always be up-to-date while using the system they prefered.
“Solve’s Gmail Gadget was exceptionally helpful in keeping staff in Gmail where they are most productive.”
To keep their eye on the ball, Justin took full advantage of all of Solve’s reporting features. Namely Solve’s Report Builder, which allowed them to quickly pull mountains of Solve data into Google Sheets where pivot tables could make sense of it all. Justin created pipeline, funnel and individual sales reports and charts so the CEO could visualize results.
All this led to streamlined workflows, enabling staff to quickly find the information needed to push sales forward. Solve’s ability to centralize client interactions and email, translated to less downtime making everyone’s job much easier and drove them to focus on sales, partnership, and marketing.
Thanks to workflow improvement and more efficient processes both companies experienced dramatic improvements. In less than 6 months, Justin grew his personal sales by 400% by applying their new processes to 30 opportunities. In 11 months, he personally closed an additional 63 deals resulting in $450,000 of revenue, while his team of just 6 sales reps drove revenue up near $1,000,000.
“We secured 6 high-value strategic partnerships resulting in multiple international keynote speaking engagements at conferences for their respective verticals. Additionally, client acquisition from these partnerships made up a significant percentage of revenue.”
With best practices built into their processes, both companies were able to tweak and automate marketing and business workflows to the point that Justin was able to do the job of several people.
“The business processes I created allowed me to basically run 2 companies, accomplish near full-time sales results, while managing a team of high level sales people. And still do excellent work in business development and marketing while working with the company CEO on project management process improvement and strategic initiatives.”
Realizing immediate results with the initial implementation, each company continued to refine and add layers of multi-step sales & marketing automation, further streamlining their processes at scale.
The bottom line, flexibility, ease of use and integration in Solve & Google paved the way for Justin to build best practices into the workflows of two web design companies. These new processes touched all corners of their businesses resulting in a dramatic improvement in marketing, sales and business development.
“Basically, Solve is my #1 choice for CRM. I am considering rolling all my project management into it as well.”
Through Angelson Group, Justin used the power of Solve and Google to internalize proven workflows. Since then, Angelson Group has been welcomed into Solve’s Partner Program as a Community Advocate so organizations can easily get in touch and take advantage of Justin’s expertise.
Raising Capital with Solve & G Suite
Deliver Massive Volume & Deeper Relationships with Meyler
Meet Kyle Dunn, President & CEO of Meyler Capital. For the past 3.5 years, Meyler has helped alternative investment firms raise capital by creating a brand and building marketing infrastructure, processes and material for their clients. On top of that, they consult day-to-day with their clients as they keep up their marketing efforts.
“No other firm is bringing our level of technology and disruptive, sophisticated marketing tactics to bare to influence how this money moves.”
To give you an idea, Meyler Capital is credited for creating the first hedge fund advertisement in the United States. Past clients have all approached Meyler with the ultimate goal of raising capital through marketing.
Starting out, Meyler had chosen Solve and Google for Work as a system to manage their own business because of how easy they were to use. However, Meyler’s clients lacked systems robust enough to handle the improvements that Meyler proposed to help them raise significantly more capital.
“In our marketing infrastructure set-up we’re not able to move forward with the rest of the processes unless clients are able to manage their relationships properly.”
While in the business of raising capital, it’s all about relationships, and many of Meyler’s clients were still using Excel, Outlook or pen and paper to manage contacts. Others used CRMs that were often too complex for them to work with and as a result, clients were missing meetings, not following up with prospects and mismanaging their sales funnel. In addition, these clients were limited to reaching out to a dozen or so people each week, which seriously put limits on the capital they were able to raise and Meyler’s ability to help.
For Meyler’s clients, a combination of Solve and Google for Work was also the best solution to move forward.
“We always recommend Solve & Google for Work, because of the success we’ve found from using them ourselves.”
Kyle was first tipped off about Solve by the Director of Technology of a top Luxury Realty Brand who had abandoned a large scale Salesforce system for Solve and Google. Similar to the realtors, fund managers have little time for setting up systems or learning them.
With Solve in hand, Meyler was able to take advantage of Solve’s flexibility, customization and Google integration to fit the needs of each individual client:
- Custom fields & tags - Capture and search on any relevant information
- Google integration - Smooth workflow, keep people focussed
- Follow-ups - Keep clients front of mind and always make deliverables
- Opportunities - Track the biggest revenue potentials
- Time tracking - Keep track of billable hours
To Meyler and their clients CRM & Google sync is very important. Solve syncs with Google contacts, calendar, tasks and most important for Meyler, with email.
