BLOG. SMART PRACTICAL BUSINESS ADVICE

How many apps does it take to capture a lead and turn it into a client, a project, and an invoice?

This consulting firm's old systems were straining to cope with rapidly growing business. The alternatives they tried were complicated, expensive, and involved multiple apps. The solution?

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Company

TechHelp Idaho provides consulting services to Idaho manufacturers. They supply everything from information and training to technical and professional assistance, all to help manufacturers be more competitive.

The company has a team of 10 to 15 consultants around the state, with offices attached to three major Idaho state universities: Boise State University, University of Idaho, and Idaho State University.

Challenges

TechHelp Idaho was supposed to be helping clients, but when it came to client engagement, they were the ones who needed help.

Prior to WORK[etc], the entire front end of our client engagement was dark,” said Bill Mullane, TechHelp Idaho’s marketing manager. “Everyone was just doing their own thing. The first visibility we’d really have with a client would be if the engagement turned into a billable project.”

TechHelp Idaho was still plodding along using their old in-house system, TechTrak, to monitor clients and projects, until the company got a wake-up call.

We have sister centers in all 50 states,” said Mullane, “and many of those had used our old system, TechTrak. By about five years ago maybe, most of them had moved off that system we’d built and had moved on to other products like SalesForce or Microsoft Dynamics, you name it.

They all had kind of moved on and moved to the cloud and we’re the last center using this old, not cloud-based system. And at a national conference we were used as an example, nationwide, of what not to do. So we were determined at that time, we need to change.

We tried everything,” Mullane continued. “We sampled, test drove every system out there and they all were just lacking. All of our 50 sister centers around the US, none of them could find a system that they could use to manage their business without using bits and pieces of other programs. And then we came across WORK[etc].”

Solution

Of all the solutions TechHelp Idaho tried, WORK[etc] was the all-in-one, cloud-based business management system that did everything the company needed it to do.

“We test drove it and went, ‘Wow, wait a second. This is what we’ve been looking for’,” said Mullane. “This could really manage our business end to end. We’re not going to have to pick from among ten thousand apps that might fit the project mode, and another ten thousand that might fit the billing.”

G Suite integration with WORK[etc]

And not only that, but it was affordable. There were other products out there that some of our centers had linked to, but they were just prohibitively expensive and complicated. WORK[etc] just worked, it was simple, it was affordable and it managed the business end to end and did what we wanted it to do.

There was a lot of retyping in our old system,” said Mullane. “There was a lot of moving things from one system to another system. Now with WORK[etc], everything is in one place and we can use the information that’s already there to move to the next stage of a client engagement.

Results

WORK[etc] was a game-changer for TechHelp Idaho, giving them more capabilities than ever before.

The biggest impact for us is market reach,” said Mullane. “We were flying blind before; we were dark on the front end of our business. Getting all of our contact information in one place and then with WORK[etc] we’re able to tag those clients you know based on geographic location, industry, area of interest, things like that. We’re able to communicate with our clients in a way that’s more meaningful to them, so we’re not sending information about a cheese-making workshop to someone who makes software.

TechHelp Idaho is now able to automate and track the process in a transparent, visible way with webforms in WORK[etc].

We started using Google webforms awhile back. Simple, captures information, creates a little spreadsheet — that was nice. WORK[etc] took it to the next level,” said Mullane. “With WORK[etc] we can create webforms in an easy, intuitive, point and click way. It does a lot of things for us. It allows our client to come to us and ask for help and just with a simple link on a webpage opens a webform. And now our clients are giving us valuable information — their names, company email address, titles, everything we need to know about them.

TechHelp Idaho's Automated Webform Workflow

Just in the last five months or so we’ve received over 40 leads through the webform system,” said Mullane. “We wouldn’t have had any of those leads in our old system until they became a billable project.

In addition to the powerful webforms feature, Mullane also finds WORK[etc]’s Gmail Gadget extremely useful.

The Gmail gadget is amazing and we haven’t even really tapped the power of it yet,” Mullane explained. “I can attach anything to anything in WORK[etc], right from my Gmail inbox. I get an email from a new client and then attach it — boom! Put it in the system. Get an email from a client I’m already engaged with, click and attach it back to the lead, attach it to the project, attach it to billing.

We’re seeing more business, more leads, more sales,” said Mullane. “Our workshops are more full. Our communication is more effective. Our consultants are busy.

There were other products out there that some of our centers had linked to, but they were just prohibitively expensive and complicated. WORK[etc] just worked, it was simple, it was affordable, and it managed the business end to end and did what we wanted it to do.

— Bill Mullane, Marketing Manager, TechHelp Idaho

TechHelp Idaho

Requirements

The company used an old, inefficient system to run their client engagement and manage projects. They tried dozens of different CRM and project management software solutions but couldn’t find one that would do everything they needed it to.

Solutions

Implemented WORK[etc] for an all-in-one cloud-based solution to manage client engagement, projects, and more.

Results

Company sees great increase in effectiveness of client engagement, additional transparency at the front end of the company’s lead collection process, and streamlined project management processes.  Read how WORK[etc] can help other Managed Services Providers.

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/.

  • David Jones

    Nice article. We were using about 4 different systems to do everything we currently do in WorkEtc. Being able to manage leads, customers, project, support, expenses, and time all in one place is just fantastic.

