How Generator used Salesforce to scale up its flexible workspace business
Among the shared workspaces Aucklanders are flocking to as they seek more flexible ways of working, one name stands out for its prestige locations and great service - Generator.
The flexible workspace operator rents hot desk, resident desk and private office space at convenient, purpose-built locations around Auckland, such as Britomart Place and Grid:AKL in the Wynyard Quarter.
When John Moffett joined Generator as a Sales Director in 2017, the company had 2,800 square metres of space in its portfolio. A little over three years later, that has grown 400% to 13,500 sqm, with Generator primed to launch its first shared workspace in Wellington next year.
Anticipating that growth back in 2017, the Generator team realised they needed a better way of handling sales leads, customer relationship management and communications as more businesses and individuals chose to work in their spaces.
Back then, data was locked away in spreadsheets and a system that amounted to a large address book. It was difficult to get visibility into the sales pipeline and to nurture leads in a personal and efficient way.
“What we needed was a product that could help us streamline sales and win more customers,” says Moffett, who now leads a team 40-strong as General Manager at Generator.
“We started looking for something that would not only get us through that first initial growth phase but scale with us as we grew beyond that.”
It was clear from day one, says Moffett, that Salesforce was a strong contender. Generator was looking for more than just a customer relationship management (CRM) platform. It wanted data-driven insights that would inform the company’s growth.
Running space management and finance software specific to the shared workspace industry, Generator also needed a system that was compatible. Salesforce ticked that box too, with data feeds and integration allowing the Generator team to work with their data in a more meaningful way.
It helped that the Salesforce team was also a Generator customer, with staff at one of its shared workspaces.
“Having the Salesforce team in our building was fantastic,” says Moffett.
“Rather than email back and forth, I could just knock on their door with a question. We probably saved around three months in the process of moving to Salesforce as a result.”
Generator is now drawing on several aspects of the Salesforce platform.
From sales to service
Using Sales Cloud, Generator has streamlined workflow surrounding onboarding so that it can be sure things like access cards are ready and waiting when the customer first walks through the door at a shared workspace.
The business is also using Service Cloud to bring similar efficiencies to IT support and now has detailed reporting on cases which can be used to drive future improvements.
Pardot, the powerful Salesforce marketing automation solution, has also come into its own, particularly as Generator has navigated the disruption of moving in and out of lockdown during the pandemic.
“Our business is based on flexibility and community, so it was crucial for us to provide that to help our members get through the hard times,” says Moffett.
“Pardot became a key way in which we communicate with them, advising them about Covid-19 updates and changes to our events schedule. This is going to be the nature of the world for the next wee while, so it’s great to have Pardot to draw on.”
Moffett credits Salesforce for enabling Generator’s stellar growth and giving it the tools needed to scale.
Says Moffett: “For me personally, Salesforce is more than a CRM and enabled us to grow by scaling with us. If I had any advice for other small businesses, it would be to look for products like Salesforce that will allow you to scale now and in the future.”
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