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Printing equipment distributor grows with CRM solution

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Challenge: Laser Life, a leading distributor of printers and toner cartridges across the southeastern U.S., was having trouble tracking customer activity and accounts.  At one point, employees tracked these details using an online calendar application with limited functionality, making it difficult to distinguish between new and existing customers, and limiting call center effectiveness. “It was inefficient, ineffective and was a drain on resources, which included employee labor,” Bob Fox, CEO of the 18-year- old company.

Solution: Laser Life turned to Sage CRM SalesLogix integrated with Sage MAS 200 ERP to streamline its marketing, sales and accounting processes across the company. The integrated system enables Laser Life employees to manage the full scope of customer relationships, including lead generation, sales opportunity management, support and accounting.

Today the company has 85 employees using the integrated Sage Software system including 17 sales representatives who manage a pipeline of approximately 1000 accounts and prospects each.

Laser Life sales and service representatives use the integrated system to track purchases, transaction dates, account receivables and call notes that help determine when customers will likely need to reorder products. The database in Sage MAS 200 ERP identifies any delinquent accounts that may warrant a credit hold.

In addition, Laser Life uses the CRM software to automate direct marketing activity. “It does a variety of things for us, from 4,000 to 5,000 e-mails per week to an equal number of promotional faxes,” Fox said. Data from customer acquisitions, reorders and cross-sales generated by direct marketing campaigns are shared with Sage MAS 200 ERP to ensure comprehensive customer account records are complete.

While a collage of people use the CRM system, Fox noted there are automated aspects, too, that run once a parameter is set. “In the old days, our IT guy had to run the routines himself; now, the package is becoming sophisticated enough to handle many of these tasks,” Fox said. “The goal is to manage our margins by being more efficient, in most cases though technology.”

Results: Laser Life increased call center sales activity 40%, effectively increasing the company’s revenue per customer. And there has been a huge increase in custom retention. “[Retention] is around 96%,” Fox said, noting it is up almost 30% since the company began using the Sage software to implement a structured call-back routine.

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