The 7 Project Manager Personalities: Which One Are You?

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With the myriad of project management resources available today to ensure organized and successful project completion, one could argue that the need for a personal touch is obsolete. However, as cloud computing and mobile apps have expanded our horizons for task completion, team work is now more important than ever to connect all the dots. Most importantly, the role of Project Manager – including his/her inherent abilities and personality traits – significantly affects the overall momentum of a project.

Maybe you fulfill the role of Project Manager (PM), or maybe you work with one on a regular basis. Do you notice a connection between the PM’s personality traits and the outcome of a project? Maybe your PM is a “Strategist” type that envisions every detail of a project and therefore actively ensures each team member is doing his/her part. Having a clear grasp of a PM’s personality type, specifically how he/she communicates and interacts with others, can be very helpful in getting tasks done in a timely and satisfactory way.

So we’ve put together an infographic of the 7 Project Manager Personality Types, detailing the essential characteristics of each. Whether you or your PM is the type of “Micro-Manager” or “Mentor”, keeping an eye out for these particular traits will ease interpersonal relationships like no online or mobile app can.

We’d love to hear your thoughts: Can you relate to any of these Personality Types? Have we missed any? Let us know in the comments!

Results: We organize our support team by…

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Whenever I speak to customers, I realize how each of them is different from any other. Each of them has a different way of defining quality and a different philosophy that leads to quality. Their businesses are influenced to a great deal by their beliefs and philosophies.

The most fundamental aspect of a business’ customer service philosophy is how to organize its helpdesk team. It influences hiring and staffing decisions. It even influences the profit margin! And, that’s exactly why we asked this question on our poll last week.

We had chosen to ask the question to just managers and administrators. The results have come in and their opinions are very clear!

Results: We organize our support team by...

By product

About 34% of respondents said their support team was organized by product. If the support team is small enough, it’s very useful to assign a DRI within the team to each product. Managers can kick chaos out and get a clear picture even in intra-day operations.

By channel

While 17% of respondents said their support team was organized by channel. Highly active channels like Live Chat, Phone and Social Media require an agile-yet-well-thought-out response, whereas a passive channel like email doesn’t require as much agility. If you staff each channel by a person who’s apt for its requirements, delivering happiness to customers everyday becomes a habit!

By time zone

Only 8% of respondents said their support team was organized by time zone. Organizing by time zone is efficient only for companies with a few simple products and just one or two channels. Even in that case, unless customers are distributed across various time zones, this approach doesn’t prove to be convenient enough.

A hybrid approach

Finally, the big fish. About 41% of respondents said they used a mix of these approaches to organize their support team. This is, by far, the most practical approach. It’s dynamic and, if applied well, can solve almost any problem of efficiency. We use a hybrid approach even at Zoho. Some of our support agents focus on just one channel or two, some just focus on a few products. And, we even have different people for different time zones.

If you’ve seen something that defies the pattern of these results, feel free to let us know in the comments section below.

We’ll be back next week with another interesting question! Until then, have a great weekend!

Unbounce and Zoho CRM: Convert More Leads into Customers with Optimized Landing Pages

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This is a guest post by Georgiana Laudi, Director of Marketing, Unbounce, a self-serve hosted service to create, publish & test promotion specific landing pages without the need for IT or developers.

As a marketer, maximizing the value of your budget is second nature. As a smart marketer, you know that increasing your conversion rates is the way to do this. Building and optimizing targeted lead gen landing pages will give you better ROI and more leads from less traffic. But this usually means relying on IT which can be a slow (and painstaking) process.

Good news!

Unbounce is the easiest way for you to build, publish and test targeted landing pages without the bottleneck of IT.

This means that you and your team can focus on getting the job done: creating, measuring and optimizing your campaigns for higher ROI. You will still charm your leads into long-term, faithful relationships like, let’s-pick-out-curtains, long term which with Zoho CRM is a snap.

That’s why Unbounce now integrates with Zoho CRM.

