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Business Engineering

Supporting SLT Tours to treble business growth

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With travel restrictions easing this year, the world is opening up and people are travelling again. Tour operators are reaping the benefits. That has certainly been the case for SLT Tours, one of the UK’s leading providers of sports and study tours for children.

As a business, SLT Tours is thriving. But, the company was being held back by legacy business systems that could not cope with the huge increase in customer demand and enquiries. So, they approached A2Z Cloud to deliver a solution.

We chat with Paul Coleman, from SLT Tours, about how A2Z Cloud helped them to treble growth in 2022.

The customer

Formed in 1984, SLT Tours specialises in organising UK and European sports tours for schools and clubs. The team takes care of all the itineraries, travel arrangements, sports fixtures and day trips.

“Our tours are once-in-a-lifetime trips that many of the children will probably remember for the rest of their lives”, explains Paul Coleman, Business Development Manager for SLT Tours.

“We’re a relatively small business and we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of enquiries and bookings this year”, says Paul. “So, we needed the right technology in place to manage this demand.”

The team was reliant on an old database system that was not working well and they urgently needed to find a CRM that could cope with the demands of a rapidly scaling business.

“I’d worked with Lucy Beck, CEO at A2Z Cloud, some years ago”, says Paul. “I’d had a fantastic experience with the business and they seemed like an ideal fit for this project.”

Pulling out all the stops

Having discussed their business requirements in detail, A2Z Cloud recommended a Dynamic Start package to Paul and his colleagues. Developed by A2Z Cloud, this package allows small businesses to rapidly implement Zoho CRM. The developers create a ‘hub’ for capturing and storing data. Once this hub is up and running, it can be extended to support marketing, customer service, financial management and other operational activities.

“This package had lots of features already and it was very competitively priced. What was particularly appealing was that A2Z Cloud could get it up and running very quickly”, says Paul.

The team at A2Z Cloud pulled out all the stops to deliver the initial package within a matter of days.

The Dynamic Start package can be customised to meet business requirements. So, during the build, Paul and his colleagues provided A2Z Cloud with details of the key information they needed to capture – which enabled the developers to build custom fields and modules tailored to their needs.

Full visibility of business operations

The result is a top-class CRM that allows SLT Tours to manage the sales pipeline and tours in a smooth, seamless way – from one location.

“Zoho CRM gives the team full visibility of our tour management process whereas previously we were reliant on spreadsheets and email”, explains Paul.

As an example, the team at SLT Tours previously captured passenger information using email – which was a cumbersome and long-winded process. Now, they literally just send a link to Zoho Survey for the client to complete their details and this information feeds straight into the CRM.

Paul points out that Zoho CRM’s user-friendly interface played a big role in user uptake within the team. The CRM can be accessed from anywhere via the cloud – so members of the team can use the software on their PCs or mobile phones.

Alongside helping SLT Tours with customer relationship management, the new CRM is also helping with supplier management. This is a very complex activity as SLT Tours works with a large network of suppliers from around the globe.

“The more we learn about the functionality of the CRM, the more we’re using it”, says Paul. “It’s a very powerful tool for a fast-moving business like ours.”

More than just a CRM tool

Following the initial CRM implementation, Paul and his colleagues quickly realised that Zoho technology could actually deliver far more for the business.

“It was clear from the start that Zoho software had huge potential”, says Paul.

“The CRM has dramatically improved our business operations, allowing us to negotiate with key suppliers and communicate much more effectively and personally with our clients.

“But it also has much wider applications and we’re now using Zoho Social, SalesIQ, Analytics, Desk and Survey. Essentially, we’re running much of our business on Zoho and this has helped us treble our business growth this year”, he adds.

A2Z’s support has been at the heart of this project.

“We’ve benefitted from having the skills of a very experienced team to guide us through this process”, reflects Paul. “It’s also reassuring to know that they can help us with more difficult technical integrations in the future, if needed.”

Looking ahead

Now that the CRM is up and running, Paul and the team will be working with A2Z Cloud on integrating the CRM with their accounts systems and looking at developing customer-facing itinerary and tour-building apps.

“We believe that Zoho technology will make these innovations possible”, says Paul. “We’re really excited to see how Zoho can transform different aspects of our business, with A2Z Cloud’s support.

“A2Z Cloud had a really good grasp of our requirements from the start and, when we’ve had technical questions, they’ve always been really responsive and thoroughly answered our questions”, he says. “The team are also really nice people to work with!”