SHARC Energy uses Zoho Flow to optimize and streamline their business processes

The company

SHARC Energy is a Canadian manufacturer of a unique sustainable heating and cooling technology that recovers wasted energy from city and district wastewater to reduce CO2 emissions, energy costs, and fresh water consumption.

Syncing their sales and operations teams

A crucial aspect of business growth is having a lead management strategy that ensures effective lead generation and management. Without such a strategy, you may fumble your leads by not having an organized plan of follow up.

SHARC Energy knew this and wanted a comprehensive CRM application that could support its lead management strategy. They found Zoho CRM to be the perfect CRM application for it.

The next step in their strategy was to nurture "technically qualified leads." Their sales and operations teams had to ensure alignment with the lead's requirements. A few requirements include factors such as the amount of wastewater generated, temperature of the wastewater, and the flow rate. The operations team uses a combination of Zoho Projects and Zoho CRM to manage the assessment and scoping of the lead. The sales team then updates their quote for the lead based on the assessment. Based on the scope and scale of the project assessed by the operations team, the sales team would share the proposal with the lead.

"Our sales and operation teams would go back and forth on leads to qualify the details of a lead's project. This dragged things out and created separate islands of information, opening up opportunity for error while making it hard to track down details that were buried in an email somewhere. The existing process would become unmanageable at scale or under high demand and had to be fixed." — Mike Tanyi, Director of Marketing and IT, SHARC Energy

The team at SHARC Energy, led by Mike Tanyi, Director of Marketing and IT, took action to streamline the lead qualification process and eliminate any possibility of miscommunication between the two teams. To address this challenge, he discovered Zoho Flow. He understood that Zoho Flow was the perfect tool to address his pain point, but he did not have the time and resources to work on Zoho Flow. This is when he reached out to Radha Rengachari, CEO of Spikra, Premium Zoho Partner.

Radha Rengachari and her team understood their challenge and started working on connecting Zoho CRM and Zoho Projects. They first developed a blueprint in Zoho CRM to map the journey of a prospect to a technically qualified lead.

Using Zoho Flow's webhook trigger feature, they pass the data from Zoho CRM to Zoho Projects. Based on the country of delivery, a new project is created in Zoho Projects using a decision function, including the required project information. Zoho Flow also sends an email to the team when a new project is created.

The team also created a custom module in Zoho CRM that captures the status of a project. This ensures the teams have updated the status of a project. Their workflow uses delays and custom functions to ensure there is no communication lag between the teams and there are no risks of unnecessary system access.

Optimizing their sales outreach to a lead

SHARC Energy generates leads from various sources, one of the main sources being its website. They use Zoho Forms to capture the details of leads coming through their website.

"We wanted a system that would do more than just create a lead in CRM. We wanted to automate communication and follow-up delegation based on the leads' interests and requirements." — Mike Tanyi, Director of Marketing and IT, SHARC Energy

To address these challenges, Saranya Ravi, Spikra's product consultant, started working on integrating Zoho Forms and Zoho CRM. A lead submits a form, and custom functions analyze the lead's requirements. Zoho Flow then creates a lead in their Zoho CRM's Leads module. They use decision to verify whether they have recorded the lead and its details or not. Zoho Flow's "send email" action sends an email to the sales team once the verification is completed.

Setting up a comprehensive lead nurturing strategy

The clean energy solutions offered by SHARC Energy apply to a range of customers and markets, so it was important for them to create a system that could track and nurture a variety of different lead types and interests. For example, the details of a large campus district energy project compared to a commercial laundry facility would have different approaches for everything from lead qualification to nurturing strategy.

"We offer wastewater clean energy solutions for different markets and applications, so it's important that we're able to individually nurture those leads using their specific value propositions. We wanted to filter the leads and add them to the right bucket based on their market segment to be nurtured accordingly." — Mike Tanyi, Director of Marketing and IT, SHARC Energy

To ensure the lead was properly nurtured, Spikra integrated Zoho CRM with Zoho Marketing Automation. Based on the leads' interests in Zoho CRM, Zoho Marketing Automation would assign them to the applicable journey and mailing lists.

Benefits and ROI

"Using Zoho Flow, we're able to tie together different Zoho applications into a cohesive and sophisticated system. It has also enabled SHARC to avoid messy external solutions, like Zapier, that can be a struggle to maintain and create more costs. Zoho Flow directly saved the time of staff from having to input or interact with the system unnecessarily, and improved accuracy by reducing human error." — Mike Tanyi, Director of Marketing and IT, SHARC Energy

Zoho Flow has also helped SHARC Energy create auditable records of what's going on, making it easier to troubleshoot visually with clearly laid out business logic. They have created over 40 flows between Zoho apps and third party apps with over 80% of their integration needs handled by Zoho Flow. They, along with Spikra, are constantly working to identify processes that can be automated using Zoho Flow.

"For SHARC Energy, Zoho Flow has been a game-changer. It has elegantly integrated Zoho apps with external platforms, thereby refining processes across sales, operations, and services. By automating data flows and removing the need for complex coding, it has significantly increased efficiency within their departments and reduced our solution deployment time for SHARC Energy." — Saranya R, Product Consultant, Spikra

Looking forward

SHARC Energy is working on developing new processes. With the help of Spikra, they are evaluating multiple products and technologies available in the market. They are looking forward to integrating them using Zoho Flow.

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