How to make a CRM system really work
for you as an IT reseller
You already have a CRM system,
but is it really delivering value
to your business?
UK Sales Director, Workbooks.com
Does your current customer approach
and system really help you:
Increase your sales?
Reduce your operational cost?
Streamline your business processes?
Deliver management KPIs you need?
Align and maximise sales, marketing
and finance together?
Benchmark studies reveal that CRM applications account for:
• Revenue increases of up to 41% per sales person
• Decreased sales cycles of over 24%
• Lead conversion rate improvements of over 300%
• Customer Retention improvements of 27%
• Decreased sales and marketing costs of 23%
• Improved profit margins of over 2%
Table of contents
Introduction ................................................................................................................... 4
Marketing that works . ............................................................................................ 5
Sales acceleration ..................................................................................................... 7
Order management made easy .......................................................................... 9
Contract renewals .................................................................................................. 10
Delightful customer support ............................................................................ 10
Show me the money .............................................................................................. 11
Love your vendor ..................................................................................................... 12
How Workbooks can help ................................................................................... 13
‘The purpose of business is to create and
keep a customer.’ Peter Drucker
In this competitive world,
hanging onto customers
is critical and a key
factor is recognising that
intelligence about the
customer and how to
leverage it is king.
For any organisation that resells products or services it’s
important to maximise your gross margins and ensure cash
flow is healthy, particularly in today’s competitive market.
At the same time however, you need to deliver the highest
quality service possible to your customers at the lowest
cost to your business whilst differentiating yourselves in a
Get this mix right and you have a highly successful company
with happy clients, growing sales, healthy profits and happy
staff that are able to take customer development and loyalty
to a whole new level.
In this competitive world, hanging onto customers is critical
and a key factor is recognising that intelligence about the
customer and how to leverage it is king.
Being able to make the right, timely decisions about new
business ventures, promotions, campaigns and sales focus
are only possible when ‘quick-to-access’ and detailed insight
into your business metrics are available. CRM ‘done right’
can transform your performance and play a vital role in
successful and profitable revenue generation.
So how can you really make CRM work for you as a
Marketing that works
As a reseller you need your marketing spend to meet some key
1. Help you sell new products to existing customers
2. Find new customers
3. Allow you to report back to a vendor on the outcome of a
4. Provide you ammunition to leverage more marketing funds and
support from your vendors
You can automatically
populate leads directly
from your website into
your CRM system and if
implemented correctly you
can capture how the visitor
However it’s notoriously difficult to understand if your new sales really
resulted from marketing or from some other route. Creative marketing
campaigns are great, but you need to get the fundamental marketing
processes in place to ensure your marketing investment pays off and is
delivering a clear and measurable return on investment.
Let’s examine how a well implemented CRM platform can help
you quantify your marketing spend and results, in a simple and
Lead capture & rating
‘80% of tradeshow leads are never followed up.’
Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR)
‘40% of qualified telemarketing leads only have
marginal follow-up: 50% are never called’
You spent good money on your website and you might also be
investing in PPC (Pay Per Click) and Search Engine Optimisation. You
might (if you are lucky) also get the odd lead from a vendor, and don’t
forget the trade shows you attend.
It is essential that you make sure all leads
are captured in the CRM solution and then
followed-up promptly. You can automatically
populate leads directly from your website
into your CRM system and if implemented
correctly you can capture how the visitor
found you. Did they find you via PPC or a
search engine? and which key words did they
enter? Capturing this type of information
gives the sales team context when they follow-up, providing a more
personalised and informed approach. This enables you to easily
measure and rate different lead sources against each other, therefore
allowing you to amend your marketing spend accordingly to ensure
maximum ROI on future campaigns.
Help your sales team by rating the leads so they can prioritise
which ones to follow-up. A good CRM platform can help with this, by
allowing you to sort and group your leads.
Don’t distribute leads by email, they will get lost amongst the
hundreds of other emails sales people are inundated with and you
can’t track or report on the outcomes. Use predefined rules to
assign leads in your CRM automatically and create dashboards
so your sales team can see, in real time, exactly what they need
Remember that delivering
clear, relevant information
to someone in a simple
to understand manner
‘Organizations with a structured lead nurturing process
average & maintain the highest ROI on their sales leads :
163% ROI vs an industry average of 35%.’
