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Sales Process Improvement: Creating Buyer Personas

By Steve Stroz on Aug 15, 2019 5:00:00 PM

 

Sales Process Improvement


Identifying your target audience occurs during the marketing process, but it has important implications for the sales process as well. If the leads you generate aren't relevant, that is, they don't correspond to customers in your target audience, then your sales representatives won't be very effective.

A common mistake businesses make in this respect is assuming their entire target audience shares the same needs. They try to streamline their entire sales process to match one specific type of customer.

A recent Business 2 Community article explains why this doesn't work. According to the article, it's common for customers in the same target audience to have different needs and preferences:

 

"Elite sales teams have a sales process that’s focused on one thing — the buyer. If your process isn’t aligned with how your buyers buy, it will never be effective. A common mistake is to assume that one process fits all. Your market likely has different segments of buyers that have different needs. Some have regimented buying processes, while others may be less refined. All have their own key decision criteria."

 

In addition to identifying your target audience, you should also create buyer personas. These will represent different people and have a certain set of characteristics.

This tactic is especially important for your sales representatives. If they understand the different personas in your target audience, then they'll be prepared to speak to prospective customers. Rather than just having one plan for everyone, they'll have multiple strategies based on the persona a customer matches.

Some businesses inform their sales representatives of their target audience and expect them to take care of the rest. This creates an incredibly hard challenge for the representatives. Rather than describing a vague group, consider creating concrete buyer personas that the sales representatives will recognize. This will help them close more sales.

 

To talk more about your sales process, or anything else, contact us today.

Topics: Sales Process
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CRM Software: Using Data Correctly

By Steve Stroz on Aug 2, 2019 4:30:00 PM

CRM Software

Data plays a critical role in regard to CRM software. It's the key to nurturing leads, sending personalized emails, and getting in touch with customers right when they're about to place an order.

Of course, to enjoy all these benefits, you need to know how to use the data correctly. This applies not just to your analytics and applications, but to the way you input it as well.

Business 2 Community explains why so many businesses don't know how to input CRM data correctly. According to the article, because many employees have access to the software, it only takes one person to mix up information:

 

"If you don’t know how to use your CRM as best as you can, it could result in staff aimlessly plugging in data. One of these common CRM mistakes involves putting in data incorrectly. Wrong or misplaced data inevitably becomes useless data (especially if you can’t find it). Don’t let that happen to you, or your employees could seriously confuse customer information, ultimately risking losses."

 

CRM data is specific to each individual customer. It's essentially worthless if it all gets scrambled. To avoid this, you need to teach each employee how to input the data correctly. It's a simple process, but there's no room for error. In addition to the initial round of employee training, you should also host regular sessions so they remember the exact steps.

The analytics and applications are a different story. It's up to management to decide what to do with CRM data and how to incorporate it in their marketing strategy. If you're not sure what to do, then you can always reach out for help in this area.

Data is everything when it comes to CRM software. If it's inaccurate, misplaced, or not used correctly, then you won't enjoy the benefits you should. To talk more about CRM software, or anything else, contact us today.

 

 

Topics: CRM Software
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Your Marketing Process: What Are Your Ideas?

By Steve Stroz on Jul 29, 2019 5:33:42 PM

 

Marketing Process

Behind every great marketing strategy and marketing process is a great concept. You cannot have a successful marketing process if your concept is not up to par. However, sometimes companies can take things to the extreme and make things extremely complicated. If you try to be too creative, you may actually confuse the people you are trying to bring in.

In order to avoid creating a marketing campaign that confuses your audience, you should try not to make the following mistakes:

Going Off Course

You do not want to use an idea that customers would never expect from you. You want your customers to see things they know you are capable of bringing to them. You do not want them to think your entire mission and vision has changed. We understand you want something that will grab their attention, but get their attention with ideas they would expect from you.

Confusion

Have you ever seen a commercial that you did not understand until someone told you what it meant? Sometimes companies use commercials that are a bit over the top and a little strange. Unusual commercials can be effective, but make no sense to people until they have to be explained by someone. Before trying out one of those ideas, you should test it out on your team and other co-workers.

What kind of image are you trying to portray through your marketing process and strategies? Do you have the tools and resources you need? Contact us today for more information on how you can implement effective strategies with the right resources.

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Make Sure Your Business is Covered With the Proper CRM Software

By Steve Stroz on Jul 19, 2019 6:20:35 PM

CRM Software

Productivity relies on effective CRM Software and it’s capabilities. Managing corporate contacts, vital deadlines and schedules as they relate to project management are just a few of the important elements that a CRM application must provide.

When an employee is responsible for reporting particular information, they must rely on a CRM solution to support their objectives. This support is delivered through automated features, such as notifications, communication options and real-time reporting applications.

One of the most important features of a successful CRM solution is that of keeping the user informed at all times. This real-time capability allows managers and other high-level decision makers the ability to track various projects and respond to urgent issues in a timely manner. When objectives are tied to a deadline, such as a shipment, having the right CRM software to manage and track the process is the difference between meeting or missing a deadline.

Furthermore, having a compatible CRM solution is necessary in order to achieve maximum productivity. This is because many companies rely on the use of various programs to help manage things such as accounting and data collection. Quickbooks and Microsoft Excel are just a few examples of programs that a professional CRM consulting team can easily deliver through a personalized CRM solution design.

Utilizing the services of an experienced CRM consultant is not only a proactive step towards maximizing time and cost, but is also a great way to stay ahead of the competition by gaining insight into beneficial and unique solutions.

Learn more about how your company can benefit from an expertly tailored CRM solution.

Topics: CRM
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Don't Let CRM Software Be a Stumbling Block

By Steve Stroz on Jun 28, 2019 4:15:00 PM

CRM Software

The sales process is one of the largest sources of inefficiencies within the context of business operations. Many businesses lack organization in this area and simply depend on sales representatives to get the job done.

CRM software is a solution that adds organization to the sales process and removes costly inefficiencies. It collects and organizes relevant sales data so sales representatives are more informed and businesses can keep track of their most loyal customers.

By now, CRM software is more of an industry standard than a revolutionary sales tool. Still, some businesses struggle to optimize their software and maximize the results. According to a recent Investment News article, implementing the software is a stumbling block for several companies:

"Even though CRM might be not be considered cutting-edge technology to the truly tech savvy advisory firms, it is still among the stumbling block issues for a lot of advisers and something the technology industry should be addressing, according to John Rourke, chief executive of Starburst Labs."

Just because CRM software is now relatively widespread, doesn't mean that all businesses know what they're doing with it. Similarly, installing the software doesn't necessarily indicate a correct implementation of it.

So what does all of this mean for you and your business? In general, CRM software is a useful tool that can help companies increase their sales and transition to an analytics-based approach. For those results to materialize, however, an expert needs to implement the software and integrate it within the context of the company's operations. This is where most businesses fail, or "stumble."

Fortunately, there's a simple solution to all of this. By working closely with professional advisors, you can implement your CRM software correctly and learn how to get the most out of it. To talk more about CRM software, or anything else, contact us today.

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Implement Sales Software to Optimize the Buyer's Process

By Steve Stroz on Jun 26, 2019 3:30:00 PM

Sales Software

Sales software has several uses within the context of business operations. But whether you're looking for more organization or access to analytics, one of the most important benefits of sales software is its impact on customer relations.

Something that always gets lost in the chaos of the sales process is the buyer's process. A recent Business 2 Community article explains what the buyer's process is and why it plays a key role in developing customer loyalty:

"In the sales process, there’s a buyer’s process. Connecting with the buyer through their process will pay dividends when the actual sale takes place. When buyers feel an emotional connection, it builds the relationship, which builds trust. Companies who understand and apply this see their revenues double, triple, and quadruple, and at the same time, their customers become happier, compliant, and easier to sell to."

Clearly, there's more to doing business than just throwing out numbers and statistics. Customers aren't always comfortable speaking with sales representatives if they don't know their last purchase order, their shipping preferences, or even their name.

Implementing sales software in your company can optimize the buyer's process and improve your customer relations. With sales software as a resource, sales representatives can keep in touch with customers and read up on their order history. This will create a personal connection with customers and will establish a foundation for customer loyalty.

In addition to establishing a personal relationship with customers, sales representatives can also refer to the statistics and analytics provided by the sales software. With this information, they can anticipate order refills based on patterns in a customer's purchase history. By simply sending a timely email, you can bring your customer back before he even considers talking to one of your competitors.

To talk more about sales software, or anything else, contact us today.

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CRM Software: Improve your relationships with your existing customers

By Steve Stroz on Jun 21, 2019 5:30:00 PM

CRM Software

In the world we live in now, it can be difficult to acquire new customers because of all the competition. If people are not satisfied with your services or products, all they will have to do is get online and find someone who does have what they need.

Companies are looking for ways to be smarter when it comes to acquiring customers and selling products or services. In order to make smarter decisions when it comes to selling, you have to know who you want to sell the products and services to. Technology and other services have given companies a boost, and many companies have been motivated to improve their relationships with their current customers.

One of the best ways to show your current customers that you value them is to use CRM software (Act!, Salesforce, Hubspot). CRM software will give your company a chance to manage their customers better than before. Not only will your company be able to manage customers, but you will also be able to monitor the behaviors of the customers.

The right CRM software will have the ability to change the entire relationship between a customer and a company. The right CRM software will also give your company a chance to substantially improve the amount of revenue it brings in.

Have you recently tried to implement CRM software and did not achieve the results you wanted? Are you confused about the steps you need to follow in order to have success with CRM software? Contact us today for additional information on how you can better understand how to successfully implement CRM software.

 

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Do you know how to find the right CRM software?

By Steve Stroz on Jun 18, 2019 3:30:00 PM

CRM Software

Are you always looking for ways to improve your business operations? Are you open to any new strategies that will allow your sales team to have more time to do other things? If you answered yes to both questions, you should consider using CRM (Contact Relationship Management) software.

It does not matter if your sales teams are working inside or outside the office; you are definitely going to need software or a system that will give your customer database the protection it needs. You will also need something that is easy to use so everyone's adjustment period goes smoothly.

If your teams cannot adjust to the software, it will become just another purchased software that no longer has any use to anyone in your business.

When it is time to choose the right CRM software for your business, there are some important things you will need to consider:

What Do You Want To Accomplish?

Before you can choose software for your business, you will need to have a full understanding of the problem you intend to solve. Whatever goals you set, you should list them according to how important they are to your business. When you can list your goals, you will be able to look for certain features in CRM software.

Your Team Members

You want everyone in the workplace to be comfortable using the software, right? You will want to find software that your team members can adjust to. You want to make sure they are at ease with using the new software. They will want to know if they will lose any of their important information, and you want to ensure sure them they will not. This is why your CRM choice will be so important. You can even keep everyone involved in the decision-making process.

What Else Should You Look For In CRM Software?

•Mobility

•Will the software be compatible with the systems you are using?

•Ease of implementation

Your choice of CRM software is important, and the decision you make can have a positive or negative impact on your business. Which CRM software will you choose? Contact us today for more information?

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What Can Contact Management Software Do For You?

By Steve Stroz on Jun 10, 2019 3:30:00 PM

Contact Management Software

Is there still a debate in the office about whether contact management software should be used? Well, if there is a debate, there should not be one about whether it should be used. The question should really be about how contact management software can help you.

Every business will be able to find various benefits of using the software. What are some of those benefits?

Better Customer Service

When you have all of your customer information in one place, you will always be ready with everything you need to answer their questions and suggest products and services they may enjoy. Every department in your workplace will be equipped with key customer information that will help the entire ordering and shipping process.

When you use contact management software, your customers and clients will be very impressed with the production increase. Everything will be completed in an efficient way which will raise customer satisfaction.

Efficiency

Efficiency is key when it comes to dealing with customers and orders. Contact management software has all the tools and features you need to be efficient at any task.

You can set attainable goals for your company and have confidence that you can reach those goals when using contact management software. Why? Everything will be organized in all areas of your company which will make your everyday work tasks go along smoothly.

Contact management software can completely change the way you run your business, and it can completely change the way customers see you. Contact us today for more information on how contact management software can improve your business operations.

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3 Things You Can Accomplish With Contact Management Software

By Steve Stroz on Jun 6, 2019 4:30:00 PM

Contact Management Software

Implementing contact management software affects several facets of your business. Your sales and marketing departments, as well as your management, will be able to refer to the software and the data it provides. Here are a few specific things you can accomplish with the software:

Organize your customer data

Organizing your customer data is one of the most effective things you can do in regard to your sales process. Just by keeping things organized, you can have a better idea of your customers and when they'll be ready for another order.

Motivate your sales team

It's easier to motivate your sales team with contact management software. The software provides statistics related to your sales and customers, so you can create contests to encourage sales representatives to work harder. According to a recent Business 2 Community article, there are several different types of competitions you can set up with contact management software:

"Motivating your sales team will encourage them to work harder at achieving their goals and hitting their numbers. In addition to setting up leaderboards, you can also run hourly, daily, weekly or even monthly contests to do this. Motivating calls or generating and converting leads — even data clean-up can be turned into a competition."

Refer to metrics and statistics

And finally, the metrics and statistics provided by contact management software can help you improve your business operations. By looking at the data, you'll find certain inefficiencies in your processes that are holding your company back. You can also measure things like customer loyalty, which is important for the long-term health of your business.

Contact management software isn't just an investment in your sales team. It can provide insight into several areas of your business so you can make your processes more efficient. To talk more about contact management software, or anything else, contact us today.

Topics: CRM Optimization
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What Does Your Marketing Process Consist Of?

By Steve Stroz on May 31, 2019 4:00:00 PM

Marketing Process

It does not matter if you are working on a high-profile marketing campaign or a small marketing campaign. There are some things that you will need to keep in mind if your marketing process is going to be successful.

Before you start your marketing process, you should set business goals. You will use your marketing campaign to help grow your business and achieve these goals.

When you set your business goals, you will need to follow these steps:

What Do You Know?

What is the market looking like for your business? What is your target audience? Once you know your target audience, you have to find out where your customers and potential customers are located.

What is the outlook for your competition? In order to find out all this information, you will need to do your research. You will also need to perform an analysis on the competition. Once you know what the market looks like, you will make plans that will help you, and not hurt you.

What Will Be Your Strategy?

After you have completed your research, you will need to use that information to make the best decision for your marketing campaign. Your marketing campaign can lead to success or failure. Before you move forward with the campaign, you will need to make sure your goals are clear and accurate.

Your marketing process has multiple steps and you should not disregard any of them. If you need advice on how to successfully complete your marketing campaign, contact us today.

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Improve Your Marketing Process And Strategy With CRM Software

By Steve Stroz on May 13, 2019 4:30:00 PM

Marketing Process

Technology has given businesses plenty of opportunities to improve their marketing processes and their marketing strategies. Unfortunately, many of the techniques that businesses use bother the customers because of the advertisements they use. No customer likes to be bombarded with advertisements. Thankfully, your marketing process can be improved by using the right customer relationship management (CRM) software.

In the earlier years, customer relationship management software did not have many features. The only things CRM (ACT!, Salesforce, HubSpot) software could do was obtain notes from a phone call with a customer and manage the contact information from customers. Companies would use this information to tailor their marketing strategies to meet the needs of their targeted customers.

Today, CRM software has far more capabilities than in previous years. CRM software can do more than track and manage important customer information. The CRM software that businesses use can display data and show certain sales patterns which will make creating marketing strategies and marketing campaigns easier than ever before.

The CRM software you choose will allow you to stay on top of all the customer trends and popular items so you will know what direction to gear your marketing strategies toward.

You will not have to make any guesses about your marketing strategies because you will already have the information on popular items and you will be able to look for customer feedback while using your CRM software.

If you have not used effective CRM software yet, you will definitely appreciate everything it has to offer. Contact us today for more information.

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Sales Process Improvement Tips So You Can Keep Up With The Pace

By Steve Stroz on May 8, 2019 3:45:00 PM

Sales Process Improvement

We all know how fast the sales profession moves every day. It is moving faster than ever before. You can go to sleep one night and wake up the next day to see that a competitor has introduced a new product.

It does not matter what part of the business world you are in, what once worked perfectly for you is not going to do the trick anymore. You do not have time to waste; now is the time to push forward and sell harder than ever.

You may be wondering how can you make a big sales process improvement so you can make sure your business is still standing at the end of the year. Here are some things you can do to make this happen.

•Have a clear understanding of what it is that you want to do. 

•After you have determined what you are trying to achieve, set a few goals and give yourself a timetable for completing those goals.

•Understand what exactly all of your customers are looking for. What do they need from your business?

•Always listen to your customers. Listen to them before making any major decisions.

•Incorporate marketing tools that will give you the best chance at excelling.

When you set your mission and your goals, you should certainly stick with them. Set goals that will help your customers and keep them on your side. When you remain productive and active, you may be pleasantly surprised at the big difference in customer response and customer activity. Contact us today for more information. 

Topics: Sales Process
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Sales Process Improvements: Showing Gratitude towards Customers

By Steve Stroz on May 1, 2019 3:30:00 PM

Sales Process Improvement

The beginning of the sales process has traditionally been considered the most important part. But now that most sales representatives know how to get a prospective customer's attention, businesses are shifting their attention to the end of the process.

How you treat your customers after a sale is the most important factor of customer loyalty. If they get the feeling that you just wanted them for their business, then they'll have no motivation to come back again.

Showing gratitude to customers and keeping in touch with them is the best way to build customer loyalty. According to a recent Small Business Trends article, a nice gesture after a sale can help you keep the customer forever:

"No one owes you business. Be sure to thank your customers for their business. Showing gratitude with a personal call or note of thanks can go a log way. Over deliver if you can. Surprise a customer with an early delivery of their products. If you build a relationship and constantly add value to the relationship you will have customer for life."

Customer loyalty is a common thread among successful businesses. It's not a sustainable strategy to keep looking for new customers and letting them go after one transaction. You'll eventually run out of leads and your sales process will dry up.

If your customers keep coming back, on the other hand, then you won't need to constantly search for new leads. As a bonus, doing business with returning customers is considerably cheaper than recruiting new ones. All in all, fostering customer loyalty is a top priority for all businesses.

The beginning of the sales process is important, but most sales representatives know what they're doing in that regard. It's more efficient to focus on the end of the sales process and build customer loyalty. For more information about sales process improvements, or anything else, contact us today.

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Marketing Process: Building A Brand

By Steve Stroz on Apr 24, 2019 4:15:00 PM

Marketing Process

One of the biggest challenges that your marketing department will face is building your company's brand. Even though it is a challenge, it is an important one to have. In order for you to have an identity for your brand, you have to think about the entire process from the beginning. The way you work on the inside will have a huge impact on how people see your brand from the outside.