    • Thomas Lawler

      We have had a similar experience with Work[etc.]. I was supporting 5+ systems for my team, and since the transition to work[etc.] it has been that much easier to provide help and support to the end users of the application. Having everything in one place just makes business that much easier.

      • Steve Westrop | WORK[etc]

        You’d expect me to use and like the software as part of the team, but I was (still am) a customer first, super-frustrated with having to update 4-5 systems whenever a contact changed their phone number or email address, and trying to keep on top of all the different information across those applications. I may have been branded a “difficult customer” by asking so many questions in those early days, but my business benefited hugely, and it was a great honour to be asked to join the team behind such an awesome product 😉

        Understanding this pain and frustration first-hand has been hugely beneficial in many ways.

  • Michael

    Good Article. I especially liked the web form work flow. It has been a piece of Work[etc] that we haven’t explored very much. It sounds like it could be something that we could use to some advantage. Thanks!

    • Steve Westrop | WORK[etc]

      Sorry Michael, I’ve only just seen this. Please feel free to reach out to me or the team on support@ and we’ll arrange a time to help you through this.

  • Brittany McClure Thompson

    Its amazing how having everything from ticketing and billing to a client knowledge base hat can help clients learn to use our product better has changed our company. I love the fact that we have replaced a dozen places of storing the information we needed to get work done to one easy to use and truly all in one system with Work Etc!

  • Great to see a fellow technology consultant getting so much great value out of using the platform. I too found that similar systems out there are insanely cost prohibitive and don’t really do much more then what WorkETC does. I think the only area that it doesn’t cover is linking in some MSP features such as customer asset tracking (monitoring computer health), client password management, etc. but at the same time these would water down the system for everyone else. Might be cool to have as an integration though down the road. From an IT standpoint it’s brilliant to have all customer history in one place, especially when replying to a support ticket that may be related to an old sale which makes for fast and reliable accountability.

  • Tony Tsicouris

    Before work etc we were using multiple applications, maybe 4 or 5 to handle all of our needs. Having multiple applications like that would slow our productivity throughout the day navigating between each one and cause potential data loss. Now we are able to centralize our data and work into one tool and avoid working in multiple areas.

  • F1Networx

    How many apps does it take in work etc to bill on a reoccurring basis
    with credit card? After joining WE, my receivables have slowed down and
    now take more time than ever to get done. Reoccurring profiles have to
    get reviewed every single month to be invoiced and then manually
    processed which was fully automated in Freshbooks.

    Then, you have no idea to see if an invoice was e-mailed without checking every single one after you create them.

    The
    billing component of WE leave very much to be desired and frankly, I
    wish it was a separate feature so I wouldn’t have to pay for it every
    month.

    Daniel Barnett: I wish your team would focus on the
    platform and the mechanics of it rather than assigning efforts on the
    eye candy. If that’s what the MO is, then I would have stayed with
    Freshbooks.

    I like the platform, but a botched receivables workflow is killing my back-office.

  • Steven Kennedy

    It is amazing how I am able to lead in the program. It was simple with the gmail widget to create leads. I like that I am able to keep all of my leads organize, so that I know which one needs what. I like that you can have many other people attached to projects and task. It helps for the ordering process and setup. Even to the billing of the client.

    • Thanks Steven – brilliantly put, its the idea we’ve always been working toward. Use WORK[etc] to manage the entire Customer Lifecycle

  • John Belchamber

    You know, one of the reasons I use Apple is that their devices and applications are simple to use, nice to look at and use and more importantly, do what they say they are going to do ever time…simply.
    For me, WORKetc fits into all of those categories like Apple, with one exception…it’s more affordable 😉

  • Steven Kennedy

    I love the look of the new update coming out! I think it will make work etc much easier to use and operate on a daily basis. The way they are creating it will make the interface more simple to look at an organize your daily company needs. Thanks you work etc!

  • David McGarry

    Didn’t even know Work[etc] could do this! Think this might be invaluable for our sales and marketing.. Currently we have a dedicated website and also a lot of our leads and potential clients will come via word-of-mouth. I’m going to send the link to this blog to our sales manager as she may find this very interesting, especially as we were in the process of starting to re-develop our current sales webforms.

  • Jason Royals

    We are getting more leads, more sales, and more business from this integration. Our communication is streamlined. More importantly we are engaging our customer’s in productive fashion that doesn’t seem like marketing. It’s consulting!

  • I didnt know that work[etc] could do this! but i love work[etc] it makes managing projects and help ticket / support tickets from clients so easy! Best software program on the market!

  • Joey Gilbert

    The beauty of this is flexibility. Let’s just say a “blue easy button” existed and didn’t everything for you. Someone would still want the easy button to be green instead of blue!?!?! Point is you can’t program something to do everything and even if you did user experience would drive production of a flexible option, to work the same way differently (did that make sense 😛 ) WORK[etc] has that flexibility to perform a task in 3 different ways, which results in reaching a wider range of users and tailoring the user experience to their needs.

  • I like one of the other commenters below use apple products for years I was pro pc and I tried apple and it worked all devices communicated and life just got easier.

    It is the same with Work[etc] it just works. I no longer need a lead tracker program, time management application, email marketing platform and so on. I have all of that in one solution and best of all it works across my devices.

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