How a CRM solution can give your clients the WOW factor!

I want to tell you a little story today about an event that happened to me recently.  I decided, in my quest for healthy living, that I would try a juice cleanse.  I have heard about the health benefits of a juice cleanse and my brother and sister -in-law had just done one and said they felt terrific!  They recommended the gorgeous peeps at Pure Glow Cleanse.


Pic via

These guys had rave reviews from a number of people so I decided to give them a try to do a 1 day Radiance Reset cleanse.  I wasn’t adventurous enough to do a 3 day or 5 day cleanse yet!  They normally can take orders over their website but unfortunately on the day I wanted to order, they were having some technical issues so I called the number on the site and made my order over the phone.  The lovely Jacqueline graciously took my order over the phone and I was all set to pick up my juices a few days later.

On the day I was supposed to pick up my juices , I went into their store and unfortunately with all the technical issues they were having my order was not on their records.  The lovely Tamara did an excellent job to put together a pack of 6 juices and she even gave me another 6 juices as a gesture of goodwill plus a stack of herbal teas!

These guys really know what excellence in customer service really is.

I was thrilled to start the cleanse the next day but when I got home, I wasn’t sure which juice to drink first as I was told the juices are normally numbered.  I was a bit confused but by looking at the great information they had on their site I had some idea that I was supposed to supposed to drink the juices every 2 hours.  I finished the cleanse and felt good.  However, being the first time I did a juice cleanse, I really wanted to do it properly.

So I wrote to the lovely Jacqueline and explained how I felt.  She was so gracious and accommodating and offered me another 1 day Radiance Reset to try again for free!  Again, I was blown away by their commitment to their customers having the best possible experience with them.  These guys rock!

Fast forward to a couple of weeks later, I decided that I wanted to try the cleanse again so I emailed Jacqueline and she put my order through.  This time, they had sorted out all their technical issues so it was put through their system.  I am pretty sure that they use Infusionsoft CRM .

Anyway my experience this time was taken to another level!

1. First of all I received a confirmation email with my order details.

2. I then received a gorgeous email with Pre-cleanse tips! It also had details of when my juices would be ready to be picked up.  Very impressive :)


3.  I was even more impressed when I received a support email with details of location and times for the juice pickup, tips for what to do pre-cleanse and also what to do on the day of the cleanse.  It was very informative and even covered how I would likely be feeling and what to do if I was feeling a bit tired or hungry.  They even told us how to recycle the juice jars!


4. Just when I thought I couldn’t love they guys more, on the day of the juice pickup I received a reminder email with tips to make sure my fridge had enough space for the juices, and also reminding me not to eat pizza the night before!


5.  On the day of the cleanse I received another email to support me through the day and to motivate me to finish it!

6.  Finally a week after my cleanse I received another email to congratulate me on successfully completing it and to also allow me to provide feedback via a survey.

So  do you think I am going to be a loyal customer from now on?  The answer of course is a big YES!

So anyway I think you all can understand how

a company who already has amazing customer service can take their customer satisfaction levels through the roof by giving their clients the BEST CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE via a CRM solution.

The best part is one you have done the initial set up, the whole process is automated.  You can set it and forget it!

So how do you set up something like this for your company?  Look for a CRM solution that supports AUTOMATED WORKFLOWS.  Most CRM solutions on the market have this facility and make sure you get an experienced consultant to set it up properly for you the first time.  All you have to provide is the content and they should be able to guide you through setting up the process for your business.

Once you have it all set up, you can then get all sorts of cool reports and analytics from the data you collect so that you can improve your approach and process even further.

So get ready to WOW your clients and take your customer satisfaction levels and sales to the next level!

I wish you all the very best in this journey :)

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Posted in CRM Data Mining, BI and Analytics, CRM Sales, Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

The Most Commonly Implemented CRM Features

Learn How To

I have been involved in implementing CRM systems for a long time.  However, it struck me that I hadn’t written a blog post on what the most common features every organisation will ask for.  Our clients are a combination of Government, Private and Not -For -Profit organisations. They range from areas such as construction, sales consulting, chamber of commerce, insurance, higher education, health , art and culture, etc.

Having such a diverse range of clients, has given us the opportunity to implement a diverse range of features .  As I have said before, there is no ‘one size fits all’ CRM solution.  However, these are the most common features we have implemented (in no particular order):

1. Contact segmentation

Segmenting contacts using tags or custom fields to categorise them.  For example one of our clients categorised their contacts into: clients, vendors, VIP clients, staff etc

2. Website integration

This involves having the CRM ‘talk’ to the client’s website.  An example is when an Event is created in the CRM, it automatically appears on the website. Another example is embedding a contact form on the site which feeds the information into the CRM by creating a new Lead record.

3. Payment gateway

This refers to allowing purchases to be made from the client’s website and the information being stored in the CRM.  For example, when someone registers and pays for an Event, the payment gateway (eg Paypal) processes the payment and the details are recorded in the CRM against the relevant Contact.

4. Donations Management

Managing supporter donations in the CRM and being able to generate reports.

5. Event Management

Managing events (registration, participation, payments etc) in the CRM and being able to generate reports.

6. Member Management

Managing memberships (registration, renewals, payments etc) in the CRM and being able to generate reports.

