As you probably already know, CRM stands for Customer Relationship Manager. What THAT means, however, is open to interpretation.
For many businesses, CRM means sales sales sales! Managers want to see pipelines, projections, and progress reports; sales reps are expected to log in to close opportunities.
For other businesses, CRM is more about customer service and building great relationships with customers. Managers like to see lots of data on a contact’s profile, while employees use the CRM to find the right people to stay in touch with.
Nothing to Fight About, Really
This is not a winner take all fight. CRM software is a flexible tool that can be a good fit for many parts of your business. The thing is, you don’t have to use CRM just for sales or just for customer service. In fact, it’s better if you use it for both!
Don’t look at it through the eyes of your departments. Instead, evaluate your CRM strategy through the eyes of the customer. They should have a seamless relationship with your business from first contact by a sales rep right through to that lovingly handcrafted note written to thank them for being a long time customer.
When you need to pass off customer information from one person to another you can just point to the contact profile in your CRM. Everything that happens in sales matters to the customer support folks and every bit of detail that support comes across can help inform the sales team.
So, how do you do both things well? (more…)
Now it’s easier then ever to propose to your conta… no, wait, to send job proposals to your contacts.
Quote Roller is a tool that helps you create beautiful proposals and send them directly to your clients. They’ve just announced a CRM integration with Batchbook. This integration syncs your Batchbook contacts with Quote Roller.
Ready to send a proposal? Choose any of your Batchbook contacts without leaving Quote Roller. Now there is no need to spend time copying and pasting contact details in.
You can learn more about Quote Roller’s CRM integration with Batchbook over on their site.
Example of a beautiful Quote Roller proposal.
This episode, see why this weekend is a good time to start a business in Providence, get yourself some (company) culture, re-think your lunchtime routine, and learn how to make more sales!
Friday, my love, we meet again!
Let’s Get Started!
Startup Weekend Providence starts tonight! If you aren’t familiar with Startup Weekend, it’s a global initiative to help launch startups with events all over the world. And it’s fun! Startup Weekend Providence is being hosted by our neighbors over at Betaspring. If you aren’t local to Providence, you can check the Startup Weekend site for an event near you.
Speaking of Providence and startups (as I often do), there was a great article in The Providence Phoenix this week about the local tech scene. We were happy to be included as well as a number of other local companies. For the smallest state, we have a big tech scene and it’s exciting to be a part of it!
Are You Cultured?
If you spend any time around this blog, you know we like to talk about company culture and work/life balance. It’s important to us and we know it’s important at other companies too. I read some great posts on culture lately that I want to share.
Each year, there is an event called Blog Action Day. Bloggers are encouraged to take a pause from their regular content to write about a topic that is important to humanity. This year, the topic is one of the most important of all; human rights.
When we learned the topic of discussion for the 2013 Blog Action Day is human rights, we were honestly a bit stumped. Though our own mission statement includes our desire “to create tools that allow passionate small businesses to build better relationships with their community,” we had never thought of it in terms of human rights. When you are going about your own daily life, running your business, paying your employees, it is easy to assume that basic human rights of all those around you are being met. But this isn’t true throughout the world (or even always right at home).
I had the pleasure of speaking at the first annual WomanCon event in Manhattan last week. I always love the chance to head into that spectacular city and spend some time meeting with other small business geeky folks. And I especially enjoyed this trip, as it was a group of women entrepreneurs gathering to share different aspects of the grand game that is business building. I was so inspired by the presentations and the conversations I had there. It is a very collaborative and encouraging community, which comes in very handy when you are working to build a successful business.
I thought I would share my speech with all of you, as I think it pertains to a broader audience of entrepreneurs. I talked about how to keep the human side of your business thriving. These are the original notes I wrote for my speech. I don’t believe in “reading speeches”, so the actual talk itself was an ad-libbed version of this. I even got a bit lost in the mid-to-late slides, so a few parts of these notes were skipped completely in the presentation!
I got a chance to get on the phone with one of our awesome customers recently, and she told me all about how she is using Batchbook at her college to improve organization and collaboration.
As stoked as I am to hear real world success stories from Batchbook customers, I am even more excited to share them with you.
Sometimes when you here how someone else is using CRM software you can get great ideas for ways you can use the tool more effectively.
So head on over to our case study about how Ashley is using CRM at her college. It’s a good read!
The next few months are going to see some exciting new features being rolled out in Batchbook. I won’t give anything away, but it’s going to be a pretty big deal! In the meantime, we have a couple of small tweaks that we think will be helpful for a lot of folks.
Communications Gets a Refresh
Hello Friday! My, how we’ve missed you…
What To Do?
