For this event business there is no lack of moving parts, with several hundred events produced each year, Hip Entertainment & Events looked to ZBrains for help in implementing Zoho CRM after researching and testing several options.
For over 20 years, Hip Entertainment & Events has worked with clients to produce a wide array of events from weddings and fundraisers, to corporate events and headline entertainment. Based in California, they serve clients throughout the state, but have brought events to life in locations as far ranging as Hawaii and Mexico. The sheer number of events on their calendar each year means the team has to be efficient, effective, and highly organized. Finding a customer relationship management application was at the top of the needs list in order to streamline operations, avoid event chaos, eradicate dropped leads, and to ensure that each event executes flawlessly.
With their California-based team, Hip Entertainment & Events produces more than 400 events annually for private clients and public events. As the Owner and Executive Producer, Steve Bloom wears as many hats in the business as you can imagine; from his visionary expertise in events to the day-to-day infrastructure required to keep his teams operating at a top notch level, he’s got his hands on it.
As an historically growing business, finding a CRM solution to scale with the growth of Hip Entertainment & Events, was just one part of the challenge. They didn’t want to select a solution or a partner only to outgrow them within a couple of years. Because they hadn’t found a match, this inevitably led to disparate systems, some amount of siloed information, wasted time, and gaps in efficiency. “Before Zoho, we were a bit scattered trying out different systems, using email, using Dropbox, using various word processing programs for proposals, and so on. By integrating Zoho, we’ve really been able to bring it all together, and integrate everything into one platform. That’s the big takeaway that Zoho has allowed us to do.”
The challenge Hip Entertainment & Events experienced is not unlike what a lot of businesses experience when they begin the journey of selecting a new CRM. Their workflow expanded across about five platforms, and they were coming up against a disconnect in the organization between sales agents, sales process, lead tracking, and even social media. According to Bloom, “We were looking for a system that would allow us to interface everything – to integrate – so that we’re dealing with one main system. Zoho was the right fit. That [integration] was what brought us to Zoho initially, and then of course, the support from ZBrains to get us going in the right direction.”
Finding a Solution
After exhaustive research and trying many different systems, Bloom landed on Zoho because it was an integrated and scalable platform that fit his business. He remembers of his search for a Zoho partner, “when I was looking for a partner, I was kind of looking at the scope of their experience and, of course reviews and testimonials, and so on. Once we did the initial consultation, that’s what got us into the process with ZBrains.”
The ideal solution for Hip Entertainment & Events was not only scaleable, but also integrated their lead-follow up and proposal system into a fully realized sales process. Their integration followed through to include full-circle communication with the clients in the form of a custom client portal on Creator. From lead to cash, Hip Entertainment & Events could track it all – communicate, plan, and deliver – while ensuring a stellar customer experience.
Implementation & Results
After going through the ZBrains Business Process Analysis, the project began to take shape and Bloom recognized more potential in the Zoho solution he already had underway. “During that first month after we did the initial intake, we had a chance to spend some time with our consultant. We began to understand how Zoho and ZBrains would help us grow. And that was really crucial.”
In his own words, Bloom shares what value Zoho implementation brought to his business, “It really comes down to efficiency. Over the last few years, we’ve been growing steadily and Zoho has been able to help us scale our business, and help our sales process. I can bring in salespeople and using Zoho we can all be on the same page in terms of our responses and follow up. This leads our sales into project mode more easily. [Zoho is] really an organizational tool more than anything for us.”
When we talked about what’s on the horizon for Hip Entertainment & Events and their own Zoho ecosystem, Bloom said, the next natural step is tying in financial data. He shares, “we still have not integrated our financials. I think our next step would be to look at integrating QuickBooks online with ZBrains know-how.”
Speaking on the Record
Bloom says that his experiences with Zoho and ZBrains overall, have been really positive, “You know, I’ve got nothing but good things to say. [ZBrains is] super knowledgeable on the tech side and understanding Zoho, integrating with other systems, understanding them, or doing needs analysis. Really [working] to get a handle on what is best for us. And again, the ongoing support, and the response time has been great. Attention to our needs has been great. I mean, we’ve been really happy.”
He goes on to say that beyond ZBrains, he has found an great level of support from Zoho Corp itself when faced with business process questions as they relate to Zoho, “In fact, when I email Zoho directly, I usually get a response that same day both for tech and on the accounting side [for questions] regarding payments and things like that. I think Zoho’s got it going on in terms of the company and support.”
And he concludes, “I can absolutely recommend ZBrains and Zoho to other companies that are out there searching for solutions.”