Category: Blog Page

Case Study: Sloemotion Distillery

Yorkshire-based distillery Sloemotion Distillery needed to organise a mass of data or risk missing out on advanced marketing opportunities.

Read on to learn how KulaHub’s CRM solution and consultancy helped Sloemotion cleanse its data and improve its sales operations.


From the Hedgerows of Yorkshire


Sloemotion Distillery is a Yorkshire-based business that produces a range of delicious gins and other artisan spirits using botanicals and berries foraged from local hedgerows.

It was founded in 2002 by Joff Curtoys, with his brother joining soon after, and today it employs 20 people and offers a range of complementary spirits and other products.

About 50% of the company’s sales are to retail outlets, including around 500 farm shops and several major supermarkets.

The rest of its customer base is evenly split between bars and restaurants and direct-to-consumer sales.

However, Sloemotion’s B2B customers usually deal with hundreds of other suppliers and rarely have automated stock systems.

This means the sales team has to generate demand and encourage customers to reorder—a time-consuming task when you don’t have a suitable data management system to help.

As the company continued to grow, it became clear that it needed to find a more efficient way to organise its data and streamline its processes.

Sloemotion Distillery’s Data Challenge


Sloemotion’s B2B customers deal with hundreds of other suppliers and rarely have automated stock systems.

This means that the sales team has to generate demand and encourage customers to reorder.

As the business grew, its management found that the business software packages they had been relying on to organise sales data were ineffective for a large sales team.

The company faced several challenges, including:


Difficulties Managing Data

Sloemotion Distillery had 15 years of data and around 70,000 records.

This data should have been valuable; however, it was collected and stored on different departments’ systems.

The company was using spreadsheets, email calendars and accounting software, which aren’t designed to manage and utilise data.

Data managed in this way is time-consuming to use and its value is low.

There is often duplication of records, too. This is not only frustrating for the business but also for customers, who may be contacted multiple times by the same company.


No Oversight of Activities

Sloemotion has 7 sales people—a large team for a business of this size.

Tracking sales using unsuitable business software packages made it challenging to monitor the teams’ activities.

Managers wanted to see which team members were performing well and gain a clear overview of operations to judge business efficiency.


Missing Data Marketing Opportunities

Sloemotion wanted to understand critical sales factors such as customer tiers, sales patterns and buyer habits. To do this their data needed to be managed better.

Joff’s team knew it was missing an opportunity to use data to inform sales strategies and drive targeted marketing campaigns.

An urgent need for a more efficient data management system arose in early 2020. The pandemic meant that most bars and restaurants had closed their doors, and a large portion of Sloemotion’s customer base became dormant.

The company needed to make up for this loss by focusing their efforts on their retail clients.


Luckily, by this point the company already had KulaHub on board.


Recommended Data Experts


The Sloemotion team realised they had to start using data effectively—or risk dropping behind their competitors.

By early 2019, Joff was seeking a CRM solution and a fellow business owner recommended KulaHub.

Let’s look at how KulaHub has helped Sloemotion so far.


Data Consultancy

First, Sloemotion needed to rationalise its data. KulaHub audited and cleansed all records. This involved:

  • Transferring all data from the accounting software and spreadsheets to a central CRM.
  • Cleansing 70,000 records to focus on 1,000 businesses that were regularly buying.
  • Tagging up the data, allowing it to be searched and segmented instantly.

Now Sloemotion’s customer records are managed seamlessly. New contacts are added to a single CRM record the moment they get in touch, and their information can easily be recalled at the click of a button.


Training and Support

Getting started with a CRM with multiple capabilities could have been a steep learning curve for Sloemotion. KulaHub ensured their client hit the ground running by:

  • Hosting a two-day training course.
  • Teaching data management practices, including cleaning and processing data and how to tidy information in legacy systems.
  • Providing daily technical and operational support to ensure smooth set-up and operations.
  • Offering advice on how to get the best out of the CRM and marketing functions.

Sloemotion has opted for the full-year support package, so they’ll have KulaHub’s approachable support staff at the end of the phone whenever they need them.


Advanced Marketing Capabilities

Today, Sloemotion’s sales operations are more efficient and able to take advantage of data marketing techniques.

