26 October 2021
Since joining EngageRM in early 2020, Neil has helped build the company into what we see today. We sat down with him to discuss his views on common issues companies face and how our CRM can help.
Take a moment to introduce yourself, what’s your background and what do you do here at EngageRM?
I joined as the Chief Technology Officer, Ned and I joined the company at the same time and were both involved in the re-launching of EngageRM. A big part of that relaunch was that Ned and I, along with Brett, the founder, were focusing on getting the right people and structure together. This resulted in Ned leading the business which allowed Brett to focus on our customers wants and needs. I come in to augment the team to understand how to marry business with the technology we use in our products. I’ve had a lot of experience working with bringing partners on and signing on staff overseas as well to be able to roll out our product and services to an overseas market.
What are some of the most common challenges or issues that you find that customers or potential customers are facing that can be solved by EngageRM?
One thing that’s clear to me is how there’s a mixture of customers who know what they want or think they know what they want. A large proportion don’t know what’s out there and what they are missing out on, they mainly use spreadsheets and old systems. Those sophisticated clubs, who understand the importance of technology, we understand quickly, we recognize their issues, and we solve them. For organizations who lack that sophistication, they are blown away by what we can do to improve their business.
One thing I have noticed that a lot of people don’t think about how they could better utilize their people to accelerate the benefits for their membership base or their ticketing base rather than just doing it the same old way.
I also love that EngageRM is born in sport. We’re not another technology company, we come from and are based in a sporting background, we understand the industry like no one else. So, clubs recognize that we know what it means to tick as a sporting organization. Other products have a more generalist approach, whilst we have narrowed in. That’s one thing I’ve noticed people are really seeing that we have that depth of understanding of their sporting environments, and we have the breadth of solution for what they need.
How is EngageRM different or unique compared to other companies and the other solutions that are out there?
From the people I’ve talked to who use other platforms, it seems like no one is happy with their solution. It’s slow or clunky and they aren’t getting any benefits from it. What we do is focus on trying to understand where other people are failing so our product can fit those gaps. We need to understand why organizations operate the way they do with other platforms so we can identify what’s missing in that product. With all of our experience, what we’ve been able to do with our CRM platform is build it out so organizations can do more with less.
Do you have any examples of where you’ve seen EngageRM exceed customers’ expectations?
For me, I see those first experiences where customers are amazed at what our platform can offer. It comes when they compare their current platform with ours and how we can fix the problems they identify. But we don’t stop there, we can give originations the fixes they need, but that doesn’t mean they know how to get the most out of their platform. We don’t put the blinkers on once we’ve developed a platform, we work with the organization to ensure they know how to squeeze all the juice from the lemon. In my opinion, that’s what sets us apart, we can fix issues and we provide support for our clients.
Where do you see sports and technology going in the future?
The biggest area that will change is in the fan engagement space. We’ve always had a good solution for corporate partnerships and an understanding of what it takes to make the partnership and corporate sales side of things work. But it’s now branching out to the grassroots followers of your sport. An example I know of is a sporting team here in Australia identified a pool of around 700,000 people who have loose ties to the club, and it was those people the club needed to engage and understand. Were they going to two games a year, and why only two games? What would it take to boost those numbers up? With our artificial intelligence, we can help clubs understand those 700,000 and help them engage that group. That is where the future of sports and technology are going, which is why a robust CRM is so important.
When creating the platform, what is at the forefront of your mind to ensure the client can extract the maximum out of the CRM?
There’s been a realization in all these organizations around the importance of tech and how it meets their needs. Sporting associations have a constant turnover of staff, so we need to create a platform that is easy to use and understand for those new staff. This is an area where there is infinite improvement and we know this, so we’re always pushing the boundaries. We need to learn from our customers how they are operating and what they are looking for, so we deliver the best product. Those details can be as miniscule as ensuring we use the correct dialect for our international clients, such as how ‘football’ describes a different sport in the US, UK and here in Australia. We take the lead in this, so for our clients, the uptake in our technology is swift and easy to ensure they reap the rewards EngageRM can provide them.