“We’ve used more CRMs than most, and can say that we haven’t come across another CRM that syncs with email as well as Solve does.”
They also use Solve’s Gmail Gadget which allows them to view contacts from within their Gmail inbox, so they can review a contact’s information before replying.
“With Solve & Google for Work we’re able to demonstrate the power of relationship-building with our clients, which is crucial in their world as they look to raise capital.”
Meyler’s clients have experienced tremendous results since they’ve adopted Solve and Google for Work. They are now able to reach out to thousands of prospects and build relationships hundreds at a time, rather than one-by-one.
“Clients are now able to run their own funnel and still do a better job than hiring someone for $50,000/year to take care of it for them.”
Meyler clients are using Solve everyday, even senior staff, keeping communication info updated and immediately available to the entire team. As a result, Meyler’s clients bolster their chances of raising capital by millions of dollars each year. In turn, Meyler is able expand to offer a more complete service not only recommending strategies, but helping to implement and maintain them to deliver on the opportunities, giving them a distinct advantage over narrowly focused competitors.
Solve and Google have helped Meyler Capital and their clients to deliver more volume and get more organized and client centric, improving their core businesses. Meyler plans to recommend Solve to all new clients as managers continue to choose Google for Work. They recommend Solve to anyone looking to leverage marketing processes, manage relationships better and close sales faster.
View their creative portfolio at Meyler Creative.
Balancing a Growing Business and Family
Get the most out of Gmail
As a business owner you’re always “plugged in”. Home at night often involves answering client emails and tying down loose ends. It’s hard to find a balance, a struggle shared by Neal Timmerman, owner and operator of M2 Automation - a fire, alarm and security maintenance and installation company.
“I was often up late emailing clients, missing out on family time. Everything was running behind. Missing parts and invoices were common. I was always worried that things were falling through the cracks.”
At the office, M2 relied on a whiteboard to keep their staff and sales organized, but it wasn’t much help. Thanks Obama! Field techs felt overburdened and office staff were out of sync. Time to change. So Neal started shopping around for CRMs. They found Solve and G Suite. And looking back 3 years later, things had changed.
“We can handle much more volume since getting Solve and Google. It’s allowed us to scale and continually double in size for the past 3 years without having to pay for new staff. We are booked 4 weeks out!”
Swapping out the whiteboard, M2 now uses Solve project blogs to manage their pipeline and sales opportunities. Once a prospect gives the approval, Neal’s office manager Ashley inserts a massive Activity Template that automatically triggers everything the team needs to do with the new client, including a set of pre-scheduled personalized emails.
“Scheduled emails, my favourite part of Solve. I love that they come straight from my own Google account so it’s easy for me to find them in Gmail and explain it. I don’t lose that transaction.”
This is also where Solve brings Neal’s field team into the fold, automatically teeing up several scheduled emails straight from their field techs Gmail accounts. This helps take administrative pressure off M2’s techs by having Solve start a conversation with the client for them.
“I don’t want our field team to be knee deep in our system. Scheduled emails help our techs focus on installs while connecting them with the client at the right time. When they need to, our techs look up basic client info using Solve mobile.”
As client emails are received, Neal and his staff use Solve’s Gmail Gadget to link the appropriate records to each message, giving context to other staff around project progression.
“Solve’s Gmail Gadget gives us two or three more hours during the work day. Essentially, we can get 4 hours of work done in about 1.5 hours.”
With a more organized and efficient workflow there is less pressure on the field team and greater connection between staff. Neal can focus on setting up leads, his partner Jason can focus on knocking them down and the field techs can focus on the installation.
Back home “plugged in” after a busy day, Neal scans his Gmail inbox. He spots a few client emails he can respond to. Same as before, he scratches his itch for a clean inbox, only this time he uses the Gmail Gadget to open Solve records right from the email. Neal then adds a quick follow-up or composes a scheduled email in Solve to be sent out first thing tomorrow, without triggering a conversation tonight. Tucking his kids into bed, Neal’s quickly tackled a bit of business and got a head start on tomorrow with time to spare. The new classic.
“Solve allows for peace of mind. Sounds cheesy but it’s true because I don’t have to think about the business when the end of the day hits.”
