SAIT Polytechnic drives business with flexible CRM solution
In its work to engage industry in all it does, SAIT also works with businesses offering customized training through its Corporate Training Solutions (CTS) department. Its programs address workforce performance and employee productivity, and are designed to meet individual organizations’ specific objectives.
As CTS business grew, it became clear that the sales team needed a flexible system for managing client contacts that could handle all of the information and processes required to build SAIT’s corporate-training services and improve the team’s efficiency.
The Challenge: Finding a cost-effective solution that meets sales-team needs
SAIT had previously used an information-management system that was not a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution, but it was not meeting the CTS sales team’s requirements in terms of fostering growth and supporting sales activity throughout the sales cycle.
Denise Bachmeier, CRM specialist at SAIT, notes: “The system that CTS was using wasn’t doing the job. The department needed to manage opportunities at different stages and report all of that – which led to the search for a CRM solution.”
It was evident the team needed a system which was more advanced and intuitive than a simple data-storage and -management application. It would only be used by one department – at least to start – and so had to meet the customer-management requirements of that sales team without breaking the budget.
The Solution: Flexible CRM that can grow with the organization
SAIT’s management looked for a CRM solution that met the requirements of the CTS sales team and had the flexibility to grow with the department – and beyond. Maximizer fit the bill perfectly in terms of its functionality, features, and scalability. “It was able to do the things that we needed it to do,” Bachmeier says.
Since investing in Maximizer and going live with its first implementation in 2010, SAIT’s CTS sales team has not looked back. As Maximizer has evolved, so has SAIT’s use of it. The CRM solution has been integrated with the polytechnic’s phone system so that calls by the sales team can be tracked. These, and other, customizations in Maximizer have made it easier to build reports that have proven to be more useful to the CTS sales team and management.
When SAIT first deployed Maximizer CRM, it had a mere 15 users. Its use has grown as its usefulness and value have been proven, Bachmeier says. In fact, Maximizer is no longer limited to just the CTS sales team but now has many users in other departments and schools at SAIT. The CRM platform has 105 users across the whole organization and manages a database of nearly 20,000 companies, including multiple contacts within each of those.
The Outcome: Value, efficiency, clarity, and better business decisions
At the beginning, the sales team was resistant to the newly implemented system, a common trait when new CRMs are employed, Bachmeier explains. Once the sales-team members were using it on a day-to-day basis, however, they could see both the immediate and long-term benefits: “They are using it and see the value,” she notes.
The business benefits of using Maximizer have been significant for SAIT, Bachmeier states. “The ability to log calls, emails, and other client communications within the system is truly beneficial to our organization.” Furthermore, the system’s reporting capabilities have helped SAIT to forecast and budget more accurately, while making it easier and more straightforward to plan and assess campaigns.
SAIT has imbedded invaluable reporting processes and methods derived from the CRM system – none of which were used before they introduced Maximizer. All of SAIT’s business decisions are now based on solid data. Bachmeier says: “Moving forward, we have expanded the use of Maximizer across the organization which provides transparency, collaboration, and accountability.”
Bachmeier speaks highly of the customer service Maximizer provides: “My interactions with the Maximizer team have been nothing but positive; our account manager and the support and design teams are always helpful and knowledgeable. They have absolutely gone out of their way to provide me and SAIT’s users with the best customer service possible. Having a great product is only half of the solution when it comes to an application such as a CRM – if you don’t have a great customer service experience, it nullifies the benefits of the system somewhat.”
When discussing the overall impact of using Maximizer CRM, Bachmeier says the implementation has improved business processes and has “definitely provided data to make better business decisions.” The information structure provided by Maximizer CRM has also proven helpful in boosting efficiencies in other areas outside of CTS. “The flexibility of Maximizer gives me the ability to structure the system around processes and procedures, thereby creating optimal efficiencies which in turn saves us money,” she confirms.
The final plus for Bachmeier, over the course of SAIT’s dealings with Maximizer, has been the positive ongoing rapport. “The relationship I have with the Maximizer team is fantastic. They are extremely responsive, knowledgeable and always pleasant to deal with.”
SAIT Polytechnic is an educational institution, providing a skills-focused approach to learning. As a polytechnic, it offers a range of credentials in diverse program areas focused on experience-oriented training. SAIT is recognized as a leading research facility in Canada and serves nearly 50,000 students in any given year, with nearly 220,000 alumni globally. SAIT Polytechnic’s vision is to be a global leader in applied education.