Source : Marketing Sherpe 2011 B2B Marketing Benchmark Survey
It’s a common disagreement amongst Sales & Marketing;
marketing do not provide enough leads, and sales do not follow up
on them well enough. Use your CRM solution to provide clarity and
hold your sales team accountable. Create reports and dashboards
which show which leads haven’t been called, or which leads don’t
have follow-up activities scheduled. Remember that delivering clear,
relevant information to someone in a simple to understand manner
If your sales team qualify-out of a lead, make it easy to record
‘why?’ in the CRM platform, so you can understand which types &
sources of leads deliver real results. For instance, what if you knew
that 10% of all lost deals could be recovered through management
intervention, using more experience and oversight of the sales
teams actions and decisions? What would this be worth to your
Ensure your CRM system enables you to track details of all
customer order history and which people were involved in previous
sales. This will allow you to quickly and easily create targeted
marketing campaigns to existing customers when you want
to update them on product enhancements or remind them of
‘The average time a sales representative spends
on sales: 47%; on administrative tasks; 39%’.
Selling power magazine
Successful selling is a combination of art and science; as such no
two sales engagements are ever exactly the same. However the
most successful sales people understand that a good quality sales
process can provide a framework for managing opportunities and can
significantly improve conversation rates.
Being ‘informed’ can really make
the difference. Whether it be sales,
management, marketing, finance
or technical, having one consistent
view of the customer and aligning all
interaction in the same direction can
bring fundamental benefits to the
customer as well as your own team.
A good sales process:
“Since we moved from
Salesforce.com to Workbooks.
com we now have a single
unified system for sales,
marketing and sales order
processing and can now
process orders in half the time.”
Provides a framework and common language to manage and
review sales across the business.
Allows sales people to clearly understand where they (and their
prospects) are in the sales cycle.
Ensure sales and marketing people are aligned with the
necessary messaging and tools to move prospects efficiently
through the cycle.
Ensures you systematically cover the bases and don’t ‘drop
Allows the business to measure success at each stage and drive
improvements as required.
Your CRM system should underpin your process and enable you to
quickly classify deals by stage and type and identify key people in each
opportunity and the roles they play.
CRM as a sales tool
Use your CRM system to conduct deal reviews to help you improve
sales outcomes rather than a tool just for reporting; after all reporting
is only as good as the data you can report on.
Used correctly your CRM system should also enable you to track
competitive wins/losses, helping your sales team to compete better
on future opportunities.
Maximizing gross margins is always key for you as a reseller. Your
CRM system should track the gross margin of each deal, enabling
sales people to know how much they might earn, leaving nothing
to chance. The key to CRM is driving profitable behaviour and
providing management with the visibility to know when intervention
It’s a numbers game
The best sales leaders understand that working the pipeline
delivers results. Therefore visibility into key metrics, in real time, is
Which of my sales team are over/under performing? And
identifying reasons why!
“We have benefited from
Workbooks across our customer
facing teams and recovered the
cost of our subscription through
improvements in our order
What’s the gross margin going to be?
How much coverage do I need in my pipeline to deliver
DIRECTOR AT NORTHDOOR
How many leads convert into opportunities?
Why are we losing deal(s)?
Which products are selling and which are not?
Which customers have stopped buying from us?
Which renewals are at risk?
At what stage of sales do we let ourselves down?
Answers to these questions enable
sales leaders to run more effective
teams. If your CRM system can’t
answer these questions and more,
it’s not effective and will never
deliver the desired impact on your
Order management made easy
You’ve won the deal, now you need to buy the goods from your
suppliers and deliver against your customers’ expectations. A good
CRM system can make this easy, streamlining your processes and
giving you the management data you need.
Use your CRM system to create and track Sales Orders, including
cost and sale prices. Convert your sales orders into Supplier Purchase
Orders and store these alongside the supplier details. When you are
ready to bill, convert your Order into an Invoice again inside the CRM
platform, ensuring all data is consistent, automatic and recorded inline
with other customer details.
Need to part ship an order or record special pricing on a deal?