Financial Services Franchising in France
Save time and improve production
Collaboration, integrations and automations are key to any efficient franchised enterprise. In 2011, Jeff Ereau was head of IT at Fiducée Gestion Privé (FGP). With a franchise network of 50+ French based experts that provides wealth management and financial services to health professionals, FGP was facing a major threat. Communication and coordination between FGP head network in Paris and their experts was bad as franchisees continually fought with complex and time wasting processes, like redundant data entries and multiple logins.
“At that time, FGP was a heterogenous collection of franchisee IT systems made of non-communicating applications.”
In short, overall efficiency was low, and FGPs time and budget to improve the situation … very low.
Fast forward a few years later, FGP boasts a comprehensive and streamlined IT system specialized for their niche market sector, with G Suite and Solve CRM at the core. The result, more efficient and enjoyable communication between FGP and their experts leading to a:
- 30% increase in revenue per existing customer
- Decrease in expenses due to less sales support
- 12.5% improvement in productivity
“On average, we’ve saved an hour/day per expert leaving us time to focus more on business issues.”
FGPs team found the seamless client centric perspective they’d been missing with Solve’s deep integrations with Google and other systems like MailChimp for email campaigns and FreshBooks for invoicing. Everything they needed was now conveniently tied together.
“Directly or through its integrated services, Solve is used daily by all 50+ staff members and at any step of the business”
With Solve’s API and webhooks feature, FGP pushed their CRMs power one step further to create intuitive automations for their experts. Less time was spent logging data and workflows were automatically triggered for them.
With the success of their new personalized financial IT system in place, FGP has since expanded to create Vingtrois - a sister software company comprised of their former IT team and Solve Strategic Partner. Now FGP and Vingtrois have begun sharing their approach with others in the Financial market through their Solve and G Suite centric OPUS23© platform.
Looking forward …
“In the 2 years to come Fiducée network should grow to 100+ members, we are ready!”
Personalized Sales Pipeline and reports using Solve’s Report Builder for Google Sheets
Too often, leads either soak up your valuable sales time or get the cold shoulder because you aren’t sure which ones deserve your attention. Boiling it down, all you really need to know is which leads are most valuable and will close the quickest - a problem David Jaffa and his team at Penda Learning tackled using Solve’s Report Builder in Google Sheets. Since then, David enthusiastically reports:
“50% reduction in length of sales cycle (and being able to close out much earlier deals that aren’t ‘real’)”
Penda Learning is a leading provider of highly engaging science & math content for grades 4-10, built on a gaming platform. After fifteen years in business with a team of 27 strong, Penda needed a superior means to prioritize its sales focus, identifying leads with the greatest potential that could be swiftly nurtured to clients.
“We kept various spreadsheets. But these were not connected to the CRM, so our sales pipeline conversations were ‘conversations’ without hard data that we could challenge.”
Bringing Solve’s add-on into the fold, Penda was able to easily create a personalized Sales Pipeline report, harnessing their valuable CRM data into Google Spreadsheets. They were then able to automatically break it down by their custom lead information including Salesperson, Geography and New/Renewal and determine the average selling price.
Using Solve’s add-on daily, members of David’s team are now able to easily analyze their pipeline data to forecast changing trends in the market, pinpoint the most profitable source, and highlight their most attractive types of leads.
“The add-on is superb. Honestly, it raises the overall value a company like ours can get from Solve probably 30-40% … We are able to forecast revenue three months ahead and plan expenditure for the business.”
In grabbing the low hanging fruit, Penda plans on expanding the use of these reports beyond their Sales Pipeline to help measure and intelligently plan the growth of their business.
“We need a certain critical mass (number of customers and $ amount of revenue) in a State before we want to hire a Rep there. The new reports help us plan our growth.”
Solve’s Report Builder makes it effortless to analyze and grab extra value from your CRM data, helping you make informed and intelligent decisions to move your business forward. We’ve already done most of the legwork for you, making the G Suite add-on quick to set-up and even walking you through a few contact and opportunity reports you can create for your team. From there, we encourage you to get creative and follow Penda Learning’s example to continually tweak and expand your reports, leveling up your Sales team and Solve CRM.
G Suite integrated with Solve CRM moves people, literally
Here’s a story most business folks can relate to — established in 1959, Taylor Moving starts with 1 truck and a handful of employees. Dad grows the business. Sons take over, expanding to 100 staff and operate a network handling international employee moves
Fast forward to the present and those sons find themselves asking “How can we stay competitive and keep growing the business?” Son Rick Taylor knew more of the same wasn’t going to cut it. “Our coordinators, our sales team, they were spending far too much time doing internal stuff and not talking to clients.”
