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How Smartpress Adopted a CRM That Everyone Loved

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Author photo: Grace Lau

Grace Lau

Meet Smartpress, an online digital printing company.

As a division of The Bernard Group that comprises over 600 employees and five locations (including two print production facilities that brings their total footprint to nearly 500,000 square feet), Smartpress has a serious operation going on.

Its clients range from individual designers to Fortune 500 marketing departments ordering online prints. Business cards, brochures, posters, banners, you name it.

Oh, and if you’ve been in your local high-end beauty store lately and admired the interior designs, that’s probably Smartpress’ handiwork too. Photographs, graphic elements, and even the acrylic holders for products are manufactured in house.

With so many clients and so much work to keep track of, the Smartpress team needed a CRM that integrated into their established workflows and that was easy to use.

From one CRM to another...

This CRM story begins with Mike Lewis, Smartpress’s Director of Online Sales. He oversees about 13 sales reps (essentially an inside sales teams) whose job is to nurture online leads, expand relationships, cross-sell, and upsell.

When Mike took over the sales team, he inherited their previous CRM: Zoho. And one of the biggest obstacles the team was facing was a difficulty in sending out emails.

But what did this have to do with their CRM?

“The problem was that a lot of Zoho’s servers were blacklisted for spam, so we couldn't actually email quotes from in Zoho like we wanted to. I kept asking my sales reps, ‘Why didn't you get back to this person?’, only to find out they did send the emails, they’re just sitting in spam folders.”

Another issue was the lack of integration: Smartpress uses an internal proprietary software as its eCommerce and workflow platform. The API links were never established with Zoho, so it was a standalone—and the adoption rate was extremely low.

Luckily, Mike was working with Matt Chapman, the Division Manager. One key part of Matt’s role is to initiate strategic projects—and implementing a new CRM just so happened to be one of them.

G Suite users rejoice.

After setting up an online demo of Copper, Mike liked what he saw, especially since they were already operating with G Suite. “It’s a lot more intuitive, and with G Suite, I thought there would be much lower resistance to adoption by my team.”

He was right.

Matt agrees. “Yeah, the main driver was definitely the G Suite integration, and once we started piloting it, we also realized that it’s more salesperson-centric. It’s really designed for the end user.”

See the integration in action:

Another feature that they love is the Gmail integration. “Can't live without it,” says Matt. “It's the lifeblood of our high-communication business—we just can't afford to manually add contacts or emails.”

“And Scheduler!” adds Mike.

“Having tasks just show up on your Google Calendar? My team loves it.”

A DIY CRM? Yes, it’s possible.

With Matt, who has over 15 years of experience using CRMs, at the helm, implementing Copper was already going to be even easier than usual. It also helped that even though Smartpress is a printing company, it operates very much like a startup—they don't have to have formal training sessions, nor do they have to have a full set of requirements and every little use case figured out. The team is agile.

“We tweak on the fly,” says Mike. “And Copper makes it so easy for us to do that.”

The best thing was that once a few reps started using Copper, it didn’t take them long to actively start managing their tasks in the CRM.

“The implementation has been nothing but 100% positive feedback. The most common comment was, ‘Wow, Copper has reduced the amount of time it takes me to get a new contact into the system, by like 90%.’” - Mike, Director of Online Sales

Other observations from the Smartpress team?

“I never have to leave my Gmail screen or bounce between two or three different windows anymore.”

“It’s been very positive and everybody's using it,” says Mike, “Even a few of the people who were anti-CRM are actively managing tasks in Copper now. Blown away.”

Using a CRM has made the Smartpress team even more efficient.

Time to rollout: eight weeks.

The truly amazing thing was that it only took eight weeks for Smartpress to roll out Copper to the team. That’s right. Eight weeks. Total. For over 40 licenses!

“I mean, we say eight weeks but it was no more than a couple hours a day for many of us,” says Mike. “It was extremely fast and efficient.”

Another perk: no more missed follow-ups.

Because Smartpress diligently tracks all existing customers, it has an integration with its order management system: an internal software where the team can see real-time updates like previous order dates, the last 12 months of orders, and revenue.

That data allows the sales team to create filters for existing customers that help drive either targeted communications or even more broad communications. (For example, if a customer hasn't ordered in three weeks, a sales rep will get a reminder to reach out.)

“Copper's allowed us to actually capture a lot of leads that we weren't capturing before,” says Mike. “We weren't doing a great job with following up on those leads, so now with Copper, tasks get auto-assigned and we can follow up. Automation’s helped us save so much time.”

“Previously, we were letting more than 25% of our leads slip through the cracks because we weren’t following up.”

Now, salespeople are responsible and accountable for their role in following up with leads—and the reporting on the backend helps Matt make sure that no lead slips through the cracks.

“We're capturing more leads in an organized way that's visible to the sales team,” says Matt. “That's a tremendous move forward from just hoping that they were following up on leads. Before, no one was going into Zoho, so we didn't know for sure—we didn't have a lead to track these actions against.”

From self-implementing 40 licenses in just eight weeks, to rave reviews from the sales team, to doing an impressive 5,000 orders a month, Smartpress has come a long way since moving to a CRM that works for the team. We can’t wait to see how they’ll top this past year’s success.

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