Zoho is an industry leading CRM and incredibly popular among the Unbounce faithful. And we’re thrilled that you can now enjoy the two together.

How Zoho CRM & Unbounce Work Together:

How to Integrate Unbounce with Zoho CRM in 90 Seconds:

It’s so easy to integrate that you probably won’t need it, but for the full support article click here.

Goodbye Late Payments: 10 Tips To Help You Get Paid On Time

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Get Paid on Time

Slow and steady never wins the race when it comes to chasing late payments. It is nasty and time consuming especially for freelancers and small business owners. Here are some tips that might help you to avoid late payments and get paid on time.

1. Plug the gaps in customer data

Confirm your customer’s ‘current’ address – both Web and postal addresses. Find out the person who will actually be making the invoice payment and contact him/her. Ensure to use a good invoicing software to keep track of customer data like customer balance, pending invoices, email communication and much more.

2. Set clear expectations

Remember to mention your payment terms and late fees clearly on the estimate or on the invoice. Add a discount factor for the payment that has been made early. Let’s say, if the payment is due in 30 days, offer a discount of 2% for the full amount that is paid within 10 days.

3. Invoice right away!

There’s no perfect day to send the invoice. Once the work is complete, send the invoice immediately. As the project is still fresh on your clients’ mind, chances are high that you will receive the payment on time.

4. Don’t be lax in your terms of payment

Be it a friend or your BFF (best friend forever), do not be lenient when it comes to the terms of payment. When you give the clients a leeway in regard to payment terms, it might appear that you are being nice (to yourself), but honestly, you are hurting your business.

5. Call when necessary

Be ‘proactive’ and give a call to your client to confirm the receipt of invoice. Sometimes clients can ‘miss’ the email. Also, calling can be a good way to establish and maintain a personal connection with your client.

6. Stick to the schedule

When the clients are overdue on payments, remember not to sound pushy or needy. Following up too quickly or without any pattern might appear as if you are running behind your client with a club. If you feel that manually tracking the invoices that are overdue and sending reminders are a pain, then try the automated payment reminders.

7. Be polite yet professional

Ensure all your communications are nothing but professional. One late payment incident shouldn’t be the reason you harangue the customer for eternity. Use ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’.

8. Be flexible when accepting payments

Accept all modes of payment – cash, cheque or online payments. Some customers are finicky while making payments; give them all the options available. If you haven’t already, then start accepting online payments from your clients. Freelancers and business owners who use the payment gateways supported by Zoho Invoice claim that accepting online payment is quick and painless.

9. Down payments might help reduce heartburn

Not every business model requires this, but wherever possible, ask for a down payment upfront. Startups may cringe as this might turn off new clients, but hey, they wanted you to do the job because they liked what they saw. So ask for some amount upfront, if not for the full.

10. Know a lawyer… just in case

You might find this to be absolutely unnecessary, but it wouldn’t hurt to get a legal opinion on customers who turn defaulters rather than adding your name and amount to the world’s longest invoice.

Following up with your customers in a scheduled, process-driven manner will ensure the smooth flow of cash into your accounts without you actually having to sound like a broken record.

Have you had experience tackling late payments? Share them with us. We’d love to hear them.

 

Just In: Customize Charts to your Heart’s Content!

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Yes, Zoho Reports now offers quite a few customization options for a chart. Let’s see how a chart transforms when its settings are customized. Below is the default chart you would get when plotting Apple’s quarterly revenue numbers (from 1Q 2011 to 1Q 2013).

Click Settings at the top-left and it brings you the ‘Settings’ wizard.

In the General tab, you can set the chart’s ‘Title’ and ‘Description’. The next Axis tab will look like the below.

You can change all the values of the Axis parameters.

And you can set the Borders & Colors too.

We will leave out the last Threshold tab for now (who are we to set a threshold for Apple’s sales? ;) ). Your chart with the settings modified will look like the below.

That’s quite a transformation from what you saw as the default chart, right? Try your own settings for the charts you create in Zoho Reports now.