Skills2Work increases team productivity by 40% using Canvas for Zoho CRM

Jim Hincks, Director, Skills2Work
  • Industry TypeEducation
  • Type of businessPre-employment partner

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The gap between a better career opportunity and a learner can be bridged by the right skill. Skills2work Training Limited is helping thousands of people do just that. The company helps people find the right vocational course to get the work they deserve. People looking to upskill to find a better paid career or additional benefits find their learning match with the help of Skills2work.

The company, based in Chester, UK, was founded in 2020, at a time when many were forced to look for new employment in a difficult employment market. People needed to learn new skills to find better employment opportunities. Director Jim Hincks says: "In that time, we have helped over 5,000 people to change their lives by booking them on to various government-funded courses." Skills2Work works with various government organizations which are looking for skilled employees and offer vocational courses. They match the candidates with the relevant courses, helping both the employer and employee in the process.

Skills2Work have been using Zoho CRM for over a year now. Talking about his experience with Zoho so far, Jim says, "Zoho is a great CRM, and believe me, I worked with many including Salelogix, Salesforce, and even ACT! Adding a bit more customization to the user interface was the only thing we wanted." About his experience working with Canvas, Jim said, "Now, we can change and mold the look of any page to the exact needs of the user."

Why they wanted Canvas:

When you are in the business of helping people, you make it your business to learn as much as you can about them. During the initial stages of interaction with candidates, Skills2Work collects all the crucial information they need to ensure they find the best fit for the candidate. "So like any educational organization, we have to collect a huge amount of information from each client and this involves the use of call scripts to ensure all information is collected correctly," said Jim.

A call script is a series of questions asked to the client to evaluate which course would suit them best. Before they implemented Canvas, they used separate stacks of paper for each call script. The process was time consuming, increasing the call time with each lead. There was a high risk of confusion and mix-ups, especially when new people joined the team.

How they use Canvas:

Talking about the biggest challenge they have addressed using Canvas, Jim said, "Canvas has enabled us to build those call scripts straight into the user information collection screens, creating a system where even a first-time user can now just follow each screen and the script and questions will automatically change according to the course the user is interested in, ensuring that all information is collected in a precise and succinct manner."

Skills2Work works with various government-funded courses and each course has different eligibility requirements. When the learner ambassadors at Skills2Work are talking to the customer, the user information collection screens or lead screens have to reflect these different requirements to match the learner with the course and proceed with the call accordingly. With Canvas, the person on the call looks up the relevant course and the right information appears on the screen instantly. The view is compact with all the relevant details highlighted so there is little to no need to scroll down the page to find the fields to fill in. "Canvas has allowed us to look up the course and bring up these right requirements and integrate them into the question (script) screens," said Jim. Having the relevant questions on screen while on the call reduces the amount of going back and forth, cuts down the call time, and ensures that they get all the information in one go.

In addition to enabling them to build the call scripts into CRM, Canvas has also helped the team get a better view of the most important data on the screen, when the caller needs to see it. Tabs are used to segment and categorize the data. Different colors are used to highlight different data. This leads to a clear, concise, and precise view with minimal risk of errors. With the data clearly visible, the team is more productive, and has better client interactions.

"Tabs have been invaluable for splitting information up into meaningful chunks, helping the callers to quickly get to the information they need," said Jim, when asked what other Canvas features they have found useful.

The secret sauce:

Canvas has helped us minimize the length of calls with students. By ensuring that all questions are covered in the first call, it helps build confidence in our organization and has ultimately helped increase the number of clients actually booking onto courses.

Jim Hincks,Director, Skills2Work

Changing the game with Canvas:

  • Easier to navigate/Easier to search for information: 100%
  • Has your CRM interface become clearer? 100%
  • Has Canvas improved team productivity? 40%
  • Has Canvas improved usage by users? 100%

"Zoho and Canvas have been game changers," said Jim. He added that many in the education sector are still running on Excel spreadsheets, which are slow and time consuming. Thanks to the customizations in Zoho and the greater personalization offered by Canvas, "In the space of one year, we now partner some of the biggest Tier 1 education providers in the UK," said Jim. "They can't understand how we can integrate with so many external systems and customize our systems to meet their requirements at the drop of a hat. It's our secret sauce we say, but really it's Zoho."

How they implemented Canvas:

About their Canvas implementation process, Jim said "I think it took a couple of hours to find out just what it could do and then maybe two days to fully change our systems to use Canvas, but this was really because Canvas allowed us to add additional functionality more than just replace what we had with a pretty interface."

When implementing new data organization systems, many companies face challenges with user adoption. Zoho CRM is highly customizable, and the addition of Canvas gives your business a more personalized and specific view of your data. "The users love it, they know they can ask for pretty much anything and we can deliver it in most cases in minutes," said Jim.

Would they recommend Canvas?

"No, because they would have our secret sauce, then! Really, yes, I would recommend Zoho and Canvas to any business," said Jim.

  • Industry TypeEducation
  • Type of businessPre-employment partner

Features that helped us

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