How Evans Manufacturing lives up to its full potential with Freshsales

How Evans Manufacturing lives up to its full potential with Freshsales

Following the implementation of Freshsales, Evans Manufacturing now has access to a holistic view of its customers as well as the ability to streamline sales processes and activities.

Have you ever wondered where those branded goodies that businesses give away at events come from? Firms like Evans Manufacturing shoulder this responsibility to help brands leave a memorable impression.

Despite the pandemic, Evans Manufacturing is pushing ahead – building even stronger relationships with its clients, retaining existing businesses and generating interest among others, thanks to Freshsales (formerly Freshworks CRM).

Evans Manufacturing

Founded in 1994, the personalised promotional products’ creator helps businesses across various industries.

There are many complex operations at the heart of the operation involving a wide chain of distributors, suppliers and customers. Such complexity puts the company’s scalability and adaptability to test. The company looked to relation-based selling to move forward.

Selecting the right CRM to shift the selling approach

Evans Manufacturing had a focused aim for the CRM it was looking for. The firm’s distribution model meant there was no direct selling, with the deal being proposed through multiple distributors before it was presented to the end-user. 

“We have large distribution entities and offices, and reps in each office. Each rep has dozens and sometimes hundreds of clients. We wanted to have that nested loop well drawn out and organised. We wanted to capture that data,” said Ron Williams, CMO at Evans Manufacturing.

Williams described the company’s former Excel-based customer relationship management experience as a ‘horribly manual process’.

Four other challenges were obvious:

  • Fragmented data with each sales rep having client and distributor information scattered across apps – requiring tons of app switching
  • No single customer view, which meant data-driven conversations were based on manually sorting customer hierarchy (distributor and distributors’ clients), which resulted in reduced personalisation.
  • Impersonal customer engagement. Without access to the right data, the marketing team wasn’t able to segment the email list based on specific criteria. Naturally, this impacted the personalisation throughout the customer lifecycle demands. It also took a toll on the relevancy of marketing campaigns.
  • Less opportunities for businesses largely due to limited context from the marketing team. The sales team ended up with reactive selling – selling only when a distributor requested for a sample on behalf of their customer. The result? Fewer contracts. Plus, the lack of opportunities to cross-sell and upsell.

Williams said: “CRMs are not used much [in our industry] although they should be given the nature of what we do.”

Users, therefore, had little to no experience using CRM software, which meant the team had to look for software that was easy to use. Pricing was a deciding factor too.

Evans had evaluated popular CRM solutions in the market but neither met all expectations. Freshsales was a clear winner for Evans. 

How did Freshsales fit the bill?

In short, the ‘simplicity and power of the tool’. Pricing, ease of use and quick implementation were other factors.

Williams shared that several people had little to no experience using a CRM. But with Freshsales, implementation only took about three weeks.

And ease of use?  

Williams said: “We spent a few months getting users acquainted with the system. We offered the users the freedom to ‘break the system’, as opposed to the typical habit of caution over confidence in clicking or exploring something unknown.”

Next up, Freshsales offered a centralised home for all the customer data to Evans Manufacturing. Not only did that allow organising data and making it accessible to all the teams, it streamlined activities such as quoting and researching. Ultimately, the team was able to quit switching between apps and had a clear distributor-client hierarchy.

Lastly, in contrast with other leading CRM software, Freshsales turned out budget-friendly too.

Keeping the sales pipeline full with Freshsales

With Freshsales, the sales activity increased by 225% between the end of January 2020 to the end of August 2020.  

The revenue went up by 9% in January as compared with 2019 – a great start to the year and an even better journey with revenue increasing by 23% in Feb until COVID hit the market in March. 

Even with the pandemic taking over the market, Evans Manufacturing was able to adapt quickly and in a short time – retaining clients and securing new ones too. In the light of these events and staff restructuring, Evans Manufacturing started building prospect engagement activities with the help of Freshsales.

“This new way of engaging clients tends to be faster, more personalised, relevant and very specific,” Williams said.

“Freshsales is allowing us to keep going with limited resources, given the shifting environment. It’s an asset.”

Freshsales centralised data and streamlined manual activities

As soon as Freshsales was implemented, the sales team was encouraged to enter customer information. The mobile app made curating client information all the more convenient. 

But, despite complying with gathering data, the sales reps’ interest in logging in all the end-user info round the (work) clock spiked as they started noticing the benefits of extracting info on the spot while engaging with distributors.

Moreover, this information served as a reference bank for future engagements, which helped them develop customer behaviour patterns for personalised selling. 

Freshsales personalised sales deals

Before centralising all the customer hierarchy, the sales team was dependent on a distributor opening a tender for their client. Things took a turn when reps could extract personalised information from the gathered data.

By having all the required info on a distributor’s clients, Evans Manufacturing has become proactive about coming up with sample product ideas themselves. 

Freshsales helped create a well-tailored sales cycle

Prior to using Freshsales, email campaigns at Evans Manufacturing had open rates in the low teens. Post-Freshsales, open rates increased by two or three times and the team can track CTRs easily.

The current sales cycle is segmented to generate a pipeline of quotes with the following steps:

1. The initiation of the new quote

2. Three-step follow up

3. Landed and closed

4. Rationale/reasons for winning or losing bids

With the automation that Freshsales offers, the sales process pipeline sped up. It was also easier to track progress than before when things were manual.

Taking things to the next level

Before Freshsales, all the marketing team at Evans Manufacturing had was ‘a massive email list’ with zero segmentation.

With Freshsales, the team had the right features to track CTRs, plan a proper email marketing campaign and segment their list too.

All this helped marketers with the team engage their audience better and, subsequently, build themselves as the go-to business in their eyes.

More importantly, all the work that they can do now with Freshsales keeps Evans Manufacturing front and centre of prospects’ minds – due to consistency in email marketing.

Relevancy at its best 

Segmenting the email list enabled Evans Manufacturing to be relevant to prospects by sending targeted emails that were specific to prospects’ interest.

Looking ahead

With all of the distributor and customer information in hand, Evans Manufacturing has been able to target the right industries, tailor its messaging and create products for specific businesses, even before customers ask for it. 

Moving forward, Evans Manufacturing will continue doing so. The firm will work on improving engagement with distributors and clients too. With Freshsales, the team will empower sales reps to focus on selling rather than on entering data and managing it manually.

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