About the Company
Mistras Group, Inc. (NYSE: MG) is a multinational provider and leader in asset protection solutions. Founded in 1978, they have over 115 locations worldwide and 5000 employees. They are headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey, USA.
Mistras Group is the only publicly listed “pure-play” asset protection company. This means that it focuses its resources and energy on a single business line. They offer integrated, technology-enabled assistance to maximize the safety of the world’s most critical industrial and civilian assets. The mission of the Mistras Group is to provide innovation backed asset-protection to clients in the oil and gas, aerospace, defense, renewable and non-renewable, civil infrastructure, and manufacturing industries. They use different types of tests, from X-rays to UT-ultrasound testing, in many different industries to help their clients achieve and maintain operational efficiency.
To fulfill their goals, Mistras needed a management system that could help their service agents maintain an accurate record of their clients and deals. They were previously using in-house tools which were a disjointed combination of spreadsheets, shared folders on a shared drive and an outdated system called ACT used by each team and was insufficient to support growth. Mistras needed to find a solution provider that would help them unite processes within the company, streamline internal planning, and deliver reliable reports.
Lane Pinkston, the Sales Operations Manager at the Mistras Group, was given the task of optimizing their sales process using a CRM as he was driven by creative action and had prior experience working in various departments in the group. He oversaw employee adoption of best practices and gathered constant feedback for improvement.
The process adopted by the Mistras Group is unique to their sector. They address each client’s needs using specific solutions. For example, if they are asked to perform inspections on wind turbines, they may have to explore ways to do it without shutting the wind turbine down. They often go into long-term partnerships with their clients offering unique services.
Before they started using Zoho CRM, every salesperson had their own way of keeping records. Some even continued to use Rolodexes to maintain their information about contacts and customers. There was no single reliable source to access the data.
The system also had a problem with duplicates because different salespeople would often record the same contact in their own systems. Without efficient information tracking and the integrated data required to make business forecasts and decisions, the Mistras Group was not reaching the targets it could.
"We had to dismantle the system that we were using, because every salesperson used it differently and there was no standardization. We then rebuilt it from from the ground up."
Let's take a look at how the Mistras Group uses Zoho CRM to fulfill their growing needs.
How Zoho’s training programs helped tailor the CRM to suit the Mistras Group's unique needs
For Lane Pinkston, attending Zoho training programs and the guidance offered by the customer support team helped him immensely in understanding the different ways Zoho CRM could serve their business. He realized that they were in a position where they could learn to implement and optimize different features on their own.
After implementing Zoho CRM, the management at Mistras worked on making it their own. Within a few days of customizing, it was able to capture all their customer information and help them improve their sales and service processes.
The switch from Rolodex to reliable software
All salespeople at the organization started recording leads, contacts, and deals systematically using both default and custom modules in Zoho CRM. The three main custom modules that the team set up were Contracts, Center of Excellence, and Operations Team, each of which handles an important aspect of their business.
It all begins when a prospect shows interest. Their details are immediately entered into the system. Integrations like Zoho Scanner speed up information capture, especially when adding leads procured during tradeshows and other events. Mistras frequently participates in these shows and they meet a lot of potential clients. Now they can conveniently import the scanned data and capture the leads in their CRM.
Other APIs that Mistras get a lot of use out of are the Mistras Marketing Lead Generator and the Google Maps address finder integration, which helps them keep track of the different locations they need to visit.
The role of workflows in encouraging best practices
Establishing clear workflow rules helped standardize the information collection process. "When salespeople do not update the closing date on time, it throws off our entire report and impedes decision-making," says Pinkston. In Zoho CRM, they have used workflow to set deadlines to ensure that users enter the right details when a record reaches a specific stage in the sales cycle, so they can produce timely, accurate reports every time. "With workflows, I could set rules like, for example, updating an item on the date the deal moves from open to closed." The reminders in Zoho CRM help salespeople ensure they meet this deadline.
Establishing hierarchical roles for efficient supervision
Setting permissions and user profiles helped Mistras Group with data supervision and increased the accuracy of their information management. Clearly defining the roles of the admin, super admin, and other users, helped the team run the system smoothly with no hassles. There is more transparency in the work expected of all employees. Data collection is done systematically under skilled supervision. Creating an approval process reduced the duplication of records and has prevented errors in reports and forecasts.
Contextual information for large-scale forecasting
The correct information about clients gives vital insights into customer behavior. Mistras uses reports in CRM to show managers deals worth more than $1 million, allowing them to identify high-value clients, so they can inform the CEO and upper management which accounts are bringing in the most revenue. Upper management can then create tailored experiences for these clients and explore ways to build better partnerships with them and hopefully bring in even more revenue. Their CRM data allows them to create reliable reports that help management make forecasts. This has improved their ability to get new business and win new deals with existing customers.
Reports augment customer experience to build lasting relationships
Reports are instrumental in running the Mistras Group's day-to-day business. It gives them insights into various aspects of their business and helps them accurately assess performance. With over 40 different standard reports in Zoho CRM and several additional custom reports that Mistras has made, they have complete visibility over what is happening in the organization on any given date. They currently have between 50 and 70 custom reports that managers use on either a weekly or monthly basis, providing a huge range of insights into their business data.
Benefits and Future
Zoho CRM’s customization options, reports, and workflow rules have improved management efficiency and increased customer acquisition. The Mistras group is on track to implement Zoho CRM for their offices in Europe and South America. Their European offices are set to adopt it by the first quarter of 2022. With the help of Zoho Analytics, they will be able to create a global report and seamlessly integrate data across their regional offices into Zoho CRM. They also hope to connect their ERP to Zoho by year 2023.
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