How I Increased Productivity 4X with a Custom CRM

How I Increased Productivity 4X with a Custom CRM

"This is way cleaner and 100% more useful than Zoho CRM."


DSI provides customized, professional, and proven dependent verification solutions to companies and municipalities that need to tighten their employee benefit costs and remain compliant with government regulations. DSI's dedication to exceptional customer service and outstanding reputation make them a leader in the dependent verification space.

DSI used several applications and spreadsheets to maintain both sales and project data. With it often fragmented, staff had to look throughout their vast piecemeal infrastructure for the information they needed. This inefficiency slowed productivity and made task completion cumbersome for the team. Even more, the closed deal rate dipped due to missed follow-ups on sales opportunities. DSI tried many CRM platforms over the years; none worked out long due to their massive feature lists and lack of customization. It was clear I needed to develop something unique to DSI, which meant building from the ground up.

Project Goals

A long, complicated sales cycle (and an even more complex onboard experience) brings plenty of follow-up communication and a substantial amount of data to track. DSI needed a way to ensure no prospect or client slipped through the cracks while maintaining peak client support. They wanted to keep the growing marketing database clean at all times while providing a hub for Account Managers and Sales Reps to access the information along with real-time deal notes and figures associated with the contacts. Last on the list, a little automation to smooth client interactions would be the icing on the cake.

Project Details

With a limited budget, I wasn't going to be able to design a new platform and hire out a development team to build the application. Even more, the need for developers would slow the process down, and DSI needed a solution right away.

After a little digging, I came across the Knack platform, which boasts a ground-up databasing system with no code required. Knack immediately captured my creativity in that it freed me up to focus on the information architecture and not coding the platform. I found myself able to build feature-rich databases, almost effortlessly. Combine that with my object-oriented programming knowledge, and we were off to the races.

The best part of the entire project is that no feature sits unused. Everything I designed is for the DSI Team and them alone. There's no scope creep or feature bloat with this project because we only built the team's essential items.


The DSI Sales Team now trusts my custom CRM solution to manage a pipeline rich with over a million dollars in revenue on the line. The team notes a more than 4x productivity improvement with more outbound activity than the company had seen in its history. Even more, team members report a better grasp of the projects they're working on and a better understanding of where deals are in the process.

Knack was the perfect solution for this project, and it's a platform I've been experimenting with for other projects. I highly recommend it for database needs. DSI is thrilled with the application I built for their team, and I continue to add features to it monthly as the team's needs change, and the company grows. Overall the CRM project was a resounding success for DSI.