A1 Energy, an energy consulting firm, first opened its doors just over a decade ago. “We were selling energy efficiency before it was cool to be energy efficient,” Jon Porreca said.
Porreca is one member of a small, family-centric staff that manages the day-to-day administrative operations in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a town roughly 80 miles west of Philadelphia. A1 Energy partners with contractors to assist governmental agencies, industrial, and commercial clients in maximizing their energy efficiency.
“When the go-green movement hit that really helped the energy industry, and it helped our business grow,” he said. “We got our start with coordinating the installation of high-bay industrial lighting systems, and to this day, lighting is still a lot of what we do.”
For a lot of small, family-owned businesses, effective communication and streamlined project management are vital to success. Every penny spent on a time-saving office suite or on CRM technology needs to generate healthy return and aid in the overall growth of the business.
“We weren’t the most tech savvy back when we started,” Porreca said.”We didn’t even have something as simple as Excel spreadsheets to track anything. Each person had their own system that they used, but there was no repository to keep and to share information. Eventually our business grew to the point where we needed to make a change in our processes. Read more
When important sales data began falling through the cracks in 2011, Universal Financial Consultants (UFC) knew they needed to find a new way to manage their sales pipeline.
“In order to continually improve, we measure the activity of our salespeople on a frequent basis and monitor the business that we are able to broker with our agents,” said Operations Director Natalie Vasacas. “Up until 2011 we were trying to keep track of this data with Google Docs and Excel spreadsheets, (but) we struggled because we had no viable way to update the most important information. We knew something had to change.”
So, UFC, based in Clearwater, Florida, and one of the largest brokerage general agencies in the country, explored the CRM options on the market. The platform needed to be straightforward, easy to use, and one that the sales team could adopt without an arduous training process.
“We looked at everything, from Salesforce to Redtail, and initially decided to go with an internal recommendation (because) the vendor of our agency management system was developing a CRM with Microsoft Dynamic,” she said. “In the beginning, we made a decision to try their system, as it integrated with what we were already using, (but) we soon discovered this choice was a big mistake.” Read more
We grew so large that we couldn’t depend on Google or Excel anymore.”
Like many small-sized businesses, FIDGI tracked its operational data through Google docs and Excel spreadsheets when it initially launched five years ago.. For them, the allure of these platforms was clear. The learning curve was minimal because most of its employees were already familiar with Google and Excel and the cost of use was low.
However, as FIDGI began to grow, the amount of data was quickly becoming unmanageable in Google Docs and Excel resulting in client follow-ups falling through the cracks, and data tracking becoming difficult. FIDGI knew it had to make a change in order continue its path of growth… Read more
It’s not that hard to say, “Thank you,” so why don’t we do it more often?
As business owners and managers, we get so focused on improving processes, increasing sales, and delivering promises on time that we forget to recognize those who make it possible for us to do what we love.
In fact, Harvard Medical School published an article mentioning several studies that show how simply expressing gratitude can increase personal happiness, improve relationships, and motivate employees.
Pretty impressive for two little words.
Regardless of the excuses we make, Zoho is here to help you make a consistent effort to make your customers feel appreciated. Trust me, they want to be appreciated. (I asked ’em.) Read more
UK based company Booking Live is the creator of an online booking software serving a number of industries and needs. As business has grown Booking Live has adopted several different Zoho applications to manage the backend of their business both internally and externally.
Watch how Booking Live uses Zoho Projects and Zoho People to manage their team internally, and Zoho CRM and Zoho Reports to close more deals.
The Lead Exchange, powered by Insurance Express, is one of the largest homeowner’s insurance writers in Florida, working with agents across the state. As director of agency sales Garrett Mitchell explained, “We help agents place insurance business when they might not otherwise be able to. Our network includes over 200 partner agents, who refer us business on a daily basis, and up to 40 companies across the state.”
When a customer enters an agent’s office to inquire about home owner’s insurance, The Lead Exchange serves as a third party avenue to assist those independent agents in getting winning outcomes. “We beat the rates, we capture the business, and we split the commission with the partner that referred us,” Mitchell said. “That’s the backbone of our business.”
Several months ago, The Lead Exchange realized it was paying the price for working with a slow CRM with poor-quality updates. Because their CRM was outdated and unreliable, information was falling through the cracks, customers were not being followed up with, and customer service was suffering. Mitchell knew it was time for a change. Read more
The Farm AV initially started as a small business tracking leads and contacts with Zoho CRM. As their business grew and their business needs increased, they began adding more Zoho apps eventually moving to the “all you can eat Zoho buffet.”
Watch how The Farm AV now effortlessly collects leads, converts them to customers, and runs the entire backend of their business using Zoho CRM Plus.