More clients. Bigger team. Suffering management-- three signs of a growing and successful business. Managing a thriving service business is one of the hardest things you can do, and at the beginning of 2013, Daniel and his team were struggling to manage their rising list of clients.
With a mixture of local and remote staff, the LyntonWeb team became frustrated with manual tools and failing processes. Important client emails stuck inside isolated inboxes while the sales went largely untouched and ignored. Project managers were struggling to keep up with bigger jobs for more clients. What might have been the most challenging was trying to track budgets and billing across dozens of spreadsheets.
These kinds of problems aren’t unique to LyntonWeb. Fortunately, they managed to overcome them. With Accelo, the team at LyntonWeb were able to continue growing their revenue while shrinking their management overhead.
“Since we started with Accelo earlier this year, we’ve grown our sales pipeline and gained better visibility across our business” says Daniel. “Organizing our client data with Accelo lets us bear the fruits of our growing business without the management struggle.”
This is the story of how LyntonWeb went from frustration to automation in just a few short months, with Accelo.
The first problem at LyntonWeb was getting everyone on the same page. “As a service business, clients are everything to us. Communication is crucially important and we had a problem,” Daniel explains. Like most businesses, LyntonWeb had invested in a sales tool, but despite the best of its intentions, it wasn’t working for them.
“People didn’t understand the value of updating the sales, especially when they’re living in email.” This meant that LyntonWeb had no overall picture of client communications - a problem that became crippling with a distributed, busy team and a growing client list.
With no central place to manage client relationships, they were missing out on potential deals as client requests were getting lost in the noise.
Daniel saw the answer to their communication woes in Accelo. “It gives us a sales we don’t have to touch. Its email tracking feature makes it so that our central client database is always auto-updating, even while we message clients from Gmail.”
Now, LyntonWeb gets an overview of all client communications that everyone can count on to always be up-to-date. “It even learns and grows by itself,” explains Daniel. “Whenever we get an email from a client contact, it’s tracked in Accelo before it even hits our inbox.”
As an inbound marketing and web design agency, LyntonWeb works best with clients on an ongoing basis. However, this model proved to be the undoing of all the project management tools Daniel and his team tried. “Our work is ongoing, recurring and responsive - and nothing we found could handle it,” says Daniel. “We eventually gave up and started using spreadsheets again."
From their first day trialing Accelo, Daniel and his team could see the solution to their problems in the Contracts and Retainers module. “We’re able to set out budgets, tasks and hours and then bill for them easily every month.”
Since implementing Accelove in early 2013, Daniel and his management team have been able to cut the time spent on monthly billing and other administrative overhead - invoices are now sent ast much as 2 weeks sooner than in the past. “It’s time we can now spend doing more productive things - working on the business, developing our staff or working strategically with our high value clients” says Daniel.
Automating their business with Accelo didn’t just save admin time, it also brought all of their business processes together.
“Since our sales process is linked to our client communications, we’re able to get leads into the pipeline right away. Anyone who shows interest in our services immediately becomes a client contact and sales opportunity in Accelo.”
They then work through a sales process which is facilitated through Accelo opportunity stages. “Once we present our proposal and get signed off, we have an internal knowledge transfer and kick-off.” As soon as they close their sales opportunity, they begin their retainer or project - lasting anywhere from several months to a few years.
The good news is that LyntonWeb experienced the benefits of automation quickly. “Within just a month we were already seeing the difference,” finishes Daniel. “Having a system to manage our client work makes it easier to focus on the things that we love - making the web, and the world, a better place for our clients, team and the wider community”.