Maybe you need to track warrantee information or serial numbers
for support purposes. Again all this can be stored in the CRM
“We found Workbooks more
intuitive and usable than others
and most importantly it offered
a solution aligned with the way
channels do business”
Most organisations use spread sheets for this part of the business
process. But spread sheets are prone to manual error, are difficult
to share across multiple people and don’t provide the management
reporting really needed. They also introduce the syndrome of ‘you
don’t know what you don’t know’. If I couldn’t see some details stored
on some spreadsheet and wasn’t aware of them how can I act and
behave in the correct manner?
A well implemented CRM system, enables business leaders to track
key metrics such as:
New bookings in a given week / month
New billings in a given week / month
What’s left to ship this month?
What’s our gross margin going to be?
It further enables sales people to track their orders as they are being
fulfilled to make sure your customer’s expectations are being reached.
In addition it should provide the right tools for the order processing
teams to make their job easy.
‘Increasing customer retention by just 5 %
can increase profits by 25 % to 95 %.’
Bain & Company
Renewal revenues are increasingly important to businesses that
resell. With competition for new business so strong, retaining
existing customer revenues is critical. Support contracts,
subscription licenses or warrantee agreements all need renewing on
a regular basis.
Storing this data in your CRM system where you can easily report
and track renewals makes managing this process more effective
and increases visibility of any negatives or trends before they have a
CO-FOUNDER, LUCID IT
“We knew that we needed to
implement a new system and
make use of Workbooks sales
order processing capabilities
to make our lives easier and
to be more responsive to our
customers and prospects. We’re
already finding that Workbooks is
helping us to be more productive
- having all the data in one place
means that we now have a
single view of our customers
and prospects. We can see
clearly how our opportunities are
Implemented well, you can automate much of the process around
renewals, including sending email reminders to the relevant
contacts or even automating the delivery of renewal orders for
customers to sign.
Support Contracts stored in your CRM system are also accessible to
your support teams. So when customers are calling in for help, you
can ensure they are under contract and entitled to that support and
you are therefore not missing a revenue opportunity.
Delightful customer support
Your customers buy from you because of your expertise and product
knowledge and this extends to ongoing support.
You want to delight your customers
with exceptional support and you want
your support team to be cost effective.
Support is an area that done well can
increase your renewals and customer
receptiveness to do more business with
you. However if you slip up, you often find
sales reps, and others, dragged back
onto deals already closed, reducing the opportunity for more
business and what seemed a profitable and reference-able
customer can be quickly lost.
Your CRM platform should be at the heart of your Helpdesk. It should
be easy for your customers to raise support calls, automatically
turning emails into support cases and enabling your customers to
log support tickets directly from your website. Transaction history will
also help your team understand if they are dealing with one of your
major accounts, so they can go the extra mile to delight your biggest
Recent research showed that:
• 55% of consumers would pay extra to guarantee
• 52% have experienced poor service from a big
name in the last year
• Ill-informed staff is the biggest customer
Used effectively your CRM
system can join-up sales,
order processing and
finance. Enabling you to
streamline your business
process and move from
prospect to cash much
If you are committed to responding to your customers within a
specific period make sure your CRM system makes it easy to check
you are hitting your targets. Use data from your support cases to
find new opportunities, for instance if a customer is logging a lot of
support calls, consider up-selling them a training course or some
additional consultancy. Of course it also enables your sales team
to see the full 360 of the customer and know of a support issue as
they make that all important customer call.
Show me the money
Cash is king, every small (and even large) business owner knows
this is true. Yet for most organisations cash collection and
chasing aged debts is seen as the responsibility of the finance
However, finance departments often have no first-hand knowledge
of your customer, they haven’t met the people paying the bills and
they weren’t involved in negotiating the deal. They also have no
visibility of any support or project issues which would indicate why a
customer isn’t making payment.
CRM systems aren’t just for sales folks, get your finance team
involved and use the CRM system to track down payment. At the
very least they can see which people at the customer were involved
in the purchase and who can sign-off payment.
Financials remain in the finance system, but a simple connection
between the two is all it requires to deliver some powerful benefits
to all concerned, not least the customer and your bottom line.
Used effectively your CRM system can join-up sales, order
processing and finance. Enabling you to streamline your business
process and move from prospect to cash much more quickly.
