Jeff Pawlow, CEO“We are the poster children for failed CRM implementation,” states Jeff Pawlow, Managing Shareholder of The Growth Partnership (TGP) and CEO of ABLE. “We had tried most of the big-name systems over the years, and somehow, the juice never seemed worth the squeeze. At the same time, our consulting firm was growing—and with a distributed workforce, we needed to make sure the right hand knew what the left hand was doing.”
Frustrated by their seeming inability to implement a CRM system that would actually get used by the TGP team, the firm’s leadership made the decision to build something on their own. The system would be scaled back to include only the essential elements found in larger systems, and an increased focus would be placed on the user experience in the hopes of driving adoption.
“The genesis of ABLE was us building something for ourselves that would actually get used,” says Pawlow. “We knew immediately that we were on to something when adoption soared and the handful of existing clients we showed our system to were immediately intrigued.”
After a decision to explore developing the product for public consumption was made, TGP launched a long beta period to gather input and feedback from the existing clients that were already informally using the system. Lindy Spurgeon, ABLE’s product manager, was instrumental in the beta program’s success—working with users to further refine the rough system into something that could really stand on its own. These efforts ultimately led to a decision to spin ABLE out of TGP when a funding offer was received by an outside investor.
Today, ABLE caters to professionals working in an environment where a handful of relationships drive the ultimate success of their business. This “80/20” profile represents the bulk of ABLE’s subscribers and includes CPAs, business bankers, wealth managers, architects, and even an entertainment company. “We did over $3 million in revenue last year at TGP, and we had to bill over 600 clients to hit that number,” says Pawlow. “That said, it only took 54 clients to get to 80% of that revenue. Those are the key clients we actively manage with ABLE.
ABLE provides the framework for practitioners to truly cultivate professional intimacy with their most important clients, prospects, and referral sources
I can literally look at the firm dashboard, see how healthy our most important relationships are, and immediately address any issues. Additionally, because our clients are often served by more than one team member, ABLE provides a level of transparency and communication that has allowed us to elevate our game. We are practicing holistically as opposed to individually, and that has truly made a difference in the success of our firm.”
So, what are the “essential” features that users can expect from ABLE? “It is less about the quantity and more about having the right set of features for our 80/20 profile users. When a handful of relationships drive the bulk of your practice or represent the majority of your book of business, there are some very specific things that you want to be able to do well. For example, I enjoy having a mechanism to keep my most important clients, prospects, and referral sources top of mind and highly visible on my ABLE CRoPs Tiles™. I also like to develop my personal brand by using ABLE to distribute the right piece of content, to the right person at EXACTLY the right time —but also to do that at scale. Next, I love having a concrete grip on our sales pipeline to make sure nothing falls through the cracks and everyone is steadily advancing commitment when it comes to generating new business. Finally, I want to drive accountability among our team members with an open system that promotes collaboration across our organization.”
“At the end of the day, ABLE is not for everyone, but if you are part of that 80/20 profile that we cater to, it might be exactly what you are looking for in a CRM system,” concludes Pawlow.
We tend to agree!