For nearly twenty-two years, Alexander Loffeld was a successful businessman working initially as a sales agent for shoe company Lisa Tucci, before joining another designer shoe company as a top sales manager. On the outside, things seemed to be going well.
Loffeld however was fed up. Corporate bureaucracy and the grind of long hours and constant deadlines were finally wearing him down. In 2009, Loffeld decided “enough is enough.”
“I basically had a breakdown, and in one week I sold nearly all of my possessions. For the next two years, I basically lived a very relaxing life and let the previous twenty-two years of work stress evaporate from my body.”
After two years however, Loffeld was ready to return to the game. This time however, he was going to start his own business, Hillbay Consultancy Ltd. All he needed was a few tools to help him get started…
Hillbay is a consultancy for the shoe industry. In addition to selling shoes under their own label, Hillbay provides design, production, and distribution for a variety of companies across Europe.
Hillbay Consultancy has an extensive network of shoe manufacturers operating around Italy and works with a variety of customers at various levels of shoe production.
The Challenge: A Company Rapidly Gaining Contacts Seeking a Simple CRM Solution
Loffeld knew immediately after starting Hillbay Consulting that he needed a CRM solution.
He was rapidly making new contacts and had an existing large database of leads for which he needed a customizable and easy-to-use CRM solution. As a startup company, Loffeld was also very price sensitive and could not afford to try out an expensive CRM solution only to find it unsuitable for his needs.
Loffeld’s primary challenge then was quickly finding a long term CRM solution that matched his rigid criteria.
Competitive Analysis of CRM Solutions
Loffeld had several years of experience with CRM prior to starting Hillbay Consultancy, and was thus very particular about two “must have” features:
Easy to Use – Because of the high volume of clients and Loffeld’s need to keep everything neatly organized, he did not want to waste time navigating through a complicated CRM solution. Ease of use was essential.
Low Cost – As a startup, Loffeld was concerned with keeping costs low when selecting business software to integrate into his company.
Prior to using Zoho CRM, Loffeld had extensive experience with Exact Synergy’s CRM solution however he was less than satisfied.
“Exact was quite difficult to use. It needed a lot of hardware, was very difficult to learn, and was not very precise! I needed something EASY!”
Discovering and Implementing Zoho CRM
Prior to Loffeld discovering Zoho CRM, he was already a user of Zoho Mail, so he was familiar with the company. During his research into CRM solutions, he stumbled upon an article entitled “5 CRM Companies for You”
“I found an interesting article in a Dutch magazine which listed five different CRM solutions. They touted Zoho VERY highly, and I somehow subconsciously was saving the ‘best for last.’ I tried every one of them with varying levels of satisfaction for the next two months until I finally realized I haven’t yet tried Zoho CRM itself!”
Having already tried out a number of CRM solutions, Loffeld was growing weary that he would find his ideal solution but was pleasantly surprised when he registered for Zoho CRM.
“I registered for Zoho CRM and after just a few hours, I knew this was it!”
But Loffeld didn’t stop with Zoho CRM. As he began to grow comfortable with the interface and customizing it for Hillbay Consultancy’s needs, he began to discover other Zoho tools and solutions that integrate tightly with CRM.
“Once I imported all my clients, I began to brainstorm some different ways I could interact with them. Then I discovered Zoho Campaigns, and integrated that with CRM to send mail out to my clients.”
As Loffeld dug deeper, he began finding value in a number of Zoho products.
“At the moment, I think I use everything of Zoho! I use Zoho CRM, Campaigns, Sites, Invoice, Projects, and Mail. Using these products together has made things even easier for me! I also have begun integrating the mobile option which adds to the convenience.”
Life After Implementation
As soon as Loffeld decided that Zoho CRM was the solution for Hillbay Consultancy, he really “sunk his teeth in” and began taking advantage of Zoho CRM’s customizable features.
“I began optimizing Zoho CRM for myself by adding several custom fields, and grouping clients into separate groups. To be honest, now I use every feature in CRM in addition to the new features that are added because everything is just so simple to learn.”
Hillbay Consulting is now thriving and has even started its own shoe label in addition to the existing consulting services. With Zoho tightly integrated into the company, Hillbay has been steadily outgrowing and outperforming its competitors.
What You Like to Say to Other Customers about CRM Solutions?
“If I were to write my own perfect CRM software right now, it would be nearly identical to Zoho. The BEST thing is that it’s so easy to use! Zoho CRM is like a good pair of jeans that fits great when you try it on, and one year later is even more comfortable. I now essentially have Zoho integrated in all aspects of Hillbay Consultancy and we are thriving.”
To learn more about Hillbay Consultancy, CLICK HERE