Building a lead management process can either be a very complex process or a simple process. If you’re a small business, I would venture to guess that you likely have not even considered building a lead process at this point. I’ve heard from a number of people how they have “a lot of leads” and they’re not even sure where they are supposed to start. I recently spoke about this during a workshop and this diagram that I am sharing is the document I reviewed.
I like this document because it’s dead simple. It’s high level but it also helps us build a foundation around how a lead process should work. Let’s take a look at the sample lead management process that I’ve put together.
This diagram is meant to be silly and straight forward. I don’t think diagrams should be over complicated when it comes to describing how a small should define their systems. This is a perfect example of that. Each area has a certain focus and I’m going to describe each a bit more in detail. Continue reading “Simple Lead Management Process” »
This past week we decided to plug away on new features for TealCRM. TealCRM is our free small business CRM tool. We launched TealCRM back in 2014 with the idea of bringing out a small business tool for those that just weren’t sure about what CRM is or could be inside of their business. We’re happy that so many businesses and users have checked out TealCRM for their business.
We are working through a number of updates for TealCRM including a complete facelift of the application. The upcoming release will see a number of enhanced icons, improved mobile capabilities and a cleaner experience overall. We have a few other things coming as well so stay tuned for the latest or go ahead and sign up for free.
Below is a sneak preview of the upcoming release. The overall user experience is much faster and we can’t wait to release it!
One of the things that I find my customers love talking about is possibilities. The possibilities that CRM and marketing can achieve for them.
If you’re not thinking about marketing automation, you should be. Small businesses especially need to think about this more and more. As technology continues to evolve you need to know that your competitors are flocking to the web. The money spent on yellow pages in the past is being shifted to new ways of marketing.
Don’t get left behind.
But the question is where do you start? There are so many things you could do but what should be the focus.
The quick hits are going to be email marketing and social media. I’ve heard time and time again that it takes about 10 – 15 touches to a prospect before they will be engaged with you in service.
What is a touch?
A touch is anything from a phone call, to an email to a connection on LinkedIn. Some companies will track every touch and run metrics against these to determine how long it takes to get a lead converted into an opportunity. I don’t advise getting too crazy with this out of the gate but it is something that you should strive for.
The Globe and Mail recently did an article on Corby who recently implemented Salesforce into their organization. Eligeo CRM was contacted for their opinion on how CRM solutions can impact how businesses can operate.
“It won’t happen overnight,” says Derek Major, chief executive officer of Eligeo CRM Inc., a CRM software consulting company in Vancouver. “I tell companies it takes three to five years to really embrace CRM as part of their culture.”
Click here for the full article at Globe and Mail.
If you haven’t already downloaded it, make sure to download a free copy of the CRM Buyer’s Guide that I wrote. It’s a great way to get insight on how to go about purchasing a CRM system for your organization or in some cases utilizing it to better evaluate what you already have.
In the CRM Buyer’s Guide I talk about establishing criteria for the selection of your CRM and the importance that it should weigh on your organization’s overall business strategy. I like to compare the process of purchasing a home to that of finding the perfect CRM. When you’re looking for a home you will typically sit down with a realtor. The realtor is going to ask you a number of questions to help him/her to determine where to begin the search for homes. Funny enough, if you’ve been looking for a CRM for awhile now you’ve probably noticed that there are a number of options out there that could probably rival the number of homes on the market at a given time in certain cities. As a CRM consultant, we look to do the same process as a realtor would try to establish criteria for your home purchase.
This is the 1st part in my series of incredible software feats in customer relationship management. In some articles I will be able to share names however in others they may be changed to protect the innocent.
I had started Eligeo CRM in January of 2008 as a part-time thing while I was able to put together enough cash to go full time with the business which happened that summer. Our first customer was a local furnace cleaning company called Ductblasters. When we started Eligeo out we were originally doing not only software development but also providing tech support services for small business. Ductblasters had originally brought us in to help out with their computer systems but then our first CRM project happened right around the same time with them.