The solution started when they looked at their email which, despite being mission critical for dealing with overseas moves, was unreliable. A friend introduced Taylor to Blair Collins, founder of Interlockit, who was asked to help. “They were paying $1000 per month for IT support yet none of their email history was backed up because it was scattered across the hard drives of everyone’s computers.”, noted Collins. InterlockIT introduced Taylor to G Suite and helped with the implementation. With email issues now out of the way they now had the resources to look at how they organized their moves.
For years, Taylor Moving managed moves through a paper-based filing system and initially a document management system seemed like the answer. The narrow access point of paper files was causing chaos and a lot of wasted time. “In the past, there would be a sales person at a coordinator’s desk eight times a day… they were always looking for information.”
But after a review, InterlockIT introduced Taylor to Solve CRM, which is a client management solution available in the G Suite Marketplace. Solve focuses on helping businesses like Taylor manage their customers and their projects. “We quickly realized that a fully integrated CRM solution like Solve with its included project management could do far more for their business”, said Collins.
Taylor was quickly impressed by Solve’s flexibility. Now any adjustments made to the move are seen in real time, company-wide. Now everything is in one place, and easily accessed. “This is a big step up.”
Taylor and his team experience seamless integration between Solve and G Suite. In fact, Taylor himself barely acknowledges a separation between the two, viewing them as a single system. The Gmail contextual gadget for quick access to contacts/projects, the ability to easily capture emails, the simple linking to Google Docs, and the Google calendar integration are key features for them. “Once you’ve got [Gmail], which I find to be a very user-friendly system, the changeover to Solve was far easier than I had expected. I expected a much harder learning curve.”
Streamlining the internal systems allowed Taylor and his team to turn outward and address what matters most to their business — the customer. “In a service industry, you’re only productive if you’re talking with a client… if you’re doing background stuff, that’s offering no value back to your service. So, what are the things you can do behind the scenes so that you’re spending the majority of time with your clients?… That’s why we brought the system on.” Solve allowed his team to focus on what would really drive business forward.
Growing his business with G Suite and Solve “is something he’s looking forward to”, says Taylor. “With software and servers you need to manage all the changes yourself to keep up. Now [with G Suite and Solve] that’s done for us automatically so we can focus on serving our clients.”
Generating Quotes with G Suite and Solve CRM
Rick Klassen and his team at Klassen Specialty Hydraulics have been enjoying seamless Solve and G Suite integration for years. Originally MS Outlook users and up-and-coming Google fans, Rick and his team were intent on finding a cloud CRM system that would organically flex around their core business processes and their broadening interest in Google - enter Solve CRM. Key Solve features for them were the Gmail contextual gadget for quick access to contacts/projects, the ability to easily capture emails, intelligent Google contact and calendar integration and the simple linking to Google Docs. As a result, it wasn’t long before Rick and his team began blazing their own trail, seeking custom integration between G Suite and Solve to streamline an integral step in their sales process: Generating Quotes.
Reaching out to Blair Collins, founder of InterlockIT and darling Solve Solution Partner, Rick expressed the team’s desire to find an end to the “tedious” quoting system they had been using: searching for a similar quote, editing it manually to reflect the new requirements, and then saving it to a new folder on a local server. All this was then followed by opening a spreadsheet, that doubled as a database, and adding the details of the new quote.
“The process was so painful that I was the only one in the company doing quotes since there were so many steps and details to pay attention to. And forget making a quote away from the office!”
Taking advantage of Solve’s API, Blair and his team were able to leverage G Suite Script to automatically pull in quotes produced using Google Forms and attach them to the corresponding Solve contact record. The result: a quickly generated quote Rick could easily share with his team and client, that could be edited in real-time. Once generated, Solve would then instantly add a direct link to the Google Forms quote on the contact’s record. Simple!
Advancing one level further - InterlockIT configured Rick’s Solve CRM account to also automatically insert their battled-tested lead nurturing Activity Template whenever a shiny new quote from Google Forms popped onto the contact record.
Reflecting on his improved Solve + G Suite custom partnership, Rick shares …
“These days my colleagues and I can create quotes in a snap (from desktop or mobile), and we each get an email (Gmail) whenever a new quote has been created so we can collaborate on it in real-time, and then send it to the customer. This can all happen in a matter of minutes from start to finish.”
That’s integration at its finest people: taking the manual grind out of mindless yet necessary tasks to continually streamline your processes, opening up more time for your team to focus on growing your business. The fine details of this unique Solve CRM and G Suite integration can be seen on the InterlockIT blog post.