Computerworld’s Diane Bartlett provides an insightful look at 10 success factors for solid return on investment in a Customer Relationship Management system.
Here are a few highlights that stood out to me:
Don’t think small. A CRM system, properly used, is an immensely powerful tool for getting to know your customers, listening to them, meeting their needs and ultimately retaining them. It is much more than a simple “up-sell and cross-sell” opportunity, although that is often how CRM is sold. But if you can’t create honest, rewarding relationships with your employees, how will you do it with your customers?
Communicate, communicate, and communicate. Don’t let users be surprised to discover one day that they have been scheduled for training on a new system they have never heard of before. Don’t lie about the reasons for the project, don’t over-promise and don’t hold back information about how things are going – even when they are going badly.
I would add to Bartlett’s list that recognizing CRM as an opportunity to automate business processes that don’t have a logical “home” in the accounting/ERP application is a real opportunity. Scheduling time for each department to throw ideas at the wall and build a target list of what sticks for the majority of users could result in some engaging discussions with your implementation team and open the door for some significant improvements and efficiency gains. Getting input from the entire eventual user group is a major component for this exercise to be effective as is a proactive approach by managers taking a proactive approach to facilitating the brainstorming sessions.
What has contributed to success in your CRM implementation(s)? Please comment below!
Yesterday’s newly publicized offer just isn’t enough. I know I’ve got to do more.
I know that assisted payroll in light of the new laws affecting withholdings is attractive to many of you, but it’s time to do something really much bigger than that to help all of you small business owners who are trying to make your business as efficient as possible in light of the larger economic situation.
So, we’re pulling out the stops and giving away the farm.
If you’re switching to QuickBooks Enterprise from a qualified competing product, act fast because I’m still giving away 8 hours of free consulting (training, installation, whatever you need) to anyone who switches from a qualified competing software package (no, other QuickBooks products are not going to count, we’re talking Microsoft, Netsuite, Sage, etc.) But this ends very soon - 3/31/09.
On to the big stuff:
We are giving away EVERYTHING on the list below if you buy QuickBooks Enterprise from IncorTech in March or April:
Click for more info on our insane QuickBooks Enterprise Bonus Giveaway.
What Does the $800 Billion Economic Stimulus Have to Do with Payroll?
Besides possibly putting $400-800 in your employees’ pockets, the bill’s payroll tax credits and COBRA provisions will mean changes to how employers handle payroll taxes and quarterly tax filings. The IRS asks that employers calculate federal withholding and advance earned income credit payments with the new tables just issued as soon as possible, but no later than April 1st, 2009.
What’s a Small Business Employer to Do?
Call IncorTech at 888-200-4171, of course! We’ll help you sign up and get your first two months of Intuit Assisted Payroll for FREE if you sign-up by April 30. Leave it to Intuit to handle all the hassles of the Economic Stimulus bill, so that that you can spend your time running your business.
What is Intuit Assisted Payroll?
Intuit Assisted Payroll is a payroll service that gives employers control to pay their employees anytime and have Intuit handle payroll taxes at 35-50% less than the cost of ADP or Paychex. It provides:
1) Payroll specialists to help employers with the payroll set-up, step-by-step and unlimited access afterwards to answer any questions.
2) Easy payment of employees by employers who have entered their hours into QuickBooks with a few clicks. Intuit Assisted Payroll Service automatically calculates employee deductions, taxes, etc.
3) Choice to either print paychecks or use Direct Deposit to pay employees
4) Confidence with Intuit handling the tax filings and payments. We calculate all tax payments and file tax forms for employers with an Intuit guarantee that they will be accurate and on time.
See a 4 minute Demo movie on Assisted Payroll.
On February 23rd, Sage North America announced the general availability of Sage MAS 90 and 200 Extended Enterprise Suite version 1.2, one of the company’s next-generation business management suites that streamlines critical processes and workflow for SMBs. This latest release provides expanded CRM and fixed asset management capabilities, helping SMBs more effectively run their business operations. Media coverage of the launch was extensive, including from the following outlets:
WebCPA.com Full Story…
TMCnet.com Full Story…
eWEEK.com Full Story.
Expanded Customer Relationship Management
Sage MAS 90 and 200 Extended Enterprise Suite v1.2 includes a number of CRM enhancements to help sales and marketing efforts. Users now can create and graphically view multiple sales relationships between primary entities, such as a holding company and its subsidiaries, or “many-to-many” relationships where multiple sales representatives sell into various divisions of the same company. For marketing, professional mass email campaigns can be enhanced with advanced editing and also benefit from a new, multi-language spell checker. A branding toolkit also is included, which enables users to modify the look and feel of CRM screens, including adding logos to match a company’s corporate identity.
Enhanced Fixed Assets Management
Sage MAS 90 and 200 Extended Enterprise Suite v1.2 also provides updates to the latest tax rules, rates and IRS forms so that users can easily comply with the important, new tax law changes that impact the current and upcoming tax years. By organizing fixed assets in an easy-to-view format and performing complex depreciation calculations quickly and easily, Sage MAS Extended Enterprise Suite saves time, improves data accuracy and maximizes tax savings.
If you’ve uttered those words (or simply thought them), you are not alone.
I consider myself a fairly savvy use of technology and the web. I mean, hey I’ve been using Apple computers since before the switch to Intel. I’m moving our corporate messaging platform “to the cloud” with Google Apps for Your Domain and will soon access that data and my CRM system from an iPhone.
But what of Twitter? Isn’t that some useless “toy of the moment” for the MySpace crowd? Who has the time, anyway?
Fear not, my overworked businessperson friend and reader. There is help. Twitter is a “microblogging service” but behaves something like a cross between lightweight Email and Instant Messaging with social benefits.
I can tell by the blank stares that I should probably try to say all of that again in English.
Twitter allows you to send short (140 charachter max) messages, including links to websites) to users of twitter who follow your communications or “tweets.” You can follow other people to read their tweets. The business part comes into all of this because – wait for it – business is built on relationships that start with opening up two-way communication.
There are myriad guides on the web on Twitter, but I think the one I’ll recommend is really a good starting point and that is because it does a good job of explaining the context that must be considered for Twitter effectiveness as a business tool.
Twitter is when a single phone call isn’t practical to communicate with large groups of people and an e-mail is over-kill. Twitter is having a loud-speaker connected to all of your connections (wanting to be tapped into your loud-speaker) at any given moment to convey your message. Twitter at its essence is an extremely powerful communication tool when placed into the right context.
IncorTech for it’s part is now Twittering. Why? Well, because we’d like to let you know about things from time to time such as special offers and cool tools that we come across that help to make your job a little easier. We’re hoping you’ll enjoy the occasional update and the opportunity to interact in a way that allows you to control the timing.
Do you use Twitter? Do you have any Twitter-related tools that you’d like to share about? How about a business testamonial? Ever gained any prospects for your business through social networking tools like Twitter? Sound off in the comments, please!
Lastly, here’s a helpful presentation on Twitter for business that I liked: