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search 153, stomach 0);">The Client: Activator UK is an innovative business communications provider, ed managing customers’ voice and data networks in both the UK and worldwide.

Established in 1998 with headquarters in Basingstoke, Activator UK supports voice and data networks for high street names such as Benetton and Bodyshop, as well as smaller SME customers.

The Challenge: As Activator UK grew, it found it increasingly more difficult to manage the contact and sales side of its business. Paul Moss, Sales & Marketing Director, saw that there was a need to be able to share contact and account information across the company. Paul said “We already had access to MS CRM but it was very expensive to deploy and really didn’t address all our requirements. We spent six months looking at various hosted and purchased solutions, but they were either vastly overpriced or not feature rich enough, and none of them offered any way of cost effectively customising their solutions.”

The Benefits: Activator eventually evaluated ContactMaker. which proved to be a good fit for what the team was looking for. Already using MS office this meant that with MS Access as the base of ContactMaker, Activator did not need to install any other third party applications. Paul added “It was very cost effective for us, but was missing one key element – a Helpdesk tracking capability.” Activator approached ContactMaker about this aspect of their requirement.

“We needed the Helpdesk element and they developed it for us, based on our requirements for less than the implementation costs of most of the other CRM packages out there. We were up and running in less than a month and this was really the key differentiator of ContactMaker. Since then ContactMaker has become a key part of our daily operation and we want to make it even more so, by providing dynamic feeds from ContactMaker to our web based management portal – to give our customers up to the minute status of their sites.”

When asked about its ease of use Paul said “Like all CRMs it takes a bit of work to get the hang of it, but our in-house ContactMaker training video runs for just 14 minutes, so it really isn’t that hard! Since its installation it has made noticeable improvements in our business. It means we can catch up on what’s going on in our business even from our home offices in the evening without hassling people by phone.”

The Future: Paul added: “Reporting is much, much easier and our sales pipeline is constantly visible, when before it was an hour’s job just to collate the quotes. Business is constant change, so there’s always something we want to add or change – but with ContactMaker, we know we can get those changes (sometimes without paying!), where with the corporate suppliers you would be just whistling in the wind.”

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