Case Studies. This financial firm didn’t want to drown in paper reports, so they looked for a cloud-based all-in-one CRM solution
25Jun '14

This financial firm didn’t want to drown in paper reports, so they looked for a cloud-based all-in-one CRM solution

This USA-based company offers business consultancy and financial advice to developing companies in the oil, gas, and real estate industries. The trouble is, their fast growth has led to a surplus of hard-to-track paper reports, emails, and spreadsheets. Learn how WORK[etc]'s cloud-based business management tools can help keep you from drowning in a sea of paper.


This USA-based company offers its business consultancy and financial advisory expertise to developing companies in the oil, gas, and real estate industries. These include real estate investment and capital strategies, business and project development, and joint ventures.

The Problem:

The system they’re currently using to manage their leads and projects is something that should be familiar to a lot of small and medium businesses: email, spreadsheets, and a whole lot of paper.

With imminent growth on the horizon, the company now wants to implement a single system where they are able to keep a close enough eye on a lead so as to not miss any actionable opportunities that may come their way. They also want to be able to transfer leads inside the system over to manageable projects seamlessly.

In addition, the company places a premium on email integration and other communication tools. The two partners who manage the firm are in different states — one is in the East Coast while the other is in the West. Most of the work they do is done online so collaboration is key.

The WORK[etc] Solution:


One of the company’s current goals is to utilize marketing campaigns to gather leads. One way of accomplishing this task is by using WORK[etc]’s customizable web forms. These web forms cut down time spent manually turning customer information into useful data, adding another layer of automation to your business processes.

  • Automatically create new support cases, leads, or contact records using information entered by your customers.
  • Customize which employees are automatically assigned the new support cases, leads, or contacts.

Since they’re customizable, these web forms can have whatever information fields you want or need them to have. For example, your customers can enter in paragraph answers, select options, and even upload images and documents.

You don’t even need any HTML experience to build the form thanks to its WYSIWYG editor. Embedding web forms into your website is an easy task as well — just copy and paste the auto-generated code snippet when you’re done making the web form.

Whether the company chooses to spread their marketing campaign via email or social media, they can include a link that sends their prospective clients to a landing page containing the web form. Any information entered into these web forms can automatically be turned into leads within the system.


sales-moduleAll of the leads that the company gathers — whether through web forms, emails, or any other method —  can be viewed in WORK[etc]’s sales module. For tracking how much potential business your sales team is working on, the sales pipeline should be the company’s go-to page.

The sales pipeline gives you an at-a-glance graphical view of the progress of all your sales leads according to their stages. This allows you to drill down into the data within each stage to help you better manage the sales process and focus on the stages that need the most attention, thus maximizing your sales efforts.

The sales pipeline is largely dependent on your sales processes, which can be heavily customized within WORK[etc]. You can make it as simple as a three-stage “cold, warm, hot” process or make a more detailed, 20-stage process that you can micromanage as much as you want.

The sales pipeline also helps forecast revenue by letting you assign probability percentages for all of your leads. Let’s say for example that the company has a new lead on a real estate investment opportunity which, when complete, will net them $100,000. They’re currently at stage four of their custom process, which has been marked as about 60% to 75% from completion. The sales pipeline will then show the projected revenue calculated from the lead’s total value and the percent probability of closing the sale.


Once the company wins that $100,000 lead we mentioned earlier, it’s time for project management to come into the picture. They currently have only a few projects, but that number is expected to increase on a weekly and monthly basis. Hence, they need a system capable of creating and adding projects quickly.

Additionally, these projects can get pretty complicated. Although most of their clients are startups, they mostly handle large-scale development projects. A single project can go on for anywhere between six to 24 months and can involve multiple tasks, multiple sub-projects, and multiple people.

WORK[etc]’s project management module is built to be able to handle such complicated projects. You can add a near-infinite number of sub-projects and tasks to a root project, nesting them as deeply as you like. All of these sub-projects and tasks can then be assigned to any member of your team.

By using permissions, you can also make it so that clients connected to a project can jump right in and complete tasks assigned to them. Here are just a few of the things you can do with WORK[etc]’s permissions settings:

  • Completely control access to any project, activity, module, or information within the system

  • Set user permissions individually, by workgroup, or by role

  • Restrict who can view and/or modify private sales leads, specific projects, etc.

The company, for example, deals with a lot of external project managers, developers, and contractors. By giving them login credentials and changing their permission settings, the company can give them access only to projects explicitly assigned to them.

If Bob has tasks on both Project A and B while Jack is connected only to Project A, the permissions settings are flexible enough so you can let Bob access and work on both Projects A and B while Jack won’t be able to even see what’s going on in Project B.


G Suite on WORKetcWORK[etc] is counted among the first G Suite Authorized Technology Partners, which gives us the ability to design richer product integrations with G Suite services and provide more added value for our customers.

Integration with G Suite — another of the tools the company currently uses — is seamless and multi-faceted. The system itself even lets you fire off emails to anyone without having to open your email client. Considering the premium the company places on email integration, the Gmail add-in is of particular use.

WORK[etc]’s email integration features don’t just address the company’s need for closer collaboration. It can also be leveraged to instantly gather new actionable items that are automatically added to the system using the WORK[etc] email add-in for Gmail and Outlook.

The add-in adds a WORK[etc] control panel to the bottom of all your emails. Once you load the gadget, you can:

  • Create new contacts, notes, attachments, events, leads, projects, support cases, tasks, timesheets, expenses, or invoices without leaving your inbox

  • Attach emails to existing contacts, leads, projects, support cases, invoices and more

As stated earlier, the company puts a premium on collaboration. This extends to their projects, which are largely task-based. WORK[etc]’s project planning module not only lets you create and assign new projects and tasks, it also gives you the option to start online threaded discussions between team members.

Using the system’s discussions feature, you can:

  • Start an online, threaded discussion using any project, sales lead, support case, or contact

  • Attach relevant documents and files to online posts

  • Upvote comments and suggestions that you like

  • Use Requests to ensure the person you need answers from is immediately notified of your post

For client-side communications, you can send an email to your clients from inside a project itself. Since the emails you send from within a project have their own corresponding project code, their reply then comes back directly into the project. This correspondence will then show up in the project’s activity stream.


The company can cover their lead and sales management requirements by leveraging WORK[etc]’s integrated business management tools. Lead generation and sales tracking are built-in, with their respective modules connecting seamlessly with every other aspect of the system, from contacts to project management and support.

WORK[etc] is cloud-based, so the physical distance between the company’s two main partners becomes a moot point. The system’s discussion feature and its Gmail add-in can prove especially useful in facilitating collaboration and communication between employees, management, contractors, and clients.



To find a lead and sales management system with integrated communication tools.


Leverage WORK[etc]’s sales and leads modules to keep track of and stay updated regarding the status of the company’s sales and leads. Use the integrated Gmail add-in as well as the built-in discussions feature to keep communication fast, easy, and efficient.


Clear lines of communication. Increased company ability to collect and track leads as well as boost overall efficiency and productivity.

What this means for your Business Consulting and Finance Firm

When it comes to CRMs, WORK[etc] goes beyond the average system by being an all-in-one solution that can be used throughout the entire customer lifecycle. The cloud-based system is easily accessible and integrates seamlessly with popular business apps like G Suite, Xero, and Evernote. You can experience WORK[etc]’s suite of cloud-based tools by signing up for our free 14-day trial.

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