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How Accentuate Grew Revenue by 1,000% with the Right CRM for a Web Design Company

  • Accentuate Web Design & Marketing has grown from a team of two to a team of eleven
  • In the four years since adopting Pipedrive, the company has increased its revenue tenfold
  • Switching from spreadsheets to a CRM has helped them manage data

Accentuate Web Design & Marketing adopted Pipedrive four years ago, after Eden Brownlee, the Director and Senior Digital Strategy Consultant at the company, identified a need for better data management and more automations in order to scale. Since then, they’ve seen a huge boost in revenue growth.

Australian company Accentuate Web Design & Marketing offers online presence solutions to small to medium businesses, as well as a few larger corporate customers.

“What we really look to do is to bring businesses into the online space professionally, so that they’re ready to run whatever marketing they want to achieve their business goals,” explains Eden.

“Our goal here is not just to ensure that the website presents the business in the best possible light, but that their whole online presence is constantly branded, including their social media, Google business listing, and that they’re using professional email services that are not prone to security issues—all the little pieces of the puzzle fit together,” he continues. “Really what we offer is a professional package where everything is done for them and done properly.”

The challenge Accentuate faced

Before turning to Pipedrive, Accentuate was using a more manual spreadsheet model to manage lead and customer data, which meant that opportunities were going unnoticed.

“We were in a stage where everything was loosely tied together in more manual spreadsheets, so a lot of stuff was being missed,” explains Eden. “Being trained in sales, I knew what the ideal looked like, and we were quite far away from it at the time.”

There also wasn’t a system or a central location for data input, which caused confusion, as information was being split across email and spreadsheets.

“We were manually logging tasks in email, a task manager and spreadsheets, with no central reference point for our sales team. It was haphazard, I suppose you’d say.”

All this was slowing down Accentuate’s sales process and clogging up their pipeline.

The solution Pipedrive provided

An expert in process management and optimization, Eden started researching to find the best CRM for web design companies—one that would ensure the company’s sales process was up to scratch.

“I’m a process management consultant at my core, so while I love web, and built my first website at 13, what I really love to do is keynote speaking and consulting on process management and business optimization,” he tells us.

“Anything in the company where we’re required to make a major change to improve a process, I’ll generally spearhead it myself, and it was certainly time for us to focus internally instead of only focusing on improving our client’s businesses.”

Eden didn’t just look at what Pipedrive was, he looked at what it could be, realizing quickly that Pipedrive is a CRM that can scale with the customer’s needs, and enables integrating and automating with other business processes on a higher level.

“I evaluated every other major player in the market and you people were pretty fresh, so obviously it was about evaluating where you were at the time, and what your growth trajectory was looking like it was going to be, because you don’t know when you’re early in.”

Cost was also a factor.

“Our industry is very cut-throat so we try and keep our cost low. The speed at which you all are trying to upgrade the platform is quite appealing to us because we’re pivoting and changing quite quickly in regard to upgrading our processes, optimizing, automating, that sort of thing.”

“Pipedrive had the starting feature set that we needed and, from my testing, it also were the easiest and quickest to set up—and the fact we could integrate via webhooks/api, we could grab whatever data we needed for our other software and processes to begin automation of repetitive tasks and data entry.”

A CRM’s key features and integrations for a web design company

The Accentuate team enjoyed how little time it took to get started with Pipedrive; now they are enjoying how quickly they can add data to the tool.

“The biggest benefit is having something that was easy to set up because that’s a big thing,” says Eden. “You’ve got notes everywhere, you’ve got manual lists, and it’s brought into a platform the way we want it.”

Eden, who has been managing 100+ deals simultaneously (not to mention the deals his colleagues are managing that he may have to jump in on) expresses dismay at people who try to keep it all in their heads.

“The deal space offers so much benefit to a business. We consult with hundreds of business owners each year on process, web and marketing and pretty much the first thing we ask is: ‘Do you have a CRM?’ If they don’t have a CRM then what are they doing? How are they tracking sales and reporting on ROI? What deals do they have on the board? How are they managing client relationships effectively?”

