In December 2011, Jamar Jones decided it was time to take his company, Deluxe Signature Collection (DSC), to the next level. Having been in business for almost five years, he felt that DSC had hit its earnings ceiling based on their current business practices.
“We started six years ago, but over the last year we’ve really tried to transform from a ‘hustle’ to a scalable business by putting systems and processes in place.”
Jones felt that the number one barrier limiting DSC’s growth was that he wasn’t efficient enough in communicating to customers which was therefore limiting his sales volume. As such, he began the search for tools to assist in organizing his business to increase scalability.
Deluxe Signature Collection (DSC) specializes in the procurement and sale of quality sports memorabilia and the production of elite, public signing engagements. DSC is headquartered in Southern California and aims to employ progressive business strategies to deliver intimate customer engagement and high quality events.
The Challenge: Finding an Easy-to-Use Tool to Track Customers and Inventory
Initially, DSC primarily conducted business via ebay. With ebay, there is already a business structure in place and as such, external solutions are not needed to track customers and sales. However, DSC began experiencing increased traffic and sales from its stand-alone website as well. As traffic increased, Jones realized that there was a deficiency in the business and that there was a lot of value DSC was not capturing from the website traffic.
“I previously had no idea what CRM even was, but when I saw this deficiency in our business and began looking for solutions, I discovered CRM. I needed to track all of our customer interactions and pending/potential transactions outside of the ebay marketplace.”
DSC faced an additional CRM hurdle because many customers request third party authentication of sports memorabilia which can take as long as 45 days after the sale.
“Because of this extra step in the sales process, it was a major difficulty keeping track of who’s product is still being authenticated, where it is being authenticated, who has already received their purchase etc. We were tracking everything manually which resulted in my computer being covered in post-it notes!”
Jones had a few different selection criteria in his search for a CRM solution:
Reporting – “I wanted to be able to easily customize my reports to display all of the information I need without any extraneous fields.”
Ease of Use – “I’m a huge fan of ease-of-use, because it makes the whole business run smoother and makes training very simple.”
Inventory Management – “In addition to tracking customers, I needed inventory management to track products”
Cost – “As a startup, I was certainly cost sensitive and was looking for a complete solution without having to take out a loan just to have CRM!”
Competitive Analysis of CRM Solutions
Jones initially tried Salesforce, Microsoft, ERP Next, and a couple of PHP based CRM solutions but was disappointed by all of them.
“When I first started looking for a CRM solution, I couldn’t believe how expensive a lot of them were! I was discouraged because I wasn’t about to pay $6000 just to start using a complicated CRM solution. And if they were within our budget, they were difficult to understand which means it would be difficult to train on.”
“When I found Zoho, one of the first things that jumped out at me was that I was able to incorporate my inventory as well as my opportunities (potential customers) all together into one system which was really convenient and makes it really easy for me to train my employees.”
Discovering and Implementing Zoho CRM
“When I first discovered Zoho, the first thing that jumped out at me was the ‘bang for my buck.’ It was affordable and appeared on the surface like something we could grow with, so I gave it a try. Once I actually used it, I knew I had found a winner.”
As DSC has become more comfortable with Z-CRM, they have begun implementing additional features.
“As we grow, we have been taking more and more advantage of Z-CRM. The biggest thing is the inventory management module – once I saw that, I was 100% sold. I have never seen any better reporting than the reporting produced by Zoho CRM. The reporting is really unparalleled.”
Life After Implementation
Since implementing Zoho CRM, Jones has become an avid Zoho supporter and laughs when imagining life without Zoho:
“I don’t even want to think about where we would be had we not discovered Zoho! Zoho has made our operations much more streamlined, it has given us intelligence as far as pricing and margins, we now have visibility as to which market segments are buying from us most, and we can now see which opportunities to maximize. Without Zoho, it would feel as if we are operating blind.”
What You Like to Say to Other Customers about CRM Solutions?
“I would definitely recommend Zoho! It makes a lot of sense for small business. It gives you power, flexibility, customization, comprehensive reports, and is incredibly easy to use. I can’t recommend it highly enough and think it is by far the best CRM and business solution.”
To learn more about Deluxe Signature Collection, CLICK HERE