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How a reusable bag wholesaler packed their sales pipeline using Copper

Bagito grows profitable social enterprise with CRM pipeline management and email integrations

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A former public-school administrator, Bagito President and Founder Mitch Barlas noticed a big gap in the K-12 curriculum around environmental education during his time working in a New York borough school system. So Mitch and some of his colleagues started developing curricula about climate change for the elementary and secondary-school classroom. As the program caught on, more teachers across the country wanted to use their curriculum. Needing to fund their efforts as they grew, Barlas created a nonprofit, Power2Sustain, selling good-for-the-planet, reusable shopping bags made with 100% recycled or 100% natural, biodegradable material.

And when they landed a grant from Whole Foods, bag sales really started to take off — to the point where the nonprofit entity couldn’t handle the growing volume of revenue. So, Barlas created Bagito to manage the growth — a for-profit social enterprise company that would help continue to grow and fund Power2Sustain.

Now, ten years into the venture, Bagito has evolved into an environmental sustainability company supplying businesses with reusable products designed to transition people away from single-use bags, cutlery and more. As a wholesaler, Mitch and his team supply environmentally-conscious items to retailers and natural food stores – and to businesses like Google, Netflix, Salesforce and LinkedIn as sustainable promotional items to give away to employees and prospects.

How exactly was Barlas and his small team able to transition from a small 501c3 nonprofit to a for-profit B-Corp bagging some of the biggest companies in the world as customers? Let’s get into their story.

Creating sustainable growth with pipeline management

For his small sales team to create manageable growth for the company, Mitch knew he had to find the right CRM solution that would integrate with their current tech stack and help reduce manual data entry for their sales team as their sales volume continued to increase. Over 5 years ago, when Bagito realized that the limited functionality of their first CRM tool was holding them back, they turned to Copper.

The winning features for Mitch? Copper’s Google Workspace integration — especially the Gmail sync that automatically pulls in contacts and insights into Copper, saving his sales team tons of time.

Through the years, Bagito has used Copper to:

  • Help Sales manage B2B relationships with corporate customers for promotional/swag items
  • Help Sales manage relationships with retail resellers like Whole Foods
  • Create groups of contacts for targeted outreach using custom fields, checkboxes, tags or hashtags
  • Monitor a complicated opportunity pipeline, with time to close landing anywhere from 24 hours to 6 months
A sustainable promotional item Bagito created for their customer, Google

The key to all of these uses is how simple Copper makes it for the Bagito team to create touchpoints throughout the customer journey and keep an easily digestible record of them in their account. Juggling so many contacts and multiple verticals, the sales team maximizes their efforts by creating segmented groups for bulk email outreach, giving them a quick, personalized way to connect with prospects without manually sending every email to every new lead.

“I love how quick and easy it is to categorize and classify our contacts in Copper so we can quickly segment by vertical for email marketing.” -Mitch Barlas, President & Founder, Bagito

Plus, thanks to Copper’s powerful Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Drive integrations, Bagito’s sales team spends less time manually entering data and more time developing trust with customers.

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Bagito found a partner for long-term growth

Bagito’s success over the last 5 years with Copper isn’t just about features and functionality. Copper has become part of their sales culture.

The CRM system is an integral part of day-to-day life for Bagito’s sales team. From capturing notes, reviewing the pipeline, and checking in on the team’s progress, sales and executive leaders can trust that they’re moving in the right direction — and course-correct as soon as they realize they’re not.

“Without a CRM and without Copper, we wouldn’t be where we are today. The ability to have a database that manages our contacts, notes and pipeline for sales is absolutely fundamental.”
Mitch Barlas, President & Founder, Bagito

Even though the pandemic impacted Bagito’s business with fewer events and fewer promotional items, they’re back in growth mode as in-person resurges. And through it all, Mitch saw a trusted partner in Copper, who not only helped him improve the sales process, but also became an integral part of their company culture, helping them elevate their customer relationships into long-term partnerships.

A reusable "zip-em" bag Bagito created for Wild Roots Market

What’s next for Bagito with Copper?

Growth is top of mind, and Copper will continue to be instrumental in maintaining efficiency as the company adds more business. Mitch is looking forward to:

  • Optimizing trade-show lead generation and follow-up using Copper to quickly manage the contacts and create and send emails as soon as the show is over.
  • Continuing the momentum they’re generating in their pipeline
  • Working with Copper’s support team to improve their process and maximize the impact of each Bagito salesperson
  • Joining the Copper Community so they can collaborate with other Copper users

While Bagito has big names in the bag like Netflix and Google, the team is committed to continuing to raise awareness around eco-friendly promotional products and sustainable options for shopping and household items.

If you’re curious to see how Copper can help your company drive more efficiency to fill your pipeline, try us out free for 14 days, no credit card needed.

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