A stack of business cards can be a daunting project, that’s if you don’t know what to do with them. At the Small Business Expo in New York, I met up with an attendee, Ben Pianko, who was starting his own photography business, Benz Lenz. He had a badge holder filled with business cards, so I asked him what he was going to do with all of them. He wasn’t familiar with Customer Relationship Management, CRM, so you won’t be surprised as to what I obviously suggested.…
Building a small to medium sized business today has changed dramatically thanks to the “Amazon effect,” said Brent Leary, Partner of CRM Essentials in an interview at the CRM Evolution 2012 conference in New York City.
Before Amazon started offering web services, companies had to concern themselves with so many company-building issues that were not core to the company’s offering, such as software, hardware, capacity, and people who could manage all these technologies. Once Amazon started offering web and order fulfillment services that small businesses can take advantage of, it freed business owners from thinking about all this technology, said Leary.
While Amazon was one of the pioneers, there is now a slew of other companies offering these “in the cloud” and Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions. As a result, small businesses are building businesses and services much faster than ever before, Leary continued.…
Traditional marketing is seen as a necessary expense. It doesn’t need to be that way. The goal is to view marketing as a direct driver of revenue, said Bruce Culbert, Chief Services Officer for The Pedowitz Group, in his presentation, “Revenue Marketing Transformation and Marketing Automation for B2B Marketers,” at the CRM Evolution 2012 conference in New York City.
In his presentation, Culbert showed how companies can move their marketing department from just being seen as a cost center to a driver of revenue.
What is Revenue Marketing?
Culbert defines “Revenue Marketing” as marketing and sales working together to deliver more qualified leads to the funnel while increasing the speed and conversion rate they move through the funnel. If you’re doing it right it should be repeatable, predictable, and scalable.
Traditionally, the funnel starts with marketing.…
There is an endless number of CRM applications, and while we at Zoho always recommend choosing Zoho CRM, we thought we’d hand off the advice on how to choose a CRM vendor to a few consultants, Jim Berkowitz, CRM technology Coach for CRM Mastery and Eric Pozil, Managing Director for CRM Northwest.
The two led a discussion on “How to Select a CRM Vendor” at the CRM Evolution 2012 conference in New York City. They broke down the decision process into five stages: discovery, evaluation, vendor interaction, selection, and negotiation. Here are their guidelines for each stage.
Stage 1: Discovery
Form a CRM selection tiger team
Review effectiveness and efficiency of current processes
Determine needed functional requirements
Document current IT infrastructure and skill sets – Where is all your knowledge and data currently?
Determine preferred CRM delivery platforms – Cloud or on premise?…
In today’s competitive business world, many businesses are cutting expenses and saving money on payroll taxes by using independent contractors. Small businesses can be competitive and even experience growth by using contractors and keeping prices in check, however, there are criteria to consider before going this route. Be advised that the government isn’t a fan of losing employment taxes, so it is extremely important to follow the rules or find ways to work around them.
Independent contractors have a place in most companies.
When your company requires assistance from workers who can perform their duties on their own schedule without outside aid, independent contractors make the most sense. If the duty must be performed at a mandated time and in a specific place, the worker will be considered an employee by the Employment Development Department (EDD).…
“CRM applications are very data centric in nature, but if you’re actually going to use one you need to be process centric,” said Bill Band, VP and Principal Analyst Serving Business Process Professionals for Forrester, in our conversation at the CRM Evolution 2012 conference in New York City.
“While a CRM is great at collecting and storing customer information, it’s not so good at connecting business process from end to end,” said Band.
To be able to handle a case from beginning to end and deliver a great customer experience, Forrester’s clients are trying to add business process capabilities on top of their CRM systems.
While it’s key to have process, it’s often not necessary for a simple customer interaction into the CRM. Overloading the CRM with unnecessary processes is one of the key pitfalls Band sees with adding business process management.…
How do you improve the sales efficiency of your workforce of around 300 sales people, who document and submit their daily sales activities on paper forms? Simple. By moving them to a paperless system, that involves smart phones, a smart data collection app (eSurvey) and a reporting service on the cloud (Zoho Reports). That’s what the farmer owned cooperative, Southern States did.
Know more about how Southern States achieved an increase in sales of 20% and data accuracy of 100%.…