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Meet Lars Helgeson of GreenRope in Solana Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lars Helgeson.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Lars. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I began my career as an Air Force officer, after graduating with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in mechanical engineering. While my original focus was on biomedical applications, the Air Force decided to have me work in the space program, managing procurement of experimental satellites. It was an interesting start, but because the military didn’t allow for us to make any design decisions, I was relegated to a role of watching other people do the real engineering. After a couple of years, I was able to transition to a new position where I could do more engineering, and started working on my MBA. I separated from the Air Force in 1999 and finished my degree the following year, at which point, I moved back to San Diego where I had grown up.

After those years in the government, I knew that I would be happier as an entrepreneur, but I wasn’t sure what I would do. In those days, the Internet was new, and people were developing all kinds of ideas for how it could be used. I came up with the idea for CoolerEmail, one of the first email service providers, in 2000 and after working on it for a couple of years, launched it. It grew slowly over the next several years and then took off around 2005.

A few years after that, I started working on a little pet project for my hockey team to help us organize our team. I built a prototype of a group organization tool and from that, I realized I could meld those concepts with email marketing to make a CRM. The idea behind GreenRope was born.

I met with our CoolerEmail clients and found there was common pain amongst all of them – the data they were generating wasn’t useful outside the departments that were using their software systems. Marketing used marketing software. Sales used sales software. Operations used operations software. None of the systems talked to each other, and everyone worked in relative isolation.

GreenRope was built on the idea that software can be used to help solve the very human problem of data silos existing in businesses. A unified platform could save companies from the complexities of integration, which account for over 80% of the total cost of deploying sales and marketing software.

We launched GreenRope in 2011 with our minimum viable product (MVP) and have been evolving the platform ever since. GreenRope now helps over 1,000 companies in over 4o countries with what we call Complete CRM. Complete CRM is the built-in integration of sales, marketing, customer service, event management, project management, learning management, and more into a single, consolidated, simplified software solution. We have proven savings of over 90% in total cost of ownership of CRM software, and continue to help customers around the world every day.

Has it been a smooth road?
Owning a business is never a smooth road. Our biggest challenge today is the proliferation of misinformation, particularly around CRM technology. Businesses have been fooled by the traditional CRM approach, based on old-school thinking (e.g, Salesforce, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, etc.) that fragmented software an effective way to implement a way to manage sales, marketing, customer service, and operations. Unfortunately, this leads to very expensive, complicated implementations that contribute to high rates of unsatisfactory CRM implementations (depending on the study, anywhere from 40 to 70% of CRM implementations are “failures”).

Our constant battle is against the larger, funded companies who want you to believe you have to spend a lot of money for complicated CRM. These companies want you to believe you have to hire developers, architects, and engineers to build a complicated system of interconnected software programs because that’s how they lock in businesses. With our single platform approach, this isn’t necessary, but often times, it’s too late before companies realize they’ve been saddled with an ineffective platform.

In a large, mature industry, educating people that the big players are selling expensive, ineffective software is a challenge. Businesses look to large analyst firms, which are paid off by the same big players. Online advertising is dominated by the same players who spend a lot of money on PPC and SEO to spread this same misinformation. The unfortunate part is that small business are the ones who suffer the most, as they don’t have the resources to devote to fixing the problems that bad CRM can cause.

The good news is that there is a new breed of CRM that’s emerging to challenge the big players. GreenRope and a handful of other small businesses are shedding light on a new way to think about managing your business by integrated everything together in an intuitive, user-friendly way. Our hope is that we can buck the trend of overly complicated and expensive, siloed CRMs and help businesses grow effectively and efficiently.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
GreenRope is what we call a Complete CRM. We combine the various tools that businesses need for sales, marketing, customer service, and operations into one single, easy-to-manage platform. It is this integration that makes us special, as each component is automatically linked to the other. No extra integration work is required, saving our customers over 90% total cost of ownership.

GreenRope includes in every account: email marketing, marketing automation, surveys, websites and landing pages, e-commerce storefronts, email and landing page optimization software, form building, opportunity management, forecasting, funnels, lead scoring, predictive analytics, customer service ticketing, project management, a learning management system, knowledge management and knowledge base deployment, online media storage, electronic document signing, SMS/MMS communication and listening, click-to-call and inbound call management, online collaboration tools, calendaring, event management with registration, campaign and affiliate management, and much more.

GreenRope scales from the startup to large businesses with hundreds of users and millions of contacts, so we support our customers through the entire life of the business.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Back when I started my first business in 2000, San Diego did not have much of an ecosystem for startups. Now, with more co-working spaces, startup events like Startup Week, and a general attitude toward maintaining a work-life balance, I believe it is a good place to be. I think the city could attract more small-business focused conferences and events and work to rival larger hubs like San Francisco and New York. Everyone wants to come to San Diego, and bringing big events like AdTech here would put us on the software technology map.

Pricing:

  • Plans start at $149/month for up to 1,000 contacts. We don’t charge for users, sending email, websites, forms, or any party of our system that doesn’t involve a third party.
  • Larger plans scale up to millions of contacts at 1 cent/contact/month.

Contact Info:

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