You do not have to make certain members of your team sit in a room and talk about their ideas and strategies. One of the best things you can do is to find the best sales associates in the workplace and see what things are working for them. What strategies and messages are helping them make sales? What kind of things do they talk about with their current customers and potential customers? If you can get this information, you will soon find yourself on the path to success.

The strategies and messages you use should certainly be able to evolve with the direction your company is going, but you should also make sure every department and team will have the same ideas. Your marketing process is important and it will take some effort for you to make it work.

Every day that you show up to work, you should think about your company's brand. In order for your company to be successful, people will have to know your company and what it's about.

When you use the right tools and software, you will be able to build a brand that will be unforgettable. Contact us today to find out what tools and strategies can work for your business.

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Can CRM Software Help Your Small Business?

By Steve Stroz on Apr 17, 2019 4:30:00 PM

CRM Software

Are you proud of the relationships with your customers? Do you take a lot of pride in how your customers love and appreciate everything you do?

If you are a small business owner, you will have better opportunities to get to know your customers because you probably live in the same community as many of your customers.

These days, customer relationships are extremely important because as soon as something goes wrong, customers can take to social media and post negative feedback for the entire world to see. This is why CRM software is so important to small businesses and even larger businesses.

CRM software can be used to obtain key information about current customers and potential customers, and then that information can be analyzed and managed accordingly. The software will give you the tools you need to make an analysis on the data so you can make the right decisions when it comes to your customers.

When you are able to streamline your entire customer information and improve on the building process, you will be able to create stronger relationships with them because you will have all the important information you need right in front of you. 

CRM software can be used in any industry, but there are some industries who will see more results from the software than others. If your small business sells products and/or services and you want to make improvements in your sales process and customer relationships, you should definitely give CRM software a try.

Contact us today for more information.

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Are You Struggling To Get Emloyees To Use CRM Software?

By Steve Stroz on Mar 26, 2019 4:30:00 PM

CRM Software

If you use CRM software the right way, it can be an essential tool for helping your business with the following:

•obtaining access to customer data easily

•increasing the efficiency of the sales

•improving marketing campaigns

•improving customer satisfaction by providing better customer service

•creating and maintaining better relationships with current customers and future customers

In order for you to get the most out of your CRM software, there are some things you will need to do.

Get Your Employees Prepared

Since your sales team and other employees will be the ones using this software, you have to make sure you train them well enough.

You will need to have the budget, time, and energy to make sure they are getting the best training sessions you can provide. You may need to spend months on getting your employees adjusted to the software so they will feel comfortable when it is actually time to put it to good use.

Put The Software To Good Use You are not going to spend your time and money on a software and not actually use it, are you?

You will need people to actually use the software if you want to improve your business.

We understand that some of your employees may be a little hesitant to use something different, but once you implement the training session you can ensure them it is for the best. You can even offer rewards to the employees who agree to use the software. You can also offer more rewards to those who actually use it and constantly improve their sales with the software.

Have you been wanting to use a CRM software, but are not sure which one will work for your business? Contact us today to find out how you can find the best CRM software for your business operations.

Topics: CRM Software
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3 Things to Look for in CRM Software

By Steve Stroz on Mar 20, 2019 3:30:00 PM

 

CRM Software

There are lots of different CRM software out there and it can be hard to know what's right for your business. Here are a few things you should look for regardless of your goals:

Easy access

CRM software, like ACT! or HubSpot, should be easy to access in multiple ways. First of all, it shouldn't take lots of training for your employees to learn the software. They should be able to find their way around it easily enough. In addition, employees should be able to access the software from their mobile devices. The greater access there is, the more data they'll input, and the more effective the software will be.

Clear reports

Data is one of the best things about CRM software, provided that you can actually understand it. It's important to have software that produces clear reports.

According to this Event Industry News article, you should choose CRM software that helps you visualize your results:

"In-depth statistics and analysis can offer huge support for driving your hire business forward. However, if the reporting functionality of your chosen CRM system is difficult to understand or interpret, it’s useless. Be sure to choose a CRM that easily visualizes your results in a way that’s digestible and, most importantly, usable."

Don't just look for statistics and analytics. Make sure there are graphs that can help executives understand your findings.

Good support

Finally, there are going to be issues at some point with your CRM software. When these occur, it's important that you have good support to fall back on.

Good support goes beyond basic troubleshooting. An agency should also explain what went wrong and how you can avoid it in the future.

Other examples of support include helping you understand your CRM reports, providing employee training material, and scheduling regular maintenance. This will all vary from agency to agency. To talk more about CRM software, or anything else, contact us today. 

Topics: CRM Software
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4 Signs You Should Consider Implementing CRM Software

By Steve Stroz on Mar 15, 2019 4:30:00 PM

CRM Software

Some businesses stand to gain more from CRM software than others. Not all business owners know which signs indicate that they should implement sales software, so we came up with a list for you:

Your sales have plateaued

Plateauing sales is never a good sign for growing businesses. It could mean several things, including that you've already maxed out your market or that you're not attracting new customers to your business.

Either way, your business won't be able to grow for long if your revenue is fixed. One way to increase your sales is to implement CRM software. It gives sales representatives more chances to communicate with past and prospective customers.

You don't when your customers are due for another order

The time when a customer realizes he needs another order is crucial for businesses. If he's a past customer of yours, then you want to bring him back before he even considers your competitors.

If you have no way of knowing when your customers are ready for their next order, then you can't prevent them from going to your competitors. With CRM software, you can track patterns in their order history to predict new purchases.

Your brand has minimal customer loyalty

Your business can only grow for so long without developing customer loyalty. It's cheaper to bring customers back as opposed to recruiting new ones, so it's imperative to foster customer loyalty from the start. With CRM software, your sales representatives can manage relationships with customers better. This plants the seed for customer loyalty.

Your sales and marketing teams are out of sync

Discord between marketing and sales teams is detrimental for businesses. By implementing CRM software, your marketing and sales teams will refer to the same data, and will therefore be more aligned than they were in the past.

To talk more about CRM software, or anything else, contact us today.

Topics: CRM Software
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The Right Contact Management Software Can Lead To Great Customer Relationships

By Steve Stroz on Mar 14, 2019 5:15:00 PM

Contact Management Software

In order for your business or organization to constantly improve how it obtains customers and services those customers, you will need to use the right contact management software.

Businesses have to be able to react and respond quickly because the competitiveness in the business world is constantly increasing. A business needs to be able to understand all of their customers so it can make the necessary adjustments in order to grab the various opportunities that are standing in front of it.

When you want to have success with your contact management software, you have to do more than just purchase a software and install it. You will experience continued success with your contact management software if you stay on top of all the changes and interactions with your customers. When you are able to provide great customer services experiences, you will be able to achieve all the customer-related goals that you have set for your business.

The contact management software you are going to use will be the tool you need to give great customer experiences and obtain helpful insight on what your customers like and do not like.

When you implement the right contact management software, you will be able to set reasonable expectations for your business. You will not have to worry about not meeting certain goals because you will already know what steps you need to take in order to achieve the success you are looking for.

Are you ready for continued success and great customer relationships? Contact us today.

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12 Convincing Statistics that Confirms the Importance of CRM Software for Your Business

By Steve Stroz on Mar 6, 2019 3:00:00 PM

CRM Software

Using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system for your company is crucial to the growth and success of your business. You see, CRM software is designed to help you manage customer contacts, have a systematic way of communicating with your prospects through lead nurturing, help you close more sales and grow customer retention. These are all key elements that effect your bottom line!

More businesses are realizing the importance of CRM software and are leveraging this system to manifest their business goals and growth. In fact, studies reveal the impact CRMs have on business results. We’ve compiled a list of twelve to convince and confirm the need to having this system in place. The numbers were gleaned from Statistics and Hubspot showing the major benefits CRM systems have in sales, customer interaction, and retention.

#1 75% of sales managers state that using a CRM helps drive and increase sales revenue

#2 The top 3 features used in CRM are Calendar Management (52%), Email Marketing (50%), and Quote/Proposal Management (46%), with marketing automation integration slightly behind at 44%

#3 When a business engages a customer using a CRM, the customer is likely to spend 20%-40% more on their next purchase with that same brand

#4 Using CRM creates positive customer experiences where 70% of these customers will refer that brand to their family and friends, significantly boosting new sales

#5 CRM usage have also led to an increased customer retention rate of 27%

#6 A CRM on average returns a whopping $5.60 for every dollar spent on it, producing an ROI of more than 50%

#7 Sales team across all organizations surveyed saw a 15% increase in productivity when using CRM mobile apps

#8 24% of companies also experienced an increase in sales productivity with CRM mobile apps

#9 Finally, CRM mobile apps increased cash flow by 10%

#10 Using CRM systems have increased revenue by 41% per each individual sales representative

#11 Sales conversion rates improved over 300% with CRM software

#12 61% of sales distributors use a CRM, allowing for key access to customer information and data

Conclusion

These alarming statistics prove the importance of leveraging CRM software for your business growth. It is the best way to engage with your customers, improve customer loyalty, and increase company revenue. Much success!

Ready to use a CRM system to help boost sales and customer engagement for your brand? Contact us here for a 29 minute consultation!

Topics: CRM HubSpot
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Why Your Marketing Process Needs More Patience

By Steve Stroz on Feb 27, 2019 3:00:00 PM

Marketing Process

Patience is a virtue, especially within the context of your marketing process. A common mistake businesses make is rushing their campaign and as a result, sending an unclear message.

The best marketing campaigns and slogans weren't planned overnight. Even if an idea pops into your head, you need time to carefully plan your strategy, identify your target audience, and create realistic and attainable goals. Since some creatives have a reputation for procrastinating, you'll ultimately have to find a balance. According to a recent Business 2 Community article, marketers should learn how to take short breaks and walk away from their work:

"The next time you are planning a marketing initiative and reviewing your marketing process, allow your staff the gift of waiting. The best plans come out of careful consideration, creating, and tweaking. I don’t mean to say that delays should be built into the timeline, but after developing an idea, reading copy, or reviewing a layout, set it aside and do something else."

As long as you slow things down, finding a balance shouldn't be hard. There are enough factors and deadlines pressuring you to work, so it's unlikely that you'll fall too far behind.

The important thing is that you allocate more time to strategy planning. A few extra minutes at the end of the day when you're already tired don't count, either. Thought and consideration are what matter here, and you can't exactly measure them in minutes.

We're stressing this point because if you don't have a good strategy, it's highly unlikely that your campaign will be successful. You can tell when a marketing campaign was rushed, and that's not a message you want to send to your customers. Businesses can improve their marketing campaigns just by putting more time into strategy planning.

To talk more about your marketing process, or anything else, contact us today.

Topics: Marketing
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ACT! Software For Your Small Business

By Steve Stroz on Feb 26, 2019 3:00:00 PM

ACT! Software

Have you still been relying on the basic database you first started with when you opened your small business? Is this the database you use to gather information about your customers?

Since your business has been growing, have you thought about changing your database and other tools so your business will not be behind? One of the best tools that you can use is a CRM tool, such as ACT! software. This software can help your small business obtain more customers, increase your sales, and gain loyalty in your new customers.

There are various benefits to using a CRM software, and some of them are listed below.

Automation

If you have been having trouble with staying on top of your appointments or follow-ups, your CRM software will automate these tasks and more. This is a great benefit for your small business because you will not have to worry about missing anything.

When all of your information is in one database, everyone who has access to it can access all of the data that has been shared. When you use ACT! software, you will be equipped with everything you need to have effective sales meetings and follow-up meetings.

Additional Benefits Of Using ACT! Software

•Your marketing processes will become easier because you will have all the relevant and helpful information you need

•You will be able to access all key information in a matter of minutes •Your employees will be more productive

•Communication will be improved because everyone will have access to the same information and no one will be surprised during the meetings

There are many CRM tools and software that a small business like yours can use to keep up with the competition. If you are interested in additional information, contact us today. Purchased on: Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Topics: ACT! CRM
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Why Are You Avoiding Using Contact Management Software?

By Steve Stroz on Feb 18, 2019 4:00:00 PM

Contact Management Software

When any business begins using contact management software for their operations it usually starts with some good intentions. Many of us have good intentions, right? Unfortunately, some businesses that try to use contact management software do not see the success they want. Many times, when something does not work for a company, they simply reject the software or process they were using.

When the contact management software does not work for a company, they reject it and vow to never use anything like it again. Why do some companies want to avoid using the software? Many companies do not like that they will have to make some tweaks to the way they usually do things. Not every company wants to adjust their work routines to fit the software.

If you are a salesperson, you should be worried about the conversations you are having with potential customers and not entering information into a system, right? You will probably feel like you are being held back from selling if you have to worry about contact management software.

There are plenty of reasons why people say they prefer not to use contact management software, and some of those reasons are listed below:

•Contact management software is too difficult to figure out

•I would rather do everything by regular pen and paper because it is easier

•Inputting information into a computer will take time away from making calls and selling the products

•Entering information into a software tool is not why I was hired

Despite these reasons that some people give, many companies have found a significant amount of reasons to use contact management software. Salespeople will be able to make more sales because they will be more efficient and productive at their jobs. The selling process will be quicker because all the required information will be right there at their fingertips.

Are there reasons why you are hesitant about using contact management software? Contact us today so we can help you get on the contact management software bandwagon.

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Sales Process Improvements: Keeping Marketing Separate from Sales

By Steve Stroz on Feb 6, 2019 3:30:00 PM

Sales Process Improvement

There's no doubt that marketing plays an integral role in the sales process. Moreover, we encourage businesses to align their sales and marketing processes for optimal results. What we don't condone, however, is when businesses rely on one department for both marketing and sales.

Marketing isn't selling, no matter how promotional your tone is. There's always going to be a difference between marketing your product and converting leads with your sales team.

A recent Chicago Tribune article talks about the division between marketing and sales. According to the article, marketers often try to get involved in the sales process, and businesses should prevent that from happening:

"Unfortunately, somewhere along the small- to medium-size business path, salespeople and executive leadership have been led to believe marketing is selling. Maybe this fallacy is the result of marketing firms who attempt to justify their high prices or possibly a lack of understanding the regarding the sales process along with the word sales."

Neither your sales nor your marketing process will be efficient if the two departments overlap. If marketers try to take on the role of sales representatives, then they won't be paying enough attention to the marketing campaign.

Rather than blending the two departments together, your goal should be to keep them separate and aligned. Your marketing and sales teams should work together to provide an optimal customer experience.

Implementing sales software is one way to keep your marketing and sales teams aligned. By collecting customer data, your marketing team can create an effective campaign for your target audience and your sales representatives will understand the customer experience you're offering.

The first thing we suggest to small business owners is to keep their sales and marketing teams separate. To talk more about implementing sales process improvements in your business, or anything else, contact us today.

Topics: Marketing Sales
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Act! Software: Change The Way Your Customers And Prospects See You

By Steve Stroz on Jan 28, 2019 3:30:00 PM

ACT! Software

One of the most intelligent and effective software on the market is Act! software. This software has the right features and the right enhancements that are perfect for your marketing efforts. Your marketing efforts and strategies will easily turn into a successful sale rate.

You will be able to easily connect and grow with your customers and you will be able to obtain new customers. It will be easier to attract new customers because of the integrated marketing features, and you will be able to strengthen your relationships with current customers because you will already have the customer's information in your system.

You will be able to know what the customers like and what they do not like. You will also be able to improve your workforce's productivity and efficiency because all of the customer information and interactions can easily be accessed by the sales team. Since every team member will have access to the information, it will be easier for each team member to log into the system and view all the interactions that have taken place.

When using the Act! software, you will be able to do the following, and more:

•easily access all resources that will allow you to get the most out of the software

•access various features and applications from the marketplace

•create effective campaigns that will allow you to reach your target audience

•know what customers need to receive a follow-up call

You do not have to sit back and let the competition pass you by. You can integrate Act! software into your business and change the way your customers see your business. Contact us today if you are interested in more information.

Topics: ACT! Marketing
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Empower Your Sales Team With The Right Contact Management Software

By Steve Stroz on Jan 14, 2019 3:30:00 PM

Contact Management Software

The sales competition is very high, and this is resulting in many companies and organizations taking a deeper look into their sales operations. They want to find more information about their current customers, prospects, their needs, and their wants.

Since there is a big focus on finding information on their customers, being able to properly manage the prospects is certainly a key factor in having a successful sales process.

This is why using the right solutions and resources are so important. Contact management software is important to every operation of your sales department. It is part of a newer movement in sales. In order to effectively manage the contact information, you will need to ensure the contact management software will give you the flexibility you need.

You need the contact management software to track every piece of information that you need, and you also need it to track various activities that occur during the sales process.

When any one of your salespeople logs into the database, they should be able to pick up the telephone and quickly gather important information regarding who the customer is and what they like. You want your salespeople to feel comfortable talking to a potential buyer, and they will not be able to do that with little or no customer information.

The contact management software you choose to use should give you up-to-date access to all of your information. You will also need to have the ability to view and share customer data with everyone on your sales team. If you are interested in using contact management software, contact us today. Purchased on: Thursday, May 5th, 2016

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How to Align Your Marketing and Sales Processes

By Steve Stroz on Jan 10, 2019 3:45:00 PM

Nowadays it's almost impossible -- and certainly not recommended -- to keep your marketing process and sales process separate. In this blog we'll explain why aligning your marketing and sales team is so important and outline what steps you can take. 

Just a few years ago, it was normal for marketing and sales team to be unaligned and rarely communicate with each other. It's always been better to keep them on the same page, but it was never a requirement up til now. 

The reason marketing and sales alignment is now so important is because of the role of data and analytics. Both teams should base their strategies off of sound data, and that data should be the same or at least have similar conclusions. 

This all plays a role in the customer experience. According to a recent Business 2 Community article, the better aligned marketing and sales teams are, the more consistent the customer experience is:

"Your Marketing and Sales groups need to update their internally-focused processes and focus on the needs of the Buyer throughout their online/offline/online purchasing journey. The company needs to have one, and only one, perspective of the buyer that all functions/groups (including Product Management, Customer Service and Finance) can embrace and deliver a consistent customer experience."

So if aligning your marketing and sales teams is so important, what steps can you take to make this a reality? It all starts with the data and analytics we mentioned earlier. 

Your focus should be on gathering and extracting data from dealings with clients. The more data you collect, the more insight you'll get into your target audience's behavior, preferences, and wants. 

