Lokad big data forecasting – CRM case study

Lokad logoJoannes VermorelMy name is Joannes Vermorel, and I am the founder of Lokad. Lokad is a small, multi-national company. We deal with big data – Big Data apps, that is. Lokad takes numbers from retail, ecommerce and wholesale businesses and uses statistics and cloud computing to churn out forecasts and to find inventory issues or optimize stock. In other words, Lokad takes hard data and helps companies make sense of it in a way that lets them decide on smart next actions.

Lokad has clients across dozens of countries worldwide, which makes email our most important communication tool. In fact, in my experience in B2B, email is King. Not Facebook, not Twitter, not Pinterest – email. Really. We find that we get about 50 emails for every phone call and about 50 phone calls for one meeting, so almost everything goes through email.

Lokad products

When we first got started, we had different email accounts for every department and some important prospects were getting ignored while others were sending the same query to three different email addresses and getting three different replies. We learned fast. Now, we have one single public email: contact@lokad.com, and everything goes to Relenta. You can read about it in this blog post: Why your company should have a single email address.

Everyone at Lokad who interacts with clients has a Relenta account. The way we work with Relenta is simple:

  • We use the Capture API to capture contacts. In fact, this feature lets us capture about ten more high priority contacts daily.
  • Each of our managers has a Relenta folder. When an email pops up in Relenta, anyone can move the email into their folder, effectively “taking ownership” of that email and committing to answering that email or handling the issue.
  • We treat emails in Relenta like hot potatoes: they are handled fast. Once an email is handled, it’s archived, so we can focus on emails that need action. It’s very natural to follow the zero inbox approach, and that helped us handle tens of thousands of emails with Relenta.
  • If an email is sent to a specific person at Lokad but is urgent, anyone at Lokad is allowed to handle the email and reply. Customers love it because they get answers faster. We love it because it means no one is chained to their tablets or phones “just in case” something urgent comes up.
  • We rely on the Relenta per-contact view to figure out the context of emails. Not more client emails buried because their account manager is on vacation. Everyone wins.
  • We use tags to define the “attributes” of clients. Since we are a software company, we usually identify clients by their software environment, so our tags tend to be “SAP”, “Oracle”, etc. Tags are a great way to find similar clients.
  • We assign a Relenta activity to each prospect so we don’t lose leads through inattention.

We manage close to 10,000 enterprise contacts with Relenta. You might think that one email would not be enough for a growing company, but it actually had made us more productive and has helped us keep clients happier.