CRM in Action: ProfitLinc and Entellium
When Billy Shepherd took over leadership as executive vice president at ProfitLinc, he knew that managing telecom expenses and assets for his midsize company clients should have two common themes: simple and seamless. Telecom expenses are often one of the top three line items on a large company’s expense sheet, and ProfitLinc’s mission is to make telecom contract, invoice and asset management easy and worry free for their clients. This is why, when Shepherd took a look at ProfitLinc’s internal systems, he couldn’t justify the cumbersome, expensive CRM system in place at the time of his arrival.
To maximize the return on every dollar a client spends on telecom, ProfitLinc must pay critical attention to detail. Whether it’s reviewing contracts from many different carriers or maintaining accurate asset inventory for clients, the core of ProfitLinc’s customer service lies in its ability to keep every line item, every contract and every expense in perfect order. When Shepherd realized that fundamental CRM details were lacking in their current system, he turned to Entellium’s eSalesForce to start sales and marketing contact management anew.
“I conducted a direct-mail marketing campaign that I couldn’t run a simple report on without buying an additional application from a third party,” Shepherd said. “That’s when I knew it was time to make a change and start over with Entellium.”
The change was a good one for ProfitLinc. As a result, the company can now handle a wide range of reporting tasks. “The reporting is so simple,” he said. “I can administer and post information with ease.”
The intuitive nature of Entellium’s eSalesforce also caught Shepherd’s eye. “The ‘What Would You Like to Do?’ feature in eSalesForce keeps me on track when I’m moving through the system. When I’m done with one task, it takes me directly into the next without any guessing. It’s like ongoing training that I enjoy daily.”
This type of support has helped Shepherd customize the program to see immediate results. “I plan to add Entellium’s support solution, eCustomerCenter, as well, but for now, eSalesForce is customized to meet our requirements.”
Managing Longer Sales Cycles
The attention to detail Shepherd talks about so often comes into play again during the sales process at ProfitLinc.
“We have a longer sales cycle, so attention to detail is key,” Shepherd said. “We have to have an ongoing, up-to-date account of all sales activities in a central place where my entire sales team has access.”
Entellium provides this opportunity for Shepherd and his team through a centralized database that allows for easy access to multiple streams of records, including customer information, personalized notes and action items for follow-up. “I can give my team the detail they need to do their jobs effectively and to close those longer-term deals.”
It can take more than traditional sales to reach a midsize company base. Shepherd, who has a background in both sales and marketing, believes in the power of a strong marketing campaign—be it direct mail, email newsletters, trade shows or advertising.
“Sometimes there’s nothing more effective than a creative campaign to get your name out there, but you have to be able to track metrics to see how much of a success it was,” Shepherd said. “Entellium has given us the power to do that. And I believe it’s what’s going to make us more successful as a company.”
Marketing data is entered into the system and provides a compass for campaign direction, theme and audience. “Again, it’s all about the ease of reporting and seeing in a short period of time what works and what doesn’t.”
Keeping Costs Down, Growth Up
The rate at which midsize enterprises continue to merge only intensifies the need for proactive management of major expense items like telecom. Mergers can often mean billing errors and asset management issues for midsize companies. And this means an opportunity for partnership and growth for ProfitLinc because it can provide companies with a simple, seamless and cost-effective way to manage a significant expense while realizing growth in its own right.
And, just like the companies they partner with, Shepherd knows that ProfitLinc’s growth and systems need to be simple, seamless and cost effective.
“I got much more for my money with Entellium,” Shepherd said. “There are no essential add-ons to buy and it will scale with us. For instance, we will add QuickBooks integration next month for a minimal, one-time setup fee.”
This has been as significant for Shepherd as the ability to manage multiple sales streams, track marketing data and manage major contacts. “It’s cost effective and, really, it can do it all.”
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