Have you been checking things off your To-Do list this week? I’ve sure been trying to, but those pesky tasks just keep on popping up. Turns out, it’s an age-old problem. Even Benjamin Franklin had trouble prioritizing his tasks, according to A Brief History of the To-Do List and the Psychology of Its Success by Brain Pickings. Good thing it’s almost the weekend, I need to go fly a kite. Or at least that’s what my coworkers tell me…
Back to School
Most of us don’t have time to head back to school full time, but there’s always something we need (or want) to learn. Barry Moltz shares 9 Websites That Will Make You Smarter for those of us working on our web-ucation. I’d add one more. Google for Entrepreneurs has partnered with General Assembly to create the Tools for Entrepreneurs video series. They’ll be releasing new videos weekly to keep your education continuing.
It’s all about infographics lately. With so much data available, it’s sometimes hard to know what it all means. You can Visualize your Twitter followers in 3 fairly easy — and totally free — steps. If you’ve got too much on your To-Do list to get to that, you can take a peek at Which Demographics Use What Social Media. This survey was from 2012, but the info is still very useful for understanding the different social networks and their users.
So you want to be an Entrepreneur?
Our friends over at Grasshopper are at it again! They just mailed out 1,500 VHS tapes (yes, VHS tapes) with a note directing people to playvhs.com where they can watch this 80′s Entrepreneur Training Video. Ah, those were the days!
We thought you should know – the 7th annual Blog Action Day is coming up on October 16th. We have a history of participating and we’d love to have you join us!
This year’s theme is Human Rights. We think this is a subject that lots of you can share your thoughts on. How has this subject affected you personally or professionally? Have you made changes at home or at work because of Human Rights issues? If you’ve got a story to tell, now’s your chance!
On Blog Action day, blog’s around the world will be posting on the topic of Human Rights. It’s an issue that merits a lot of discussion. We believe that small business has an important role to play in improving basic Human Rights everywhere.
Let us know if you take part in Blog Action Day and we’ll share the link to your post. And don’t forget to come back here on October 16th to read ours!
Your CRM software can be your best tool for starting and keeping great customer relationships. But if everyone at your business is using it differently, some of that value is being lost.
It’s a good idea to assign a manager to head up your CRM efforts. They don’t have to be an iron-fisted dictator. You just need someone who can see the big picture and help make sure all of your contact puzzle pieces are fitting together. When they do, you’re whole team has better insight into each contact.
Develop Strong CRM Workflows
I’ve talked about how important it is to have your CRM workflows mirror what is already working. Getting a good workflow in your CRM is pretty important. As a piece of software, it’s job is to support the team, not to make life harder for them.
Without someone in charge, everyone develops their own workflows
Putting someone in charge of the overall workflow makes sense. They can match up individual working habits and find the features in your CRM that work best for your whole team. They can also keep everyone on track, reminding them to copy in their emails, update profiles after a phone call, or to assign tasks.
Without a person in charge, everyone will likely develop their own workflows for using the CRM, or even worse, won’t use it at all, which will hurt the rest of the team when they need up-to-date contact info.
Keep Your CRM Organized and Useful
Just like you need everyone working together to keep your office clean, you need your whole team committed to keeping your CRM up to date. However, one person should drive this. Assign someone to do things like check for duplicate contacts, decide which tags should be and should not be used, and to determine which custom fields are the most important.
Good organization needs a good plan
By having one person always paying attention to how organized your CRM is, you can keep it useful for everyone. Good organization needs a good plan. When you are really using your CRM, your team is dumping in information from emails, social networks, phone calls, online web forms, invoices, and more.
Having someone on the look-out for contacts that need to be merged, or contacts that exist only as email addresses and need more information, or even contacts that no one has communicated with in over a year can help your CRM stay lean and mean.
Onboard New Users (And Keep Everyone Engaged)
CRM is a tool that becomes more useful as more of your team use it. Sure, it can be a silo where the sales team or the social team manages their contacts. But none of your contacts live in just one silo. They will be touched by multiple people in your business throughout their relationship with you. If each of those people can get a good idea of who they are dealing with, everyone can provide a better experience. The result? Happy customers!
Make sure someone is responsible for making your CRM a success
This means you should have someone who really believes in the power of the CRM who can teach everyone else how to use it effectively. This person can show new users how to work all the levers and she can also encourage the team to use the CRM every day.
There are two qualities this person needs. One is a passion to teach. Not everyone can show other people how to do something. The other quality they need is flexibility. Not everyone will use the CRM the same way. Sure, they will have to conform on some things, but overall the CRM needs to support their work habits. The job of the teacher is to show each team member how the CRM will benefit them and the company as a whole, and to help develop the habit of using the tool.
For many small businesses, there will be one person who does all three of these things. But feel free to plug more people in. The main goal is to make sure someone at your business is responsible for making your CRM software a success.
If you ran a landscaping company, you wouldn’t just throw someone in a backhoe and tell them to figure it out as they go along. The result would be a holey mess! The same goes for CRM, the tool that you use to manage customer relationships at your business. That’s a pretty important thing to get right, so make sure someone is managing it.