You’re probably reading a lot about how the cloud and software automation continue to make businesses run more efficiently. What you maybe didn’t know is that there are a lot of cloud systems that provide automation for small businesses. These two together add a lot of value to small business owners who use customer relationship management (CRM) platforms.
CRMs have become some of the most useful tools for customer communication, data organization, and automation services.
One CRM like this is the affordable and powerful Insightly, a program we’ve integrated into numerous businesses. We want to tell you a story about how Insightly helped a travel agency in Colorado, Chalets USA, that targets European tourists coming to the U.S. during ski season. This story should give you insight into how automation and the cloud integrate to aid many tasks otherwise taking hours to do.
© Can Stock Photo / swisshippo
If you do any amount of face-to-face networking, you know how business card quickly pile up. Once your wallet or organizer fills up, you dump the business cards you’ve collected in a file or drawer. Or maybe you wait until you have enough cards to wrap them with rubber band and store in a cute box, like this one!
Sure, it’s good to have those cards lying around for when you need to get in touch with a contact. But with so many cards, can you reliably find the contact you’re looking for in a timely manner? Unless you are super organized, it’s tough to find the card you need at the moment you need it.
Garbage In, Garbage Out
Tips to keep your CRM data sharp!
No doubt you’ve heard the old saying, “Garbage in, garbage out.” Well, it couldn’t be truer when it comes to managing your business data. A cluttered CRM will hinder your business processes and your customer engagement.
You’ve worked hard to get your CRM configured just right for your business! It serves you well, and you’re growing–Congratulations! Now you’ve hired additional people, and they’re all working hard, adding new contacts, new companies, and new opportunities. As you may have already experienced, things can get really messy really fast if you don’t have some processes and guidelines in place to keep your information clean.
CRM Spring Cleaning Steps
We have some tips for you on how to clean and maintain your CRM data. In the spirit of spring, begin now! Moving forward, if you adopt this mindset and establish good habits, from now on spring cleaning won’t be so daunting.
I’m excited today to share an educational opportunity with you, but first let me ask you a question: have you heard of SCORE? It doesn’t have anything to do with basketball or your credit, but it has everything to do with an often overlooked wealth of knowledge for small business owners.
SCORE was previously known as the Service Corps of Retired Executives, but is now recognized as SCORE, “Counselors to America’s Small Business”. They are one of the main reasons why I’m business today. Here’s my story of the crucial role three SCORE volunteers have played in my own business development.
Back in 2013 when I was a student at DU, I met Jim Skagen (blue shirt on the photo). His words of encouragement gave me confidence to start my own business.
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / AnsonLu
You are a small business owner. You started your business, got a website, and then after a period of time, you realize your business is growing, and you need more than just a website!
- You need a way to track your interactions with your customers.
- You need to automate some of your tasks.
- You want to have better data about your customers, so you can send them information and coupons for products and services they are interested in.
- You want to streamline your process to ship your products.
- You want to make sure it is easy for your team to locate information about your customers orders.
You are not alone! There are several business owners in this situation.
I am ready to move on with a new system, but what happens now?
First you realize, “This business is growing, and we need a better system!”
Your business is growing, and you know you need better systems in place to scale it. You have done some research, and now you are ready to move on. What happens in this process? What should you expect from it?
The topic of this post is not the process. Here we will talk about the different emotions you go through during the life-cycle — the journey, if you will — of an implementation project.
Think about the last vacation you took. There was the excitement of planning the trip, the details to make it happen, the last-minute glitches, the amazing moments, and the realities: delays, miscommunication, and the hard work of travel — it’s a journey, after all. And so is taking on a big project like software implementation.
It’s worth it, though.
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Elenathewise
It’s Monday morning, and you’re staring at your computer, waiting for the coffee to kick in. Your inbox has 3,700 emails, and 152 of them are unread. You’ve got three hundred or so contacts in Outlook (or is it Gmail?) and a stack of business cards on your desk.
What do you really know about the people your business serves? Your email contacts and spreadsheets with notes (and that pile on your desk) have some useful customer information, but you don’t have a system to help you dive into your work this morning. Which leads should you contact first? Which customers need attention right away?
Just because it’s a “good problem to have,” doesn’t mean it isn’t a problem. Doesn’t mean it isn’t painful. Doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be solved.
Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute had a good problem.
In 2014, this award-winning Denver nonprofit was growing and its impact was expanding. That brought more opportunities and more to do. And more to do meant a larger team, which meant tasks were more widely distributed.
More cooks in the kitchen.
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / dolgachov
As a small business owner you probably have heard about sales marketing automation. But what is it? And is this something that applies to your business?
What Does Sales Marketing Software Do?
Sales marketing automation replaces hiring a large team of email marketers, outreach specialists, salespeople and account managers (or trying to do it all yourself!). Marketing automation software gives you the tools to keep track of leads, personalize and customize your emails automatically, and get easy-to-understand reports on how your sales and marketing efforts are working.
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / maxkabakov
Your business relies on technology, and most of us take it for granted. But if you don’t take time to maintain your systems and clean up your data periodically, you can end up with a big problem.
Let’s talk about IT and software best practices and distinguish our services at Mocko consulting from IT service providers.
IT providers are primarily focused on setting up your network. They install and configure servers, operating systems, email servers, and your firewall. They help to set up the backbone of your IT infrastructure. Some IT service providers provide and support software for business operations, but not all of them.