Once you have this information, you can plan your marketing and sales strategies around it. As a result, you'll automatically align your two teams.  Using applications like ACT!, Zoho, or Hubspot can point you in the right direction in getting started. 

To talk more about your marketing process, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.

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Implement CRM Software for Data and Analytics

By Steve Stroz on Jan 7, 2019 3:30:00 PM

We've already seen how data and analytics have affected sports. It started in baseball with Billy Bean and Moneyball and trickled over to other leagues. There are now teams in the MLB, NFL, and NBA that base their entire long-term strategies on analytics. 

Nowadays, there just no excuse for not incorporating analytics. According to a recent Financial Brand article, this is true both with sports franchises and businesses:

"There are no excuses for a football coach that doesn’t look at game film or know the stats from their team. If you are a C­-level Manager at your organization, there is no excuse for ignoring or not being aware of how your CRM can be used to provide you with reports that can help your team. Making excuses for your team’s lack of use of the CRM starts and stops with the C-level executive team."

Incorporating data and analytics in your business strategy helps you improve your operations. You can find out which practices are efficient and which ones need to change. 

The only thing you need is a way to collect data. CRM software (ACT!, HubSpot, Salesforce, ZoHo) provides businesses with a heap of information about clients. This way, sales representatives can study up on their clients before meetings. Marketing teams can also use the data to learn more about their target audience before planning their next campaign. 

Data and analytics are ubiquitous now. We've seen what's happened to sports teams that don't take them into account, and the same will happen for businesses that do the same. We recommend implementing a solution like CRM software to get you started on your analytic path. 

To talk more about CRM software, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks. 

Topics: ACT! CRM Zoho HubSpot
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Sending Out Surveys with CRM Software

By Steve Stroz on Jan 2, 2019 3:30:00 PM

CRM Software

CRM software has many applications in regard to your marketing efforts. It makes staying in touch with contacts easy and reminds customers of their relationship with your business.

It's ultimately up to you what kind of messages you send to subscribers. You can create a weekly newsletter that informs them about your industry or notify them of upcoming sales.

One thing we recommend all businesses to do is send surveys out to subscribers. A recent Sports Daily article explains how this can improve your customer relations and brand image:

"If you have not heard this the surveys here are the most integral part of a CRM strategy and a great way for the business. Have you wondered what people think about your products and services and your company. Ask customers what they want and if they would require any sort of a help and how things could be improved. All this in turn would show that your care and their opinion matter a lot."

Surveys are important for a couple of reasons. For one, they can give you insight into how you can improve your business processes. If several customers are offering the same suggestion, then you can be sure that others thought the same thing. Having this knowledge can only help.

In addition, sending out surveys shows that you're interested in your customers' opinions. It's a sign that you care about them and their well-being and you're willing to hear them out and listen to their thoughts.

Sending out surveys can be a pain -- unless you have CRM software. No one wants to send out individual emails one-by-one, but with CRM software, you can automate the process. In addition, you can keep records of who responded to your survey and what they said. All in all, it simplifies the process and brings more results.

To talk more about CRM software, or anything else, contact us today.

Topics: CRM Surveys
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CRM Software Isn't Just for Sales Process Improvements

By Steve Stroz on Dec 31, 2018 3:30:00 PM

An important aspect of CRM software, like ZoHo, ACT!, and HubSpot, is that it's not exclusively used for sales process improvements.  The ability of CRM software to track and manage cannot be understated. What the software is really doing is collecting and organizing data. Businesses can use this aggregated information in several ways. 

It's not just about sales, either. According to a recent Business 2 Community article, CRM can be used for customer segmentation and social media marketing: 

"CRM lets you create, track and manage marketing campaigns effectively. Whether its outbound calls, customer segmentation, email marketing, social media applications or creating customized campaign lists, CRM automates the steps and produces data-driven results to accurately measure your efforts."

So why is CRM software often discussed in the context of sales process improvements? The data organized by the software has a direct impact on sales. Your sales representatives suddenly have a way to quantify their client's behavior, preferences, and wants. They can analyze patterns in their behavior to predict and suggest new product orders. 

There's nothing wrong with that, but we just don't want CRM software to be thought of as one-dimensional. In reality it impacts several processes and aspects of your business operations. But if you go into it thinking that it will only increase your sales, then you won't use it to its full potential. 

If you've already implemented CRM software, then consider how it has affected areas of your business other than sales. See if there's anything you can do to make employees refer to it more to improve their own individual performance. 

To talk more about sales process improvements, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks. 

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Gain a Competitive Advantage with CRM Software

By Steve Stroz on Dec 20, 2018 3:30:00 PM

The problem with most business' sales cycles is that they focus more on lead generation than they do conversion. Because of this, they get tons of leads through their online marketing efforts, but they rarely convert them to sales. 

According to a recent Forbes article, some businesses research their leads so poorly that they don't even know if the people fall into their target market:

"Finally, the B2B sales cycle has not seen big advances in personalization. Of course, the sales deck the buyer sees has their company name and logo on the title slide, but that’s where the personalization typically ends. This assumes that the buyer even made it that far. Since the initial research stage results in reading generic info on a website that could be targeted at any Jane Doe."

You can avoid this situation by personalizing your sales process. To do this, you need to collect information about each person so you can target them individually. 

With CRM software, you can acquire the data and analytics about your customers that you need to personalize your sales process. Moreover, you'll be able to better define your target market based on the common characteristics of your clients. 

This information will set you apart from competitors. Since most businesses are still behind when it comes to personalizing their sales process, you'll get ahead by incorporating data and analytics in your process. With the data collected by CRM software, your sales representatives will be more informed concerning clients and your marketing team will be able to create more effective campaigns. 

To talk more about CRM software, ACT!, HubSpot, ZoHo, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.

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How Contact Management Software Improves the Sales Process

By Steve Stroz on Dec 19, 2018 6:00:00 PM

The most important aspect of contact management software is the data and analytics it provides. Each time your sales representatives interact with customers, the software records the outcome. 

After a few weeks or months of recording data, you can start to identify patterns in your customers' behavior. You'll notice that certain customers place similar orders on a regular basis. Your sales representatives can then anticipate these orders to make sure they're placed with your company. 

Sales representatives aren't the only ones who can learn from the data, though. According to a recent Business 2 Community article, contact management software provides company-wide reports that all employees should refer to: 

"Beyond analyzing prospect behavior at the individual level, CRM software also provides overarching metrics on types of outreach,such as how many outbound calls your sales team has made this month, or which campaigns and offers are closing the most deals. These company-wide reports give you a look into your sales process and pipeline as a whole, plus they can identify ways to retain existing customers or upsell them on other products or services."

Your sales representatives, marketers, and customer service representatives all need to be on the same page. If they all refer to the same data, then they'll anticipate the same actions from customers. 

Compare all of this to your sales process without contact management software. Rather than basing your actions on data and statistics, you're just going off of intuition. Even if your sales representatives have strong relationships with customers, it's always better to add analytics to your sales process. 

To talk more about contact management software, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks. 

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3 Steps to Increasing Sales with CRM Software

By Steve Stroz on Dec 13, 2018 3:45:00 PM

1. Research your target audience

The more data your CRM software collects, the more you'll learn about your target audience. After a few months, you'll start to see patterns in the data form. From this information, you can infer certain things about your target audience. 

2. Build your social media marketing campaign around their behavior

What you do with that data and how you interpret it will determine how effective CRM software is for your business. One way businesses use the information is to improve their social media marketing efforts. 

According to a recent Business 2 Community article, after you implement CRM software, you'll find it easier to connect with customers on various social sites: 

"CRM is a new frontier in customer-centric sales and marketing which is reinventing the customer relationship and creating a real-time landscape for enterprises of all sizes to connect with existing and future customers – leveraging Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and more."

3. Increase sales

And finally, your targeted marketing efforts will eventually lead to an increase in sales. Engaging followers on social media is important, but you really want to see it impact your bottom-line. 

In addition to improving your marketing efforts, CRM software gives your sales representatives more tools. They can study up on clients by referring to the software before meetings so they'll have a better chance at finalizing a deal. 

What makes CRM software so special is the overall impact it has on your company. You can apply the data to several aspects of your business. 

To talk more about CRM software, ACT!, HubSpot, Salesforce, ZoHo or anything else, please contact us. Thanks. 

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3 Simple Sales Process Improvements

By Steve Stroz on Dec 12, 2018 4:30:00 PM

Improve your customer relations

Customer loyalty is the ultimate determinant of long-term success. If none of your customers ever return, then your business will eventually run out of steam.

It takes time and patience to improve your customer relations, but it's well worth the effort. According to a recent Business 2 Community article, it will help you understand what drives success: 

"It takes work to develop YOUR sales process. You need to collect and analyze data, you need to interview your customers. You need to look for the patterns that drive success. It’s not a lot of work, but you still have to understand, specifically, what drives success."

Collect and analyze data

As mentioned in the article, data plays a big role in the sales process. The only way to identify inefficiencies and capitalize on opportunities is to look at data and statistics. This gets your sales process down to a science and removes the guesswork. 

Shorten your customer lifecycle 

In addition to attracting customers to your business for repeat orders, you also have to shorten your customer lifecycle. It won't mean much if a customer returns to your business once every two years. But if you can get them to place an order one every three months, then your customer loyalty will become a lot more valuable. 

These three improvements will help make your sales process more efficient. After a few months, you should notice an impact on your company's bottom-line. 

To talk more about sales process improvements, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks. 

Topics: CRM Reporting
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Should Your Business Implement Marketing Software?

By Steve Stroz on Dec 8, 2018 3:00:00 PM

 Why businesses need marketing software

Why a business or an organization needs marketing software depends on their own specific needs. As a result, there are many reasons businesses cite for needing marketing software. 

A recent Advertising Age article reports the results of a survey which asked businesses why they need marketing software. Here are the results: 

  • 27% said they need marketing software to improve lead management
  • 15% said they need marketing software because they were unhappy with their current system
  • 13% said they need marketing software for better/more features
  • 10% said they need marketing software to increase company growth
  • 9%  said they need marketing software for better integration
  • 8% said they need marketing software to automate their processes
  • 4% said they need marketing software to for an upgrade/update

Depending on your situation, one or more of these cited reasons may apply to your business. 

How marketing software improves your processes

Marketing software helps businesses to organize and improve their marketing processes. The idea is to automate certain aspects of the process and gain access to data and analytics. By using marketing software, you can identify possible areas of improvement in regard to your marketing strategy. 

Is marketing software right for your business?

First, you need to understand that any business can implement marketing software. There's no requirement in terms of size, sales, or your budget. 

The most important thing is that you analyze the aforementioned needs for marketing software and see if any of them resonate with you. If you need to improve your lead generation, automate your marketing process, or increase your company growth, then you should seriously consider marketing software. 

To talk more about marketing software, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks. 

Topics: CRM Reporting
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How Communication Makes CRM Software More Effective

By Steve Stroz on Dec 6, 2018 3:30:00 PM

Communication is key when it comes to using CRM software. Since all your departments - marketing, sales, accounting, customer service, etc. - can use it, it's important that they communicate with each other. 

The importance of cohesion is best understood with an example. A recent Biz Community article explains how your business can use CRM software to increase the value of a returning customer: 

"You have just invoiced a customer, and a predetermined query raises the flag that this customer has not been invoiced in at least 12 months. Furthermore, the value of that customer is extremely high. In simple terms, it is clear that an old customer, who is very valuable to the company, has returned. Such a flag should immediately trigger a personal "welcome back" email from a senior manager, or possibly even a phone call."

If you don't use CRM software or some type of marketing technology, then you'll have no idea the customer is returning unless you remembered his or her name. CRM software makes everything into a process so you can't miss an opportunity like this. 

Once the software sends an alert and tells you that the customer is returning, it's up to your business to make the most of it. Whether you set up a meeting with a sales representative or send a personalized email, it's important to take your relationship management to the next level. 

There are several things you can do to make your CRM software as effective as possible. We recommend improving the communication between your departments to develop cohesion around the software. 

To talk more about CRM software, ACT!, HubSpot, Salesforce, Zoho, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks. 

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Shorten Your Customer Lifecycle with Contact Management Software

By Steve Stroz on Dec 3, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Your customer lifecycle can be a huge source of inefficiency. If you don't do anything to shorten it, then you'll be wasting an opportunity. The longer the cycle is, the less frequently customers will place orders. 

You have to take control of your customer lifecycle and engage customers. By interacting with them, you'll establish customer loyalty and encourage them to place new or recurring orders. 

An important aspect is aligning your goals with your customers'. According to a recent Globe and Mail article, this will lead to a more efficient sales process.

"A sales process where the central feature is the buyer’s objectives and the seller’s subject matter expertise can lead to a much more productive discussion, leading to shorter cycles, more wins, and greater client loyalty, because their objectives would be the continuing focus."

It's well documented that marketing to new customers is considerably more costly than marketing to returning ones. Creating customer loyalty and convincing them to choose your business every time is a huge part of your long-term success. 

When you interact with customers after they place a sale, you increase your chances of them returning to your business. The better you are at doing this, the less you'll have to invest in other marketing efforts since you'll have a strong customer base. 

Depending on how well you engage customers, shortening your customer lifecycle can become a competitive advantage. Not only will you increase your business' sales, but you'll also take some activity away from your competitors. By using contact management software (ACT!, Hubspot, Salesforce, Zoho),  you'll find out the best ways to engage customers. 

Your sales process plays an important role in your business. We recommend trying to make it more efficient so customers will return to your business at a faster rate. Investing in your sales process usually has a positive ROI since it directly impacts your bottom line. 

To talk more about contact management software, or anything else, please contact us. 

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How You Can Improve Your Marketing Process

By Steve Stroz on Nov 30, 2018 3:00:00 PM

It's common to see businesses struggle with their marketing process today. The rise of digital marketing and data and analytics hasn't been easy for everyone to adjust to. If you find yourself in this position, then consider trying out these three things: 

Incorporate CRM software

One of the best ways to improve your marketing process is to incorporate CRM software (ACT!, HubSpot, Salesforce, Zoho). If your company has already done this, then just make it a point to involve the marketing team. If not, then strongly consider implementing CRM software. In addition to improving your marketing process, your sales team will also benefit from it. 

Work together with sales

The gap between marketing and sales teams is a black hole for productivity. There's just no reason to keep these two teams separate anymore, and if you do, then you're just hindering your own success. 

According to a recent Business 2 Community article, you can blend the two teams together by implementing CRM software: 

"As Sales and Marketing departments come closer together, they are both beginning to learn new things. Sales are deepening their understanding of the brand equity of good communications, while Marketing adopt the precise metrics used by the sales team. Both teams are using CRM to manage the entire customer relationship, from first tickle to project engagement. That’s the way the future of CRM should be. "

Base your strategy on data

There are two kinds of people: those that love data and those that don't. Even if you want to keep its role small, there's no denying that data can improve your marketing process. You'll rely less on intuition and more on statistic evidence. At the very least, your marketing efforts will become more consistent. 

Don't let your marketing process hold your business back. Incorporate CRM software in your process for better efficiency and consistency. 

To talk more about your marketing process, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks. 

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3 Possible Sources of Sales Process Improvements

By Steve Stroz on Nov 28, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Sales process improvements can help businesses increase their sales without spending any additional resources. In this blog, we'll discuss three aspects you can focus on to improve your sales process. 

Communication

Lack of communication is often to blame for lackluster sales performance. Whether your sales representatives don't communicate with each other or your sales team is closed off from the rest of your company, this is something you need to change. 

A recent Business 2 Community article explains how you can improve your lead scoring by getting sales representatives to communicate more: 

"Nobody builds a perfect lead process on their very first try but you can strengthen it and build a great one over time if you keep the lines of communication open. If you’re trying to get the most out of lead scoring and grading, make sure you’re communicating effectively with your sales team, as well as periodically evaluating and adjusting your approach based on that communication."

Technology

Sometimes, poor performance from sales representatives isn't the root cause of disappointing sales. If your sales representatives are already meeting expectations, then you should consider technological innovations as a possible sales process improvement. 

CRM software, like ACT!, HubSpot, Salesforce, or Zoho, has a big impact on the sales process. It records, collects, and organizes sales data. With this information, sales representatives can learn more about their clients and anticipate orders ahead of time. 

Collaboration

Sales representatives aren't the only ones responsible for a company's sales. There's a lot that goes into the customer experience that sales reps have nothing to do with. 

CRM software also helps increase collaboration within a company. Since multiple teams can refer to the software, they'll find it easier to work with one another.  

Businesses can improve their sales processes by focusing on communication, technology, and collaboration. To talk more about sales process improvements, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks. 

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Should Your Business Implement Marketing Software?

By Steve Stroz on Nov 21, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Implementing marketing software is one of the best ways businesses can improve their processes in terms of efficiency. In this blog, we'll talk about three important aspects concerning marketing software

Why businesses need marketing software

Why a business or an organization needs marketing software depends on their own specific needs. As a result, there are many reasons businesses cite for needing marketing software. 

A recent Advertising Age article reports the results of a survey which asked businesses why they need marketing software. Here are the results: 

  • 27% said they need marketing software to improve lead management
  • 15% said they need marketing software because they were unhappy with their current system
  • 13% said they need marketing software for better/more features
  • 10% said they need marketing software to increase company growth
  • 9%  said they need marketing software for better integration
  • 8% said they need marketing software to automate their processes
  • 4% said they need marketing software to for an upgrade/update

Depending on your situation, one or more of these cited reasons may apply to your business. 

How marketing software improves your processes

Marketing software helps businesses to organize and improve their marketing processes. The idea is to automate certain aspects of the process and gain access to data and analytics. By using marketing software, you can identify possible areas of improvement in regard to your marketing strategy. 

Is marketing software right for your business?

First, you need to understand that any business can implement marketing software. There's no requirement in terms of size, sales, or your budget. 

The most important thing is that you analyze the aforementioned needs for marketing software and see if any of them resonate with you. If you need to improve your lead generation, automate your marketing process, or increase your company growth, then you should seriously consider marketing software. 

To talk more about marketing software, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks. 

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How CRM Software Leads to Consistency and Client Loyalty

By Steve Stroz on Nov 15, 2018 3:00:00 PM

When searching for a business partner or supplier, one thing clients are looking for is consistency. Clients want to be paired with one salesman who will take care of all of their future orders. This is beneficial for both sides, as the salesmen can remember the past orders of the client and make things more convenient in the future.

Unfortunately, even though many businesses promise this level of consistency, only few regularly deliver. Some businesses become disorganized and rather than assigning clients to a specific salesman, they throw all of their clients into a big pool. This doesn't bode well for consistency or client loyalty.

