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Cole Information Case Study: SaaS Company Is Ready for Take-off

How do you help a 60-plus-year-old company improve its churn rate after it transforms from a print directory business to a Software as a Service (SaaS) model? This was the major challenge that Cole was facing when Austin Lawrence Group (ALG) first met with this leading provider of actionable consumer contact and demographic data that empowers small and medium-sized businesses.

Cole and its integration partners offer hyper-local marketing solutions for the real estate, property/casualty insurance and homes services markets. Cole also offers APIs for enterprise businesses that fuel a wide variety of applications, such as monitoring the impact of weather events like a hailstorm, or capturing the contact, demographic and psychographic information for a specific address.


After transforming into a SaaS model, two big challenges emerged for Cole. Its product lifecycle was starting to mature, and its one-size-fits-all pricing for unlimited access to its data, which its customers became conditioned to expect, were impacting revenue growth and profitability.

These challenges were contributing to a higher-than-desirable customer churn rate, but Cole wasn’t sure if these were the only major contributing factors. Cole decided it needed a health checkup on its business and hired ALG to review its marketing, sales and customer success initiatives and related operations for opportunities to improve its churn rate.

ALG identified that Cole’s relationships with customers were more transactional than customer success-oriented and there was no ongoing measurement of customer satisfaction. Also, Cole was using manual processes for sales and renewals. Since renewals were being run out of an accounting system, there was a lack of focus on customers. Cole’s sales, marketing and renewal teams were siloed in large part due to its customer relationship management (CRM) system. Cole needed new KPIs, SaaS-based subscription pricing and packaging, and automation to drive its business forward. 


To find the right solutions to help Cole retain its current customers and find new ones, the firm went through an extensive, independent review of several different software solutions and put huge metrics together on different companies that offer CRM packages, marketing platforms and various combinations of these and sales pipeline management solutions.

To automate Cole’s sales, marketing and service initiatives, ALG recommended:

  • Replacing its old client-server CRM system with HubSpot Sales.
  • Creating a customer success function that would be supported by Cole’s service organization.
  • Developing a comprehensive inbound and outbound marketing program and use HubSpot Enterprise Marketing to create nurture campaigns with customers via workflows.

HubSpot was a good fit with what Cole needed, but it was only one piece of the formula. Cole wanted to flip the switch on its old CRM system and accounting system it used for all billing.

Cole evaluated several different platforms from software vendors and realized that there was no single solution that could do everything. Therefore, Cole needed to find the best components and figure out how to integrate them so they could talk to one another in a two-way conversation.

To learn more about how ALG helped Cole Information integrate its software solutions for sales, marketing, customer service and subscription billings to meet customer needs and support future growth, click here to download our case study.

Read the Cole Case Study

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