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When BrightWise Marketing first opened its doors over 12 years ago, CEO Jeff Gordon knew that CRM was of utmost importance in creating a positive customer experience and helping the new company grow.  Gordon selected a popular CRM solution at the time and “made due” for several years before realizing that the current approach wasn’t working.  “We had been talking about getting a real CRM solution for 6 or 7 months because our current CRM tool was simply not cutting it.”

Having used the same CRM tool for several years, Gordon was looking for a CRM solution that he could easily import data into, quickly learn to use, and automate many of his daily tasks.

The Business

Jeff Gordon - Found and CEO

BrightWise was started in 1992 by CEO Jeff Gordon to provide marketing consulting services to small and medium sized businesses.  Gordon refers to his marketing strategy as “action marketing.”

BrightWise’s strategy is to provide innovative strategies that generate response, change behavior, and build brand equity.  They focus on marketing programs that blend promotion, advertising, direct response, visual communications, branded products, and alternative media.

The Challenge: Finding a Cloud-based CRM solution with automated workflows

Gordon had been using GoldMine as his CRM solution for over eight years when he began to realize that it was becoming more of a cost and time incurrence than the benefit it was providing.

“We had been using Goldmine for many years and it was finally reaching the end of its useful life for us. We started having CRM problems and I was spending entirely too much money and time fixing problems!”

For Gordon, he found CRM advice from an unlikely source:

“My financial advisor actually recommended Zoho.  I signed up for free to and immediately knew whether or not this was the CRM solution for BrightWise.”

Competitive Analysis of CRM Solutions

Although Gordon used GoldMine as his CRM solution for several years, there were several specific issues he was having.

“Goldmine was much too complicated for our needs and it was becoming an ongoing cost sinker. I couldn’t actually implement things that I wanted to with Goldmine, specifically automating workflow.”

Gordon had three main selection criteria for a new CRM Solution:

Workflow Automation – Gordon places high value on time savings to automating workflow was of high importance.  “I really wanted to be able to take sales processes, break them down, and then automatically generate emails, setup tasks, and other things like that.”

Simple Interface – Gordon found Goldmine’s increasing complexity frustrating and time consuming and wanted a simple, easy-to-navigate solution

Cloud Based – Gordon wanted to increase his virtual capabilities including using virtual employees which made this an essential feature.  “The initial allure of Zoho CRM is that it was cloud based which would allow us to be more virtualized.”

Implementing Zoho CRM

After about a month of using CRM, Gordon and the rest of BrightWise felt very comfortable with Zoho CRM and were already saving time by automating workflow.

“Zoho CRM was just so smooth and swift and made workflow automation so easy”

Once familiar with Zoho CRM, Gordon soon discovered Zoho Projects and decided to integrate that as well to create one interconnected solution for customer project management.

“We actually use Zoho Projects to manage projects and connect that to CRM to have one cohesive dashboard.  It’s very easy for us now to navigate between customers and projects.

Life After Implementing Zoho CRM

“The speed with which we work and the ability to get our hands on information is so much quicker and simpler.  I can’t over emphasize how much time we save using Zoho.  I have been able to save at least two to three hours per day since switching to Zoho.

Gordon has seen huge improvements to his business in customer acquisition as well.

“Managing potential customers has been the biggest boon to my work in dealing with clients and helping me to organize and manage multiple priorities.  We’re now integrating QuickBooks with Zoho so we now have a 360 degree view of client activity from one dashboard which is something I’ve wanted for years and with Zoho became a reality.  But the improvement in dealing with potential customers has been where I’ve gained the most value since switching to Zoho.”

What You Like to Say to Other Customers about CRM Solutions?

“Zoho is always upgrading, adding new features, and make new things available which I really like.  It’s so quick and everything just goes where it’s supposed to go.  Everything is just so easy.  Zoho is just so smooth, reliable and doesn’t crash EVER!”

“The bottom line is that every business person is looking for the same thing:  a sustainable, systematic process for growth that doesn’t’ depend on them being there and is a money making machine that can live in perpetuity.  Zoho CRM does exactly this.”

To learn more about BrightWise, click here.