A recent Fox News article discusses this problem and explains how CRM software can help solve it. According to the article, it's very common for clients to be matched with new salesmen every time they call the company:

"We've all had this experience: The second time we call into a company to buy a product or get support, we talk to a different person than the first time, and we need to re-educate the new person about our business or problem. It typically doesn't lead to a good experience, and we, as the consumer, feel that the vendor doesn't really understand us."

The article also explains how CRM software takes care of this problem on its own. CRM software organizes client information so it's easier for salesmen to keep track of past clients. This can help solve the problem of the large pool of clients and salesmen can keep doing business with the same clients.

With CRM software, the purchasing process is much simpler for clients. Upon their call or email, a sales representative of the company is already prepared with their past information so they can successfully guide them through their new purchase.

If you would like more information about CRM software, contact us.
Topics: CRM Why Use CRM
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Essential Business Applications of CRM Software

By Steve Stroz on Nov 12, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Business owners are always looking for ways to improve their sales process and better target their marketing efforts. CRM software can help you achieve both of these things, as well as introduce continuity between your marketing and sales teams. Here are three things you can do with CRM software: 

Prepare for leads

Converting leads is one of the most important tasks in regard to the sales process, but sales representatives aren't always as prepared as they should be. With CRM software, they can inform themselves about specific clients before meeting with them. 

According to a recent Small Business Trends article, sales representatives can build deeper relationships by incorporating CRM software into their preparation: 

"For instance, if you have a sales call scheduled with a valuable lead, CRM software would send you an email in advance so you remember to make the call.  Whenever a customer has an upcoming birthday, you or a sales rep would be notified so you promptly send out birthday wishes. Consequently, you can make customers feel more valued and build deeper relationships."

Align your marketing and sales teams 

Moreover, marketing teams can also benefit from CRM software. In particular, they're more in touch with the sales team since both parties are referring to the same data. As a result, the two teams are better aligned and can work together, rather than compete against one another. 

Improve your future marketing efforts

Users often relate the data collected by CRM software to the sales process. But does information concerning your target market have other important applications within your business? Marketing teams can learn from CRM data to better target their next marketing campaign. 

By implementing CRM software, businesses can improve their lead conversion, align their marketing and sales teams, and better target their future marketing efforts. To talk more about CRM software, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks. 

Topics: ACT! CRM Zoho HubSpot
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How Do You Know When It Is Time To Invest In Marketing Software?

By Steve Stroz on Nov 9, 2018 3:45:00 PM

If your business has not considered the transition to marketing software, you are now at the risk of being behind in the competitive race. You may be dealing with a boss who is a little hesitant about making the transition, or you are probably afraid at how much it may cost you to implement the software. You may also think that you already have enough resources to get the job done. 

Whatever the reason is for not using marketing software, you may need to think differently about it. Businesses that are using marketing automation or marketing software to develop prospects are seeing a significant increase in leads. It is highly important that you think about all the opportunities marketing software will present for improvements and growth.

If you are not quite convinced, here are some signs that your business may need to transition to marketing software.

You Do Not Have Enough Time For Anything

If your office has been using a disconnected set of tools and resources to try to accomplish something in your marketing department, it is highly likely that you probably feel the odds have been stacked against you. Well, honestly, they probably are.

The disconnection of putting information in and information coming out, having to learn new things just to remain proficient will take everything out of you. You will do this all day, and you will have missed opportunities to do other important things. With marketing software, you will have a tool that will provide you with all the resources and tools you need to be successful. 

You Have No Idea How You Got Those Leads

If you do not know which of your marketing platforms or efforts helped you get those leads, then you are definitely missing out on a huge opportunity to optimize and improve your traffic. If you have the right marketing software, you will never have to make guesses about leads. You will be able to quickly break down where everything came from. You will not have to feel like you are walking around in darkness. 

Knowing where your information is coming from and how you can improve from it is critical to the success and improvement of your business.

If you do not have the necessary insight to what is or is not working for your business, contact us today for help. 

Topics: ACT! CRM Zoho HubSpot
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How Do You Know When You Need To Improve Your Sales Process?

By Steve Stroz on Nov 5, 2018 3:00:00 PM

A good salesperson will be able to fully explain and convince potential customers why he or she is better than the next competitor. The ability to do this is what puts them in the front of the line when it comes to competition in their field.

In order to be among the best salespeople, your salespeople or salesperson should posses the following qualities:

  • Have the desire that can not be broken
  • Have the commitment to get the job done
  • Be responsible and have the understanding of the bigger picture
  • Have the technical skills for finding prospects and following through on them

Sales is what drives the revenue of your company. If you want to improve your sales organization and grow it, you need to implement a sales process improvement process that will allow you to manage, support, and examine everything. 

When you are seriously ready to make improvements to your sales process, you should evaluate where you are right now. You should ask yourself these questions about your company. Whatever your answers are, you can use them to take a new walk on the path of success:

  • Is it simple or difficult to order or buy from your company?
  • Why is it simple or difficult to buy from you?
  • What kind of feedback have customers given you? Why do they say those things about you?
  • What kind of things do your sales people tell you? Does your company support their sales process? Does it make them productive and effective? 
  • How well does your CRM software or system assist in the selling process? 

You need to consider what is important to your customers. When you have an understanding of what is important to them, you will be able to create a process that your salespeople can use to be effective and productive.

If you are serious about changing your organization with an improved sales process, do not hesitate to contact us today. You want to create better opportunities for your sellers and your customers. 

Topics: CRM Reporting
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How Much Employee Training is Necessary for CRM Software?

By Steve Stroz on Oct 26, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Employee training for CRM software is important, but there's a limit as to how much training is really necessary. For CRM software to be effective, it's true that employees need to understand the system and incorporate it in their daily tasks. Yet with all of the different CRM software providers on the market today, there's no reason not to choose a system that's intuitive and easy to grasp.

A recent Enterprise Apps Today article discusses several mistakes that businesses make with CRM software. According to the article, many businesses waste too much time and money on employee training, when they could have just selected a more straightforward system instead:

"Though many analysts emphasize the importance of upfront user education, Wettemann advises buying CRM software that is intuitive enough that most users won't require a great deal of training. Then rather than scheduling mass classroom training sessions, conduct small-group sessions with individuals or groups that need a little extra help, offering usage tips geared to their specific roles."

There are many important aspects to consider when selecting CRM software (ACT!, Salesforce, HubSpot) and employee training certainly isn't at the very top of the list. Businesses first need to consider the size of their company, their client base, and their budget.

But how intuitive a CRM system is should definitely have an impact on a business' final decision. CRM software is designed to make customer relations easier for the company and sales representatives in particular. There's no need to make them go through months and months of training to try and understand a complicated system.

When considering how much employee training for CRM software is necessary, keep the cost-benefit relationship of the purchase in mind. If training is starting to seem too costly and strenuous, then search for a more straightforward program.

If you would like more information about CRM software that doesn't require extensive employee training, contact us.
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Why CRM Software is a Logical Long-Term Investment

By Steve Stroz on Oct 22, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Businesses are often faced with the difficult task of staying modern while still making prudent long-term decisions. Particularly now, there are many new software developments that allow businesses to communicate with clients efficiently. While much of the software would have an immediate impact on customer relations, not all of the programs or applications will still be relevant in a few years time. Businesses therefore have to keep the balance between being trendy and making logical long-term investments.

Of all the customer relations software on the market today, experts remain confident that CRM software will be relevant in the distant future. CRM software has been growing and developing over the past few years, and it's expected to stay on that path.

A recent Gartner study asserts that CRM will continue its growth over the next few years. The company's research states that CRM software revenues will grow in 2014 and 2015.  Joanna Correia, research vice president at Gartner, voices her opinion of CRM software in the study and explains which areas of investment are particularly important:

"CRM will be at the heart of digital initiatives in coming years. This is one technology area that will definitely get funding as digital business is crucial to remaining competitive. Hot areas for CRM investment include mobility, social media and technologies, Web analytics and e-commerce."

CRM is the ultimate software for managing customer relations. It provides sales teams with the tools and information they need to keep their clients happy. With CRM software, sales representatives don't have to start from scratch with each client, rather they can look up their past order history and assist them through a simple order process.

In addition, it benefits the clients because they are able to place their orders quickly and with a reduced chance of error or miscommunication. This strengthens customer loyalty and lays the groundwork for future business deals.

If you would like more information about CRM software, contact us.
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Organization Provided by CRM Software Keeps Sales Representatives Informed

By Steve Stroz on Oct 4, 2018 3:00:00 PM

The main goal behind CRM software and other marketing software, like ACT!, is improved organization. In other words, businesses believe that if they remain organized in terms of sorting through their customer data and making it readily available for sales representatives, they will have a better chance of landing more sales.

With CRM software, organization starts with customer data. The software automatically records past sales and sorts through the important customer information, such as what they purchased, when they purchased it, and which sales representative guided them through their purchase.

Yet organization with CRM software goes much deeper than collecting customer information. It also guides sales representatives through future sales so that they're more prepared and have a better chance at finalizing them. It removes much of the unknown in the sales process and keeps sales representatives on the right track.

A recent Business 2 Community article discusses several types of marketing software, including CRM. The article explains that when choosing a software, businesses should focus on the type of organization it provides:

“There’s two sides to organizing content: organizing the creation, distribution, promotion and performance of the content itself, and organizing those who will create that content. This is why a strong workflow management process is crucial. The software you choose should not only provide a higher-level view of the content being produced and producers, but the ability to set defined process steps and to collaborate from the idea stage to distribution to reporting.”

Organization that is provided by CRM software isn't something that can be done with simple calendars or word documents. Such tools can only go so far in presenting customer information, while CRM software collects, stores, and organizes the data so sales representatives can easily use it. With this information, sales reps are ultimately in a better position to make future sales with the clients.

If you would like more information about CRM software, contact us.
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Using CRM Software to Treat Clients as Individuals, Rather than Numbers

By Steve Stroz on Oct 2, 2018 4:00:00 PM

When doing business with your company, clients want to feel as if they're respected individuals, rather than faceless numbers. Unfortunately, as sales grow and companies expand, businesses sometime struggle to give clients the individual attention they desire. In fact, there are many companies that unknowingly treat their clients as if they're faceless numbers.

It's not that businesses intend to lose track of their customers; oftentimes they just don't have the technology to stay organized. Using sales and marketing software helps businesses to stay organized and keep track of their customers. This ultimately allows companies to give more attention to clients and have more-tailored marketing campaigns.

CRM software is a type of sales software that keeps businesses organized by collecting and sorting its customer data. With CRM software, sales representatives have more access to information about clients and are more prepared to close sales.

A recent Top Tech News article discusses CRM software and explains how it can improve businesses' sales process. The article references Mike Gualtieri, an analyst at Forrester Research, who asserts that CRM software can improve customer engagement efforts:

“Effective CRM analysis enables marketing managers and customer service workers to treat people as individuals rather than faceless members of market segments, Gualtieri said. That kind of customer knowledge can lead to more-tailored marketing campaigns and improved customer engagement efforts.”

Without CRM software, sales representatives essentially have no concrete information about their clients. They're simply going off their memories and past experiences with the clients and hoping their intuition can help them land a sale.

CRM software provides sales representatives with data and information so they don't have to rely on memories and intuition. Sales representatives are therefore more informed and educated about their clients, ultimately leading to more sales.

If you would like more information about CRM software, contact us.
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Minimize Time Consumption with Contact Management Software

By Steve Stroz on Sep 28, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Being able to communicate effectively is essential for the success of many businesses. It is important to understand that there is plenty of software out there, designed to help people do this easily. Using contact management software can improve the experience of just about everyone involved. These benefits range from the employee that needs plenty of information to the customer that is able to get what they want initially through the knowledge of others. Using this software saves everyone time, which is something you can never get enough of when running a business.

Preserve Contact Details after Entering Once

Having the ability to share contact details to everyone in your business can mean the difference between outstanding and mediocre success, and this is because knowledge is power. The more you know about a potential customer or existing customer, the more you can do to satisfy their wants and needs. Using contact management software allows this information to be obtained just about anywhere, which is extremely helpful for those that travel frequently for business.

Easy Place to Store All Sorts of Information

Before this kind of software was available, people had to deal with the alternatives. It was not as an effective method, but it was suitable. It is critical to realize the ease of being able to use one piece of software to store important contact details for everyone you want to see. Additionally, since it can be updated by anyone you want to have the power to do so, information can always be kept updated.

Avoid Any Confusion with Your Customers

If you are trying to win customers over, one of the best ways to do this is with knowledge. Having details regarding conversation, memos, criteria, wants and needs, and the ability to bring this information up when a customer calls is both incredible and extremely beneficial to have. It is important not to underestimate the power of software like this, especially in such a competitive world where all it takes is just one mistake for a customer to begin looking elsewhere for assistance.

Using contact management software can help you get ahead of the game and save lots of time, contact us for additional information.
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Sales Process Improvement with CRM Software

By Steve Stroz on Sep 26, 2018 3:00:00 PM

When your business depends on making a sale, whether it is a product or a service that you provide, a lot of your time and attention is spent on the process of closing the deal. Sales Process Improvement can help your company spend more time building relationships with your clients and prospects, leading to increased customer satisfaction and repeat business, as well as referrals. One of the easiest ways to improve your sales process is by using CRM (customer relationship management) software.

A CRM system (ACT!, Salesforce, Hubspot) can help ensure that you are giving your clients and prospects more attention, while reducing the amount of time wasted by poor record keeping. By having all the client's or prospect's information in one place, along with your notes, tasks, and status of the deal, you are better able to focus on what you do best: closing the deal.

CRM software can also keep track of the number and type of deals in your sales pipeline, so that your company is better prepared to estimate the value of the sales pipeline, to control your delivery obligations, and to make sure that your customers' needs are met in a timely manner.

Depending on the system that you choose, individual orders can be tracked from lead through sale through delivery, sales tracking will also allow trends and purchase patterns to be analyzed for trends, again to better meet customer's needs and orders. Your company can also use the information to develop marketing initiatives and other forms of business development.

Sales tracking allows each individual salesperson's performance to be evaluated on objective criteria. Keeping this information in one place will also ensure continuity in the face of employee turnover.

Need more reasons to use a Customer Relationship Management system? To talk more about this, or anything else, please Contact us. Thanks.
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Sales Software: The Key to a Smooth Running Business

By Steve Stroz on Sep 20, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Making the risky decision to start a business is never an easy one but it is one people make everyday, with results being evident in virtually everything we buy or interact with. After first taking the leap to start the business, small business owners are then stuck with an entirely new set of problems they must face -- such as setting up their website; coming up with their marketing plans for the foreseeable future; and not least of all, figuring out the prices for their items.

One solution that more and more small business owners are starting to accept is to use Sales Software. The benefit of this software comes in its innate ability to take large amounts of information that would have otherwise been incredibly difficult to work with, and turn it into easily understandable data.

The days of manually managing ones books are long gone. Now, businesses can keep track of their sales and inventory all in one go. By providing the software with certain parameters -- such as the target demographic and the general climate of the economy in general -- the software is able to come up with results that can help you manage your business. One type of business in particular that stands to benefit from such software is the restaurant business. Instead of playing guess and check with regards to what types of food to order for that week, being able to see what customers have ordered and when would ultimately help the bottom line drastically.

If you would like to know more about how sales software can help you and your business, feel free to contact us.  
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The Internet's Contributions to the Marketing Process

By Steve Stroz on Sep 18, 2018 4:30:00 PM

The Marketing Process is one that involves the consideration and implementation of multiple parts of a business's overall marketing campaign. Marketing in today's constantly-connected world is much different than it was even just ten years ago, thanks in large part to the internet.

The most sizable contributions to the marketing process that the internet has introduced are:

1. Social Media Marketing

Before the internet, social media would have been impossible -- and is actually quite difficult to even fathom. Virtually all serious companies today leverage social media to the benefit of their marketing platform. Being able to reach thousands upon thousands of people every day, for the low cost of free, is something that would be difficult for anyone to turn down.

2. Pay-per-click advertising

Pay-per-click advertising is a great way for businesses to get off the ground and take off running -- especially well funded ones. Part of the reason why pay-per-click advertising is still an absolute necessity -- even with free marketing options available, like social media -- is people can't avoid it. Using social media is an active choice people make. Pay-per-click advertisements have become so pervasive that it is almost impossible to avoid them, even if one tried.

3. Search engine optimization

This is perhaps the head honcho of them all and is primarily concerned with getting a business to rank as high as possible in search engine results for a specific group of keywords or phrases. Getting started in optimizing a website's SEO is simple enough, but taking to the the level that could eventually get a site to the front page of Google, is another.

If you would like to know more about the marketing process please feel free to contact us and we would be more than happy to elaborate on it for you.
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Enhancing Your Sales Software Utilization

By Steve Stroz on Sep 13, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Having the best tool at your disposal is critical in this fast-paced ultra-competitive environment. It seems every business is feverishly looking for an edge on the competition. Finding, implementing and fully integrating a tool that can be a sustainable competitive advantage is difficult but well worth the effort since it can be the difference between atrophy and growth. Utilizing superior sales tracking software will help your staff close more sales and be more productive. . .a sustainable competitive advantage that can't be beat. Once you've found that superior sales software that fits your business, the next step is establishing best practices that will optimize usage and performance.

Developing best practices around efficient processes is essential. Having a tool that is intuitive, therefore, is paramount. One great way of uncovering efficient processes is to have staff members conduct friendly competitions using different methodologies for the same task. Also, you could have multiple teams collaborate and compete to see which team can come up with the most efficient and/or quality results for a given task.

Once efficient best practices have been established it is important to insist on consistency. This ensures quality control but also enhances productivity. If there is a steady stream of turnover in the sales staff this also allows for smooth transitions when there is new personnel coming on board. It also gives the training department or mentors the opportunity to teach new members best practices quickly. Finally, this strategy makes it possible for staff to cover for each other in case someone is temporarily out of the office (ill, doctor appointment, etc.) or you decide to permanently rearrange sales teams.

Last but not least is the importance of repetition. The old saying "practice makes perfect" is not accurate. What is correct is "PERFECT practice makes perfect." Having staff members repeat these sales tracking software best practices consistently during every single interaction will help them achieve proficiency. Balancing the art and science of sales can be tricky, so allowing sales staff to incorporate their own style into the mix is critical for employee satisfaction and performance. Having the right tool will make it much more likely that they will actually use the tool and best practices.

