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How and why iPlan implemented NetHunt CRM when spreadsheets were still enough

iPlan is a Ukrainian company that specialises in providing customised financial planning services. They analyse clients' incomes, expenses, and various aspects of their lives to create a step-by-step plan to achieve their financial goals.

iPlan founder photo iPlan founder photo iPlan founder photo
Better personalisation

of customer communication at scale


more clients

More accurate planning

thanks to reporting functionality

The challenge

iPlan invested in a CRM system at the early stages of the company's growth. They made an executive decision to transfer all their customer data and sales and customer relationship management processes into dedicated CRM software when a neat spreadsheet still sufficed.

Before implementing a CRM system, iPlan used to manage its internal business processes with the help of a spaghetti system, which wasn’t very effective.

  • It offered little to no automation of business processes, which hindered business growth.
  • It made it challenging to handle a growing database of clients, each with individual priorities and desires.
  • Keeping all the clients in the loop with the latest news was almost impossible as there was no email marketing functionality — iPlan team members had to use several different tools to write, personalise, send, and analyse their campaigns.

“We decided to implement a dedicated CRM software earlier than later with the expectation that the company would scale in the future. It made sense for us to structure and standardise all our data in advance.”

<b>Lyubomyr Ostapiv</b>iPlan Partner
Lyubomyr OstapiviPlan Partner

What was iPlan looking for in a CRM system?

As a financial planner, building strong client relationships is fundamental to success.

Clients who trust you with their hard-earned money rely on your expertise to help them achieve their financial goals. Hence, staying on top of your data and completely controlling your internal processes at all times is essential.

Here are some of the must-have features iPlan decision-makers have outlined when looking for a CRM solution…

  • Integration with Gmail
  • Contact management
  • Customisation (field management, custom views)
  • Email marketing functionality (bulk emailing, email marketing analytics)
  • Multiple sales pipelines
  • Tasks
  • Reporting
  • Sales automation functionality
  • Proactive customer support

“Our main requirement was nothing unusual for a CRM system. Before anything else, we wanted to manage relationships with our clients effectively. It was important for us to understand who they are, where they came from, and when we last communicated with them. Since iPlan is a company focused on long-term partnerships (our contracts start at 1 year), we were seeking a CRM that would allow us to configure separate communication blocks in CRM for each client.”

<b>Lyubomyr Ostapiv</b>iPlan Partner
Lyubomyr OstapiviPlan Partner

Why iPlan chose NetHunt CRM, and how they use it

At the time of choosing a CRM system for their company, iPlan shortlisted several software options, including NetHunt CRM and a well-known American CRM system. However, they were “too complex, difficult to get around, and challenging to customise to fit the exact business needs.“

After comparing the functionality of both systems, the partners decided to commit to NetHunt CRM — our system has ticked all the boxes of the perfect CRM iPlan envisioned to help them boost their business.

Today, iPlan uses the NetHunt CRM functionality extensively and optimises a whole range of processes, from collecting and organising client database to managing the team.

Integration with Gmail to streamline lead capture and maximise the effectiveness of email communications icon Integration with Gmail to streamline lead capture and maximise the effectiveness of email communications

From the beginning of its business path, iPlan has used Gmail and didn’t want to switch to an alternative email provider.

The direct integration between NetHunt CRM and Gmail allows iPlan to leverage various benefits: automatic creation of customer records from incoming emails, enrichment of those records, and automatic linking of emails to have a full history of communications displayed in chronological order on the Timeline in the customer record.

This functionality also allows iPlan employees to craft email campaigns, segment the database, create and save letter templates, send email campaigns through Gmail, and track their effectiveness (opens, clicks, replies, etc.).

“The integration with Gmail helps us to organise our correspondence with customers and run email campaigns.”

<b>Serhii Mikulov</b>iPlan Partner
Serhii MikuloviPlan Partner

Integration with Zapier to connect industry-specific tools to the CRM icon Integration with Zapier to connect industry-specific tools to the CRM

To provide top-notch services to their customers, iPlan uses a fair share of industry-specific tools.

Even though NetHunt CRM doesn’t offer direct integration with some of them, thanks to NetHunt CRM’s integration with Zapier, iPlan has connected all the instruments in their tech stack to the CRM.

Pipeline management functionality to increase sales efficiency icon Pipeline management functionality to increase sales efficiency

One of the NetHunt CRM features iPlan is particularly fond of is sales pipelines. Thanks to advanced pipeline management functionality and sales pipeline visualisation, the iPlan team can:

  • track sales progress and monitor potential customers: identify deals that require immediate attention, accurately pinpoint the value of each deal, etc;
  • forecast sales revenue;
  • automate the sales process.

Each of iPlan's planners and partners has their own sales funnel in CRM, which allows them to communicate with leads as efficiently as possible and close as many deals as possible.

Sales automation functionality to streamline business processes icon Sales automation functionality to streamline business processes

The automation functionality provided by NetHunt CRM, Workflows, allows iPlan to make the most of their work time — they delegate a lot of their routine tasks to the software.

For example, iPlan has set up an automated sequence to automatically alert iPlan planners about deals that are going cold (those that have “disappeared from the radar”) and need to be followed up on.

In addition, iPlan also delegates the process of moving deals down the sales pipeline based on their behaviour (engagement, conducted calls, etc.).

Contact management functionality to stay on top of customer data icon Contact management functionality to stay on top of customer data

iPlan has customised the fields in customer records in NetHunt CRM to include the most relevant information for planners handling deals: leads’ and customers’ contact information, information about their income and expenses, their financial goals, and more.

Another use of NetHunt CRM’s contact management functionality that iPlan has identified for themselves is using the CRM to gather and store contact information of their team members and maintain a database of partners.

Reporting functionality to accurately analyse the effectiveness of their business processes icon Reporting functionality to accurately analyse the effectiveness of their business processes

Reporting is an extremely important ingredient in iPlan’s success recipe. So, the company is actively benefitting from NetHunt CRM’s reporting functionality:

  • They create sales pipeline reports to learn more about their customers — who they are, what requests they have, and more.
  • They create lead source reports to understand where their customers come from.
  • They create time-in-stage reports (general and by owner) to better understand what their planners are busy doing, how long it takes for leads to move down the funnel, when they were last contacted, and where they are in the pipeline.

“We put all this data on the dashboard, and use it to keep track of our KPIs — it helps to keep our employees motivated.”

<b>Serhii Mikulov</b>iPlan Partner
Serhii MikuloviPlan Partner

The results

Considering the fact that iPlan implemented NetHunt CRM at the very start, the company's rapid growth is, among other things, associated with the successful use of the CRM system.

18x customer base growth

From 2019 to the present day, iPlan managed to increase the number of customers by 18x, from 53 to 968.

Personalised communication at scale

With NetHunt’s email campaigns, iPlan gets to accurately segment their database, send personalised emails in bulk, and assess their performance.

Less lost deals

Money wasted on numerous third-party apps thanks to NetHunt CRM’s sales automation and email marketing functionality.

Increased motivation

Thanks to reporting functionality, iPlan planners always know whether they’re on track to completing their goals.

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