Custom Creatives (www.customcreatives.com) is a boutique Digital Marketing Agency for small to medium size businesses. Based in Agoura Hills, California just outside of the greater Los Angeles area, Custom Creatives uses PipelineDeals to understand their sales pipeline and manage ongoing projects. We spoke with their CEO, Rahul Alim about how they’re using PipelineDeals to grow their business.
Tell me a little more about your business
Custom Creatives was founded in 2004 to provide integrated digital marketing services to small and medium size businesses and to partner with other Traditional and Digital marketing agencies on a flexible, ongoing or as-needed basis to service high volume accounts or provide specific skill-sets (like banner ad designs, landing pages, WordPress websites, UI/UX design and custom solutions).
Custom Creatives offers a range of services, including web design and development, branding and search engine optimization and marketing. We are a full service marketing shop providing a single point of contact for our clients. Customers are busy and no longer is it convenient to have several vendors or partners to grow your business in different directions, Custom Creatives solves that problem for our clients and agency partners.
Repeat and referral business has been really important to our growth. Our clients include real estate, financial, digital marketing agencies, entertainment, lifestyle, public relations and insurance firms, amongst other industries. We pride ourselves on service and quality, which results in successful execution and ROI for our customers. It’s critical for us to be able to effectively track our relationships and understand our deal pipeline. That was one of the primary drivers in our decision to purchase a CRM system.
Did you look at other CRM options before PipelineDeals?
I’ve used a variety of project management and CRM systems. We tried to implement SalesForce and Microsoft Dynamics in the past, both of which were expensive to purchase and rollout, and difficult for our team-members to use. We struggled to adopt these and ultimately decided to look for an alternative CRM system that would be simpler to use.
As we were evaluating CRM options, we discovered PipelineDeals. What stood out to me initially was how intuitive PipelineDeals was to use. And, when I saw how much money we could save by implementing PipelineDeals, I was sold. Then, just as expected, our team was using the system very quickly.
How are you using PipelineDeals?
We’re looking to increase our sales 50% in 2014 and PipelineDeals has been critical to our success thus far. We use PipelineDeals extensively to keep track of all of our activities, and to plan our follow-up tasks. Because we offer an extensive menu of marketing services, we have a lot of recurring deals with our customers and need to have the complete picture of our client’s needs and potential opportunities.
PipelineDeals helps us to manage our recurring business, upsell, and cross-sell to our customers. The activities feature in PipelineDeals and the agenda truly help us stay on top of our deals pipeline.
The mobile app is convenient too. We get quick access to our accounts and ongoing deals on the mobile app while out and about. It’s useful to be able to quickly reference an ongoing deal, record information from a meeting, just stay in touch with our clients to say hello, happy birthday and see how their family is doing. The text messages that we receive about upcoming events are also very helpful to ensure we never miss a potential opportunity or appointment – in fact the text messaging is one of our favorite features.
What kind of tips do you have for companies using PipelineDeals.
I strongly encourage that people take full advantage of the agenda features on PipelineDeals. PipelineDeals makes it easy to manage the sales cycle for ongoing deals like a project, and simply move agenda items forward as appropriate. For example, if we’re scheduled to call someone and we do not connect with them, we record a short activity noting the call (like “left message” or “LM” for short). Next, we postpone the entire series of tasks or events so that we are able to reach out to people in our marketing cycle for follow-up.
Another time-saving feature is bcc (blind carbon copy). If you have a new lead and you bcc your PipelineDeals email address, it automatically creates a new record in seconds. You don’t have to go through elaborate data entry. You receive an email that a new record has been created, edit it and add your relevant data. Your entire email will already be logged in the system for easy reference. This is also relevant for existing customers, simply bcc your PipelineDeals email address, and your email is instantly recorded. This is a MAJOR time savings.
Additionally, if I’m helping my colleagues with deals, I make sure to use the collaboration features in PipelineDeals to notify them with tips or relevant updates. I can add activities, tasks, and events, and tag people so that they receive an email from PipelineDeals notifying them.
Finally, make sure that your team knows when to move things forward in your pipeline. For us, we attempt to make connections via email and over the phone several times. If we’re unable to move a deal forward through our pipeline, we add someone to our list of people to nurture.
Any other things?
PipelineDeals offers an incredible knowledge base with blogs, forums videos and their customer service is excellent. You feel like you work with a family-owned company that cares about your success and needs.
I’d recommend PipelineDeals to other marketing companies and agencies for its simplicity, which makes it easy to rollout and use immediately, its features, which are comprehensive enough for most businesses, and at a great price.
PipelineDeals is a simple and useful sales CRM in the cloud. Try PipelineDeals free for 14 days.