The Evolution of accordoCRM
May 23, 2017
In the beginning…
Accordo’s humble beginnings started with a small team of entrepreneurs in New Zealand recognizing that software publishers struggled to cost-effectively manage their small to medium size customers and that there was an opportunity to assist both customers (to get the right licensing) and publishers (revenue recovery) in an environment where licensing compliance was not actively monitored.
Accordo’s original solutions were Tele-SAM (Software Asset Management) services targeting small and medium businesses (SMBs) because we could scale engagements through remote tele-calling and email engagement. Accordo’s vision was to lead the charge at scale in the SAM arena and continue to grow around the world.
The emergence of CAT
One of Accordo’s two founders and current Directors, Wayne Jackson, created the Customer Analytics Tool (CAT) to assist Accordo’s tele-consultants in managing their interactions with customers at scale. At that time, tele-consultants were limited to engaging customers within New Zealand so CAT really helped them to scale beyond the borders by increasing efficiency and, thus, productivity.
The tool helped the original analytics team process info in a structured, meaningful way, and it increased throughput, accuracy and consistency. The benefit to end customers was that CAT kept an accurate record of all interactions and licensing analysis so the tele-consultant could have an informed interaction providing valuable information regarding SAM services.
Establishing our global footprint
One of the greatest challenges Accordo faced was breaking into the US market. As customers in this region represented the majority of our global market opportunity, we endeavored to serve them as best we could. Initially, Accordo had its New Zealand based analytics team working through third-party vendors making calls in the US but this communication was strained. CAT was the preliminary solution to bridge that gap, creating consistency and clarity in the transfer of documents. Because of improved communication, Accordo diversified its calling structure to provide end-to-end services through in-house tele-consultants in New Zealand, and third-party call centers that would make local calls (Accordo still supported this model with CAT and data analytics). Our technological advancements permitted communications to be clear as they were all monitored and streamlined through CAT, and could even be handled in different languages.
Advancing through new technology
In 2015 the Accordo stakeholders mapped out preferred features for a customer relationship management (CRM) tool based on what we had learned in working with CAT. Even though our Product Group had not yet been established, a small working group formed a vision to achieve the optimal user experience while taking SMBs through a campaign from start to finish.
Ultimately Accordo found a way to bring life to accordoCRM, a new solution that was designed to be user-centric and allowed a tele-consultant to run complex and extensive campaigns from a single screen. The tool was customized to meet the specific needs of tele-consultants’ daily activities, and it helped them reach out to customers during different stages of engagement, and track interactions both written and via phone. Besides creating greater efficiency in the daily activities of the consultant, the benefits of these new features allowed tele-consultants to proactively provide customers with important SAM information exactly when they needed it across different stages of their software lifecycle.
One of our local calling vendors in the UK informed Accordo that accordoCRM not only addressed a list of issues experienced with CAT, but it also fixed another four issues the team didn’t know it had as well… and the team was hooked!
“I really enjoy working in the new accordoCRM-tool and utilizing some of the new options…” one of the overseas tele-consultants stated, and he went on to say: “I’m mainly thinking of being able to have several customers active/open simultaneously as well as day-planner view, which essentially is my to-do list and provides me with a remarkably good overview that is really easy on the eye. Not having to pull out Excel sheets every day makes it so much more convenient compared to the CAT tool. Another thing is how any given customer in the new interface consists of just four sub-tabs as opposed to 10-12 in the old tool.”
Today, these advances have allowed Accordo to scale and reach over 150,000 SMBs each year, empowering tele-consultants worldwide and achieving a variety of business objectives for our clients.
The future of accordoCRM
accordoCRM has proven to be such a success in helping tele-consultants engage with SMBs, that by the beginning of 2017, it had proliferated globally to all markets where Accordo worked. Accordo continues to add sophistication to accordoCRM, leveraging proprietary unique data-science technology. We can now create new value-added features that help tele-consultants reach customers at the exact right time they are ready to engage, knowing which specific products would be of interest and their likelihood to buy. Moving forward, all user interface views will be more customizable per the tele-consultants’ preferences and activities as well, increasing the speed at which they can perform.
Accordo will continue to invest in the development of accordoCRM to help raise visibility into SMBs’ software environment so that our tele-consultants can meet their needs during SAM engagements.