  • Alerts inform the sales team if a customer hasn’t bought stock recently.
  • A suite of customer management tools ensures that pipelines are managed between salespeople.
  • Customer orders are processed through KulaHub, increasing efficiency and ensuring sales data is recorded accurately.
  • Market segmentation allows customer groups to be identified by factors such as order history, type of business and average spend.
  • In turn, this enables highly targeted email campaigns.

Targeted email campaigns played a vital role in Sloemotion’s Christmas sales strategy. It identified 100 businesses that were likely to be low on stock in the run-up to the festive season. These businesses were approached with a special offer to help drive sales.


Efficient, Effective Sales

KulaHub has given Sloemotion control over its data and supercharged its sales team’s efficiency and effectiveness.

It’s still early days, and Sloemotion will spend 2021 exploring more of KulaHub’s capabilities—such as the CRM’s integrated dashboard, which will help management report on critical information like progress on targets, priority tasks and alerts to new enquiries.

KulaHub will also provide third-party integrations to automate more functions within the CRM and make management of Sloemotion’s online shop easier. These include:

  • Connecting the website’s online store with the Shopify ecommerce platform.
  • Linking the payment system to Xero accounting platform.


“I can heartily recommend KulaHub. Organising our database and switching to a CRM was a daunting task, but with their support it was seamless.

“We’ve had to focus hard on our retail customers due to lockdown and KulaHub’s capabilities have come into their own here, helping us to gain new customers and improve our management of existing ones.

“Recently one of our team moved on to another business. The company was looking for a CRM and my former colleague recommended KulaHub—that’s how satisfied our entire team is with the system!”

Joff Curtoys, Sales Director and Founder, Sloemotion Distillery.


KulaHub CRM enables you to discover opportunities, engage with customers, track performance and generate more sales.

If you’d like to learn more about how KulaHub can help you develop a data-driven sales process, contact Andrew Booth on [email protected] or call 0800 049 6044.

Make 2021 Your Data-Driven Sales Year

B2B sales leaders are constantly being reminded how data will transform their sales.

And these benefits are set to become even more pronounced thanks to the global pandemic.

A recent BBC news article stated that the UK economy could take up to three years to return to pre-Covid levels. 

Others predict that the country will experience several waves of company insolvencies as government support schemes end and businesses default on debts.

Face-to-face marketing channels have become less effective due to lockdown restrictions and there is now a greater need for proactive sales strategies that take you directly to the customer.

With the Christmas break now upon us, it’s a good time to look ahead to the new year and consider how you will put data at the heart of your sales process and get your business on a strong footing for 2021.

Here are three ways data will give your sales team the edge.


#1 Find Your Dream Customers


Most companies don’t need your product or service.

So you shouldn’t waste time marketing to them.

But that’s what most sales teams do, they spray and they pray, hoping to stumble on promising leads. The law of averages means most teams will make a few sales this way but it’s painful and ineffective.

Data-driven sales teams are more intentional.

They know what their ideal customer looks like and they use data to build a target list of similar prospects.

The power of data to build target customer segments is incredible. There are hundreds of filters that help you find your target customer.

At KulaHub we provide unrivalled insight on UK companies, data such as:

  • Estimated turnover, employee numbers and profit (even for micro-entities that don’t report these figures);
  • Detailed financial health data; 
  • Specific SIC codes provide detailed insight into the prospect’s industry; and
  • Location and key personnel.


#2 Get Your Message Right


In sales, product-customer-fit is vital.

Your product needs to meet the needs of the customer perfectly. So a buying decision becomes a no-brainer.

Like buying a cold drink on a baking hot beach.

Unfortunately, getting product-customer-fit right is normally more complicated than selling a cold drink on a summer day.

You need to clearly show your prospect why your product is the perfect solution to their problem.

Most businesses don’t personalise their marketing messages. They blast out the same message to vastly different customer types.

Data enables you to create messages for different customer segments and even individual customers. 

Let’s take a look.  


Company A is a manufacturer selling widgets to construction firms; they contact every construction firm telling them how great their widget is, what it does and how much it costs. They make some sales but are mostly ignored.

Company B sells a similar widget to the same audience – they have a very different approach to sales; they break their target market into six very distinct types, this is one example:

  • Construction firms with a turnover of over £10m (they tend to work on projects that need the widgets);
  • Are a financially secure (company B wants long term clients);
  • Have growing revenues (they find that growing companies tend to be more open to innovations like the new widget); and
  • Work primarily on road maintenance and building projects (these companies have a strong need for the widget).


