“The cost is just too high.”
These were the words that echoed a year ago when EcoMark began growing and adding users to its CRM system. At the time, they were using Salesforce, but as is frequently the case, the return-on-cost of the system made Salesforce increasingly impractical as EcoMark began adding more users.
Having been in business for two years and now experiencing rapid growth, EcoMark was at a technology crossroads of sorts. It was time to determine which CRM to use for the foreseeable future – bite the cost bullet and hope Salesforce eventually pays off, or try another solution.
EcoMark Solar is a company based in Denver, Colorado whose goal is to accelerate the adoption of solar energy on a grassroots level. Specifically, EcoMark is a marketing, lead generation, and channel sales firm that specializes in public outreach and persuasion on behalf of the renewable energy industry. They specialize in selling residential solar capabilities.
Ian Melchior is the Vice President of IT whose job it is to set up all of the systems, make sure workflows are set up, check the integrity of data, and generate reports with which he can analyze trends and determine where to dedicate resources. As such, he is deeply involved in EcoMark’s CRM and was a key member in the CRM decision making process.
The Challenge: Finding a Full-Featured CRM at an Affordable Price
The catalyst for EcoMark making the decision to switch CRM services was when their business model changed:
“Initially, we were just using the Salesforce CRM as a glorified database. Our business was simply lead generation whom we would market to other companies. What made us really start needing a complete yet affordable CRM was when we started selling our own product to our own leads.”
With Salesforce, they had a single user account. The new business model however brought the need for multiple users.
“We were expanding and had sales reps, customer service, managers, etc. and really needed a full featured CRM that could accommodate at least 20 users but didn’t cost us an arm and a leg.
Selection Criteria and Competitive Analysis of CRM Solutions
Although EcoMark was not disappointed in the functionality of Salesforce, the price that it came with was simply too high. When searching for another solution, EcoMark was searching for something with equal functionality but a lower price point.
Additionally, Melchior was looking for a CRM with an intuitive and easy-to-understand interface. This was especially paramount considering Melchior also had to train 20+ members of his staff to use the CRM.
With several members of EcoMark’s team having prior experience with Zoho, that became the logical choice to try. Fortunately for EcoMark, the search process stopped with Zoho CRM as they found a solution that met their criteria.
Implementing Zoho CRM
EcoMark was able to get off to a fast start with Zoho CRM, primarily because of the simple and intuitive user interface.
“Overall the learning, training, and transition process has been pretty smooth.”
Throughout the integration process, Melchior also took advantage of Zoho’s live chat support to make the transition easier. “One of the things that has been really helpful in getting running with Zoho CRM is the live chat support – those guys are great!”
Soon after implementing Zoho CRM, Melchior decided to try Zoho Reports as well.
“Although Z-CRM has a great reporting tool, I wanted to use something with some more robust features, so we decided to integrate with Zoho Reports.”
Life After Implementation
“We’ve been using Zoho for about a year now and so far so good! With reports we can now identify metrics telling us information about health of a certain department, quality of our leads, and employee performance. We can also identify trends which help us with forecasting.”
Workflow rules however have proven to be the most valuable tool for EcoMark within Z-CRM.
“Workflow rules and alerts have also been critical for us. In fact, now we couldn’t do without those features.”
In addition to Z-CRM, Melchior has also found a lot of value in Z-Reports:
“Zoho Reports has been extremely critical to our business and the integration with CRM is invaluable. Going forward, I’m excited to start using the forecasting feature and possibility integrating with Zoho Campaigns.”
What Would You Like to Say to Other Customers about CRM Solutions?
“Zoho has very good online support. It’s pretty customizable and intuitive. For a company that is starting out and wants a full featured CRM without the astronomical prices of Salesforce, I would definitely recommend Zoho.”
To learn more about EcoMark Solar, CLICK HERE