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Ascertia wins the trust of its customers and confidence in its future with Salesforce
Establishing a universal method of calculating the value of trust is a challenge that has exercised the finest business brains for many decades. What’s certain is that trust in business really matters – and without it, most business relationships with customers, partners, and employees will flounder.
But in today’s super-fast, super-sophisticated electronic business environment, where many relationships are strictly digital, traditional methods of building trust are no longer enough. Cybersecurity is a must. Welcome to the world of digital trusts.
In just 20 years, Ascertia has become a global leader in the development of the industry-standard technologies and services that enable today’s digital businesses to trust each other, by delivering the confidence that everyday business interactions – through people, devices, data, and documents – are secure and legitimate.
Today, its market-leading solutions in digital signature creation, verification, timestamping, secure archiving, and electronic identification validation are used around the world, by governments, banks, and financial institutions, telecoms giants, and global oil and gas companies, as well as thousands of smaller businesses too.
The excellence of its technology – and a boom in demand for digital security solutions accelerated by the additional constraints imposed by COVID-19 – has resulted in 630% growth for Ascertia over the past five years.
Generously, CRO - Commercial and Enterprise, Sam Crook is quick to acknowledge Salesforce’s role in helping the business to flourish. “Salesforce has been fundamental to our huge growth over the last five years. I’m convinced it will continue to drive exponential growth and help us scale the organisation to new heights as we continue to drive forward,” said Crook.
Headquartered in London with operations in Dubai, Lahore, and Singapore, Ascertia has a worldwide reputation in its field as an important influencer in establishing global standardisation in a young and fast-moving industry, and for the customer-friendly quality of its solutions.
For example, its bespoke SigningHub product and cloud service is a complete electronic signature and document approval system, featuring bulk signing, local signing, and a new remote signing functionality, ideal for organisations for whom certainty and security are paramount, but which require all of the technical complexity to not compromise the user experience or simply be handled by a trusted hosting partner.
As well as serving many of its own direct customers, Ascertia is also a key technology partner within a network of more than 80 resellers, distributors, and systems integrators, that all recommend Ascertia technology and strategic consultancy as part of their own security solutions and services.
Ascertia’s partnership with Salesforce began in 2015, as the company looked to translate its technical expertise into commercial success and sustained revenue growth.
“We wanted to professionalise our entire sales and marketing operation, to build a fully functioning, high-performance sales machine that was easy to manage, could drive the business forward, and enable us to grow at speed,” explained Crook.
Both Crook and Head of Business Development, Chris Piercey had used Salesforce earlier in their careers and understood its capabilities and value. Mike Hathaway, Chief Technology Officer, agreed: “We chose Salesforce because it’s the undoubted market leader in customer relationship management systems.”
Said Piercey: “We were starting with a blank piece of paper, so it was great to be able to go straight to the best platform that we knew could meet all of our requirements, in particular, to capture all of our data in one place and to use that data to drive decisions and activities.
“We didn’t go too far too soon, we just constantly challenged ourselves and asked ourselves lots of questions, all with the aim of defining what data and what processes we needed from our CRM in order to get to where we wanted to be. Then we simply deployed those elements of Salesforce to provide the answers.
“To have that ability to grow our own CRM organically, to evolve at our own pace, meant that what emerged was shaped precisely around our needs. It was great to be able to experiment with the system, to try things, without overcomplicating or getting more sophisticated than we needed.”
Focus on selling
To ensure its data is constantly updated, Ascertia’s sales and customer success teams used the Salesforce AppExchange to add Cirrus Insight to its sales armoury, automating the capture of email in Salesforce, eliminating time-consuming data entry tasks, and enabling people to focus on selling.
While the quality of its technology is acknowledged throughout the industry, Ascertia knows that achieving its goals also requires market-leading customer service. To ensure this is the case, in early 2020 it expanded its Salesforce portfolio with Service Cloud and later Experience Cloud.
“As we were growing, our ability to scale our support activities just couldn’t keep pace,” explained Head of Operations, Ashley Morris. “Our account teams are selling support services to our customers, so the quality of our service delivery needs to match the quality of everything else we do, the whole experience needs to be seamless.
“Service Cloud gives us a single view of the customer, where we are against service level agreements, how we are performing, the speed of our response, which cases are being prioritised, and why.
“We can see the pain points, spot trends and see potential problems before they occur, and then take the necessary actions, such as providing additional training and support for our technical teams who are assisting customers as they use our technology.”
Within three months of moving onto Service Cloud, Morris reported a 25% reduction in ticket response times, down from an average of more than nine hours to under seven. Today Ascertia’s average response time is just over two hours, with further improvements to come as resources to enable self-service come on stream.
“We now know what our history is with customers and partners in fine detail,” explained Crook. “When we meet them we know what’s going well, what’s not going so well, whether there are outstanding tickets. All of that information is essential in managing relationships, being alive to issues before they turn into problems, and having more productive conversations instead.”
Collaborating, connecting, and sharing ideas
Extending its relationships with its customers and partners a step further with Experience Cloud was the next natural step for Ascertia.
Said Crook: “We had a great partner event, with so much knowledge sharing and collaboration. We wanted to bring everyone together in a more permanent way with a dedicated platform with information and opportunities for customers and partners to collaborate, connect, and share ideas.
“The Ascertia community on Experience Cloud, has been a real game-changer. It’s great for our positioning as an industry leader, but it’s got great practical value too. For example, enabling customers and partners to access our products, documentation, and other materials. It’s available as a mobile app on iOS and Android too – serving useful content and notifications to our customers and partners and the feedback has been fantastic.”
Crook says that by relentlessly doing things as efficiently and productively as possible, growing the business at a continual exponential rate every five years is an ambitious but achievable goal.
“Salesforce has equipped us with the systems and processes part of our journey, it’s highly structured and automated, yet extremely flexible and adaptable as our business evolves. It’s always got something there for us, like Service Cloud and Experience Cloud, just when we need that extra value. It’s helping us scale, that’s the most important thing.
“When you have the tools, the data, and the business intelligence that delivers, it provides us with real confidence in the future. Equally, we know there’s so much more we can do with Salesforce, adding more elements as we go.
“We want to add additional automation into our systems, integrate with our accounting system, and potentially begin to use CPQ to become even more customer-centric.
“Our challenge has always been to bring the quality of our technical, sales, and support service expertise into equilibrium with a single view of the customer. Salesforce has played a vital role in achieving that, and that’s what gives us such confidence in our future, and our ability to achieve exponential growth.”