Crowdcube is shaking up the UK’s investment market by giving start-ups, early and growth stage businesses the opportunity to raise finance with the added benefit of being backed by the crowd. Since 2011, more £134 million has been invested through the online platform, successfully funding more than 350 pitches.
“We want to connect more entrepreneurs with the investors who can bring their dreams to life,” explains Luke Lang, Co-founder and CMO at Crowdcube. “People who don’t have access to capital can pitch their business online to more than 240,000 investors, including the general public. We’re creating an investment democracy.”
The crowdfunding revolution is in full swing, and with Salesforce CRM the world’s first and largest crowdfunding platform is going from strength to strength.
“In two years we’ve grown from 15 people to 100. With Salesforce solutions we’ve been able to scale with our core culture and values intact,” adds Michael Wilkinson, Head of Equity Investment. “The quality of the experience for both entrepreneurs and investors keeps us ahead of the competition and drives business growth.”
By empowering employees with a single view of the customer journey, Crowdcube has boosted efficiency, improved relationships with entrepreneurs and unlocked smarter decision-making.
Standing out from the crowd
Due to the nature of the investment market, entrepreneurs seek out Crowdcube on their own initiative. But by offering excellent customer service and increased chances of success, Crowdcube’s attracting and retaining more customers.
“As the largest company on the market we often get the first bite of the cherry,” reveals Wilkinson. “With Salesforce we can help more people and prevent them going to our competitors. It’s our exceptional service that brings people back the next time they need to raise funding.”
Sales leads are tracked, qualified and analysed from cradle to grave across multiple teams and geographies using Service Cloud. “With Salesforce, the whole history of any lead is available at the click of a button,” confirms Wilkinson.
Service Cloud is integrated with Crowdcube’s telephony system. Incoming and outgoing calls are automatically linked to an entrepreneur’s record in Salesforce, giving sales reps a single view of customer history and making it easier to add call notes.
Service Cloud solutions also enable Crowdcube to automatically filter emails by key words and link them to the appropriate customer. “Integration with our email and telephony systems helped boost user adoption and ensures our records remain up-to-date with minimal effort,” reveals Wilkinson. “If someone’s away and their notes aren’t up to scratch, we can fall back on emails to plug that knowledge gap without interrupting customer service.”
Thanks to these capabilities, Crowdcube’s different departments can collaborate much more effectively. “Information captured by the business development team feeds straight into Service Cloud. When the lead is passed to analysts they don’t have to ask the same questions twice – all that data is there waiting for them,” explains Wilkinson.
These capabilities not only improve service for customers, but also help employees maximise efficiency.“Salesforce solutions have helped us become more efficient in a period of dramatic growth,” explains Wilkinson.
A solid foundation for the future
Thanks to the Salesforce dashboards, the company also now has better visibility of its performance. This enables Crowdcube to set customer expectations more accurately, meaning fewer entrepreneurs are disappointed by unsuccessful pitches on the site. “Before Salesforce our success rate was 30 percent for pitches. Now it’s shot up to 55 percent,” confirms Wilkinson.
In the two years since implementing the Salesforce solution the company has delivered record quarters. It now owns 52 per cent of the crowdfunding market share and in Q4 alone matched its closest competitor’s revenue for the entire year.
“With Salesforce we’ve gone above and beyond what anyone expected. We’re performing better and we’ve seen business rocket from a £2 million company to a £75 million company since 2013,” Wilkinson adds.
Looking to the future, the company hopes to make smarter use of reporting and dashboards to unlock the full potential of the raw data stored on the system.
“We’re also looking into how the SF1 Mobile App can support our teams on the road,” confirms Wilkinson. “A lot could happen in the next 12 months, and with Salesforce we know it’s going to be an exciting time for Crowdcube.”