Love your vendor
Not only do your vendors expect you to make sales, but they also
want visibility of your sales pipeline and forecasts on a regular basis.
Being tied to one vendor can be bad enough, but when you have
multiple vendors on your back it can become a job in itself to keep
track of the information they expect, and often requires your input
or a Market Development Funds program.
Being a reseller is not
just about the customer
downstream, but also
critically, how you manage
your supplier and vendor
If you set your system up correctly, it
should be easy for you to create reports
for your vendors. It then becomes essential
to ensure that your CRM solution has the
ability to categorise opportunities and
orders by product vendor. Ideally, this should
be done at a line item level, so when you are
selling multiple products to a customer, you
can extract the relevant information without having to share all of
the opportunity data with each participating vendor.
Are you agreeing special pricing on a deal? Make sure the costs
prices are correctly reflected on the opportunity and attach the
vendor’s email authorisation to the record, so when you convert
the opportunity into an order on the CRM system, all the correct
cost prices are in place and you have an audit trail just in case you
Are you selling lots of one particular product? Maybe it’s time to
renegotiate the discount you’re getting from the vendor / distributor,
or your credit terms with the supplier. Create dashboards in the
system so you can quickly and easily see the volume of business you’re
doing by product vendor and distributor at any given time.
Being a reseller is not just about the customer downstream, but also,
critically, how you manage your supplier and vendor relationships
upstream, and tie the two ends together. Understanding how to
manage, measure and leverage these are key in today’s competitive
Understanding, and being able to use the data to negotiate well with
your supplier in terms of marketing funds, campaigns, resource
investment and lead flow over that of other competing resellers can
be a strong USP for your business.
How Workbooks can help
‘60% of Small businesses attribute “lower expense
rates” and “increases in productivity” as driving
factors for adopting software-as-a-service CRM solutions’
Treat your customers
as individuals who are
Workbooks has a proven track record of delivering all of the above
to IT resellers. With over 30 reseller implementations and growing,
we have moved resellers from legacy in house customer database
systems such as ACT! , Maximiser, spreadsheets and other CRM
solutions such as Salesforce. com onto the Workbooks platform.
These implementations have all been done in a timely and affordable
manner, resulting in reduced internal overheads and costs, faster
and heightened sales processes and vastly improved vendor
Our service enables your entire company to move in an effective,
customer-focused direction that enables you to treat your
customers as individuals who are understood throughout your
business. You are able to shift from being driven by the products
and services you sell to being driven by the needs of your
Within the CRM industry, only 25 to 30 percent of companies
implementing CRM initiatives feel that they are getting the return
they expected. Workbooks understands why most companies are
disappointed in the results of their CRM investments and that the
investment is not in shiny new technology, but in a service that
will empower you to attract and retain profitable customers and
enthuse your staff to be references for the outcome we deliver.
We deliver a cloud-based service that is UK founded and hosted,
and that has, crucially, been developed with the founder’s prior
experience of running small businesses themselves, ensuring that
what we have delivered is relevant and aligned with the needs of our
clients in a real world scenario.
We work with you in partnership to ensure a successful and
reference-able outcome. Your on-going success is our success.
Founded in 2007 in the UK by a successful team of entrepreneurs,
Workbooks.com has rapidly become one of the fastest growing
providers of web-based CRM and Business Applications and with
over 30 UK resellers already using its services it has a proven close
alignment to the workings of channel businesses.
Our suite of Business Applications are specifically designed for
small and mid-size organisations and are delivered via Software-asa-Service, therefore removing the traditional requirements of having
hardware to maintain and software to install and support.
Our joined-up approach to business means Workbooks CRM and
Workbooks Business can help to streamline your whole business,
increasing productivity and performance through efficiency gains.
Not only can our suite of applications help you to increase sales and
track key business information but they’ll help improve your quality
of service and help to reduce your operational costs.
Our customer base spans many industry sectors including Finance,
Professional Services, Insurance, Not-for-profit organisations, IT,
Telecommunications, Construction, Transport & Logistics and
Manufacturing. We pride ourselves on providing outstanding
levels of customer commitment and customer service to all our
customers. As a UK based company, with our engineering team
working alongside our support team, we are on hand to respond
quickly and efficiently to any questions that may arise.