“Having a CRM allows you to put everything into one easy-to-manage space,” continues Eden. “To have your list of activities, have everything mapped out so you don’t have to store it in your head, and you can keep focused on what you need to do but still know that clients are being followed up, deals are being processed. You can have that deal card where every call, every email, everything related to that deal is there in one place.

“If someone calls up and it’s not my deal, I simply say, ‘Jo, just give me a minute,’ I then just open their deal card where I can quickly find out exactly where things are at. It’s like our team has told me all about them, they are a VIP and I know exactly what’s going on.”

“That’s the ideal customer experience that you want to deliver, and that’s what’s going to not just close your deals, but also make that customer feel like they’re part of the family—you know who they are, you care about them, and they’re going to become a raving fan of yours.”

Scheduler is another key feature for Accentuate, which Eden describes as “a fantastic tool to save time and book appointments”, while Pipedrive’s integrations are also an important part of the company’s sales process.

“We recently started using PandaDoc, so that’s saved us such a huge amount of time. Being able to automate the proposal creation process, just in sales alone, is a great benefit—let alone the professionalism and speed of sending a proposal to a client. While not inexpensive, it has already helped us close countless deals and saved the sales team untold time.”

The company is also using an accounting integration, Xero, which is available on the Pipedrive Marketplace, as is PandaDoc.

“We use Xero integrations. Once a deal’s closed a sales rep can simply jump in and create an invoice, without the need to bother accounts, so that’s pretty handy.”

Accentuate’s top automation tip

Eden and his colleagues have used their web and process optimization skills to streamline and automate the process, from the sales team making a close to the development team delivering the project, with some pretty amazing Pipedrive automations—especially as they’re often managing multiple projects at the same time.

“We have a series of integrations that we use to perform actions based on when a deal is closed. They grab information from that deal and automatically populate things like the brief forms we send to our clients to fill out, which will automatically fire off once the deal is paid. This allows us to start the development process as soon as we get payment confirmation, send a brief to the client and pre-fill out a whole bunch of information.

“We actually use the deal ID from that particular deal to create a client ID, so we use that uniformly throughout the company as an identifier to pull information from Pipedrive or deliver information to Pipedrive as part of that deal.”

“That deal ID also relates to the BCC fields that are used to stick emails to a deal. Normally, when emails are sent from outside Pipedrive and a deal is closed, a deal won’t automatically put the emails in. The deal is still active in a way: while it’s closed the project is still being developed and we want to record that information in that deal for easy reference by our management team, so we use that deal ID to create the BCC email address.

“Then, when any of the project managers send standardized emails to our clients, they automatically get attached to that deal, and in turn, the reply will get attached from the client, so we can jump into that deal even after it’s closed and see what the conversation is.

“So if a sales rep gets a call that says, ‘Hey I was just calling up, just wanted to find out what’s going on with the website, it’s been in progress for a while, what’s happening?’ The rep can jump into the deal and actually see, ‘Oh, so I can see Eden sent you an email about three days ago, he was waiting for you to respond to it, did you get that email?’

“It just allows everything to be a lot more fluid in our process, so we’re pretty heavy on integration and automation—that’s what I do a lot of keynote speaking on.”

“We link everything together using Zapier and send loads of Pipedrive Deal information to forms to autofill them out, and to a nifty tool called Process Street, so we can start various processes in the business as soon as deals are won.”

Accentuate has grown revenue tenfold in four years

In the four years since Eden discovered Pipedrive as the ideal CRM for the web design company, Accentuate has increased annual revenue ten times over.

“I’m going to attribute that to two things: Pipedrive’s ability to store lead information and having an abundance of leads.”

Two things that Eden acknowledges go hand in hand.

“We found some good lead sources that we were able to get some solid leads through, and we were able to spend to acquire those leads and make the sales, but without having the CRM and being able to build out the sales process, we wouldn’t have been able to do that.

“You need to be able to scale and manage your client base effectively if you want to be serious about competing in a modern business arena. And if you want to scale and manage your client base effectively you need a CRM, simple as that.”

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