Rotary Spins Out a Marketing Win with Workbooks

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As Rotary, a provider of outdoor power equipment parts and supplies, grew, executives determined that its CRM vendor no longer fit its needs.

“The fees continued to increase, but there was no increase in the service that was suitable for us,” recalls Chris Roessler, vice president of marketing and advertising at Rotary, which is based in Glennville, Ga. “So the board challenged us last year to find a new solution. We needed something that was more tailored for our needs.”

A key requirement was that the system would have to be operational by the start of the new year because that is the company’s prime selling season.

Workbooks promised to meet the deadline with its CRM solution, but it had another advantage over competing vendors. “We are family-owned. They are family-owned. They treated us like family,” Roessler says.

“Workbooks invested the time to understand our challenges and pain points. This allowed them to present a much more tailored solution,” Roessler adds. “We felt confident that Workbooks would deliver and help us achieve the outcomes we wanted for the business.”

Rotary signed with Workbooks in October.

As the implementation progressed, the first phase was to align sales and administrative functions, replacing the Post-It notes that were a common communications mode. Another goal was to have the service department, logistics, and other facets of the company together and accessible on iPad tablets.

The company was planning to distribute new iPads to salespeople and other employees during the new year,

Rotary now has 101 Workbooks users in product development, tech support, customer service, credit, purchasing, sales, and marketing. Even the CEO and chief financial officer are on the platform, which is being used for managing sales tax processing, special pricing approvals, and loyalty memberships. Workbooks is integrated with the company’s enterprise resource planning system, giving sales reps a complete view of customer history and payment status. The customer service team is using the software to manage returns, technical queries, credit control, and new item suggestions.

The solution has also been integrated with DocuSign, enabling the electronic completion and signature of key business documents.

As a result, users have reported improved communication between teams and an enhanced experience for customers, because key insights are easily shared across the business.

The move to Workbooks cut in half the time Rotary employees spend compiling and maintaining reports, double-checking data, updating customer information, verifying loyalty memberships for tax certificates, bringing new dealers onboard, and more. Users can easily compare customers through the Views feature. Sales reps can gather information themselves instead of waiting for headquarters to supply it. Training time with the system was six hours less than with Rotary’s previous systems. Rotary’s staff has also reduced the time to develop highly targeted marketing campaigns from several days to a few hours.

Rotary is now looking to progress to the next phase with Workbooks’ marketing automation to power targeted marketing messages to its customer base through sales flyers, new items, contests, and spring order discounts.

“It is vital to communicate with our customers,” Roessler says. “Workbooks has the solution to allow us to be more effective in marketing to our customers in different territories and different climates. We can target one area that may be having snow in the Northeast with snow blower items while the South may still be having rain and temperatures in the 80s and they need lawnmower blades.” 

The Payoff

Since converting to Workbooks, Rotary has done the following:

  • saved up to six hours per user in training time;
  • saved 50 percent of the time needed to generate reports;
  • reduced time to develop highly targeted marketing campaigns from several days to a few hours; and
  • cut the time to verify loyalty memberships for sales tax certificates by 50 percent.

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