One of the main things sales staff will complain about is their sales tracking software. Equipping them with a superior tool will improve employee morale and performance. Once equipped with a superior tool, it becomes so much easier and more enjoyable to collaboratively develop best practices as a team. If you're looking for a superior tool to build best practices around, please contact us; we have what your sales staff wants.

For any questions on CRM software or anything else, contact us. Thanks.

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Transform Your Sales Process Routine with CRM Software

By Steve Stroz on Sep 12, 2018 3:00:00 PM

One of the driving thoughts behind CRM software is that if businesses are more thorough and methodical, they'll ultimately finalize more sales. CRM keeps sales representatives on track so that they're concentrated on each individual customer.

A problem with old sales techniques is that they relied too heavily on the memory of representatives. Sales were based off of personal relationships rather than data or information. While a personal touch is still important in sales today, this style leaves room for error as there's no real routine.

Programs like ACT! or Salesforce introduce routine into sales. They compile information about clients and present it in a neat and organized way. This way, when clients are ready for another order, sales representatives know their buying habits and needs.

A recent Business 2 Community article discusses the implementation of CRM software and explains how it can improve a business' sales process. According to the article, CRM software ensures that sales representatives are more though in their approach:

“Knowing exactly where each of your leads or potential clients is along this line makes it easier to allocate your time. Nobody will fall through the cracks, get forgotten or get too many calls when they’re not interested. Most CRM systems should literally allow you to move people along a sales process in a systematic way until the deal is done. Working in a methodical way like this, ensures your business grows in a sustainable fashion.”

In addition to helping company representatives during the sales process, CRM software benefits clients as well. Clients will enjoy the more systemic approach to purchases because it's more efficient and accurate. They won't have to worry about missing an order or having to start from scratch with a new sales representative.

The overall effect of CRM software is improved continuity in businesses. Sales representatives are more informed and aware of approaching sales, and clients are guided by a knowledgeable representative through their purchase order.

If you would like more information about CRM software, contact us.
Topics: CRM Organization
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Can ACT! Software Make Your Work Day Easier?

By Steve Stroz on Sep 6, 2018 3:00:00 PM

An issue that many businesses face is how they can improve and grow. Businesses want to build relationships that will become profitable in the future. Communication is also a hurdle that some businesses have to figure out. Businesses and teams want to be able to manage their communications and enhance efficiency.

ACT! software can be used to help business owners and the employees increase their effectiveness. Their effectiveness can be improved by easily managing the contacts and all of the various relationships more easily. As a business owner or an employee, you will be reminded of any incomplete tasks and follow-ups with customers.

Your database can be organized with different keywords and categories that will make your client search much easier. You can complete your clientele search in a few seconds.

Why Should You Consider Purchasing ACT! Software?

Sales

ACT! software will help you keep track and manage all of your sales. You can focus your efforts and time on the best deals. As a result, you can shorten all of the sales cycles, while lowering the cost of selling.

Users can access details about all of their contacts from one interface.

As a result, you have time to focus on growing your business. You no longer have to waste time searching for information that should be readily available.

Contact management software should not be confusing.

ACT! software is not a difficult tool to implement. It is an intuitive application, and all users can easily get started with little trouble.

Your work day can be managed much more efficiently and effectively.

All of your managing tools, such as calenders and schedulers will help everyone stay organizing throughout the busy work day.

ACT! Software Is Cost-Friendly

Many database or customer management software want you to pay monthly or per use. When you implement ACT! software, you will only pay for the software one time. You will then own it, that is until you decide to upgrade your software.

If you are a business owner looking for a cost-effective customer relationship management software that allows you to record all of the customer's information, track all of the communication, and manage sales and marketing ACT! is waiting for you. Contact us for more information.
Topics: ACT! Sales
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How CRM Software Improves Market Segmentation

By Steve Stroz on Sep 3, 2018 4:00:00 PM

Market segmentation is crucial to a business’ sales and marketing programs. If they’re going to be successful in marketing their product, they need to target people who would actually have a need for it. Otherwise, businesses would be spending tons of money on unprofitable ventures.

Market segmentation is generally looked at as a part of the marketing process. Sales representatives aren’t supposed to think about their target audience, rather they’re supplied with it by the marketing team. The communication between the sales and marketing teams is crucial for the effective targeting of the market segment.

With CRM software, however, the process changes a bit. With all the data stored about customers in the software, businesses can easily find their specific target market. This information needs to be communicated between the sales and marketing teams. When done correctly, this process is more efficient and effective.

A recent Toolbox article discusses marketing segmentation and the use of CRM. According to the article, businesses can improve their segmentation with CRM software:

“There's an art to effective market segmentation, but it's an art that can be learned. What's more, modern CRM tools can help you come up with effective segmentation and guide you in producing strategies aimed at maximizing returns on the segmentation approach.”

With CRM software, sales representatives are better equipped to finalize sales with the data and information about customers stored in the system. The data allows them to predict customers’ needs and wants based on their past order history.

In addition, marketers are better informed with CRM software because they have information about their target market. They can analyze statistics and incorporate the new information into their market segmentation process.

If you would like more information about CRM software, contact us.  Enjoy your Labor Day!  

Topics: CRM Marketing
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Why Email Marketing Software is So Useful for Businesses

By Steve Stroz on Sep 1, 2018 5:00:00 PM

In regard to the best ways to devote time and effort as a business, increasing efficiency is one of them. Accomplishing this can be done in a multitude of ways, which means email marketing software is an option to take into consideration. While you can market your business through email manually, depending on how many customers you deal with on a daily basis, this can become overwhelming and too challenging to handle without sacrificing the quality of response you provide. Using email marketing software will help you success as a business in various ways.

Immediate Notifications Allow for a Speedy Response

It is not a viable option to spend every minute looking at your email, and this is not a recommended task to have your employees doing as nothing would ever get accomplished except for answering emails. Fortunately, you can use email marketing software to ease this difficulty as software can lead to receiving immediate notifications, which allow you to respond as quickly as possible.

Results Are Analyzed in an Efficient Manner

When it comes to making business decisions, you should really not rely on chance. In this case, email marketing software is extremely useful as it provides proper analytics. Instead of guessing which methods are bringing the greatest success, you will have concrete information with statistics. Email marketing software is also capable of tracking click behavior, which can make a rather substantial difference on your overall success when you adjust your marketing to cater to the results.

Communication as a Whole Can Be Improved

Making the best use of email for your business means your communication as a whole will improve. It is very common for businesses to connect with each other through email, and then there are customers that are imperative to the success of your business. Features such as instant notifications and proper analytics will ensure you are able to provide high quality communication to those of importance.

Contact us to learn more about marketing software for your business. Enjoy your labor day weekend!

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How Can a Social Media Marketing Process and CRM Create a Winning Solution?

By Steve Stroz on Aug 30, 2018 3:00:00 PM

The combination of Customer Relationship Management(CRM) and social media can be a fantastic combination that will allow your brand to connect with your customers much better than before. Social media can help improve and enhance your normal CRM methods because you will be able to engage in numerous social media conversations. You can also track leads on Facebook, Twitter, and any other network you choose to interact with.

Your social media marketing process should focus on the efforts that will have content that attracts and encourages your audience. As a result, your audience will share it with their networks. A message that comes from a corporate site or page that spreads among the users will resonate because the message will be looked at as a legitimate source.

Teamwork Makes The Dream Work

There is a growing need for some type of engagement with your marketing and your social media's customer service. There is a growing pressure to come together to make social media engagement better. When the day is over, the brands will be depending on the two sides to come together, and work closer together.

Customer Experience

You are able to interact with customers based on their preferences. Whether it is Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, you should reach out and connect with your customers. Customers are at the center of what can be the difference between a trusted relationship or a forced relationship. Instead of pushing messages out to customers, your brand should collaborate with your customers to come up with unique ideas and solutions.

What Can You Do For Your Employees?

We are all a little opposed to any kind of risks, but social media and CRM aren't new things. There are numerous conversations happening constantly, whether publicly or privately. You can't control everything, but you can add tools and other policies to show people how to do things the right way. Set certain guidelines and basic rules. Teach your employees everything you know, and then sit back and put your trust in them. The employees who are considered "social" will understand that you're not only selling to the customers, but to the community surrounding your business.

Social media is an inexpensive podium that gives you an opportunity to enhance you marketing processes.

If you would like more information on social media marketing processes and CRM, contact us.
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The Opportunity Cost Associated With CRM Software

By Steve Stroz on Aug 27, 2018 3:00:00 PM

CRM software can have a powerful impact on a business' sales process. Sales representatives are better equipped with data and information so they can be more effective in their talks with clients. The data gathered and compiled by CRM software can increase efficiency within a company.

Considering all of these benefits, there's certainly an opportunity cost associated with CRM software. In other words, choosing not to invest in CRM software can actually cost a business money. Instead of enjoying the benefits of the software, the company would be staying stagnant while their competitors pass them by.

A recent Business 2 Community article discusses CRM software and explains how a business can lose money by not investing in the software. This perspective also takes into account the rising costs of the service:

“Another built-in benefit of choosing a robust platform at the start of managing associations comes in the form of future savings. Manpower, equipment upgrades, loss of opportunities and allowing your competition to hurdle you add pressure to those deciding to switch relationship database software later down the road. Costs will inevitably grow, constraining business growth.”

CRM software is a long-term investment. Businesses that worry about the initial cost aren't focusing on the long-term benefits of the software.

Another thing companies should keep in mind is how their competition will benefit from the software. Any business that has crucial data about their target market has an edge over their competitors. It may not make a big difference in the first few weeks, but after a few months it will be evident. If a business doesn't want to fall behind in their market, they should focus on collecting data and information about their sales and customers.

Businesses should think of the opportunity cost if they're unsure about CRM software. Choosing to save money now may be a bad financial decision in the long run.

If you would like more information about CRM software, contact us.
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CRM Software: An Investment Your Sales Representatives Will Appreciate

By Steve Stroz on Aug 24, 2018 4:00:00 PM

Relationships between sales representatives and customers are crucial for businesses. While it's more of an old-fashioned strategy, some companies still rely on these relationships for future sales.

It's okay if companies have this strategy, but they have to invest in order to fortify it. Placing the entire weight of a business' sales on the shoulders of sales representatives just isn't fair. You can't expect them to memorize each little detail about clients and close every sale.

You can, however, support sales representatives to lighten their burden. Sales tools, such as ACT!, Hubspot, or Salesforce (CRM software), make it easier for sales representatives to stay organized. This way, they can look back on information about the past sales of a client and utilize it in future negotiations.

A recent Small Biz Trends article talks about the benefits of CRM software. The article explains how the software can help keep representatives organized by creating a contact list and making information easily retrievable:

“When dealing with hundreds or even thousands of customers, it’s easy to become disorganized and overwhelmed. Fortunately, the right CRM software makes it simple and intuitive to keep customer information organized and retrievable. By maintaining a contact list, it gives you quick access to a wealth of information like customer email, telephone, buying history and birthday.”

CRM software takes some of the weight off of sales representatives' shoulders. They no longer have to memorize and record each sale or order. The information is organized and presented in a way that's easy to interpret and understand.

Companies can still rely on their representatives for sales. An investment in CRM software simply hedges this bet. Sales representatives are better equipped to do their job, which should translate to more sales for the company.

If you are interested in CRM software or would like to keep your sales representatives organized, contact us.

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Why CRM Software is Beneficial for Financial Advisors

By Steve Stroz on Aug 22, 2018 3:00:00 PM

CRM software is particularly effective in the financial advising industry. Now more than ever, financial advisors rely on statistics to make the most prudent decisions. CRM software makes this possible by collecting, organizing, and presenting data.

A recent Tech Page One article discusses the benefits of CRM software for financial advisors . According to the article, CRM software improves the overall business process while still reducing costs.

“These systems boost productivity and reduce costs. They allow advisors to store data so that it’s easier to access and analyze, to monitor communications with clients within their practices, and to execute transactions. Some leading firms in the advisory space say that they’re handling four times their previous workload with the same-sized staff. Others say that they’ve linked their CRMs to dramatic growth in assets under management and revenues.”

Data collection is the most important benefit for financial advisors. They not only have access to more data, but it's also presented in a way that's easy to access and understand. This gives advisors a significant edge over their competitors.

Improved communication also comes with CRM software. Nowadays, clients want to consistently be in touch with their financial advisors. Communication now plays a more important role than ever, and financial advisors have to respect this. CRM software like ACT! or Hubspot make communication with clients easier and more organized.

CRM software also can be integrated into the transaction process. This makes transactions easier for both advisors and clients. The system is easy to monitor so businesses can instead focus on the data and communication aspects.

All of these benefits combined make CRM software an essential component of a financial advisor's practices. Despite all of the services offered, CRM software is a long-term investment and will even reduce expenses.

If you are a financial advisor and would like more information about CRM software, contact us.
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How Can Sales Software Lead You to an Efficient and Effective Customer Relationship?

By Steve Stroz on Aug 20, 2018 3:00:00 PM

It is highly critical for businesses to make their office processes and practices a smooth process. Since it is such an important task, some businesses use sales software as a means to streamline processes in their offices. When a business streamlines certain tasks, it leaves more time to focus on other important duties. You already know how challenging and complicated handling all of the sales tasks can be, and they can all vary. Sales software can make the process much easier for your business. Your assignments can be automated, and your employees can receive a notice or a reminder about when to contact customers. The entire process can be tracked so everyone can determine if any improvements need to be made.

Improving and maintaining relationships with customers can result in everyone's goal being accomplished, which should be making and closing a sale. When your employees are organized and all of the office data is organized, your business will have a better chance of accomplishing your sales goals.

How can sales software from Gold Coast Advisors help your business?

You will not have to spend countless time searching for sales information. With sales software, you can find information quickly, whenever you need it. When you need to find certain notes that you have made, potential sales opportunities, and future appointments, you can quickly find this information just by using the search tool. 
You can easily manage all of your customers. You can have access to a number of important communication information so you can effectively assist your customers when they need help with your products or services. You will typically have this information available to you from the purchases that have been made, or from the point-of-sale systems.
Improve your understanding of the customers. When you have customer information in front of you, you will gain an understanding of what the customers like. When you know what products and services customers recently purchased, you will have a high chance of predicting what other services or products they may want in the future.
When you are able to track your sales, your marketing efforts, and all of the activities of your employees you are giving your business a chance to improve and grow.


Contact us for any assistance or questions you may have about implementing sales software in your business.

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How Can Social Media Marketing Software Improve The Image of Your Business?

By Steve Stroz on Aug 17, 2018 3:30:00 PM

In these times, any business that uses computers or other mobile devices is probably active on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so on. This does not necessarily mean that the business completely uses the full benefits of the social media networks, or uses them to their full potential. When this happens, it becomes unfortunate because there are numerous benefits waiting for companies to explore. What makes these networks so great is that they do not cost a penny to use.

Social media marketing has taken over the traditional methods of advertising and marketing, especially when it comes to finding potential customers or prospects. Since people love sharing the products they love and the services they use, instead of talking about it, people take to social media to post a status about it or tweet about it. There are different ideas and platforms that a small business and medium-sized business can really use to enjoy all of the great benefits that the larger businesses accomplish with their big marketing campaigns.

A social media marketing software can help companies engage with their customers in their own element, which can truly be an effective way to engage and connect with the customers the company seeks to target. If a company has ever considered creating a stronger customer base by using social media networks, then a software can be the option or solution it is searching for. A software can make marketing by social media easier and less time-consuming.

When you use social media marketing software, companies can find easier ways to find potential customers who are constantly involved with social media networks. A software designed to help you market your brand on social media can search for actual conversations that are being discussed. Those conversations can be about things they are considering purchasing or the kinds of services they are looking to find.

When the software helps find those conversations, a product or service can be shared with the people involved in the conversations. There can also be a way to offer the potential customers a little bit more if they agree to share the conversations or statuses with their friends or followers.

Social media definitely has the power to join potential customers and businesses together because of the incredible method of communication. Everyone has the opportunities to freely express their ideas and suggestions that could help a business grow. There are endless possibilities and opportunities out there.

Is your business doing all it needs to do to be one of the best on social media? Contact us, and with our diverse portfolio we can assist your company with whatever it needs.
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ACT! Software Allows Sales Teams To Interact With Customers On Social Media; Facilitates 'Cross-Selling'.

By Steve Stroz on Aug 15, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Part of your success as a business owner relies heavily on the files you keep on your growing customer base. You’ve managed to created a ‘customized’ spreadsheet linked to cells that link to other tabs with full profiles and product-purchase history; too, you use Outlook to keep track of suppliers, including those on your most-favored lists.

Do-away with silos of information...

But the many silos of information are making it difficult for your growing sales team to really provide good customer service, such as knowing when to cross-sell your wide range of products. After all, your records do show that is a source of growing revenue---when it’s performed by your sales people consistently.

Reach customers wherever they ‘hang out’...

Now with all of your customer data integrated through the ACT! Software platform, your sales team can not only reach their customers on their social media channels, send an em about a relevant product promotion as well as generate sales reports; this, without moving in-and-around and-out-of separate files or documents.

Mobile-access increases sales productivity...

What’s more, the sales team can access this info while they’re in customer’s lobby, or enroute to a client meeting; and furthermore users can still interact with Outlook, Office Google, Twitter, Facebook and even LinkedIn from inside the Act! module.

Use it for collaboration and hot-call follow ups!

Checking quotes, client/vendor payments and even collaborating with other stakeholders on a project is easily accomplished. Marketing departments can create more targeted campaigns by analyzing customer data to select groups of customers. Moreover, automated call lists can reflect those ‘hot leads’ to followup on.

For sure, Act! software remains one of the most productive tools for business today, providing the level of Contact and CRM features to make business more profitable.

Contact us to learn how this software can be customized to expand with your business.
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Sales Process Improvement: Cornerstone of CRM Software.

By Steve Stroz on Aug 13, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Business owners are always seeking new ways of achieving Sales Process Improvement to increase revenue. Often, though, an owner may not have the time to diligently search the latest tools in technology.

Sadly, its the company’s customers who are hurt: they are not benefiting from the transparency and communication derived from software like a proven Customer Relations Management (CRM) platform.  

In fact, a study of companies on a fast-track for growth indicated that 63 percent of those with the highest trending growth (revenue) were using CRM software.

CRM and sales planning…

Instead of numerous sales people working independently in ill-defined territories, CRM software analyzes those silos of isolated information; then, it can produce forecasting reports to help managers assign sales teams to optimize their efforts.

CRM and Lead Conversion…

Forget about the task of assigning all of those incoming leads when they’ve gone ‘cold.’ CRM programs will track incoming leads to provide assignments to productive salespeople.

