Conversion Rate Experts

April 29, 2016

In just one week, a member of our team had 39 online meetings with people in 11 countries. Using GoToMeeting, he can not only talk to clients at the touch of a button but also share his screen and give high-quality visual presentations.
- Ben Jesson, CEO and co-founder, Conversion Rate Experts

Conversion Rate Experts (CRE) is an international consultancy that applies a
scientific methodology to optimise the profitability of online businesses, including
leading brand names such as Apple, Sony, Google and Facebook. The business
was founded in 2006 by Internet marketing expert Ben Jesson and former
scientist Dr. Karl Blanks. They met while working as in-house marketers for an
international telecoms company, where they developed a new scientific approach
to increasing the effectiveness of websites. Within 12 months, sales at their
firm tripled and the pair decided to strike out on their own as consultants. Soon
after, Google came across what Jesson and Blanks had developed and invited
them to be among the first consulting partners for Google’s split-testing (A/B
experimentation) software. Today, CRE is based out of offices in Staffordshire,
with 30 of its expert consultants located remotely across 12 different countries.

The challenge: building a borderless business

CRE’s first five clients were based in the U.S. To collaborate with them as
effectively as possible, Blanks trialled various solutions for online meetings and
remote collaboration. With integrated HD video conferencing, screen sharing and
audio conferencing, Citrix GoToMeeting had not only all the technical features CRE
needed but also the best ease of use, making Blanks confident that it was the
right collaboration tool for the business. 

CRE continued to develop as a technology-empowered remote working
business, which had a big influence on many aspects of its evolution, including
recruiting new talent. “Our first hire was an accountant and bookkeeper based
in Manchester,” said Jesson. “Initially, he had thought it would be difficult for him
to work remotely, but in fact it has been quite the opposite. For family reasons he
now spends most of his time in Sweden, which hasn’t been a problem at all.”

Saving time and communicating cost-effectively with GoToMeeting

Overall, CRE’s main motivation for adopting a flexible culture with remote working
technology has been to cut down any wasted time. The firm seldom visits clients
during the course of projects and often doesn’t meet with them to begin with
either; everything is done using GoToMeeting.

“In just one week, a member of our team had 39 online meetings with people
in 11 countries,” said Jesson. “Using GoToMeeting, he can not only talk to
clients at the touch of a button but also share his screen and give high-quality
visual presentations. All our consultants are well paid and real experts at
what they do, so the idea of making them spend lots of time travelling is crazy
and counterproductive.”

As well as helping existing staff manage their work-life commitments more
effectively, the decision to allow CRE’s staff to work remotely also removed the
physical barrier to recruitment. As an example, current team members include two
former eBay managers from Vienna, a bestselling book author from Boston, U.S.,
and a former Apple project manager from Switzerland, none of whom would have
been prepared to move to the UK.

To manage client projects as effectively as possible, Blanks and Jesson say it
is crucial to define processes for keeping in contact. Equally as important, clear
objectives and productivity goals are needed to help consultants stay on track.
“In many ways, this is a much more effective way of measuring performance
than, for example, dictating someone is at their desk between 9 AM and 5 PM,”
said Jesson. “We don’t ask people to fill in timesheets because it’s a waste of
their time, and we’re more interested in seeing results. Productivity tools such as
GoToMeeting tie directly into this more flexible structure and ethos, making them a
real enabler for efficient working.”

Increasing brand awareness with GoToWebinar

As the business grew, the team adopted other cloud-based collaboration
technologies, including the easy-to-use webinar tool Citrix GoToWebinar, which is
used for lead generation. Prior to organising their own webinar events, CRE had
presented marketing webinars that were organised by partners and encountered
numerous technical problems. “We now always insist that we’re in charge of the
technology so that we can make sure everything is set up properly,” said Blanks.

“To avoid any drama, we have a checklist which we run through before starting.
Having a preparatory call and then dialling in half an hour in advance really
helps avoid last-minute panics and ensures everyone knows what area of the
presentation they are responsible for.”

Blanks has no doubt about the positive effect of the firm’s regular marketing
webinars, especially when it comes to brand awareness. In particular, he said they
offer an effective way to keep in touch with followers. “We purposefully don’t have
a call to action at the end,” he said. “We’re not trying to influence an immediate
purchasing decision but rather share some of our ideas and attract kindred spirits
to our business. They often apply to work with us – or become clients – months or
years after they first attended one of our talks.”

Benefits

  • Completes remote working toolkit for dynamic consultancy
  • Enables global collaboration between consultants and clients
  • Widens pool of specialist consultants available to the business
  • Supports effective, low-cost webinar marketing programm
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