The challenge  

The CEO of a fast growing startup in the elderly care sector came to talk to us about his company’s increasing operational workload and the complexity of this workload. Due to their fast growth and the local aspect of their service, the team handling new sign ups was increasingly strained which affected both the quality and quantity of leads that finally became active clients. Leads were sometimes forgotten, it was unclear what their status was, it was unclear what the quality of leads was, and cooperating within the team was difficult due to a lack of uniform processes and tools to handle tasks. Due to leads falling out of the funnel, Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) were increasing which put pressure on working capital, something any growing startup will want to avoid at any cost. The CEO stressed that the solution that he was looking for should be extremely easy to use and that adoption by the operational team is crucial. ¬†

The solution

Our approach was to first get a good understanding how the funnel looked like and what sort of processes were needed. We talked to both the CEO and the operational team to understand what sort of leads they were looking for exactly and what type of qualifiers they use to filter out the good from the bad. With this information we were able to implement a quick win by reducing the amount of fields in the sign up form, replacing open questions with drop down fields, and putting logic into place that quickly gives an indication of the quality of a newly signed up lead.

After this we visualized the sign up process and clearly defined what data was needed to progress to each next step, what communications were needed, and how this could all be monitored. This resulted in a requirements document that listed all the data, forms, workflows, lists, emails, and notifications that were needed to facilitate the entire sign up process.

In parallel of working to gain an understanding of processes as described above, we started evaluating tools that would be able to automate these. We regularly test leading marketing automation tools so we already had a good understanding of what was available to us and for what price level. In this case we selected ActiveCampaign and started with some preliminary testing to see if we were running into any roadblocks where this tool was not able to automate crucial processes in a user friendly manner. This allows us to make the best possible choice in tooling for our clients without risk of being locked in when it’s too late to go back.

ActiveCampaign turned out to exceed most of our expectations and we were able to put the entire sign up process in a series of forms, automations, lists, and emails. Now with ActiveCampaign:

  • New leads are automatically followed up over email based on answers in forms
  • The sign up process is visualized in the Pipeline functionality where the operational team always as a clear overview of the statuses of leads and what their next step is
  • Obtaining the right data from leads is automated with workflows that “listen” whether the right forms are filled in and periodically send emails to remind them to complete the process
  • The operational team trigger automations when they move leads to the next step. This automates all repetitive tasks and administration simply by dragging a lead from one stage to another in the pipeline visualization screen.
  • All processes are uniform and data is collected to obtain better insights in bottlenecks and opportunities for further improvement

The total runtime for this project was 4 weeks. This includes initial interviewing and training the operational team as well. Documentation with visual explanations was created for the operational team in order to ensure easy adoption and transferability when onboarding new employees.

Results

  • The operational team switched to the new system within a single day and despite some initial getting used to, enjoy how much time they save
  • Productivity per employee rose significantly due to most boring and repetitive tasks being automated, allowing them to focus on important activities
  • The form conversion rate rose by 12% in the first 2 months after implementing the new form
  • New insights have shown where bottlenecks are and improvements have been already been made possible
  • The company is now ready to scale up significantly without needing to make major investments in overhead costs