In short, CRM helps track sales quotas and create sales strategies.

CRM helps the customer 'win'…

Knowing what your customer needs, and when he’s most likely to need it, is the key to exacting more revenue from the best sourcer: your existing customers.

CRM will make customer profiles easy to access remotely on an array of smart devices; this, while managing customer contracts.

Analysis of data…

Leads are not only tracked more efficiently, but the information is readily available to assist sales teams in ‘cross-selling’ by understanding customer needs.

Pricing and order completion…

Instead of sales teams putting customers on hold, or calling them back because they don’t have current pricing data, CRM provides a seamless channel to the latest company information.

What’s more, the orders can be completed via CRM, which speeds up the process and makes for a happy customers.

We work with lots of CRM software, including ACT!, Hubspot, Salesforce and Zoho, making it our goal to know the ins and outs of the programs and the industry surrounding it.

Contact us to learn more about CRM software, and how it can be customized to grow with your business---without starting all over again with new software!

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Contact Management Software Can Be The Solution To Your Sales Organization's Struggles

By Steve Stroz on Aug 10, 2018 4:00:00 PM

You are one of several people who have a career sales. Congratulations because you are in a great deal of luck. There are several opportunities and advances that makes it much easier to sell products and services. Contact management software, like ACT!, Hubspot, Salesforce, or Zoho, is important in any sales operation because it is a key that can get everything started.

Know Who You Are Interacting With

With everything that is involved with selling products and services, it is important that everyone knows about their prospects. You have to find out everything your potential customers want and need. When you use contact management software, you will be able to track every bit of information of your prospects, clients, and customers. You can store all information and communication activities that occur during the sales process.

Paint A Picture Of Your Prospects

When someone wants to find something pertaining to a particular customer, there should be enough stored information that will allow anyone to paint a picture of who that person is and what that person likes. Whenever you are attempting to sale something, you have to know who you are speaking with. You need enough confidence to effectively win the customer and knock the sale out of the park. One of the main purposes in using the software is that everyone who looks at the information can understand what goes on during the process of selling products and services.

Make Selling Happen On A Consistent Basis

When every one in the office is on the same page or at least in the same book, it makes it easier to handle things on a consistent basis. When using contact management software, everyone will be able to determine what selling techniques are being used so they can successfully make a sale. People will know that whenever they are in contact with your business or organization, every one of your colleagues will all be linked together.

When everyone is linked together and everyone knows that is going on, you can provide outstanding services and experiences. Contact management software will keep everyone on track. The contact management software will keep up with everyone's daily tasks and responsibilities; you will not have to worry about anyone wasting precious time.

Contact us if you want to find out how this software can work for your business. 
Topics: CRM Organization
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ACT! Software provides mobile access to customer data in the field and on the road.

By Steve Stroz on Aug 8, 2018 4:30:00 PM

Staying competitive in today’s global economy relies on the latest technology platforms to improve sales and customer relations. That means using old marketing methods like combing through Outlook to create an email list for that next campaign, or using Excel spreadsheets for sales reports and earning projections, remain inefficient and unproductive.

Customer data: location...location...

For one thing, consider all of the locations where your key data resides, from documents and files kept on-premise among numerous PCs to notes attached to documents ‘filed away’ in the cabinet behind you.

When that key customer calls, salespeople need immediate access to his purchasing history, and what other products or services (cross selling) he might be interested in.

All of this must happen in a behind-the-scene manner, so the attention during the phone call, for example, is on the customer versus trying to navigate upteen windows to piece together the client’s profile.

Still use ‘Outlook’ but more efficiently…

ACT! Software lets users enter contact information quickly, and utilizes the ‘Outlook Integration’ feature to instantly create a new contact info right from an Outlook email.

Create ‘groups’ with similar profiles…

Sales people normal work with many clients with similar needs; rather than view multiple screens for info, ACT! allows the creation of a Dynamic Group: it will list all the clients meeting a certain filter set by the user.

Outside sales can benefit with ‘BatchGeo’...

A widely popular add-on, this module shows a map location of clients to assist outside sales teams in scheduling their calls.

Mobile access…

Customer profiles, sales info and other on-demand reports can be generating via smart devices, be it cell phone or tablet. Productivity takes on a new meaning as sales teams can collaborate on the road and in the field.

Contact us to learn more about customizing ACT! for your organization.
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How Marketing Software Can Give Your Business Consistency

By Steve Stroz on Aug 6, 2018 3:00:00 PM

While some businesses rely on the skill of an individual person to do business, this is generally not the most effective method of doing business because it is unreliable and hard to repeat success. Each individual is going to be slightly different in their methods of communication with customers, which can lead to inconsistencies from your employees and dissatisfied customers at times.

It is better to create fluidity with marketing software, which will help you get all of your employees on the same pathway that will lead to the same positive results.

Better Handling of Customer Data

Marketing software allows for customer information to be stored and accessed within seconds. Instead of an employee having to pull up some data or not have any at all, they will have plenty of information at their disposal to use for providing the greatest experience.

Consistent Customer Communication

As a business, you need to work on representing the same positive image to every potential and existing customer out there. Unfortunately, this cannot be accomplished without marketing software because your employees will lack the ability to communicate with customers in the same manner every time. Marketing software gives you what you need to be consistent in providing superb customer service.

Higher Performance Levels

When your employees and customers and communicating at an overall positive level, you will notice that customers make more purchases and employees work better than normal. It is a change that can be permanent when you use marketing software and make sure your employees use it as well.

Consistency is just one benefit that comes with marketing software. Contact us with any questions you may have, to acquire more information about our marketing software, or to get your hands on this software that is certain to bring success.
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Why the Entire Company Should Use CRM Software

By Steve Stroz on Aug 2, 2018 3:00:00 PM

CRM software will improve many companies' business operations, but there are a few things they can do to take it a step further. One of which deals with coordination across departments within the company.

CRM software, like ACT!, Hubspot, Salesforce, and Zoho, will have the most powerful impact if all employees are using the system. This keeps employees informed not just about the company, but also about current clients.

This is particularly important for sales representatives. It's crucial that they know the most recent customer interactions from all different perspectives. A recent Forbes article explains how collaboration can improve the experience for representatives:

“It’s about more than just sales and salespeople. Have you ever called a customer to talk about your new offering only to find out that they are having a major problem right now? Most of us have had that happen. Ensure that your entire organization uses the platform to document customer interactions. Of course, your salespeople need the discipline to check the system before contacting the customer.”

Sales representatives should be using CRM software to constantly stay informed and updated about their clients. This makes the sales process more efficient, as representatives know their clients' patterns and when they'll be ready for their next order.

But with coordination, all of the weight doesn't fall on the shoulders of sales representatives. They certainly have the responsibility to use the software, but that doesn't mean other employees shouldn't use it as well. When the entire company is contributing to and keeping updated with CRM software, the employees are more informed and in touch with the sales process.

Keeping track of all customer interactions on CRM software leads to future customer loyalty. Clients know that the company cares about them and they feel more like a respected client than a source of money.

If you would like more information about CRM software, contact us.
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Sending Surveys After Customer Interactions with CRM Software

By Steve Stroz on Aug 1, 2018 3:00:00 PM

CRM software has several different functions that can be used for different purposes. In the end, it's all about bringing loyal customers back for future business by offering supreme customer service. CRM software helps businesses achieve this end.

A recent Forbes article outlines the three major functions of CRM software, which are listed as follows:

Tracking and managing customer purchases and contact at major touch points including the phone, email, chat and social media.
Customer history and segmentation information is provided to the Customer Service Representative (CSR) to identify the most appropriate sales offer and manage the sales process.
Surveying customers (usually by email) after the contact. The results are included in the database for reference by the next CSR.
The third function is the one we'll be focusing on in this blog. Surveying customers after an order or interaction is important for several reasons. First of all, it lets businesses know how they're doing or if their customer service was adequate. In addition, it lets customers know that the company wants to follow up with them and make sure they're doing OK. The company isn't just giving the client attention prior to a purchase, they're also making sure they're satisfied and will come back again.

Do companies need CRM software to send surveys out to customers? In principle, no. But if companies want to stay organized, send surveys out punctually, and keep track of all of their responses, then it would be hard to do without the software.

CRM software takes some of the burden off of employees when it comes to customer service. It keeps clients, employees, and data organized so the business is up-to-date with their customer relations. In the case of sending surveys, businesses can use the software to send automatic emails after customer interactions.

If you would like more information about CRM software, contact us.
Topics: CRM Research
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Integrating CRM Software with Marketing Automated Software

By Steve Stroz on Jul 27, 2018 4:30:00 PM

When it comes to their function and use, CRM systems are very flexible. Their features could benefit businesses in several different ways. Innovative business managers will find ways to use their CRM software to its full potential.

CRM software, like ACT!, Hubspot, Salesforce, and Zoho, is also compatible with other software. It won't interfere with other applications and in some cases, it may even be able to integrate with them. This helps businesses stay organized with their software and applications.

In particular, CRM software works especially well with marketing automation software. The combination of the two be can the perfect link between customer service, sales, and marketing teams for small businesses.

A recent Tech Target article explains how CRM systems can be integrated with marketing automated software. According to the article, businesses can even motivate marketers to use the system:

“To drive home the use of CRM for a marketing department, create enthusiasm about its use by creating custom objects when necessary. A ticketing system that allows sales and others to make marketing collateral requests via the CRM system has had great success in not only improving marketing integration, but also user adoption. This enables marketing to track the requests it receives, how long it takes to answer these requests, and who handles them within a department.”

Marketers should be encouraged to use CRM software, but they're not always motivated to do so. If this is the case, businesses need to think of ideas on how to get them to willingly use the software.

To do this, businesses need to offer incentives and give marketers a reason to check the CRM software. As suggested in the article, businesses can implement a ticketing system to make marketing collateral requests. Marketers are then encouraged to respond to the requests on the software and interact with other employees in different departments. This strategy can help businesses organize their company through CRM software.

If you would like more information about CRM software or anything else, contact us.  Thanks.

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Why Businesses Should Research CRM Software Before Purchasing It

By Steve Stroz on Jul 25, 2018 3:00:00 PM

It's understandable that businesses want to acquire CRM software as soon as possible. It makes managing client relationships easier, it organizes the company, and it increases efficiency in many departments.

But even if companies are particularly excited, they shouldn't rush the acquisition process. Companies will be extremely disappointed if they set up the CRM software only to find out that they purchased the wrong solution. This frustrating example happens surprisingly often amongst companies that rush to get the software.

A recent Destination CRM article explains why businesses should take their time and do their due diligence before purchasing CRM software. According to the article, having the wrong CRM software is just as bad as not having the software at all:

“Adopting CRM software that doesn't meet your organization's needs is almost worse than not having it at all, as it will only lead to frustration for everyone involved. Before purchasing a CRM software solution, determine your business needs and objectives, and then go through a comprehensive vendor selection process to ensure that the technology you purchase will allow you to meet them.”

Luckily, businesses aren't alone during the purchasing process. They just need to ask CRM providers exact questions about their software, technology, and requirements. If they understand exactly how the software functions beforehand, there won't be any surprises when they finally set it up at the office.

After businesses are sure that they've found the right software, they can purchase it, set it up, and start to improve their relationships with clients. CRM software makes it easier for sales representatives to inform themselves about clients prior to any meetings or discussions. In addition, businesses can use the acquired data to improve their marketing program and narrow down their target market.

If you would like more information about CRM software, contact us.
Topics: CRM Research
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Improve Customer Win-Back Rates with CRM Software

By Steve Stroz on Jul 23, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Over the past decade, businesses have been investing more and more in customer analytics . This investment has been proven to be effective in improving communication with clients. CRM software can assist businesses with their customer relationships and has a good ROI.

New research shows that companies that invest in customer research outperform ones that don't. Here are the results of a recent report conducted by Aberdeen Group (the percentage symbolizes the year percent change):

19.7% customer win-back rate for users, 9.0% for nonusers
6.8% cross-sell and up-sell revenue for users, 2.6% for nonusers
6.2% customer retention for users, 3.6% for nonusers
3.7% improvement in average customer care costs for users, 0.7% for nonusers
3.3% revenue from customer referrals for users, 1.6% for nonusers
3.3% customer lifetime value for users, 0.9% for nonusers
As you can see from the statistics, customer analytics have a major impact on sales and customer relationships. In just about every major statistic, companies that use customer analytics outperform companies that use a more traditional approach.

If your business is considering CRM software, like ACT!, Hubspot, Salesforce, or Zoho, but is not sure if it's worth the money, then take another look at the statistics and compare it to the costs. If you're looking to increase customer win-back rates or up-sell revenue, CRM software can help you finish the job. For companies with these needs, CRM software will almost definitely have a positive ROI.

In addition, compare the cost of CRM software to other steps you would take to increase your customer win-back rate. Inbound and outbound marketing may be useful in this area, but they aren't free services, either. One way or another, businesses are going to have to pay to increase their win-back rate. CRM software may be the most cost-effective solution of the bunch.

If you would like more information about CRM software, contact us.
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Why Do You Need CRM Software? Here Are Five Reasons

By Steve Stroz on Jul 18, 2018 5:30:00 PM

To us, it's clear why someone might need CRM Software, but you might need some convincing. Well then, here's six reasons to consider.

Better customer relations

We'll start with the most important benefit of CRM software (e.g. ACT!, Hubspot, Salesforce, and Zoho). Ultimately, the software collects information and data about clients which representatives can use for future sales. This leads to more efficient conversations with clients. Here's what a recent Business 2 Community article had to say about CRM software:

"I’m a firm believer that the more information you have, the better customer support you can offer. If your customer service team can dig into a customer profile and see that she’s called before on this same issue, they can quickly read the previous notes so the customer doesn’t have to repeat herself and tell the whole story again!"

Stay organized

Sales representatives can have all of the data and information in the world but it wouldn't mean anything if it wasn't organized. CRM software doesn't just collect information, it also organizes it so it's easy for sales representatives to read.

Assist sales representatives

Investing in sales representatives will eventually show up in your bottom line. If they have an easier time selling to clients, the business will have more total sales. CRM software is one of the best resources companies can give to sales representatives.

Positive ROI

CRM software isn't free, but it's a worthwhile investment. In the end, businesses will receive more money from the investment because it will have a positive impact on their overall sales.

Easy transition

Transitioning over to new software isn't as hard as it used to be. In addition, incorporating other software with CRM usually isn't a problem. Let us know if you need any help with you switch over to CRM software. But usually, it's a pretty smooth transition for businesses.

To talk more about this, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.
Topics: CRM Reporting
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CRM Software: Why Integration is More Important than Interface

By Steve Stroz on Jul 17, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Deciding which CRM software to purchase isn't an easy decision for businesses. There are many different kinds of software out on the market and it's not always easy to know which one is best for your business.

Two things that buyers always look at are interface and integration. A CRM software's interface is certainly important. It plays a major role as to whether employees will be able to figure out how to use the software. In general, the more simple the interface, the better.

Integration is the other side of the equation and is even more important. Before purchasing the software, businesses have to understand how it will be integrated with other programs and apps. Most CRM software, like ACT!, Hubspot, Salesforce, and Zoho, can be integrated with other software such as an email client. But you want to be sure before you make any buying decision.

A recent Enterprise App Today article explains why integration and interface are so important when it comes to CRM software. But according to the article, businesses should place more priority on integration:

And then there is integration, an issue that makes many user eyes' glaze over. Yet integration is essential for companies that want to leverage their CRM systems to offer a better and more holistic customer experience. Lack of integration is a particular problem for mobile CRM.

Put it this way: If employees don't like the software's interface, they'll eventually get used to it over time. This is really mostly subjective anyway.

On the other hand, integration has nothing to do with subjectivity. It's either the CRM software integrates with your other programs or it doesn't. This probably won't change, either. If your CRM software doesn't fit in well, then you're stuck with it.

Make sure you sort out your priorities before purchasing CRM software. Focus on integration rather than interface.

If you would like more information about CRM software, contact us. Thanks.
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ACT! Software: Its Versatility Can Improve Your Business

By Steve Stroz on Jul 13, 2018 3:00:00 PM

One of the most flexible and popular CRM software choices in the industry is ACT! software. This software has millions of users worldwide, across a variety of fields and industries. The CRM system comes with the tools and features your sales team needs in order to maintain and manage all the sales. Another wonderful thing about ACT! software is that it will not put a dent in your wallet. 

ACT! software's layout is simple and easy to figure out. Your employees will not have a difficult time staying on top of their sales, nor will they have a difficult time printing out their previous sales history. 

One of the best perks of this software is that it allows all of your employees to manage and organize the contact information in an efficient manner. All the information your employees need can be accessed from one page; this will save your employees from having to hunt down the information they need. 

ACT! software with some additional features will make sure your business will have a great return on its investment. You can integrate support tools and management into your software; this will especially be beneficial when you have a technical support team who does not work with your ACT! system. 

You will have customer service, support, and a troubleshooting-ticket system that can be created using additional programs from the outside. This will be a good choice because all of that information can be synced into the system. 

The versatility of ACT! software gives business and organizations the ability to use it for all their operations, regardless of the industry. The learning curve is not difficult, but if you want to become a master user, you will need to receive the right training that is offered for the software. 

If your business or organization wants more information about ACT! software or training, contact us today with your questions. 

Topics: ACT! CRM
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Why CRM Software Isn't Going Anywhere

By Steve Stroz on Jul 11, 2018 3:00:00 PM

The last concern that businesses should have regarding CRM software is its future use. CRM software has been around for years and has improved many businesses' marketing processes. For a relatively low cost, it keeps businesses organized and its sales representatives informed.

But for some reason, not everyone is optimistic about the future of CRM. Some think that the software has failed in terms of its ability to generate leads and sales.

A recent ZDNet article responds to these claims and explains why they have no basis. According to the article, the claim is inconsistent and doesn't change the fact that businesses will be using CRM for the foreseeable future:

"CRM is evolving and — in a few years — it will be what it has been for the last decade — the operational and transactional technologies needed to drive customer engagement."

The article makes the point that the claim that CRM software has failed implies that thousands of business owners are stupid. Apparently, for some unknown reasons, they continue to invest in the software even though it has no effect on their sales or customer relations.

The reason why CRM software is so successful is because it keeps things simple - something that businesses are always striving for. It helps sales representatives keep track of their clients and know when they're ready for new orders. It keeps clients happy because they don't have to start from scratch when placing a new order. And most of all, it keeps the company unified and aligned. Marketing and sales teams can both use the software so they're both on the same page.

