A Story in Time
By Jason Allen, CMO at Crown & Caliber
I grew up around cars. My dad was in the automobile business, and from an early age I was exposed to the inner workings of these machines, focusing on performance and precision. Fast forward to adulthood and I, too, am now in the business of fine machines, with Crown & Caliber, a buyer and seller of pre-owned luxury watches. Like cars, watches don’t hold their initial value and tend to depreciate immediately, so the pre-owned marketplace is a pathway to an incredible machine at a fraction of the cost. It’s also a great business opportunity; the pre-owned luxury watch business did about $5 billion globally last year, according to Forbes.
Unfortunately, both businesses often suffer from a lack of transparency and consumer trust. At Crown and Caliber, we are opening up the process and winning consumer trust by providing value, an improved user experience, and consistent and informed customer support. Our team of 50 includes 11 on our watchmaking team and nine client success representatives who stock more than 2,000 pre-owned luxury watches from over 40 brands. We’re a young company, but we are seeing steady growth, and I believe that some of that is due to processes and platforms we have implemented, including our Customer Relationship Management platform from SugarCRM.
Untangling ‘The Snake’
By mapping our processes, we identified and fine-tuned some weaknesses. We have a process called “The Snake.” It is the path a watch follows from the time it comes through our doors until it is listed on our site. This process begins when a customer sends a watch we have agreed to buy. It goes through authentication and inspection. If it needs service or repairs, it goes to the watch-making team and then is sent through the refinishing shop. After that, it’s ready to list. Often, the same person was taking one watch all the way through “The Snake.” Once we created specializations in the process, and set up Sugar to track the timepiece, we cut the Snake time by 27 percent. Another challenge we faced was our inventory backlog. Watches weren’t getting into the process fast enough. They were just sitting in safes. With Sugar and the new processes, we cut that time in half.
Pipeline and Lead Campaigns
As we unclogged “The Snake” and cut the backlog of watches, we improved our insight into our leads and pipeline. About 80 percent of our business is B2C. For us, leads come through our website, paid search, partners, word of mouth, social media, and relationships with our retail partners. We know at a given time how many watches we want from those leads and our win rate. From this, we can build a model on lead generation to help us meet our goals, and Sugar helps with this. By monitoring the funnel, we know when we need to increase marketing to fill the top of the funnel, but more importantly, we know exactly what is in our funnel. This allows us to reach out to clients who may have questions before moving forward on a sale or purchase and aids us in planning our team’s workload because we know what is enroute. Do I think that we got our Sugar launch right the second time around? I think we did. Just my ability to pull numbers so conveniently and implement effective processes show that CRM gives us tangible insights that are, in turn, transforming our business.