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How We Cut Lead Creation Time by 500%

Tags: lead

The market for CRM systems is a huge one. Gartner reports predict the market size to grow exponentially to $36 billion by 2017. That’s a really sweet number if you are a CRM vendor! Truth be told, it’s a win-win situation for CRM vendors and their customers. The bottomline of businesses on both sides of the table tend to go up with CRM adoption.

In reality, the business of CRM is a very competitive vertical. There are a couple of CRM biggies who have already taken a major chunk of the market share and are being implemented in enterprises across the globe. The bigger the bloat, bigger is the price tag! 

However, our aim was to make ClinchPad the world’s simplest, fastest & most intuitive CRM system and to keep that philosophy at the core as we build our product and grow. Our ultimate goal is to create a CRM that doesn’t relegate users into data entry robots. Keeping the sales software as invisible as possible when it comes to managing sales pipelines is what we strive for.

These are big ideas that drive product development at our company. We brainstormed on every little function of every feature in ClinchPad trying to somehow reduce the time being spent to add data to our Lead tracking system.

Predictably, we use ClinchPad to track sales leads and to manage the various sales pipeline stages. When I joined Team ClinchPad few months ago, our lead creation time was roughly about 5-7 mins (to enter full details into a lead such as products, sources, contact details, tasks etc.).

Many of our users have given a thumbs up to our intuitive interface as it doesn’t make using it for lead management such a chore. Still, we were on a quest to cut this lead creation time to a minute or two

The reason behind this decision was simple. Research suggests that one of the primary reasons for low CRM adoption rate globally, is because employees find the data entry part very time-consuming. In addition, they find CRM systems to be too complicated and complain that they don’t get adequate training. In fact, a survey showed that employees on an average spend about 1-2 hours/day on just entering and updating the data in their CRM system.

Now, the question in our mind was where to start? So, I decided to become a user of ClinchPad and observe/experience/discover the shortcomings that our users experience firsthand. In short, I decided to picture myself in the shoes of our user.

When I created my account, the first question I had in my mind was how do I transfer/migrate all my data to my account? Just like other small businesses, I too used spreadsheets to track my leads and thus all my data was stored there.

I was in no mood to type in my 1000 leads one after another in the system as it would take me roughly 5000 mins to add all my leads into the system without even taking a break! I could not afford to waste that much time in inputting my data and would rather return back to using spreadsheets to track my deals.

Boo! There. My customer just walked out. That was a shame as we’re getting users interested in our application by showing them the value and eventually losing them as data entry time is too high.

Therefore we decided to work on reducing the data entry time for transferring existing leads, contacts and organizations first. We built the bulk import feature wherein you’ll be able to import your spreadsheets (CSV/Excel) and create the leads automatically in your pipeline. So, in under a minute you’ll be able to transfer more than 1000 leads to our sales software. Now, it only takes 1 minute instead of 5000 to import the complete database of leads. Sweet, isn’t it?

tackling the data migration problem, we moved on cut down the time spent on inputting new leads. Initially in ClinchPad, a user had to create a lead, find the lead in the pipeline, click on it and then add the details of the lead in the respective page. There were just way too many steps.

We came up with a few ideas and even solicited ideas from our users. Based on inputs from our users, we arrived at a solution in the form of Advanced Lead Creator (ALC). With ALC, when you create a new lead, you can also add all the details relating to it such as tasks, notes, products, custom fields, emails etc., all from a single modal without leaving your pipeline. This ended up saving a lot of time when users were trying to add details to a new lead.

We also worked on another feature to complement the ALC. According to our analysis, the three most updated entities in a lead are - notes, todos & files. We decided to add the ability to add, edit or delete these entities from the pipeline itself. This enabled our users to save time by accessing their notes, todos and files without having to open up the lead page.

We didn’t stop there. In an effort to help our users do more with the data they have stored in other applications, we started building integrations with various third party vendors. Integrations with popular webform providers were the first in our list. The idea was that when the prospect fills a webform, the captured details be converted to leads in ClinchPad automatically in a pipeline of their choice.

Later that week, we introduced integrations with three online form building applications - Formstack, Jotform & Wufoo. Now, all the user had to do was create a form on any of these 3 services and integrate the account with their ClinchPad account. This new addition ensured that our users don’t even have to spend a second on redundant data entry. Instead, they can focus more time on clinching the deal, just like what we had envisaged.

On similar lines, we also integrated with Olark Live Chat integration so that all live chat sessions are automatically created as leads in ClinchPad.

So now, adding new and existing leads, contacts and organizations became much faster and simpler. But, we stumbled upon a new challenge. When you have a lot of leads, it could be cumbersome to make any changes to the list of leads such as assigning a set of leads to a new team member or moving them across stages etc.. The reason being the user had to individually make the changes to every lead. Thus, we started working on adding bulk operations features. With the help of this little tool, you could perform a number of operations in bulk, such as assigning, unassigned, merging, deleting and changing stages of leads.

Every feature and integration mentioned above counted! We were able to reduce our average lead creation time from 5-7 mins to less than a minute.

Because at ClinchPad, every second saved counts. As the great Mark Twain once said  'I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.’ While other CRMs add unneeded feature after feature, we focus on solving the main pain point of reducing complexity and data entry time to deliver a superior user experience.

Create an account today and see the difference!

This post first appeared on The ClinchPad, please read the originial post: here

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How We Cut Lead Creation Time by 500%


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