Now, this company was strictly a furnace cleaning business but the owner really emphasized spending money on telemarketing. He had 4 or 5 people at any given time hitting the phones and calling customers all day and night. The problem they had is that they were tracking everything using Microsoft Outlook. The owner would literally go into Outlook on each computer every night after his staff went home. He would then spend a couple of hours copying and updating everybody’s Outlook.
When I first saw this I talked to the owner and asked him why they didn’t have a customer database that they could utilize to update and manage their contact records. Keep in mind this was 2008 so a lot of the cool technology we can grab for $10 a month today wasn’t available. Right at that point we started creating sketches and mock up’s of a basic contact manager that could help him transform his business.
The contact manager itself was very basic and extremely user friendly. We designed it so that it was web based and all data would be stored on a central server in the office. No more copying data from computer to computer. The telemarketers would use their own login and from there they could see a list of all phone calls that they had to make. As each call concluded they would update the contact record to indicate the status of what happened on that outbound call. If it was a call where the customer asked them to call another time, you would simply mark it as a future follow up and specify the date you wanted the follow up to occur. It was just easy to use.
The owner himself had the ability to load new call lists into the contact manager using the tools that we developed for him and he could then assign the customer names to his different telemarketers. Now all the telemarketer had to do was sit down at his/her desk to simply login and see all of the work they had to do for the day.
The contact manager had a number of other cool features as well including color coding to make it easy to distinguish who required attention right away and who could hold off. The whole color scheme of the application was designed with the user in mind but was emphasized with the Ductblasters logo.
As time went by we would continue to evolve the software for the client. We would eventually introduce invoicing into the system along with work orders so that it was a completely seamless experience for the telemarketer to the furnace cleaner heading out on the road. In recent years before the owner at the time retired we had spent a lot of time helping them develop tablet technology to capture work order and signature information right out in the field using an Android tablet.
This was a piece of technology that we built from the ground up. These days it is a lot easier to build custom software like that or to build on top of an existing CRM solution such as Sugar, Zoho or Salesforce. In fact, a lot of the customers we work with today do utilize our techniques from the days of Ductblasters inside of their CRM’s.
SugarCRM Demo – Using the Mobile Application on the I-pad
A lot of CRM users are choosing to exclusively use the I-pad application for day to day use, especially sales teams that are frequently on the road. It has become much easier to open the mobile app and quickly add notes, schedule follow up calls, and even send quotes versus having to bring out your laptop computer. In this SugarCRM demo we walk you through how to use the mobile application on the I-pad.
SugarCRM Demo – Using the Module Builder to build a custom module in SugarCRM
Let’s say you have invoices and sales documents you’d like to track in your CRM system. Sugar doesn’t come with those modules out-of-the-box but you can use the Module Builder to create a custom “Invoices” and “Sales Documents” module to store all of that data. In this SugarCRM demo we walk you through how to access the Developer Tools and use the Module Builder to create a custom module with custom fields.
Our favourite Marketing Automation tool just got better! Act-On recently announced the release of their new Advanced Social Media Module. Now you will be able to publish, listen and report on all of your social media posts directly within the Act-On platform.
Act-On has always been our go-to marketing automation tool. The Inbound and Outbound marketing features, along with their detailed analytics makes it one of the best marketing platforms on the market. Now with the advanced social media module you can tie in buyer’s social behaviour scores in order to create a more personalized experience for your customers.
With the advanced social media module you can create, curate and schedule content, track your social campaign performance on an easy analytics dashboard, and automate your content sharing based on past performance.
Get in touch with us to learn more about Act-On’s marketing software and its advanced capabilities.
SugarCRM Demo – Using Studio to customize fields and layouts.
Sugar couldn’t make it easier for you to customize your CRM instance. Any administrator has the option to use the developer tools to add and edit fields, change what appears in your layout and even build custom modules. In this SugarCRM demo we walk through Studio and explain how to customize labels, fields, relationships, layouts and subpanels.