Zoho CRM delivers 100% ROI to Singapore-based audiovisual company, ESCO

"I definitely recommend Zoho CRM, which is a straightforward, easy-to-use, and intelligent tool. The accuracy of the data and the professionalism it brought to ESCO is unparalleled. I believe having a platform like Zoho helps us be much more professional than our competitors. I can't imagine working without Zoho and would be lost without the information that Zoho provides so easily."

Sujith SivaramManaging Director at ESCO, Director at GPA

The company

Established in 1989, ESCO has been a leader in the audiovisual industry. Headquartered in Singapore, it operates across a large network in Asia with offices in Indonesia, Korea, Philippines, Myanmar, Thailand, India, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taiwan, and Vietnam. With more than 30 years of experience, ESCO answers the need for integrated technology solutions and services in the realm of professional audiovisual and information communication solutions.

ESCO takes immense pride in being a part of the Techno Horizon Group based in Nagoya, Japan, and a regional business unit of Global Presence Alliance (GPA), which gives them a global footprint and enables them to provide better outcomes for clients through standardization, speed, simplicity, and scalability.

ESCO was listed as one of Singapore's fastest-growing company in 2019, 2020, and 2021. It also serves 5,000+ satisfied clients from different verticals like corporate, multinational, conglomerate, educational institutes, healthcare institutions, and hotels.

The challenge

Orchestrating the sales process

Over the span of 30 years, ESCO has grown to become an SGD $53 million company. With that growth came the challenges of managing huge sales. The sales team had been using traditional spreadsheets and emails for handling leads, which became challenging as sales increased, and soon they realized they needed a system that would orchestrate the sales process across regions and empower them to function as an integrated unit. That's where Zoho CRM came in.

"It was an incredible journey for a Singapore-based small company to grow across regions and handle the huge customer base from different geographies," says Sujith Sivaram, Managing Director at ESCO and Director at GPA. "The most prominent challenge was being able to function as an integrated unit and work together efficiently."

Assisting management

With global growth, there arose a strong need for management to be well-informed about activities happening across the regional offices. They knew that tracking the number of opportunities being pursued, managing the regional sales teams and ensuring that they're well integrated, centralizing customer data, and extracting reports was paramount. ESCO needed a system that would provide reliable information to management and empower them to make data-driven decisions.


ESCO's Philippines team had been using Zoho Desk to manage customer requests for more than four years, which is how ESCO Singapore was introduced to Zoho. Realizing that its teams were working in unmanageable silos, the company's leadership decided it was the right time to adopt a system that would enable them to function as a single unit. Zoho CRM was completely implemented and customized within a month. Since ESCO conducts business with different countries, it required several CRM customizations, including support for different currencies, workflow automation, custom fields for identifying the territories where deals are conducted, and approval rules to govern how leads convert into deals and move to different sales stages. After a successful trial in the Philippines, Zoho CRM was rolled out at all ESCO offices. Currently, all sales personnel access the CRM on a daily basis to conduct their day-to-day activities.

The solution

Managing lead flow

The sales process at ESCO starts with collecting leads from different sources such as websites, LinkedIn, Facebook, and emails. Zoho CRM has now integrated with all these sources and prospects' data automatically populates within the CRM and gets assigned to sales personnel based on their respective regions where they work from. This has helped the sales team avoid the hassle of manually entering details in spreadsheets; instead, they now have a centralized view of all prospect details coming from different sources.

"One of the biggest reasons why ESCO's sales team loves using Zoho CRM is because it integrates all lead sources into one platform," Sivaram says. "They can now just focus on the CRM and not look at their mobile phones, emails, and sticky notes on their table to hunt for leads."

Centralized data

ESCO has 13 functional offices across Asia, which requires that the team maintain a central repository of all customer data to avoid dependencies on individuals who move on from the company.

"Traditionally, we had information stored on sales personnel's mobiles and laptops," Sivaram says. "Now, having all the information in one place, accessible to anyone at a single click, has eliminated our dependency on any one person and helps us offer continuity to our customers in spite of changing personnel. It makes us feel more secure."

At ESCO, the sales team has to operate both on- and off-site. On-site conversations need to be reported using the Zoho CRM's mobile app for reference in further follow-ups. Off-site, the sales team can pull all of the customer's information before calling them. This has enabled the sales team to receive and pass the baton without issue, and therefore to engage in meaningful conversations.

"The sales team can access the CRM mobile application from anywhere in the world and have all the information at their fingertips," Sivaram says. "This definitely has saved a substantial amount of time, which otherwise they would have spent browsing through spreadsheets to find customer contacts or conversation details."

Enhanced follow-up process

The sales process at ESCO is divided into six stages. Once a prospect is captured in Zoho CRM, it's in the lead stage. After qualifying the leads based on fit, budget, authority, and urgency, it's moved to the deal stage, where the sales team provides assistance with the initial setup and involves fact finding, proposal creation, and information collection to update Zoho CRM with all the details of the conversation for future follow-ups. In the proposal stage, the salesperson shares the proposal with the customer for evaluation and moves it to the negotiation stage. Once the negotiation is completed and the proposal has been accepted, the deal is moved to the PO expected stage. Upon receiving the PO, the deal is marked as deal won.

The complete process is automated using workflows, which maintains uniformity. After every touchpoint, the sales team is expected to send emails from CRM (which is integrated with Microsoft Outlook), update Zoho CRM with the details of the conversation, and create reminders for further follow-ups. This enables the team to stay on the top of all the deals they're working on.

"Zoho CRM has helped the sales team save up to 30% of the time they used to spend on finding prospects' details," Sivaram says, "which they now use to convert more prospects into customers."

Empowering management

ESCO considers Zoho CRM to be a powerful tool for tracking all activities happening across its regional offices. Customized dashboards offer management a complete view of the opportunities they're working on monthly, quarterly, and annually. They can regularly check on business conditions, the number of deals generated and closed, and how many deals are likely to be closed in a particular month or quarter. Information can be filtered by country or salesperson. These detailed reports and dashboards have helped management stay up to date and make data-backed decisions at their monthly board meetings. They've also integrated Zoho CRM with Power BI for more extensive analysis.

The finance team at ESCO also uses dashboards to keep a track of the upcoming revenues and plan future activities.

"The reporting feature is my personal favorite," Sivaram says. "It allows me to get the reports the way I want them. It's very easy to filter the information based on the date, country, or territory. There are numerous ways in which you can filter the information and this makes it the most powerful feature."

  • Industry typeInformation technology & services
  • Employees200 - 500 employees
  • Type of businessPrivately held

Looking forward

ESCO has grown exponentially over the past three decades, and the team is looking forward to soon becoming a $100 million company. The sales team at ESCO believes they now have the power to talk to customers and vendors efficiently, and to provide the right information at the right time.

"Zoho CRM is a powerful tool that's helping us grow significantly. Also, it's a self-navigating platform which requires zero training for new employees," Sivaram says.

ESCO's management is proud of their sales team, whose service to customers has been instrumental in helping the company grow. They now have a clear picture of their sales process, their active opportunities, and financial expectations. They're proud to have achieved 100% ROI from Zoho CRM.

"The monthly cost of our license is more than adequately recovered by the increase in the team's productivity"

Sujith SivaramManaging Director, ESCO

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