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Can you automate 12 months of events in your CRM? This firm can.

This corporate training company used to struggle with coordinating data through their old CRM. Mapping out their events calendar was hard and, at times, impossible. When they switched to WORK[etc], they were able to automate an entire year's worth of events in just one month.

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Company

VitalSmarts Australia & New Zealand engages corporate trainers to help employees learn to communicate effectively about high-stakes topics in a corporate setting, as well as providing training products and materials.

VitalSmarts ANZ is the licensee for Crucial Conversations, a corporate training course for helping organizations foster open dialogue around risky and emotional topics, by helping team learn the skills needed to both speak and listen productively and cooperatively. Teamwork and better decision-making thrive in an open environment of collaboration, where employees at all levels know their voices will be heard.

Challenges

As part of its marketing process, VitalSmarts Australia / New Zealand runs a series of training events every year, to show businesses around Australia and New Zealand how useful Crucial Conversations and other VitalSmarts products are at helping employees at all levels of an organization learn to communicate and collaborate effectively within the organization.

VitalSmarts found it difficult to keep track of all the data and automate the processes for each event.

Before finding WORK[etc], VitalSmarts used a CRM program that didn’t suit its needs.

The CRM program we used before was really limited in terms of its ability to be able to coordinate data and also limited in its ability to be able to cater for our specific needs,” said Geoff Flemming, general manager of VitalSmarts ANZ.

Leads

We run a lot of training events as part of our marketing of Crucial Conversations and other programs, and in order to do that, we had to use products like Constant Contact, or Mail Chimp, or others to market it. Then, through a very convoluted process, we had to get the data back into our CRM, and then get that same data back out again,” said Flemming.

The biggest challenge for VitalSmarts was to make sure every member of the organization, at any level, could access all the data they needed about the company’s various training events.

It was particularly complicated because VitalSmarts Australia / New Zealand works with a virtual team, with representatives all over Australia and New Zealand. Flemming knew they needed a smarter, cloud-based solution.

Solution

WORK[etc] turned out to be exactly what VitalSmarts Australia / New Zealand needed to run their business. Its all-in-one functionality meant that the VitalSmarts team could get the information they needed, when they needed it.

With WORK[etc], we find it just does the whole thing for us,” said Flemming. “It does all the event campaigns. We build all our email lists into the platform. We track all our costs and revenue for training programs in WORK[etc], and because of our virtual team, we’ve now got different people around Australia and New Zealand, and also we’ve got a team up in the Philippines. Our team members can all access the data at various different administrative levels for what they need.

Calendar

After implementing WORK[etc], VitalSmarts Australia / New Zealand was able to expand their operation and bring on a team of employees working in the Philippines, confident that those team members would be able to access the information they needed, when they needed it.

There are four of us all together that use WORK[etc] every day,” said Flemming. “That would be myself, my partner Gerry, and our two people in the Philippines. We get leads in every day from different marketing sources. All those leads get added in to WORK[etc], and then they get attached to various different tags, depending upon what industry they’re in, what state they’re in, and any other information that we want to include — for example, if they’re part of some major corporation that we’re targeting.

VitalSmarts ANZ hired its two virtual assistants in the Philippines through a virtual assistant contracting firm in Davao City. The company was looking for remote employees with good computer skills and a great attitude, who could structure their own work days, be proactive, and speak up when necessary.

I flew to Davao City and ran a two-day training intensive,” said Flemming. “We recorded this into 25 training modules and uploaded to YouTube as our training library. We connect every day and have an online project management system to set tasks and accountability.

VitalSmarts uses WORK[etc] not only to streamline the company’s daily workflow and connect with remote employees, but also to organize larger projects ahead of time.

Results

VitalSmarts was also able to plan out and automate in the space of a month their entire marketing process for a year, a feat that would have been “impossible with our old system,” said Flemming.

Apart from probably taking two or three times as long, ultimately, we could never have mapped it out the way we map it out now because of the convoluted and complex process of the way calendars and things worked in our previous system,” said Flemming. “You really couldn’t lay out that sort of stuff. It was just not possible to do.

VitalSmarts Australia / New Zealand runs an average of 60+ marketing and training events a year for their customers, and each event requires its own marketing campaign: emails, PDF flyers, landing pages, etc. “For each event, we’ll market out beforehand, six weeks, four weeks, and two weeks,” said Flemming. “If you multiply 60 by four, there’s 240 events — 240 individual events that now have to be scheduled within WORK[etc].

Timeline of How VitalSmarts ANZ Uses WORK[etc] to Schedule Each of Its Events

Timeline of How VitalSmarts ANZ Uses WORK[etc] to Schedule Each of Its Events

Because WORK[etc] is so accessible, any employee who needs information about any of VitalSmarts’ events knows exactly where to find it. VitalSmarts ANZ will do refresher training on WORK[etc] every couple of months to make sure everyone is on the same page.

So we can actually start planning in October, and by November of this year, we can effectively have our whole marketing campaign planned out for 2015,” said Flemming. “What that means is, for our event administration people, they’ve got their daily activity pretty well down pat by the 1st of January.

They know pretty much every day what they have to do around making sure our event happen: checking that email campaigns for each individual marketing event go out on the right dates, monitoring the bounces and the emails, making sure supplies get shipped out, etc.

Will some of the dates change? Yeah, of course they will, because for different reasons, we might need to add something or remove something, but overall, the whole thing is set,” said Flemming.

With WORK[etc], we find it just does the whole thing for us. It does all the event campaigns. We build all our email lists into there, and because of our virtual team, we’ve now got different people around Australia and New Zealand, and also we’ve got a team up in the Philippines. Our team members can all access the data at various different administrative levels for what they need.

