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Businesses: New CRM system exsalerates growth

Businesses: New CRM system exsalerates growth

Companies on both sides of the Tasman are extolling the virtues of a locally developed, cloud-based CRM system which they say is helping grow their businesses.

Exsalerate is a cloud-based CRM system developed and marketed by Auckland-based Urgent Couriers and has been in market for just over two years. Urgent Couriers Managing Director Steve Bonnici developed the tool when he couldn’t find a CRM system that was simple, effective and affordable to meet the needs of his own courier business.

With little marketing behind it, exsalerate has attracted a steady stream of sign ups around New Zealand, across the Tasman as well as in the US and Canada and now has a total of approximately 65 companies using the product.

Exsalerate is an approved Xero add-on. Since attaining this status in late May exsalerate has seen a steady flow of new sign ups in all corners of the world, from a coffee distribution company in Myanmar to a courier company in Dublin. The Xero integration allows companies to import client information at the click of a button, set up a nightly transfer of sales data and & to push leads into Xero when they are converted to customers.

Companies can set up exsalerate themselves by following the on-line video tutorials, or the exsalerate team can provide very cost effective set up packages, starting at just $200.

This country’s largest user, NZCU South, is already reaping the benefits after only four months of using the system.

The Dunedin based credit union with 80 staff spread across 10 South Island branches took on exsalerate to help with member retention. Marketing and Communications Manager Jonet Warhurst says exsalerate is not only helping NZCU South retain members but also grow their personal lending business.

“We looked at a lot of CRM systems to find the right one. Many of our staff had not used CRM before so we needed something that was easy to use to get staff buy in.

“Exsalerate customised the system to our needs and because the system was easy to use staff bought in from the outset and continue to use it all the time.”

Exsalerate drives regular phone contact between NZCU South and its members who appreciate hearing from the company without having to visit branches.

At the other end of the experience scale, former Chase Distribution National Sales manager Mark O’Connell is a 25 year veteran of using CRM systems and is sold on exsalerate.

“I’ve used CRM tools since 1989 and most of them have become horrendously expensive and irrelevant. They have too many features hanging off them which are not used,” he says.

He describes exsalerate as a “comprehensive bare bones product” which has delivered a significant increase in productivity for the exhaust and emissions component importing and distribution business.

“At Chase Distribution our reps’ call rate increased 20 per cent throughout the country and sales are up 30 to 35 per cent in Auckland and Christchurch since we started using exsalerate.

Australian-based Naked Energy was attracted to exsalerate by its simplicity and value for money.

Spokesman Steve Halis says his company, which is in the business of renewable energy solutions, mainly solar power generation, looked at more than a dozen CRM systems and they were all either too complex or too expensive.

“Exsalerate delivers a very solid tool at a fantastic price. It has all the right functions, no feature overload and intuitive interface. All staff were comfortable with it within a couple of days.

Mr Halis says exsalerate has quickly transformed his business operations by making it easy for Naked Energy to co-ordinate all customer related activities and providing visibility of those activities to everyone in real time.

Urgent Couriers Managing Director Steve Bonnici says the feedback from current users reflects exactly what he set out to achieve.

“I was continually frustrated by the complexity, inflexibility and cost associated with the systems available. So I decided to build my own. It is designed to be a sales person’s best friend and they need to do little more than record their activities,” he says.

Mr Bonnici said he decided from the outset to build a cloud-based system with the view to making it available to other companies from just $30 per month for the first 5 users. It also means customers enjoy the benefits of a regularly updated system.

The result is a sales tracking tool that allows staff to easily track their sales activities, manage sales teams’ pipelines and schedule appointments and follow-ups, for a fraction of the cost of regular CRM systems. The low monthly cost means any staff member who has any client contact can record the activities against the client to ensure a full record of client interaction.

Features include the ability to capture leads from a company’s website, manage sales teams’ pipelines, set and measure performance against targets, set up regular call cycles, interface with Outlook and more. A mobile interface is available for smart phones and it is tablet friendly.

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