Meet John Cheney, CEO at CRM Platform: Workbooks

Workbooks delivers cloud-based CRM and marketing automation applications to the mid-market, at an affordable price. We work consultatively with businesses to address their unique challenges. In doing so, we’ve been rated number 1 for customer satisfaction by G2 for the past six years.

Our CRM platform helps SMEs to grow revenue, enhance customer experience, reduce operational costs and improve decision making by joining up the entire business. We’re headquartered in Reading and we also have offices in the US.


How did you come up with the idea for the company?

Before Workbooks, I founded a cloud-based email security business. It grew quickly and, like many SMEs, we invested in various IT systems, including a CRM platform, accountancy software, email marketing and help desk solutions.

Before we knew it, we were processing customer information on multiple, disconnected applications. Teams didn’t have a shared picture of customers, which often prevented them from collaborating effectively. For example, without the financial information they needed, sales teams risked taking orders that couldn’t be processed.

So, we saw an opportunity to develop a CRM and business applications platform primarily for mid-sized companies. Our aim was to allow companies to build better businesses and remove the burden of managing multiple, siloed solutions. Along with traditional CRM, we wanted to provide tools such as order processing and customer support, joining up the customer-facing side of the business with a solution that could be easily integrated with accounting systems.

In addition, we wanted to deliver this at a more affordable price point than the major players in the industry and our software is typically 50 to –70 per cent less expensive than Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics.


What do you think makes this company different?

Aside from our price point, we also take a unique approach to implementation. We not only provide the technology, we co-invest with our customers in what we call our ‘shared success’ approach. This reduces the cost of implementation for customers while ensuring a joint focus on each project’s success. It starts with a workshop, where we ensure everyone within the customer’s business and ours is aligned and clear on the project, success criteria and scope. We then tailor the platform and provide training so that clients are ready and able to adopt it.

We recently conducted a survey which found that, for almost half of businesses (43 per cent), adoption remains the biggest obstacle to successful implementation; and 75 per cent of respondents said CRM ease of use is either essential or very important. Our approach ensures users are supported every step of the way.

From there, we continue to review the process so that the platform evolves with the needs of each business.

How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?

Like lots of businesses, we’ve established a hybrid working model for staff and have adapted our office space to reflect this. The way we deliver products has also evolved and we use new collaboration tools to enable us to serve clients remotely.

What can we hope to see from Workbooks in the future?

It’s an exciting time for the company; we’re continuing to grow our customer base in North America, and international expansion – in the US and beyond – is a key focus for us moving forward.