Company B targets the above client type with very specific messaging, explaining:

  • How the widget supports large projects; 
  • The value the widget brings to road projects; and 
  • The high level of innovation and how it helps them grow.

Unsurprisingly, Company B is much more successful than Company A. They have created a marketing message that speaks directly to a smaller group of companies they know are a perfect fit for their project.


#3 Sell When There is a Burning Need


The first company to get in touch when a prospect needs to buy has a huge advantage. 

The right data gives you a stream of these opportunities every day.

Consider a company that has just experienced a large bad debt when a client goes into administration. They’re probably going to be interested in managing that risk in the future, credit insurers and data providers are two businesses that offer highly relevant services.

If a credit insurance company can hit at just the right time when a prospect has experienced a bad loss they have a much higher chance of making a sale.

Many triggers can give you an edge:

  • New companies setting up;
  • A new director; 
  • An improvement or decline in financial performance; 
  • Opening of a new location.

The list goes on. 


The Time is Now


It may seem an unlikely time to invest in new capabilities, however data will enable your business to survive 2021’s challenging economic conditions and come out stronger.

Of course, data offers benefits above and beyond surviving the recession.

Many companies will want to grow their business, while others will be seeking a competitive advantage to boost recovery.

Investing in data will enable this, providing sales teams with better leads, more effective marketing, the ability to visualise sales figures and the knowledge to continuously improve their processes in the future.


Master Your Data


Understanding that data can help grow your business or get it through challenging periods is one thing – but knowing where to start is less clear.

Sales leaders often don’t know where to start with data. To many it feels like an intangible asset that can only be mastered by those with a degree in computer science or with vast resources.

However, implementing a data-driven sales culture is more straightforward than you’d think and, with the right help, is quick to implement.

This is where businesses like KulaHub come in.

We help sales teams achieve more by arming them with easy to use marketing tools and data. 

We can help you to understand how data can increase your sales and grow your business. We’ll get you set up with the systems you need and provide you with close technical support throughout the system’s lifetime. 

Do this now and by the end of January you could have everything in place ready for the year ahead.

KulaHub CRM enables you to discover opportunities, engage with customers, track performance and generate more sales.


If you’d like to learn more about how KulaHub can help you develop a data-driven sales process, contact Andrew Booth on [email protected] or call 0800 049 6044.


New Feature – Call Outcome Category Automation

New feature

Great news, we have just released a new feature. We have implemented a long-awaited feature that allows automatic movement of contacts/organisations between categories, saving you valuable time and removing the human error aspect of your data movement between categories. Now, when you add/edit a call outcome ( hover over the cog in the nav and click ‘call tab options’ ) you also have the facility to create an automated process to move contacts through your categories.

But that’s not all! You also have the option to restrict backwards movement in the categories list, and you can choose whether to keep or remove contacts from other categories.

To set up the display order of your categories, head on over to the categories page ( contacts > categories ). You’ll see a new column down the left-hand side for ‘category order’, editing any category and selecting a value for the display order will auto-populate the other categories with their current order. From here, you can now re-organise your categories and utilise the new call outcome automation to move data through a category based process.

That’s it. You will now see your contacts automatically moved when you add a new ‘telephone note’ to their record containing a configured ‘call outcome’. Similarly, adding a new ‘telephone note’ with automation enabled ‘call outcome’ directly to an organisation, you will see the organisation and all associated contacts within that organisation moved to the configured category.

We hope you find this new feature useful – please do let us know if you have any questions, queries or feedback, we would love to hear what you think. Get in touch using our contact form, call us on 0800 049 6044 or email: [email protected]

Keeping business easy in difficult times

No-one needs to tell business owners and managers just how difficult life is at this unique moment in time. My business is ‘fortunate’ enough to be able to re-deploy to home working. A unique situation for a lot of people in my business, not so much for me as I’m used to travelling and home working, as I’m sure many senior managers are.

The critical issue here, is making sure the wheels keep turning when our work environment is turned upside down. Making sure we keep delivering value to our customers and clients, so that they can keep their wheels turning also.

