Four Separate CRM Instances
Avison Young brokers need complete information about their clients to deepen relationships and increase sales, regardless of where those clients do business around the globe.
“Our brokers need to know everything we’re doing with every client—not just what we’re doing in our own backyard but what we’re doing globally,” says Mike Hart, Global Chief Information Officer at Avison Young.
Unfortunately, Avison Young brokers struggled to get a complete picture of clients. The company was growing by acquisition—and thereby acquiring the CRMs of those businesses. Each CRM it acquired was separate from the others.
Phoebe Scott, Global Director, CRM at Avison Young, explains the situation:
“Some newly acquired businesses continued to use their existing CRM. Others had been part of Avison Young for a while, but had never taken the leap to consolidate.”
Low User Adoption
Avison Young had a CRM in place for the North America team, but user adoption was low with only 23% of Avison Young’s 1,600 brokers in North America using it and several groups within North America using their own separate CRMs.
“When only 23% of your brokers use your CRM, the value of that system to your organization is lost,” says Mike.
Manual, Time-Consuming processes
Because the previous CRM was challenging to use, Mike and his team provided Excel spreadsheets to the finance team for their forecasting, which was time-consuming.
“We had to pull reports from every system and then integrate them,” says Mike. “It was a significant amount of work and went against everything our culture stands for.”
The team also struggled to tie revenue to individual brokers with their CRM.
“We couldn’t see in real-time how brokers were tracking against their goals for the year,” says Mike. “This made it challenging for managers.”
Barriers to Sharing Wisdom
The siloed CRMs were also a barrier to sharing knowledge and best practices among offices globally.
“Some groups were doing amazing things but that wisdom wasn’t shared with other groups,” says Phoebe. “And if a group had a problem, they couldn’t see how other groups around the globe had addressed the same problem.”
Opportunity to Differentiate
When Mike became CIO, his priority was to consolidate and simplify client information and revenue reporting for Avison Young managers and brokers around the world.
“When you have four different CRMs, you’re not a true global organization,” says Mike. “You’re an organization in name only, with everyone working in their own silo.”
At the same time, he saw this as an opportunity to apply Avison Young’s brand values and differentiate itself from its competitors.
“We wanted something that was new, fresh, and aligned with our brand,” says Mike
Consolidating on the HubSpot CRM Platform
After researching different CRM tools, Mike and Phoebe decided to consolidate Avison Young offices around the world on the HubSpot CRM Platform. They would implement the full HubSpot CRM Platform, including Operations Hub Professional, Sales Hub Enterprise, Service Hub Professional, CMS Hub Enterprise, and Marketing Hub Enterprise.
Easy-to-use Features Encourage User Adoption
Avison Young brokers and managers around the world quickly got onboard with the HubSpot CRM Platform once they experienced its easy-to-use interface and features.
“HubSpot gives our brokers the features they need to work more efficiently,” says Mike.
Many brokers were already using the free version of HubSpot CRM for their own purposes, which also helped user adoption rates.
“Choosing something they were already familiar with seemed like a natural progression. And that decision has paid dividends,” says Mike.
Consolidated View of Clients Across the Globe
By consolidating global sales, marketing, content, and operations on the HubSpot CRM Platform, brokers now have complete client information available in a single view, regardless of whether their clients are doing business with Avison Young locally or in other regions.
This has empowered brokers to identify new opportunities for growth, especially with existing clients.
“We can see when we can offer additional things to clients over the lifetime of a contract,” says Phoebe. “Rather than have them go to our competitors, we can anticipate their needs and meet them before they arise.”
This ability to identify cross-selling opportunities has directly impacted Avison Young’s bottom line.
“We’re not just doing one-off deals,” says Mike. “We’re growing our share of wallet with clients as we present them with different solutions across our offerings.”
Consolidated View of Sales Activities
Just as importantly, managers have new data insights into the sales activities of the brokers they manage. They can see how many calls brokers make, how many contacts they add to the system, how many meetings they hold, and how many follow-ups they make.
“We have a complete view of all activities in our funnel,” says Mike.
Managers can choose to get as granular as they wish with these data insights.
“Some managers want to get into all the details,” says Phoebe. “Others want something more high level. With HubSpot, managers can tailor their approaches and manage their teams the way they know is best.”
More Accurate Revenue Forecasting
This cross-funnel sales information isn’t just important for managing brokers but also for accurate revenue forecasting at every level.
“We run our forecasts right out of HubSpot and never touch Excel,” says Mike. “We take our brokers’ target revenue for the year and use it to forecast revenue on a monthly basis and monitor how we’re trending.”
Collaboration Among Global Teams
HubSpot has also facilitated collaboration among different teams and offices globally.
“Brokers can see relationships, who shares those relationships, and how much business they’re doing,” says Phoebe. “They can see what strategies are working, collaborate among brokers and teams, and coordinate our client outreach.”
The HubSpot CRM Platform also gives these teams the information they need to plan and strategize effectively.
“Rather than making decisions based on anecdotal pieces of information, we have actual data that we can use to guide our conversations and strategy,” says Phoebe
Easier Process Implementation
Today, when Avison Young rolls out a new process, they only have to create it on one CRM instance, not multiple instances, which saves time in implementation, documentation, testing, and training.
As a result, Avison Young has improved agility with the ability to launch new processes quickly.
Appealing to Brokers and New Recruits
By choosing the HubSpot CRM Platform, Avison Young differentiated itself from other commercial real estate companies and stayed true to its brand values.
“Most brokers already know what they’ll get with other CRM tools,” says Mike. “We’re offering them something different and better—and that appeals to existing brokers and new recruits.”
90% User Adoption Rate
Within four months of consolidating sales, marketing, operations, and content on the HubSpot CRM Platform, the user adoption rate amongst Avison Young’s 1,600 brokers in North America jumped dramatically, from 23% to 90%.
Avison Young also consolidated four separate CRMs onto the HubSpot CRM Platform while also integrating with its finance system for the first time.
Today, 95% of North American revenue and 65% of global revenue is tracked on the HubSpot CRM Platform.
Just as importantly, Avison Young found a CRM partner that aligns with its values.
“HubSpot has a different culture than many of its competitors,” says Mike. “We’re not just a customer number or dollar figure to them. They look to us for what they need next in their roadmap just as much as we look to them to deliver solutions. It’s a true partnership.”