Civic & Social Organization (Not for profit)



  • Organizing data
  • Following up with prospects
How Freshsales helped:
  • Clean and simple interface
  • Organized all the customer information in one place
  • Automated follow-ups

Immigrants and refugees in a foreign country face many challenges, especially in finding a job that suits their education. And unfortunately, most of them are unable to practice their professions because of obstacles in licensing and accreditation. 

In 2004, Dr. Maria Eriksen noticed that many immigrant staff in the hospital she worked at were actually trained health professionals. But, they had to take up work as janitors because of the challenges involved. She decided to take the issue to her own hands and secured loans for them to support the costs of education, training, and reaccreditation. 

This was how Windmill Microlending was founded. And since then, Windmill Microlending has empowered numerous skilled immigrants to achieve career success.

The Hurdles Along the Way

Windmill Microlending started to spread the word about its services via advertisements, and educational and training institutions. As more applications came their way, their intake department was finding it hard to keep up. 

Since the process was very manual, the applicants' information was strewn across their desk in spreadsheets and sticky notes. With data scattered in different places, it was hard to follow-up and understand where each applicant was in the pipeline. This ultimately stretched the time it took to finalize each loan application.

Jon Lam, the Director of Finance and Risk, was quick to notice this problem when he joined the team and saw the need for a CRM. From his previous experiences, he knew Salesforce was difficult to implement, configure, and manage on their own. And more importantly, it was too complicated for his not-so-tech-savvy sales reps. He wanted a CRM system that is easy to learn, use, and manage on their own.

Enter Freshsales

Windmill Microlending was using Freshdesk to handle their internal support tickets. Since Freshdesk was easy to set up and has a simple user interface, they decided to try out Freshsales (formerly Freshworks CRM Sales Cloud). And as they expected, they were able to set-up the CRM system and configure it all on their own, without the need for external consultation. 

With Freshsales, Windmill Microlending's intake team was able to access all the applicant information on a single screen. They were able to automate their follow-ups with the applicants and move them further down the application process. And Jon had visibility into his team's activities and knew where each applicant was with their loan application. 

The 360° customer view and automated follow-up allowed them to boost their intake cycle from an average of 30 days to 3 days. 

When asked to describe Freshsales in a few words, Jon said, "It is simple, easy to use, and easy to set-up."

Windmill Microlending's Top Three:

Sales Sequences: With numerous incoming applications, it becomes difficult to follow-up with each of them. Windmill Microlending uses sales sequences to automate their follow-ups. This not just saves a lot of time for their intake team, but also speeds the application process. 

Workflow and Automation: Windmill Microlending also uses workflows to automate everyday mundane tasks. One of their workflows is to automatically update a field when the applicant moves from one pipeline to another or across stages.

Pipeline Management: With a visual client pipeline, Windmill Microlending is able to easily understand the number of open applications, the status of each application, expected number of clients, and much more.