John is the owner of a Colorado based distribution company. He recently hired Mike to help him with sales. Mike lives in Kansas. With a growing sales team, John wanted more visibility over how sales activities are progressing.
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 business automation.
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!
Garbage In, Garbage Out
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?