Expert Interview Series: Samuel Jefferies of Workbooks CRM on Marketing Automation

CRM marketing automation

Tell us about Workbooks. What services do you offer?

Sam Jefferies is the Digital Marketing Executive for Workbooks CRM , where he oversees the company's online marketing strategy.

Workbooks offers cloud-based CRM and business applications. Typically our customers are mid market businesses with 20-500 employees, through our partner network we work with a worldwide customer base.

What are the most common challenges or frustrations your customers have when it comes to CRM?

Senior management teams often struggle to justify the cost and ROI from implementing a CRM system. CRM offers cost reductions in both management time and software cost (such as a reduction in email marketing software use.) Combine this with the financial upside in increased sales to existing and new clients and the financial upside can suddenly outweigh the cost. However this isn't immediately obvious to many senior managers and board rooms who can delay the decision process. At Workbooks, we hope to solve this problem with an interactive ‘ROI calculator’ which prospects can use to justify the financial upside in adopting a CRM.

What do you think are the most common mistakes or oversights brands make with CRM?

Not getting a CRM system which aligns with their business. A small, medium and large company all have very different needs and budgets, there are well known CRM systems which come with all the ‘bells and whistles’ but this may be totally unsuitable for a small or even medium sized company who end up paying for a large subset of features they’ll never use.

On the flip side, a company may find itself in a growth phase with a totally inadequate CRM system (or even no CRM system at all) at which point it’s CRM or multiple spreadsheets can become cumbersome and a frustrating lag during the sales process.

How should brands be using marketing automation today to generate leads? What are some best practices?

Through an integration with Hubspot, we use automation to deliver email nurturing workflows to our 30-day free trial customers. By running in the background of a sales cycle we’re able to effectively promote the benefits of our CRM and keep to the front of our prospects minds.

What are some of the ineffective or inefficient ways you've observed marketing automation being used?

With so many marketing automation products on the market it’s very easy to get attracted to cool sounding features which can take you away from your main focus and do little for your business. By focusing in on what pushes the needle for your business you can more effectively scale your marketing and grow your business.

How can brands leverage the marketing data they collect more effectively? Where do you observe companies falling short in this area?

By integrating marketing tools together companies can reduce data ‘silos’ and more effectively market to customers.

We often see businesses using many different tools in different sections of their business, for example, marketing may not share data with sales and vice-versa. Through linking these together marketers can calculate ROI’s and ramp up what’s working for the sales team.

What are your favourite tools for online marketers for data management?

Of course, primarily our own CRM which we use to manage all our marketing, with integrations into Hubspot (our marketing automation provider), dotMailer (our email provider) and Sage (our accounting platform) we can see a snapshot of our whole business and quickly delve into what needs further work.

What online marketing or CRM trends or innovations are you following right now? What excites you about them?

CRM is starting to integrate with more and more systems and become the main hub for businesses and marketers, now we integrate with Zapier (over 500+ apps) we’ve really opened the door to stretching the possibilities with CRM.
We hope in the future to integrate a full email provider and marketing automation platform within our CRM system so have great hopes with this.

What do you think is the future for how brands use CRM tools like marketing automation? What will happen to the companies that fail to adopt these tools?

I see a combination of marketing automation becoming more and more commonplace and all advertising (including traditional) becoming measurable such as unique phone tracking numbers on billboards.

Companies falling short behind technology will find it harder and harder to reach their target audience as advertising legalities increase and platforms become more complicated.

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