When it comes to CRM software, it's best to stick to the facts and not listen to uninformed opinions. If you'd like to talk more about this or anything else, contact us. Thanks.
Topics: CRM
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Three Quick Ways to Get the Most out of Your Marketing Process

By Steve Stroz on Jul 9, 2018 3:00:00 PM

If you are looking to get the most out of your marketing process, it doesn't have to be a long and complicated. In fact, we've got some quick ways to improve your marketing process; three, to be precise.

Marketing Software

First of all, your businesses should be using marketing software to stay organized and aligned. CRM software is one of the best choices out there for businesses that want to improve their relationships and communication with clients.

Although not all marketing software are the same, they all serve to improve the marketing process. They can help align marketing and sales teams and keep sales representatives organized and informed when they have several clients. Marketing software also benefits clients because their conversations with sales representatives are much quicker and more efficient.

Split up digital and traditional marketing efforts

There are advantages to both digital and traditional marketing. Digital marketing is cost-effective and good for increasing brand visibility on the Internet. On the other hand, traditional marketing reaches out to people who aren't on social media or don't use email often.

The most important thing is to realize that the two are completely different and shouldn't be mixed together. What works for digital marketing won't necessarily work for traditional marketing and vice-versa. Once you split the two up, however, you'll be able to identify what's effective and improve each process.

Factor in SEO at all times

Search engine optimization (SEO) is affected by all marketing efforts. To sum SEO up, businesses want to be found on Google searches. To do this, they have to post quality content, update their company information, have a record of positive online reviews, and play by Google's rules.

SEO is critical to any marketing strategy and should be considered throughout the entire marketing process. This makes it much easier once companies want to actually concentrate on SEO.

To talk more about this, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.
Topics: Reporting SEO
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Four Ideas for Your Sales Process Improvement

By Steve Stroz on Jul 6, 2018 3:00:00 PM

If business is slow, then what you need is a sales process improvement. There are different ways to go about improving your sales process, so we though we'd give you four ways to do just that:

CRM software

Marketing software has changed the way businesses approach sales. CRM software, like ACT!, Salesforce, and Zoho, organize and stores every transaction made. When sales representatives want to look back on customer orders, they can organize the information by client, date, or product sold.

CRM software gives sales representatives more tools to do their job better. It's an investment in your sales department that will pay itself off.

Lead generation

Lead generation has changed considerably with the increasing importance of digital marketing. You need to practice lead generation to extend your market reach.

There are a few ways to do this. You can set up an email newsletter, attract followers on social media, or even purchase an email list. Whatever you do, just make sure those prospective customers are in your target market.

Data and analytics

Whether it's social media marketing, email marketing, or CRM software, make sure you take advantage of the data and analytics your software provides.

Data and analytics can help you narrow down your target market, detect trends and patterns among your followers, and determine the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Basically, they can help you improve your entire digital marketing campaign if used correctly.

Marketing and sales alignment

With all of the digital tools that marketers have at their disposal today, there should be no excuses for the nonalignment of marketing and sales teams.

If you're a small business owner, one of your most important objectives is to align your marketing and sales departments. This ensures that you get the most out of your marketing investment. CRM software can be used to align the two teams by keeping everyone on the same page.

If you have any questions, or would like to talk more about this, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.
Topics: CRM
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Change Your State Of Mind; Consider Contact Management Software

By Steve Stroz on Jul 4, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Creating and keeping customer relationships should be one of the top factors in any type of business. If a business has negative relationships with customers, it will be very difficult to be successful, no matter what type of industry your business is in. This is why it so beneficial and important to have contact management software or a customer relationship management system that allows you to run your business operations effectively. 


Your Contacts

Contact management software like ACT!, Salesforce or Zoho, will allow you to add convenient information for every contact that you have. This will allow you to touch all of the bases when it comes to presentations, meetings, conferences, phone calls, and other things. This type of information will be placed with the contact's information. When you are able to pull up a contact and see all of this information, it is certainly effective and highly efficient.

Prepared For Conversations

If a customer or client unexpectedly calls you, you can quickly type in the person's name and see all of the information that you need. You will also be able to see any other calls or conversations that took place previously. When you can see why they have been calling, you can handle the conversation with ease because you will be prepared.

Every department in your office will be prepared for conversations with customers and clients. Once one of your departments receives a call and takes the order of a customer, the other departments in the office will also be able to see that same information. Your customers will be impressed and satisfied with the level of production and efficiency of your business. When you can improve the way you handle your customers and their needs, you will be able to keep those customers and receive recommendations for additional customers.

Even if you have the best technology skills, it may not always be easy to figure out how to use every feature of a new software or platform. You will not be left in the dark whenever you have questions. You will have a support team that will relieve you of any headaches that may come ahead.

Contact us if you are looking for ways to improve your business so you can leave your competitors far behind.

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Make Sure Your CRM Software Data is Accurate

By Steve Stroz on Jun 29, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Data and analytics are the bread and butter of CRM software like ACT!, HubSpot, Saleslogix, and Zoho. They're what the software does best and are the reason why so many businesses now invest in CRM.

There's just one tiny problem. Some businesses don't check their CRM data for accuracy. It would be nice to assume the data is always 100% correct, but the reality is that errors can happen along the way. To stay on the safe side, you should regularly check and revise your CRM data.

A recent article by Smart Data Collective explains what happens when CRM data is inaccurate. According to the article, inaccurate CRM data starts a negative domino effect that can ruin the consumer experience.

"Without this data, the sales team cannot use the CRM to close deals. The marketing team cannot segment its data accurately. The customer is frustrated that they’re receiving multiple copies of marketing messages, complete with mis-spelled names and email addresses that should have long since been removed. The IT department is becoming irritated with the requests to fix the data it cannot change."

If employees are making the most of CRM software, they'll be using it everyday. Sales representatives won't even talk to a client before referring to the CRM data and reading the client's file.

This is great and it's what we encourage. But if you're going to base your entire company's operations off of CRM software, it makes sense to check the data for accuracy once in a while.

This isn't exclusive to CRM software, by the way. Accountants check their numbers and percentages from time to time. Engineers check their work to make sure there are no inconsistencies.

Chances are that your data is fine. But if you're reading this, don't just assume that every figure is accurate. Check them every now and again.

To talk more about this, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.
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How to Implement CRM Software Effectively

By Steve Stroz on Jun 27, 2018 3:00:00 PM

For CRM software to be effective, we often stress that businesses have to train their employees. At first, they may not be so eager to learn new software and change their daily routine. Managers have to get the point across that CRM software will make their job easier by automatically taking care of simple tasks.

If you've never purchased new software before, you'll be in for a surprise when you introduce CRM (ACT!, HubSpot, Saleslogix, Zoho) to your employees. There's a disconnect between the excitement managers feel and the reluctance of sales representatives to learn how to use new software.

This isn't a technological disconnect, it's a mental one. All of your employees can learn to incorporate CRM into their daily tasks. The question is if they'll be willing to do so.

A recent Business 2 Community article explains that in order for employees to use CRM software, they have to see it as a useful tool. According to the article, businesses have to invest in CRM data quality to support their employees.

"CRM software must be seen as a useful tool rather than a hindrance, but it can only be successfully implemented if data quality is prioritized too. The business simply must invest in data quality software that supports employees in their work, without creating new challenges or time drains. The use of data quality tools must be a proactive and ongoing process if it is to stem the tide of manual errors and natural decay."

We've seen both the successful and unsuccessful implementations of CRM software. More often than not, it depends on how the company introduces the software and trains their employees. CRM software will work if the entire company is on board. But if you're struggling to get employees to use it, you'll have to rethink your strategy.

To talk more about CRM software, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.
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Understanding All Costs Related to CRM Software

By Steve Stroz on Jun 25, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Before purchasing CRM Software, you should be aware of all of the potential costs. We try to be as transparent as possible when it comes to pricing, and we make sure that every client understands how much he or she will have to pay.

CRM software requires a one-time initial investment and occasionally recurring costs. The recurring costs depend on the client, the number of users, and what type of software they purchase.

A recent Tech Cocktail article mentions CRM software-related expenses. Here's a list of the potential costs of CRM:

One-time costs include customization, set-up and training.
Recurring costs include licensing per users. per month.
Potential add-on costs include data migration.
Don’t forget to estimate the projected gain from managing your database.
The overwhelming majority of the expenses comes at the very beginning. Businesses have to customize their software and train their employees. Depending on the business, it may have to train its employees from time to time to remind them how to make the most of the software.

Besides the cost, we also like to inform clients of the return on investment (ROI) of CRM software. In order to do this, however, clients need to first know how much they're paying.

It's sometimes difficult to calculate the ROI of CRM software because its impact isn't just limited to financial bottom lines. It helps align the entire company, specifically the marketing and sales teams.

Still, businesses should be able to calculate the increase in sales that comes with the implementation of CRM software. Sales representatives have more success because they have access to new data and analytics related to clients. Businesses can calculate how much sales increase and then compare it to the costs of CRM software.

To talk more about CRM software, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.
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The Difference Between CRM Software and Contact Management Software

By Steve Stroz on Jun 22, 2018 3:00:00 PM

CRM software and contact management software are often confused for one another. While the two software are similar, there are still significant differences between them. We find it important that business owners are aware of both the differences as well as the similarities.

Contact management software is perfect for companies who want to organize their client database. If you're having a hard time keeping track of names, phone numbers, and email addresses, then you should consider using contact management software.

CRM software such as ACT!, HubSpot, Salesforce, and Zoho goes a step further. It's not only used to store contact information, but also to organize data relating to marketing and sales. Businesses can use CRM software to stay organized and align their marketing and sales teams.

A recent CRM search article talks about the differences between CRM software and contact management software. According to the article, CRM is a more complete solution while contact management software covers more basic functions:

"For some small businesses contact management may be sufficient, or may be a segway to a longer CRM journey. However, confusion persists in the tangible differences between contact management programs and CRM applications. The two program types are differentiated by customer strategy, application scope, business purpose and software utilization."

Just because CRM software offers more features and functions, however, doesn't mean that it's the better solution for every business. Your company may well benefit more from using contact management software.

But this is rarely the case. For this to be true, a company would have to have a truly excellent marketing and sales strategy. If not, then CRM software can help improve communication between your marketing team and sales representatives.

At the end of the day, both software will help improve your sales. But the effect of CRM software will be more direct and profound.

To talk more about CRM software, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.
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How Sales Software Equips Sales Representatives

By Steve Stroz on Jun 20, 2018 3:00:00 PM

A crucial benefit of using sales software is increased efficiency in the sales process. With sales software, your sales representatives are more organized and equipped to handle multiple discussions with clients.

The old tactics that sales representatives used were unreliable. They relied too much on memory, intuition, and gut-feelings. Sales software replaces these elements with organization, data, and analytics.

A recent Entrepreneur article talks about the benefits of software-as-a-service (SaaS) models. According to the article, sales software gives employees the tools they need to approach new clients and opportunities:

"Given today’s digital landscape, software-as-a-service models are often best because they give your team access to the tools they need anytime and with any device. By automating sales-funnel pit stops such as totals and targets, open accounts, new leads and opportunities and performance reporting, your sales team will be armed with this insight from the start -- giving them the necessary time to go and do something with it."

Businesses are often looking for ways to increase their productivity, or better yet, increase their ROI. Sales software has a high ROI because it makes sales representatives more efficient and effective in their efforts. In addition, it's not as expensive as some of the other investments businesses pursue.

An important aspect of sales software is that it takes care of automated tasks that don't necessarily require the attention of a human. Sales representatives can spend less time organizing data and more time doing what software can't: meeting with clients, pitching their products, and closing sales.

Of course, businesses will have to train their employees and show them how to incorporate sales software into their daily tasks. But with a little instruction, sales representatives will start to rely on their software and find ways to make their processes more efficient.

To talk more about sales software, CRM software, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.
Topics: Reporting
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Why You Should Integrate Marketing Automation with CRM Software

By Steve Stroz on Jun 18, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Businesses can integrate their CRM software to work with their other marketing programs and applications. One of the benefits of the software is that it will twist and bend to fit your marketing process, and not the other way around.

Marketing automation is now in just about every digital marketing platform. You can use marketing automation to access data and analytics about your target market, send personalized messages to a large audience, and take care of simple, yet essential marketing tasks.

Moreover, you can integrate marketing automation with your CRM software (ACT!, HubSpot, Salesforce, Zoho). For best results, businesses will use both of these aspects to improve their marketing and contact management.

A recent Business 2 Community article talks about integrating CRM software and marketing automation. The article explains how the two are separate but work well with each other:

"The more you understand your customer, the more targeted and strategic you can be in your communications. Tools provided by marketing automation can capture relevant data pertaining to your target audience, like how online visitors reached your website, which pages they visited (and for what duration of time), at which page they left, and where they went next."

Marketing automation provides businesses with a whole new well of data and analytics about their target market. Businesses can use this information to carry out more effective marketing campaigns.

In addition, they can also give this information to sales representatives to improve their customer relations. Sales representatives will learn more about their clients' behavior, interests, and purchase history.

Marketing automation is now a cornerstone of digital marketing. Many businesses already incorporate it into their marketing strategies to get data and analytics related to their target audience. To get even more out of marketing automation, you can implement it with CRM software and improve your customer relations.

To talk more about CRM software, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.
Topics: ACT! CRM Zoho HubSpot
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Security and Contact Management Software

By Steve Stroz on Jun 14, 2018 3:00:00 PM

When businesses evaluate contact management software, they typically consider its benefits. With contact management software, businesses can organize their client base, get access to new data and analytics, and give their sales representatives a better chance at finalizing sales with customers.

But there's one crucial aspect that businesses forget to consider all too often. Now, consider once more the fact that contact management software helps you tremendously by organizing your clients (ACT!, Hubspot, Salesforce, or Zoho). Who else would love to have access to that information? What would happen if your client list were to somehow get copied or stolen?

We're talking about security, or course. When you use contact management software, there's also a risk of someone else stealing that data. If your competitors get access to your data and analytics, then what was once a huge benefit would suddenly turn into a colossal blunder.

And that's why you should always ask about security before using contact management software. Here's what a recent Forbes article has to say about the level of security contact management software provides:

"Security is a much more complicated idea for contact management, and this is where many systems have gotten stuck. Do you advocate an open model – where everyone sees everyone else’s data – or something really closed, where you can only see someone’s data given the right combination of a public and private key or other multi-factor auth?"

This doesn't mean that you should avoid contact management software at all costs. The benefits are still the same, but you just have to make sure that the software has adequate levels of security.

Contact management software can have a big impact on a company's sales. But if that software is insecure, then it represents an alarming risk that could destroy a business. Before using contact management software, always ask about its security.

To talk more about contact management software and security, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.
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What Went Wrong with Implementing Your CRM Software?

By Steve Stroz on Jun 10, 2018 3:30:00 PM

We often stress that how you implement CRM Software is just as important as the quality of software itself. You can purchase the best CRM software available, but if you don't integrate it with other applications and train your employees how to use it, it won't have a big impact on productivity.

We're drawing attention to this matter since we've seen it happen with so many companies. When there's no dramatic increase in productivity, business owners tend to blame the software. But oftentimes the problem stems from the implementation rather than from the software itself.

A recent LinkedIn article explains that implementing CRM software isn't easy. According to the article, if companies don't implement CRM software correctly, it will comprise its functionality.

"CRM implementation and adoption is not trivial and requires extensive engagement with all stakeholders to deliver the optimal result for the business and all stakeholders. I have experienced personally and continue to witness, CRM projects put at risk because initial functionality works then suddenly stops working – for a plethora of reasons."

There are two things you have to concentrate on when adopting CRM software. First, you have to integrate it with other applications. CRM software (ACT!, HubSpot, Salesforce, or Zoho), for example, is much more effective when it's used alongside social media and email platforms.

The other side is training employees so they know how to take advantage of the software. If sales representatives have access to CRM software but don't use it to research clients, they won't improve their sales process at all. Employees have to learn to incorporate the software into their everyday tasks.

In order for CRM software to be effective, you have to implement it correctly. If you've already purchased CRM software and are underwhelmed by its impact, then you should try training your employees or integrating the software with your other applications.

To talk more about CRM software, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.
Topics: ACT! CRM Zoho HubSpot
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The Most Common Issues with Contact Management Software

By Steve Stroz on Jun 7, 2018 7:15:00 PM

Before implementing contact management software, it's just as important to know what you shouldn't do as it is to know what you should do. Most businesses that purchase contact management software are happy with their decision because they take the time to implement it correctly.

Other companies, on the other hand, aren't so patient. Rather than training employees and teaching them how to use contact management software like ACT!, HubSpot, Salesforce, or Zoho, they just throw it at them. These companies never fully utilize the software because they never implemented it correctly.

A recent LinkedIn article explains what exactly businesses shouldn't do regarding contact management software. Here's a list of why some businesses don't have success with it:

Failure to define your customer experience strategy
Failure to design with sales, service and support staff being the primary internal ‘customers’ and users
Failure to integrate social selling and marketing automation
Failure to embed sales methodology and sales process.
Failure to configure to be a deal management and sales coaching platform.
Failure to integrate as the single source of truth for the entire customer lifecycle
If you've purchased contact management software and were expecting a bigger impact, then you might want to check the list above. More likely than not, the problem stems from one of these failures.

What most businesses don't understand is that contact management software affects the entire company. It's not just something that sales representatives should refer to before speaking with clients. Marketing teams and managers should also look at the software often.

Most problems that businesses face with contact management software are easy to solve. All you have to do is look back at the implementation of the software and see if you skipped any steps. Even if you're past that point, there's always time to go back and fix what's wrong.

To talk more about contact management software, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.
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3 Major Tactics to Improve Your Customer Retention Using Your CRM Software

By Steve Stroz on Jun 5, 2018 5:00:00 PM

Let’s face it, customer retention is a hot objective for any business model. In fact, it is far easier (and cheaper) to retain an existing customer than it is it gain a new one. Repeat customers are essentially the “bread and butter” to creating residual income and a reputable source for word of mouth advertising. In what ways can you improve your customer retention to maintain these loyal buyers that have a huge impact on your overall bottom line?

The good news is that your CRM software (like ACT!, HubSpot, Salesforce, and Zoho) has the features to help you create an exceptional customer service experience through being proactive in handling customer concerns, keeping your customers happy, and influencing them in a way that they write rave reviews about you on their social networks.

The following are 3 tactics you can implement in your customer service model to boost customer retention.

#1 Be Engaging

Now that your web-based CRM system is integrated with your social networks and email software system, you can engage with customers much faster in addressing complaints, concerns, or even feedback. Take advantage of this feature to be more interactive and involved with your followers. It just shows that behind the company name you are indeed a real person who genuinely cares about the customer.

