Have you been on the lookout for a CRM program that will help you get the most out of each interaction with your customers? The market for CRM software is big and there’s a lot of choices out there, so navigating a first-time installation can be tricky. Even worse is when a company invests in a CRM system only to have it come up short, whether due to low adoption rates, missing features, or a clunky workflow. All of the money spent on the CRM program itself, switching systems, training employees, and IT resources can end up wasted if you are not careful.
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Businesses often prepare for a new year with upgrades and new technology. But if you use Microsoft Business Contact Manager (BCM) and are planning to upgrade to Office 2016, you’ll have to find a BCM replacement — the new suite does not support this add-on.
Continue reading “Prophet CRM — A Powerful Replacement for Business Contact Manager (BCM)”
Communication with customers has changed fundamentally with the rise of online video tools. When once it took a substantial amount of time, money, and effort to reach customers with a distinctive visual message, now businesses can move out video campaigns in the span of hours.
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The conference is coming up and your team is finalizing the game plan to hype your brand to the perfect crowd. Bad Idea Steve suggests the innovative idea of handing out logoed pens to the unsuspecting conference attendees.
Continue reading “Convention Selling — Swag That Will Turn Heads”
Though traditional radio has fallen off in the age of smartphones and MP3 players, podcasting has taken off in its place. Podcasts allow anyone, including hobbyists, professionals, and businesses, to put together a simple radio show on any topic. These files can easily be downloaded to smartphones, MP3 players, tablets, and other mobile devices, making them a great way to get a message out to people on the move. Unlike streaming Web radio, which has to be listened to live, podcasts are downloaded when a user has Internet access and can be listened to at any time. Users can also subscribe, receiving podcasts from a given content creator whenever they are available.
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The sunk cost fallacy is simple: once someone has spent something unrecoverable, one should avoid throwing more after it in an attempt to “honor the cost” or “try to make the best of it” if the potential benefits outweigh the new cost. In everyday life, trying to repair an old car can often fall into this category. “I’ve already spent $20,000 trying to fix this,” one might say, “I can’t just give up.” If the car’s still not working, giving up is indeed the smart thing to do; nothing will get that money back, and there may be a better way to invest the remaining funds.
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Many companies place marketing and branding in the same department, and likewise, many schools of business consider the two disciplines part of the same overall curriculum. Some business professionals start their careers unaware of the difference between marketing and branding, however, and can end up sabotaging their efforts at one with a lack of appreciation of how it relates to the other.
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Customer satisfaction isn’t the only useful metric anymore, and indeed, some companies don’t need strong satisfaction ratings to succeed. Some companies that have poor customer satisfaction metrics end up being top performers in their field, and are even world-changing organizations. Facebook, for example, held only a 66/100 satisfaction rating in a 2011 study, but its power over both its own market and modern culture is undeniable.
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Making a sales call or setting up a face-to-face meeting without detailed background information can leave a rookie salesperson feeling desperate and worried. When a customer starts asking pointed questions, new salespeople often end up lacking the context to answer appropriately, and in turn can lose the customer’s confidence. When a customer’s confidence is undermined, sales slump, and many new salespeople wonder how they could have prevented the loss.
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Common wisdom in sales holds that there are two types of salespeople: hunters and farmers. Just as one might expect from their names, hunters prefer to chase down new sales and draw in new business, while farmers start from the business that’s already there and grow it into radically higher profits. If you’re new to the world of sales, whether it’s because you’ve started a new job or your responsibilities have grown, you may not know which of the two you fall into. Self-reflection, and knowing how you prefer to do business, can open up a lot of avenues for both personal and monetary growth.
Continue reading “Hunters and Farmers — How Do You Sell?”