CRM Stuff Category
Back in February of 2015 I reviewed a number of CRM. I recently took a fresh look at each CRM and Nutshell has an even stronger top position than before. Here’s the full review and recommendation for Nutshell CRM. (Some of these notes may not make complete sense unless you’ve read the series on how to shop for CRM.)
What is excellent:
Their target market is not enterprise-size companies—it’s everyone else—so you will not have to fight inappropriate defaults.
It is genuine CRM with sales-tracking features (instead of sales-tracking calling itself “CRM.”) (more…)
Well, I can’t give you a surefire recommendation – no one can – because the way you want and need to use CRM is unique. But I can clue you in on the real sources of aggravation, which will help you make the right choice next time.
A brief history of CRM (and why it matters)
When these programs first popped up, “CRM” stood for “Customer Relationship Management.” That’s customer as in after the sale occurred. At some point, CRM companies realized expanding their target market to sales-users would bring in a nice revenue stream. They adjusted what the “C” stood for, added some features, and successfully transitioned their product. However, the customer-focus legacy is one of the things that often turns a helpful tool into an annoyance. For example… (more…)
Most of our problems with CRM begin with the way we shop for it. We get some recommendations, cruise through a few websites, sign up for a couple free trials, and choose one. I’m not suggesting this is a casual effort, most people put in a lot of time and careful consideration.
Unfortunately, looking at potential CRM puts us on a dangerous path right away because what the CRM shows us has a strong influence on what we think we’re looking for. A different sort of effort will help you choose more wisely. I wish I could tell you it will be an easier effort but I can’t. In fact, this article turned into enough pages that it’s divided into five steps/articles. (more…)
The primary myths are that B2B is more complex, involves more sales meetings, a longer sales cycle, and higher dollars. In truth:
There are lots of products and services sold to consumers that involve complex issues, very high dollar amounts, many meetings, and more than one decision maker. Buying or selling a home is one example, investment and retirement services is another. What’s more, there are lots of inexpensive business products and services sold to a single decision maker in one meeting or transaction. As for the often unspoken conceit that selling B2B requires more skill…baloney.
Ignore B2B and B2C Labels
Despite the many things B2C and B2B have in common, many CRM identify as designed for one or the other (most choose the latter because that’s where the big bucks are). To find the right CRM you’ll have to ignore those labels and focus instead on features and functions. Clarifying a few things in advance will help you get a jump start.
The rest of this article helps you answer those questions. It also includes some general statements about CRM to help warm up your shopping skills. (more…)
But most of us have more types of contacts than we find in many CRM. If we do not recognize this in advance some of our contacts will be ignored by the CRM’s functions, making the CRM less valuable as a tool. The best way to avoid this over-arching problem is simple: Make a list of your contact groups and use it as reference as you shop. This article gives you an example list along with things to consider. Three tips for completing this step:
1: Do not create your list using the names and groups you know are in most CRM (do not use “lead,” “opportunity,” and so on).
Using those means you’re already following the CRM’s lead instead of the other way around. Instead, identify your groups using simple titles and descriptions.
2: If you want various people with various jobs to use the same CRM, create one all-inclusive list. Do not indicate who needs which contacts, and do not create separate lists.
Creating and using an inclusive list makes it more likely you’ll find one CRM that meets more needs.
3: Put your list on paper and use it as you shop.
If you try to complete the shopping process using a list in your head, what the CRMs show you will lead your thoughts…probably in the wrong direction. A paper reference helps keep your focus where it should be: your needs and wants.
Before I go into the example I want to clarify your finished list is not a file containing all of your contacts with a type or group assigned to each. Your list should only show the types or groups of contacts with any notes of detail. Now for the example list and things to start considering.
Alright, now to how the mapping process works using the example list from step two.
Marketing is the stuff we do to gain our prospects’ attention and regain our clients’ attention. Marketing tools include mail, email, phone, and web-based interaction — to name the most common tools. (Prospecting is marketing, too; it’s the things we do more directly, like calling and canvassing.)
Selling begins once the prospect agrees to evaluate the fit between what we offer and what they want and need. We’re not selling unless and until we have that agreement. (more…)