— Geoff Flemming, General Manager, VitalSmarts Australia / New Zealand

VitalSmarts Australia / New Zealand

Requirements

To find an integrated time, contact, and project management solution that would allow their agents to access all the client and project information they needed all in one place.

Solutions

Implemented WORK[etc] for an all-in-one cloud-based solution

Results

VitalSmarts ANZ is now able to plan out an entire year’s worth of marketing events in about a month’s time, and has automated the processes that go into making sure that each event goes off without a hitch.  Read how other marketing & training firms use WORK[etc].

About WORK[etc]

WORK[etc] is a cloud-based, all-in-one business management software that breaks down the barriers between your customer relationship management, time management, and project management. With WORK[etc], here’s what you can accomplish in one platform:

  • Consolidate multiple apps into the one platform
  • CRM, Projects, Scheduling, Invoicing, Help Desk & more
  • iPhone, Android and web apps
  • Gmail, Outlook, and inbox gadgets
  • Open API and integration tool set

For more information, visit http://www.worketc.com/features-overview/.

  • Thomas Lawler

    Great read! It’s good to see teams collaborate and come together on their complex business problems.

    We’ve had similar experiences with our departments “walling” themselves off in their own department specific applications, and we have fixed when we migrated to work[etc.]. Our account is still very much a work in progress, but the ROI has been unmeasurable with all of the openness / teamwork work[etc.] has created!

  • William Mullane

    WOW. Thanks for that post. My organization hosts 30-40 events per year so I am keenly interested in how VitalSmarts is using WORKetc to manage events. My team has created a process but we’re always open to new ways of doing things.

    • Thanks William – contact me direct and we’ll see if Geoff @ VitalSmarts is interested in doing a Skype hookup, possibly going into more detail on how he uses Virtual Assistants to be more effective in his business.

      **Also if anyone else is interested in working with offshore Virtual Assistants within WORK[etc]

      • Michael

        We have looked into it and even did a trial run for about 8 weeks. We created a single user in our account named VA. They did their work with that user the concept is great – it works. Just not sure if we are able to utilize this concept to its fullness.

  • Tony T

    Great Post! We’ve had similar problems when implementing clients and communication between the sales team and the implementation team can break down. With WORKetc, all the information from the sales team can be seen once our other teams need jump into the project and no data is lost.

  • Jonathan Hickman

    We use the subscription services of Work[Etc] for billing our clients for yearly services. In the past, it was difficult to keep track of billing for these types of long term events (such as SSL certificate renewals). With Work[Etc], this is all handled automatically for us.

  • Michael

    Great Post! It was very interesting and certainly has got me thinking about things. We are just starting a marketing push in 3 or 4 directions. This article has helped me put some things into perspective on how we might just achieve and more importantly track our milestones/events. Thanks!

  • Really interesting to see a business like this using all the features of WorkETC. It’s really interesting to see how diverse a range of businesses can benefit from an all-in-one solution like this even though you may not think it would be useful for that vertical. Very cool!

  • Nice post. I can learn from this how they managed their campaigns.

  • As Ryan said, its very interesting to see how an open platform like this can be adapted to the hugely variable structures and processes within different companies. It is a testament to how well though out Work[etc] is that it is capable of achieving this. I’d love to read more case studies showing in detail how a company implements its processes within the system and I think more detail like this could be very useful for first timers or new adopters.

  • Kieran Doyle

    Really appreciated the implementation graphic. We use WETC for project management and consulting. I like to feel inspired now and again to expand some of the things I “should” be doing.

  • TechGro

    I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg! With the constant development by the worketc team, adding new and advanced features, I see the ability for it’s use to be even more robust than it is now. I have yet to come across any CRM that compares.

  • Jason Royals

    It’s simply amazing to me how crm can change a business’s outlook in a matter of a year. Productivity standards change, business monetary growth. It’s amazing.

  • Brittany McClure Thompson

    This was great article to read. Its so helpful knowing how other people use work Etc because every company is different. I also automate a lot of my to do lists onto my calendar in work Etc and then they are pushed to my outlook which sends me little reminders when its time to move on to some thing else each day. This works wonders for my time management and productivity each day! I don’t exaggerate when i say that Work Etc. has changed my lie!

  • Thank you work etc for listening to our wants, and needs. You make it a joy to work with your program. The way you guys expand and make better is amazing.

  • David McGarry

    I guess it depends on the business – these guys sound like they were able to plan ahead but many small/medium companies can’t predict their workload that far in advance. It’s still great to get different perspectives on how WORK[etc] is being used. It’s also interesting to think how we can apply some of these practices to our business.

  • We use the subscription services of Work[Etc] for billing our clients for yearly services. Work[Etc] handles this automatically for us.

  • I had no idea Work[etc] could be used in this way. As a user, I may not use the software in this nature, however its very re-assuring how comprehensive this software is. That said, I have to agree that this article has proved that my level as a user is just the tip of the ice berg (comment from TechGro) of what Work[etc] has to offer. Things like this really affirms our company made the right choice!

  • Louise Roberts

    Wow, this really shows how powerful WORKetc is. We are not yet using it to its full potential but I can see that there is plenty that could be implemented to strteamline our workflow and really make the system work for.These articles are real eye openers, I will need to spend some time looking into this!

  • In a previous life I worked in a similar environment providing training to mostly unemployed participants. We were always finding it difficult to keep track of all the necessary information such as course information and packages, participant lists and follow ups etc etc.

    I only wish a tool such as Work[etc] existed back then it would have made life 10 times easier.

  • John Belchamber

    Excellent article, you’ve just given me some great ideas to help improve how I run my consulting and training projects – thank you guys!

    It’s really helpful the way you don;t just post marketing materials, but case studies that help us all to get more from WORKetc and improve our efficiency. Keep it up Daniel and Team.

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