Here are a few tips to becoming more responsive with your customers:

Reply promptly to complaints with a plan of action of what you will do to correct the issue (or direct them to someone who can)
Try to answer each question/comment…even if it’s a simple “thank you”
Ask questions to get feedback on a certain topic to create involvement
Send birthday wishes …these gestures can make a lasting impression on how your customers view their relationship with you

#2 Delivering Outstanding Customer Service

There’s a lot that can be said in providing incredible customer service. However, the best kind of service is creating a unique, personalized experience that is catered to that individual customer. You know, the kind of treatment that makes someone feel special because you’ve gone out the way to discover their exact needs and pain solutions.

You can deliver amazing service by:

Ensuring your sales force has mobile access to CRM when meeting face-to-face with customers so the details are readily available for retrievable
Having a system in place that all sales members input accurate customer information as it is given to them for fresh, up to date records
Using CRM to email customers when there is an open case regarding an issue or complaint…this keeps customers in the loop on the status and progression
Segmenting high-value customers using groups or list features within your CRM so it is visible to your entire sales team

#3 Reward Team for Excellent Performance

Customer service and retention essentially begins with your sales team. Your CRM system can keep track of individual team members, tracking information such as production, revenue, complaints handled, engagement, etc. Use these numbers to reward your team on a regular basis to keep them motivated and excited about the vision of your business.


Creativity goes a long way with developing staff incentives! In addition to, a great suggestion here is to have ongoing training in the area of customer retention. All sales members (and anyone who has interaction with customers) should be familiar with these strategies to be utilized fully for business objectives.

These simple yet valuable tactics will certainly help improve your customer retention, thus sustaining a loyal customer base and steady residual income. Please contact us for additional tips and tactics on more CRM strategies to retain your customers in your business.

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Approach Contact Management Software Empirically

By Steve Stroz on Jun 1, 2018 3:00:00 PM

There are many guides out there today telling you how to purchase the right contact management software. These articles often stress choosing software that's sold by a reputable vendor or buying based off of your friend's own personal experience. Some guides will even tell you to purchase the same contact management software that your competitor has if it worked for them.

Now, these indicators aren't necessarily wrong. The best contact management software for you might be sold be a reputable vendor, recommended by a good friend, or used by your competitor. But at the same time, none of these automatically mean that the software will be right for you.

You have to accept that your business is unique and what works for you might not work for anyone else. Conversely, what works for others may not be effective for your business.

What you should really do is come up with a way to empirically evaluate potential contact management software (ACT!, HubSpot, Saleforce, Zoho). According to a recent LinkedIn article, this is a better way to purchase something as opposed to blindly following other people:

"The CRM that’s best for you and your business should be based off of the careful definition of your operational requirements, not vendor hype, golf buddies, frenemies, free trials, or any other silly reason. If you find yourself falling prey to these, get back to evaluating empirically."

The reason you should choose a contact management software based on your own evaluation is because your management style, sales process, and customer service are all unique.

There are many articles and blogs telling business owners to buy contact management software or CRM software based on what other people are doing. But in reality, it's better to decide for yourself based on your own empirical evaluation.

To talk more about contact management software, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.
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Why Introducing Organization is the Ultimate Sales Process Improvement

By Steve Stroz on May 30, 2018 4:00:00 PM

If you're looking to implement a sales process improvement, then you should concentrate on organization. Above anything else, the level of a sales team's organization will determine its success.

When sales representatives are disorganized, they can't communicate with clients effectively. Before meeting with clients, sales representatives should prepare themselves by:

- Researching the client
- Understanding the client's need for the product
- Analyzing the client's past order history
- Disorganized sales representatives aren't prepared to finalize sales because they don't know what the client wants. It's -unprofessional and wastes the client's time.

A recent Harvard Business Review article explains why organization is the number one factor affecting sales representatives. According to the article, high-performing sales teams attribute their success to their organization:

"Fifty percent of study participants from high-performing sales organizations responded they had sales processes that were closely monitored, strictly enforced or automated compared to just 28% from underperforming sales organizations. Forty-eight percent of the participants from underperforming sales organizations indicated they had nonexistent or informal structured sales processes compared to only 29% from high performing sales organizations."

Now, staying organized isn't nearly as hard as it once was. Sales representatives now have access to new software and applications which can help them prepare for meetings with clients.

One of which is CRM software. By using CRM software, like ACT!, HubSpot, Salesforce, or Zoho, sales representatives have access to a large customer database and can track each of their last interactions. All they need to do to prepare for a meeting is check a client's file, study it (with emphasis on patterns in their order history), and get ready to suggest new orders.

If your sales team is currently struggling, then they're probably suffering from disorganization. Consider using CRM software to introduce organization into the sales process and help sales representatives perform their job better.

To talk more about sales process improvements, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.
Topics: Reporting
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ACT! Software And Hosting

By Steve Stroz on May 29, 2018 7:35:55 PM

The proper hosting plan for your business will produce several things that are cost prohibitive for your business. 

Back Up - Proper hosting requires on site back ups through a Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID). The RAID backup programming prevents data loss due to a hard drive crash. Additionally, your hosting plan will back-up servers off site so that you will not lose more than 24 hours of data in the event of a catastrophe. Redundant back-ups cost money, someone else's system used on a subscription (SAAS) basis reduces your capital expenses.

Security - Using an ACT! Hosting plan reduces the amount of 3rd Party Hardware your customer's information will pass through. This reduces your security footprint, and reduces the chance of breach of privacy. Your costs increase as you have to ensure security on your hardware, website hosting plans, and more.

Physical security - An ACT! hosting plan has to meet physical security requirements. These requirements are easier to provide on scale, and create value for your business that would require an inordinate amount of capital.
Customer support - Building an in-house solution requires you to pay technical support to do on-site repairs. Most hosting services provide free or cheap customer support for your users' end and do all their in-house technical support on the back-end hassle free (on your part).

History - Any endeavor takes time to learn. An ACT! certified partner has shown 6 months of successful hosting via customer recommendations. Your business gains value by using a hosting service for your ACT! CRM software because you gain that experience.

Adequate hardware - With all the experience, backup, security and system requirements required to be an ACT! hosting provider, your business gets substantial gains in the time it takes for trial and error on your own systems. This increases value while decreasing costs to you, since you do not have to upgrade any of your own hardware.
Gold Cost Advisors offers certified ACT! hosting. Please contact us for more information on how a hosting plan can work for your business.

To talk more about your ACT!, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.

Topics: ACT! CRM Reporting
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Where to Start Improving Your Marketing Process

By Steve Stroz on May 25, 2018 3:00:00 PM

So what are the things you should focus on in your marketing plan? It's all about finding your target audience and articulating a specific need that they have. Your goal is to convince consumers that your product or service fits that specific need.

A recent Business 2 Community article walks you through the steps of planning a marketing strategy:

"Plan your marketing using a strategy-first approach to clearly identify your target market, define your positioning and create an identity. Discovering your target market or ideal customer is a foundational element of getting any business on track. Your marketing requires a positioning strategy for success. You’ve got to carve out a mental position in the mind of your target market or ideal customers."

These are just the basics, and they were established decades ago. The new factor businesses need to focus on is technology. Marketers now have more tools than ever at their disposal. What counts is how you use them and incorporate them into your marketing process.

CRM software like ACT!, HubSpot, SalesLogix, and Zoho, are popular solutions for marketers. Sales representatives use it on a daily basis, but marketers can learn from the information and data it collects. With CRM software, you can find out:
•Patterns in clients' behaviors.
•Which demographics buy which products
•How often clients return for repeat orders
•Who your loyal clients are

With this information, you can optimize your marketing process. If you find out that your target demographic is a little younger than you expected, then you can start to incorporate more social media in your marketing efforts. Whatever you find out from CRM software, you can use it to improve your marketing process.

To talk more about your marketing process, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.

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Why Sales Representatives Are More Affected by CRM Software Than Anyone Else

By Steve Stroz on May 21, 2018 3:00:00 PM

 

Make no mistake about it, CRM software, like ACT!, HubSpot, Salesforce, and ZoHo, will make its biggest impact on your sales team. Your sales representatives will have to change their daily routines to incorporate the software.

And that's not a bad thing. Instead of relying on memory to prepare for a client meeting, sales representatives will be able to refer to the data collected by CRM software. So instead of thinking "I think he likes to buy X product during this time of year," they'll know that a specific client places an exact order on the third Friday of every month.

A recent Small Business Trends article talks about the impact CRM software makes on sales teams. According to the article, the software makes sales representatives more effective at closing sales:


"With CRM, your sales team will be effective at attracting prospects, closing sales, generating qualified referrals and managing existing customer relationships. Your business will grow in revenue by utilizing a CRM application that helps you track sales activity, lead generation and customer status — capitalizing on the data management power CRM delivers."

Now, we should also mention that this is only the case if the CRM software is implemented correctly. If it's not, then sales representatives won't make it a habit to refer back to the data. The software will be there, but no one will use it to its full advantage.

If you implement CRM software correctly, however, your sales representatives will be more informed and better equipped than ever. Once your sales increase, you can start to focus on the other uses of CRM software, like its role in a marketing campaign.

To talk more about CRM software, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.

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Common CRM Questions

By Steve Stroz on Jun 26, 2013 12:21:00 AM

I recently had the pleasure of conducting a webinar for the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America and they had some fantastic questions about CRM.  I thought would benefit everyone so I decided to add them here...

 

What is a typical implementation timeline, and what are the biggest challenges?

To keep it simple, every implementation follows these 4 phases:

Planning/Design, Development, Installation, and Training

The time from project start to finish varies on the system complexity and client culture.  A typical CRM implementation project averages about 30 – 60 days.

The two biggest challenges are executive “buy-in” and user adoption.

 

For a low cost system for a Microsoft company, could Outlook work?

Although it is a great e-mail tool and personal manager, Outlook typically is not considered a “CRM tool”.

 

Can the CRM programs gather information from other programs, ex. quickbooks

Yes.  Most systems are “extensible” and offer a programming method to interface or import/export data from other computer systems.  The top systems also offer “add-on” programs that provide common functionality at an affordable price. 

 

How long would you estimate it would take to be up and going for say a $2M/yr company?

A typical CRM implementation project averages about 30 – 60 days.

 

How do you determine , by your standards, what is a large business compared to a small business? I have used ACT Before, what would you think the advantage is in going to a large business CRM system, such as, Salesforce.com?

Our initial questions aren’t about company size but focus on CRM goals & objectives.  For instance, if a large organization only wants a centralized database to manage marketing and sales basics an ACT! system may be a suitable solution.  However, if a small organization wants full workflow automation, a service calendar, and a customer service ticket system they may need to consider a more powerful CRM system like Microsoft Dynamics CRM or Salesforce.com.

 

Is making phone calls from phone book a viable place to start?

Every organization has to start somewhere but a more progressive approach would be to purchase and import leads into an entry level system so you can track the sales process.

 

No sales structure...how do we set up a realistic sales plan with a slim budget

One of my favorite sayings is, “Nothing happens until somebody sells something!”.  It’s true and marketing and sales fuel all businesses.  Find someone to help document your sales process.  Then you can work on documenting the key variables as a “suspect” moves through your selling cycle to become a “lead”, “prospect”, and finally “customer”.  Once you have information you can work to streamline and improve the process.  Of course, a CRM system can help with this.

 

Our biggest concern is as you stated about the BMW is, ""Buyers remorse""!  Any quick answer for helping relieve this feeling? It usually occurs 1-3 days after we finish the project.

Yes, following up.  Ideally, a friendly human may call to “check-in” and alleviate any concerns the customer may have.  If this isn’t possible it may be nice to follow-up through correspondence (e-mail or “snail mail”) so the client feels connected and nurtured.  This technique is highly effective.

 

What one point would you recommend we as salespeople, use to build our relationship with our client?

Communication!  Try to remember, customers buy when they’re ready to buy – not when you’re ready to sell to them.  The key to increasing sales is to be on your customers mind when they’re ready to buy and make it easy for them to reach out to you.  Personal communication is great so phone calls are best; however, that isn’t always possible.  As a substitute e-mail communication that provides compelling, useful content is the best way to continue to nurture the relationship.

 

I am new to sales and will be attending a Trade Show soon. Do you have any specific tips for that arena?

Leads, leads, leads!  The goal of attending a trade show is to collect as many leads as possible.  I’ve attended a lot of trade shows over the years and have seen many clever ideas to attract prospects to their booths.  Giveaways, magic acts, tattoo artists, entertainment, contests, etc, etc.  Of course the success of your trade show attendance will be what you do with those leads after the show.  (I’ve dropped my business card into many fish bowls only to never hear from the organization again).  Make sure the leads are entered into a CRM system so they can be followed-up with directly by a sales person or entered into an automated “trade show follow-up” e-mail campaign.

 

What do you consider a good closing ratio?

One that maximizes your revenue.  Funny answer, huh?  You may think a high closing ratio (90%) would always be desirable but the truth is you may be leaving money on the table if your closing ratio is too high.  Progressive organizations measure their closing ratios over time to gauge if they are increasing or declining and by other metrics (salesperson, geography, lead source, etc) so they can determine if their business strategies are aligned with the market and competition.

 

Thanks again to the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America for the opportunity to discuss CRM with them!

Steve Stroz

 

Topics: CRM
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CRM Software Adoption is Increasing

By Steve Stroz on Nov 27, 2012 11:46:00 PM

The investment and adoption of CRM Software solutions are ever increasing because of the benefits provided by cloud-computing. Companies are trying to strike a balance with cost-cutting initiatives and investments in technology that will increase revenue by benefiting the consumer. Enterprise Apps Today has posted this article that explains why investment in CRM software is increasing.

“Companies are giving very high priority to any investments related to customer experience, anything that has an effect on sales and topline revenue or on improving customer retention,”

A survey conducted by Computer Economics found that there was a 34 percent increase in companies that adopted CRM from 2010 to 2011. One industry that is leading the adoption is manufacturing. This is followed closely by financial services and business services. One area that is slow to the adoption of CRM is health care.

Smaller companies are driving much of the investment in CRM software that is cloud-based. However, there are many companies that are mid-sized or smaller that do not use any type of CRM system. These solutions have started to slowly be considered by small businesses because of cost savings available using the cloud. Cloud-based systems are easier for a small business to use efficiently and to maintain. If you have a company with as little as 25 employees, then you will see benefits from a CRM software solution.

You will find the return of investment for a CRM software solution is on par with other technology that is available for your business. If you have any questions about the benefits of CRM, then reach out to us for more information.    

Topics: ACT! SalesLogix
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Increase Productivity And Sales With CRM Software

By Steve Stroz on Nov 13, 2012 10:08:00 AM

Effective marketing is crucial to your business. That’s why it is essential that you use CRM or Customer Relationship Management software efficiently for helping to automate marketing to new customers as well as tracking current client encounters.

As customers contact your organization, the CRM software keeps accurate records of each encounter including details of the conversation and what, if any problems, were solved. These problem-solving aspects can even be used in your marketing campaign to show prospective customers how you can help them with their own cases.

CRM software, such as ACT! 2013, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, or Salesforce.com, can also store customers’ past purchases, preferences, and well as demographic data. By keeping this data updated, sales teams will not have to search for information when needed before a call or meeting.

An example how CRM can streamline a business is by using the software to track technical support on a product offered by your company. The CRM software tracks how many technical support calls over a period of time. This information can be used to come up with other ways to cut these calls. For example, you could add a knowledge base to your website with answers to these common technical issues which would decrease time spent on redundant calls.

Other effective uses for CRM software include tracking past performance, identifying sales metrics, using updated customer information to up-sell products, and provide detailed reporting which can be used to analyze sales trends.

Gold Coast Advisors are experts in the planning and implementation of CRM and other applications that help your business succeed and grow. Contact us for more information on how CRM software can help your business.

 

Topics: ACT!
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Are Your Reps Resistant to Sales Process Improvement?

By Steve Stroz on Nov 5, 2012 11:22:00 AM

The sales process for your business needs to consist of predefined activities, performance aids and exit criteria.  The successful integration of a sales process improvement solution will need to mitigate concerns your sales force may have. There is an excellent article posted on the Sales Force Benchmark website explaining how to mitigate resistance to change.

"Changing the sales process touches every aspect of the life of the sales rep, so resistance is a natural and expected part of the implementation process.”

One of our strategies during an ACT! 2013 implementation is to include a "pilot phase".  Top performers in your business can be the pilot testers for your new system and process. Involvement with the new process can be perceived as a sign of prestige for these workers. Recognition of the efforts put forth by these individuals needs to be shared with the rest of your organization.

We set clear guidelines for your sales force and make sure to announce stories of success to promote the effectiveness of the ACT! 2013 system. Regular progress updates need to be made that reassures the remainder of your sales force that positive results can be obtained.

Solicit input from your sales reps to incorporate into the new sales process improvement solution. This allows employees to feel involved in the process and that suggestions are welcome. Make sure that the employees are being acknowledged for any suggestions that are used for continuing improvements.

The success of your new ACT! 2013 system needs to be communicated throughout your organization. This includes the gains and productivity goals that are being enjoyed by your top performers. 

If you have any questions about ACT! 2013 implementations or sales process improvement, then contact us for more information.

Topics: ACT!
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We thank our ACT! and SalesLogix clients

By Steve Stroz on Aug 6, 2010 1:11:00 PM


I think the hardest thing about “blogging” is writing the first entry.  I have no doubt that in time there will be hundreds of posts about ACT! upgrade projects, e-mail marketing tips, creating custom ACT! reports, and client success stories - but where do I start?

After a few weeks (OK, maybe months) the light bulb went off!  I need to start by thanking our clients.  It seems sort of obvious but without them nothing happens.  I’m living the American dream but without our clients I have nothing.

I realize this is a mutual feeling.  We solve serious problems for our clients that result in saving/generating a lot of money for their organizations but I am still humbled and proud that we’re achieving my original vision for Gold Coast Advisors: If our clients come first – good things will follow.  The ultimate business karma.

In 2008 and 2009 Gold Coast Advisors won the Sage Software President’s Circle for Customer Loyalty.  In plain English, when our clients were surveyed “Would you recommend Gold Coast Advisors to a friend or colleague?” they ranked us #1 of over 2,000 firms.  (You can read more here:  http://tinyurl.com/263r42u)

I couldn’t even begin to express my gratitude but for now I’ll just start by saying:  Thank You!


Steve Stroz
President of Gold Coast Advisors

 

Sage President's Circle Award 2008                 Sage President's Circle Award 2009

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