In the uncharted waters we find ourselves in, we can’t let the tide rip us under or the entire supply chain will collapse. We have to find ways of staying afloat, and then making sure our bows are into the wave.

Many businesses will have continuity plans, for fires, theft and the like, but the breath-taking speed at which the COVID 19 has rolled us all over, really is something not many of us have been prepared for.

So, right now, it’s time to get back onto our feet, have a look around and figure out the answers to the questions we’re all facing:

• Can we keep our doors open?
• If so, how do we ensure productivity of staff can be maintained?
• How do we keep morale strong and communicate easily, clearly and regularly with staff and customers if or when we face lockdown?
• How do we make sure the meetings still happen even if they aren’t face to face?
• How do we keep our sales pipelines open, and turning the hope into gold?

But, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are over 1.5m people in the UK who work from home already. Many larger businesses are used to having senior management working remotely, and what about the legions of sales teams out on the roads, used to ‘checking in’ with their teams on a weekly basis.

Technology will clearly have a significant and positive impact for us all now that we’re facing isolation, on many different levels. I don’t know about anyone else but Day 1 of home schooling, and it already feels like it’s going to be a long slow climb out of this hole for many, forced to carry on from the relative (dis)comfort of our homes.

FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, gotomeeting, simplyvideo are all being used to connect us to meetings with family, friends and colleagues as we move inevitably towards a period of lockdown. Apps such as Fantastical and Bear Focus Timer can help us be organised and focused as we try and keep our P&Ls pumping from home.

For my business, our CRM platform KulaHub, is now more important than ever, ensuring we can centralise our operational, sales and marketing teams, communicate effectively with our customers via email and social media platforms, and make sure we are all fully aligned to our new purpose in the new world. It can automate so many of our business tasks, and connect to other platforms, all remotely, all from home! It’s certainly making business easier in these difficult times.

For those who are worried about the jobs, mortgages and livelihoods, there isn’t much comfort to be had, other than to say that this will be a temporary situation. I feel deeply worried for those in the leisure and travel sectors, who rely on customers coming through their doors. But for those of us in the services sectors, let’s keep the wheels turning.

This tragedy, is a human one. But we’re all in it together, and we all need each other to help us get out of it. Let’s keep on talking, providing care, comfort and humanity.

KulaHub is a technology platform with a human face. If you want to pick up the phone, or connect with myself, Andrew Booth, Rebecca Roberts or Scott Mackintosh and we’d be happy to talk to you and provide some common sense help or advice to keep the wheels turning.

How the right CRM system drives business growth

A good CRM system helps you to grow your business by improving the customer experience, drastically improving efficiency and ultimately increasing sales. Storing and tracking all your contacts in one place pays dividends.

However, I do appreciate that installing a new system can seem like an onerous task and you need to be confident that you are getting the right CRM system that serves your business best. With that in mind, here are my top 7 tips on what to consider before taking the plunge.

  1. If you have separate CRM, sales funnelling, email marketing and event booking systems, your team ends up spending a lot of time managing information and databases. Time that could be spent on your customers. Find a system that manages all this from a single point of entry – it will save you time, money and mountains of frustration.
  2. Looks are important – find a user-friendly system with an interface that is clear and concise, so that your team, with a bit of training will be able to master quickly. It maximises office efficiency.
  3. Flexibility – Choose a system that can be perfectly tailored to fit your needs, giving you and your team instant insight into the customer journey. This allows you to send the right messages at the right time to the right people.
  4. Plan your data – Find a company that will work with you in designing how to use your data optimally. Streamlining processes will enhance profitability.
  5. Many CRM systems have limited users, limited access or pay-by-user costs attached to them. This can make for inefficiencies and inconsistencies within your team. Choose a provider that will give you unlimited users, so everyone has a handle on the customer journey.
  6. Costs – The last thing you need is the strain of hidden costs suddenly appearing in the middle of the process. A good company will be upfront about costs so you can judge when you will get a return on your investment.
  7. Customer support – Ongoing support is a major consideration when choosing a CRM. You need peace of mind that if problems arise or you need help you can easily contact an account handler for guidance.

With the right integrated system, you will soon find you will save time, have a better handle on the sales funnel and customer journey, meaning you can focus on making more sales.

If you would like more information you can contact me at [email protected]