Small Clients and One-Off Projects
Alessandro Bodo, Founder and CEO of Cloudnova, had ambitious goals to grow his technical consulting agency but struggled to reach them.
Since its founding in August 2012, Cloudnova’s customer base consisted primarily of small business owners. Alessandro was keen to serve enterprise-grade clients, even if he had to make fundamental changes to his business to do it. “We knew we would need to transform ourselves to grow,” says Alessandro.
Another long-standing issue was the lack of repeat, consistent revenue from clients. “In the beginning, 100% of our revenue came from one-off projects—and zero from retainer customers,” says Alessandro. This lack of retainer clients made it difficult for Alessandro to predict Cloudnova’s revenue and grow the company.
Finding the right tech stack for enterprise clients
Part of the challenge in landing enterprise clients was finding the right tech stack to meet their complex needs.
Alessandro was familiar with the HubSpot CRM Platform but viewed it as a marketing tool for smaller businesses. “At the time, its features were mostly marketing-related,” says Alessandro. “Plus, HubSpot had little presence in Italy then, so it wasn’t really a viable option for Cloudnova.”
Becoming a HubSpot Solutions Partner
This situation changed in 2018. At that time, the HubSpot CRM Platform transformed into an all-in-one platform for sales, marketing, and customer service for companies large and small. HubSpot also put a team in place to serve the Italian market.
With these changes, the HubSpot CRM Platform became an attractive option for Cloudnova. “When HubSpot added customer service to its software, with sales, service, and marketing on one platform, we saw that as a way to gain a competitive advantage in the market,” says Alessandro.
Thus, when HubSpot approached Cloudnova about becoming one of the first HubSpot Solutions Partners in Italy, Alessandro was immediately interested.
Alessandro was ultimately convinced to become a HubSpot Diamond Solutions Partner when he talked to HubSpot. “They weren’t really interested in teaching us how to sell their software,” says Alessandro. “Instead, they wanted to know about every aspect of our business to help us grow. It was the start of a transformative process.”
HubSpot Channel Account Manager
HubSpot provided Cloudnova with a dedicated Channel Account Manager (CAM) as part of the HubSpot Solutions Partner program.
The CAM played a crucial role in helping Cloudnova scale. “From the beginning, our CAM was very enlightening,” says Alessandro. “He helped us change our positioning to attract bigger customers and move from one-off projects to more retainer-based projects.”
Since then, Cloudnova has helped many enterprise customers solve their most complex problems with the HubSpot CRM Platform—and no Cloudnova customer illustrates this better than Positec.
After-Sales Support for a Flagship Product
Positec is a global manufacturing company located in Suzhou, China, with offices around the world. It specializes in the design and production of power tools as well as lawn and garden equipment.
Positec needed help providing after-sales support for one of its flagship products: a robotic lawn mower (distributed worldwide under the Worx brand name).
“We wanted to do everything possible to keep our existing customers happy so they’ll spread the word and eventually buy other tools within our ecosystem of products,” says Guido Lanaro, Head of Digital Transformation at Positec.
Seasonal deluge of service tickets
Positec’s flagship product is seasonal. Spring is a critical time as customers resume operation after winter storage. Spring is also the time when new customers contemplate buying a robotic lawn mower and have lots of questions.
These questions and requests for support come in multiple languages from diverse markets, including the U.S. and Europe, and across multiple communications channels, such as emails, social media, internet forums, and retailers.
“Everything happened at one time of the year,” says Alessandro. “And the questions were technical in nature, so Positec couldn’t just hire a bunch of agents for a couple of months to handle the load.”
Choosing Cloudnova and the HubSpot CRM Platform
After evaluating several different solutions, including Salesforce and Zendesk, Positec chose Cloudnova and the HubSpot CRM Platform for its ease of use and ability to scale with its multi-brand, multi-domain, multi-language company.
Cloudnova implemented the full HubSpot CRM Platform for Positec, including Service Hub, Sales Hub, and Marketing Hub. “Cloudnova basically started from scratch and designed our HubSpot implementation around our needs,” says Guido.
It's the type of project Cloudnova couldn’t have taken on prior to becoming a HubSpot Solutions Partner. “Positec has thousands of employees and more than $1 billion in global revenue, with different brands in different markets,” says Alessandro. “It’s a very complicated organization we couldn’t have touched if we didn’t have the right solution in HubSpot.”
Routing service tickets
After mapping and optimizing Positec’s processes, Cloudnova set up a HubSpot CRM conversation inbox to converge all customer requests, regardless of channel or country of origin. Next, they set up a system to categorize and route customer requests efficiently.
Cloudnova also integrated the HubSpot CRM Platform with Positec’s cutting edge IoT platform, providing customer service agents with real time information pulled directly from the connected mowers, including activity logs. “Now, whenever a ticket is generated, Positec agents can use this integration to diagnose issues and answer questions quickly and efficiently,” says Alessandro.
Cloudnova also worked with Positec to implement workflows to route tickets automatically and speed up the customer service process. “Positec uses automation to move tickets across different stages according to the responses,” says Alessandro. “And if a case is particularly complex, they can escalate it automatically to more senior agents.”
Integration of the IoT backend with the HubSpot CRM Platform also allows the team to extract data insights, which are funneled into a continuous product improvement process.
“These data insights propel the creation of the Landroid knowledge base, a self-help resource to provide users with up-to-date troubleshooting and tips,” says Guido. “The goal is to improve the deflection rate and, thus, reduce after-sales costs and product downtime,” says Guido.
Data insights to answer questions proactively
Positec is also using data insights from HubSpot CRM to identify the most common customer service questions and proactively address them. “We can see which questions come up most frequently and then address those questions in our customer communications,” says Guido.
For example, when Positec realized its customers often struggle to reinstall their mowers in the spring, Positec started sending out a newsletter every March that includes instructions for the procedure.
50,000 service tickets managed annually
With help from Cloudnova and the HubSpot CRM Platform, Positec is now efficiently managing 50,000 customer service tickets annually.
Further, the Positec project didn't end with the implementation of the HubSpot CRM Platform. Instead, it became a multi-year growth program that continues today. The team is currently working to increase inbound activity and will be rolling out a plan for editorial content in the coming months.
Guido has great things to say about Cloudnova:
“Alessandro and his team are experienced across the entire customer journey, from top-of-funnel to after-sale service and customer surveys. They’re very technically proficient and good at finding quick solutions to problems.”
1,329% Increase in Average Project Value
Positec is just one example of an enterprise client that Cloudnova migrated to the HubSpot CRM Platform to solve complex sales, marketing, and customer service challenges.
Cloudnova has helped many other enterprise customers solve complex business problems, as evidenced by a 1,329% increase in project value since becoming a HubSpot Solutions Partner (from $7,000 in 2016 to $100,000 today).
Additionally, about 70% of Cloudnova’s customers are on retainer, which provides greater revenue predictability.
The Cloudnova team also grew to meet the company’s business growth, scaling from five to 20 people.
Today, Alessandro continues to see the HubSpot CRM Platform—and the HubSpot Solutions Partner Program—as a competitive advantage for Cloudnova. “With HubSpot, you have everything on one platform, which is what most companies want. It’s a winning point.”