No sales process
No process to follow-up on leads
Zoho and MS Dynamics ineffective
Filter and qualify leads based on specific criteria
Clear visibility into deal stages and pending actions from company and customer side
Able to send targeted emails to prospects and customers
Improvement in lead targeting
Reduction in usage of multiple tools
Increase in qualifying efficiency
Robert Czik has a very simple theory about why his company, Finders International, needs a CRM: to find the needle in the haystack.
Managing a retail business is no cakewalk. There will be window shoppers, there will be those who are simply curious about what the brand is offering, and among them will be those who are genuinely interested in purchasing a product. How can companies go after those customers who are more likely to buy? That’s the key challenge Robert set out to solve when he began his scout for an ideal CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software for his business.
Finders International is a UK-based family business founded in 1981. The company manufactures and sells spa and skincare products made from environment-friendly ingredients. The products are catered to two different segments; shopforspa for B2C customers and shopforspatrade for B2B customers like pharmacies, spas, and such.
Quite like other traditional businesses, while Robert initially relied on participating in trade shows and events, and launching low-key marketing activities to sign up customers, he soon realized that he needed a better solution to identify, manage, and filter prospects. In fact, a big challenge the team faces is that not many B2B customers understand or lean towards retailing environment-friendly products. So, for example, every time a spa with an environment-friendly angle opens, the company would have to be on top of the game, identify these outlets immediately and supply its products to them. Secondly, it didn’t have a suitable marketing system in place. “Our sales process was very poor. When a prospect comes in by filling an enquiry form, we would send an email or make a phone call, and that’s it. The prospect would never hear from us unless they are really interested. Also, our salespeople wouldn’t remember a prospect who says he/she is planning to open a spa in six months. We lacked process and we’ve lost accounts to competitors,” explains Robert.
Robert tells us that it began over seven years ago. The company uses SAP for accounting purposes and naturally, since it has an in-built CRM software, Robert took to it to fix the company’s sales process. “Although SAP is the biggest software house for accounting, on the CRM front, it didn’t take long for me to realize that it’s not going to work,” he recalls. Then, the search led them to Zoho. “We were using Zoho for some time but there were fundamental flaws in the system,” he opines. Quoting an example, he says, at the time of using the CRM, it didn’t have a system to manage duplicates. “There were also other structural limitations. For example, we had 40 to 50 employees in our company. In Zoho, in order to see who has written emails to whom, I’d have to search manually. I could just see all emails from everybody. It was an absolute nightmare,” he expresses.
“Every time I go to the Freshsales support team, I get help immediately. For example, recently I reached out to the support team to edit a template. With Microsoft Dynamics, it would probably take best part of the year to sort it out. With Freshsales, I feel confident that they will address my concerns immediately. Freshworks is possibly the most responsive software house I’ve ever worked with.”
Then, the company hired an IT manager who had the company move from Zoho to Microsoft Dynamics. “He was with us for three years, and even after that period, we still hadn’t implemented the CRM entirely into our sales process. The bottom line is Microsoft Dynamics wanted to do too clever things. If we went to them with an issue, stating that the leads and contacts were being added randomly, Microsoft couldn’t explain why it’s happening. They’d just say, it should work,” he recalls, adding that the one good thing the IT manager suggested before he left was to try Freshsales. “And that’s how we came to know about this CRM,” he says.
After the IT manager left, nobody else on Robert’s team had knowledge of using a CRM, so he took the lead and tried to implement Freshsales CRM into his business. “A CRM is not easy to set up if you don't understand how the new system works, but I must say that so far Freshsales is the best CRM I have come across,” he says.
Delving more into how the process works today with Freshsales CRM, Robert explains that as soon as a lead is created in the CRM, an automated email gets sent out to the prospect, introducing him/her to the company. Parallelly, a workflow also sends lead details and assigns the lead to the relevant salesperson based on the prospect’s post code.
Once the lead is qualified, the company has different pipelines under which it creates deals. “We have different pipelines depending on the type of accounts. For instance, we have a professional pipeline for spas and beauty care brands, and one for selling mass market products directly to consumers,” he adds. The deal stages in the company are quite straightforward. For example, one stage has a list of deals on which action is pending from the company’s side and the second stage has a list of deals on which action is pending from the customer’s side. “If a customer shows interest in our products, until we send them samples, they are in deal stage A, where the action is pending from our end. If the prospect has received the samples, and says we’ll revert once we test it out, they are moved to deal stage B, where the action is pending from their end,” explains Robert.
The team’s first priority is to reach out immediately to prospects who are interested in its products, and not be stuck in a place where a prospect requests for say, a price list, and the team never sends it. “The salespeople are more accountable for their actions now. When they see the pipeline and realize that there’s a big account on which action is pending, they immediately set out to complete it,” he says.
The team at Finders International also uses sales campaigns extensively. Previously they used MailChimp to send out thousands of emails without knowing who exactly they were targeting. In Robert’s words, it all ended up in a long list, and the emails were fairly meaningless. “With Freshsales sales campaigns, we plan to send 100% targeted emails to prospects or customers who are interested in environment-friendly product,” says Robert.
“It's not easy to set up a CRM if you don't understand how it works. But, I must say that so far Freshsales is the best CRM I have come across.”
Today, in the global cosmetic industry, there are many ingredients used in mass-market products, like parabens or petroleum-based products. And, for the savvy customer, they may not be acceptable. For example, in the past, the company couldn't sell its products in Scandinavia because they had certain ingredients that the Scandinavian market didn’t like. “So, in the future, when we create new products which are suitable for a segment of customers, we can use the CRM to re-approach them with our new offerings and try to close the deal,” says Robert.
Finders International has been using the CRM for over a year now. Robert states that with the help of the Freshsales support team, he is all set to participate in his first exhibition in 35 years. “We’ve got everything set up - all records are indexed in a way that we can easily identify which leads deserve our attention. We’ve also set up live forms to invite enquiries. We might get close to 300, but we’ll be happy if we get 10 strong prospects. We’re looking forward to it!” expresses Robert on a parting note.
“With Freshsales, we are all set to participate in our first exhibition in 35 years.”