Case Studies. This MSP startup didn’t want to launch without an all-in-one CRM system. Find out why.
25Jun '14

This MSP startup didn’t want to launch without an all-in-one CRM system. Find out why.

Although still in the planning stages, this UK-based MSP startup knew it needed a flexible CRM system to help them get started on the right foot. Learn how you can build your business around WORK[etc]'s integrated business management system and use it throughout the entire customer lifecycle.


This UK-based managed services startup has big plans. They plan to offer cloud services consulting for a wide range of professional service clients such as lawyers, accountants, and other consulting firms.

For now, though, they’re looking for a flexible, all-in-one CRM system to build the business around. During the first year, they expect to have five users on the system. By year two, that number is expected to double.

The Problem:

To get the company off to a good start, the startup’s founder is currently shopping for an all-in-one CRM system that can tackle everything from client and lead management to sales and timesheet recording. The plan is to build the business around the CRM, so these features are a must.

The WORK[etc] Solution:


Contacts SyncStartups don’t usually start out with whole databases’ worth of contacts. Such is the case here, so good old manual contact entry may suffice. For entering big batches of contacts or gaining new ones, WORK[etc] supports a number of ways to populate the CRM’s contacts list:

  • Turn emails into contacts automatically with the Gmail Gadget and Outlook add-in
  • Sync Google Contacts with the CRM system and vice versa
  • Create and embed web forms into your website and use it as a contact and lead harvesting tool
  • Import CSV or XLS files to enter big batches of contacts and updates into the system

WORK[etc] lets you keep all of your contacts in one central location. The consolidated contact list does away with the frustration and hassle of hunting down contacts strewn across a variety of different applications and media.

When we say “consolidated”, we mean it. You don’t have to leave the contact page to create new projects, tasks, or even invoices for your customers.

The system also makes it easy to keep track of each contact’s history. Every item you create for and every email correspondence you engage in with a contact can be viewed on a contact’s activity history.

The activity history comes in especially handy when someone else has to take over dealing with a client for one reason or another. Whoever takes over can quickly get up to speed simply by accessing a record of everything their predecessor has done with the customer.

The agent knows what happened when, and the client doesn’t have to keep giving out the same information he gave the last time he or she called.


ReportsWORK[etc] offers a few ways of turning opportunities into real business. The aforementioned Gmail and Outlook add-ins, for example, don’t just let you turn emails into contacts. They also let you turn them into leads.

Similarly, web forms can also be used to harvest leads using your website. You can, for example, include a simple contact form on your website that, when submitted, will send your prospective customer an email with a more detailed form. The data they enter into the web form will then be sent straight into WORK[etc] in the form of a new lead.

Of course, lead management is not just about creating and getting new leads. Perhaps even more important is actually taking care of these opportunities and turning them into real business.

WORK[etc] lets users do that and keep track of where their leads currently stand right inside the sales module. This particular module contains a lead grid and is where you work off of when you’re doing sales-related activities.

From here, you can see where everything is currently at, which ones are almost complete, and which needs the most work. For the more graphically inclined, there’s a sales pipeline that shows the lead grid in a graphical format that follows the lead stages you’ve specified.

The sales module is completely customizable; you can arrange it any way you like simply by dragging the columns or pick and choose which columns you want to see and which ones you want to keep hidden. It’s easy to see exactly what you need to see at any particular time.


Time TrackingCustomers and clients aren’t the only people that you need to keep track of. Billable hours for company employees and team members must also be recorded meticulously. In WORK[etc], all of this can be done using simple timesheets.

We say “simple”, but that’s just to describe the process of creating and entering data into the timesheets.

One interesting question that the company had involved vacation times. Can WORK[etc]’s timesheet tools let you keep track of employees’ vacations and times off?

By using the system’s extensive and supremely useful custom field support in conjunction with the company’s shared calendar, it’s a piece of cake.

By using this system, employees who want to file for vacation days don’t even have to hit up HR for forms and the like. They just have to specify their off days on the calendar, which can automatically alert whoever is tasked with approvals.

You can then add a custom field to the calendar event to indicate whether or not the vacation time is approved. Permissions on the custom field can be set so that only the approver can edit it. If you have a two-tiered approval system, just add another custom field and set permissions on it so that the other approver is the only one who can make modifications.


By taking advantage of WORK[etc]’s powerful and highly customizable CRM, project management, and time management tools, this startup can make sure that they have a system that’s not only suited to their needs, but can grow and scale right alongside their company. With a little luck and a lot of hard work, a small five-man business can experience quick growth. WORK[etc] can be there all the way.



To find an all-in-one CRM system which will serve as the startup’s central business node.


Leverage WORK[etc]’s extensive integration of powerful CRM, project management, and time management tools. Customize each and every module to best serve the company’s needs and processes.


A scalable, customizable, all-in-one CRM system that lets you do what you need to do, the way you want to do it.

What this means for your MSP

Adaptability and customizability are two of WORK[etc]’s main foundations. Whether you’re tracking three projects or 300, checking billable hours or vacation times, by using custom fields and creating custom projects, almost every aspect of the system can be made to fit your startup’s specific needs. Find out why WORK[etc] is more than just any CRM by signing up for our free 14-day demo.

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