7. Mailchimp Integration

Automatically syncing contacts in Mailchimp with contacts in the CRM so there is no double entry

8. Ecommerce Integration

Allowing the CRM and your online shop to ‘talk’ to one another.  Contacts are automatically created in the CRM when someone makes a purchase from your online store.

9. Campaign Management

Managing marketing campaigns.

10. Survey Management

Creating surveys in the CRM for your contacts and reporting.

11. Case Management

Managing client cases that have more complex workflows that need to go through many processes.

12. Volunteer Management

Managing volunteer sign ups, participation, reporting.

The results below show the percentage of each implemented feature.



As you can see, the most commonly implemented feature is contact segmentation (no suprises there), followed by Website integration, payment gateway and member management.  This indicates that since most organisation’s first point of contact is their website, it makes sense that it should be integrated with a CRM so that interactions with potential clients and existing clients can be tracked.

Event management is another commonly used feature, since a lot of organisations are now running workshops and seminars for the public and existing clients.  Having it part of a CRM makes perfect sense so that all information is kept in a central location.

In subsequent blog posts, I  will explain each of these features in more detail and also explain how you can implement these features for your own business.

Let me know in the comments, which features you would like to hear more about.

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Posted in Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

How To Set Up a CRM System for Your Own Biz – Part 2



As you know, we run a lot of workshops and training to educate businesses about what a CRM system is and the benefits of using a CRM system to manage your customer database and client interactions.  One of the biggest hurdles for a small business is to find the capital to hire someone to set up a CRM system for them.

We know what it is like to be an up and coming small business and not have the funds to set up systems to help automate manual processes.  It’s like a chicken and egg situation, you need a CRM to automate manual tasks to free up your time so you can work on your business not in it – been there and done that!

That’s why we have decided to reveal the steps that we go through with our clients to set up their CRM system so that you can do it yourself!  In Part I of this article we explained the first four steps.  If you missed this article, click here to read it now.  We will now go through the next steps to set up a CRM system for your own business!


4. Select the right CRM tool/system

There are hundreds of CRM tools on the market.  Here are some of the popular ones.

  1. Zoho
  2. Salesforce
  3. SugarCRM
  4. 17 Hats
  5. Vtiger
  6. Capsule CRM

We won’t go into detail of what these tools can do here.  However, if you need advice on the right tool for your business, feel free to contact us.


5. Develop or create new processes

Once you have developed your CRM strategy, figured out what your current processes are and selected a tool, the next step is to develop or create new processes that can now be handled by the CRM system.

For example, let’s look at our earlier process of handling an email enquiry.

Email enquiry process flow



With a CRM tool, the process now looks like this:


Modified CRM process


Basically the process is saying that that there are two scenarios.

  1. The Normal scenario is when an email enquiry comes through, it gets automatically “pulled” into the CRM system as a task which is ‘open’.  Once the email is attended to, the task is closed.  If it isn’t replied in ‘x’ hours, it gets red flagged.
  2. The Alternative scenario is if the email needs to be referred to another staff member.  The task gets reassigned and again if the email is not replied within  ‘x’ hours, it gets red flagged.


Here is another example of a ‘Before’ and ‘After’ process for a phone enquiry.

Modified CRM process simple


6. Configure Your CRM tool

The next step is to configure your CRM tool to handle your processes as well as importing your existing client database (if it exists).  Its always good to export your existing database to an Excel sheet saved as a ‘CSV’ file as most CRM system can only import these types of files.

Some of the common steps to configure a CRM tool for your business are:

  • Upload company logo to be used on quotes and invoices
  • Add custom fields to capture your customer profile information (if they don’t already exist in the CRM tool)
  • Segment your contacts into types/categories to help identify them better and get targeted reporting.  Example of categories could be Clients, VIP Clients, Suppliers, Government etc.
  • Setup automated workflows for eg to to automatically respond to email enquiries and automatically notify  the relevant people

Here is an example screenshot of a system where we have set up an automated email to be sent to a potential customer when they send us an enquiry through our website which is integrated to our CRM system.

Screenshot workflow set up

7. Train your people

The next step is to train any staff who will be using the CRM tool.

Make CRM a part of your business culture explain to your staff that ‘The customer is KING!

Explain the benefits of using the CRM system eg.

  • Will help them to automate their normal tasks,  saving time
  • Auto responding to website enquiries, etc
  • Make it easier to track customer interactions
  • Central place for customer data at their fingertips

8. Measure and Improve

The final step is to measure and improve.  Identify key metrics you want to track for eg.

  • No. of responses per marketing campaign
  • No. of sales per marketing campaign
  • Which products/services sell better
  • Resolution time for complaints
  • Use enquiry data

Create FAQs to put on your website from common enquiries

Use feedback/complaint data to improve your customer service, products and services and to put in preventive measures.

So there you have it! Eight simple steps to set up a CRM system of your own!

If you prefer to get face to face training on this, contact us to find out about our upcoming training courses or get on our list to receive latest updates.

Wishing you the best of luck in your CRM journey!

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Posted in Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

How To Set Up a CRM System for Your Own Biz – Part I



As you know, we run a lot of workshops and training to educate businesses about what a CRM system is and the benefits of using a CRM system to manage your customer database and client interactions.  One of the biggest hurdles for a small business is to find the capital to hire someone to set up a CRM system for them.

We know what it is like to be an up and coming small business and not have the funds to set up systems to help automate manual processes.  It’s like a chicken and egg situation, you need a CRM to automate manual tasks to free up your time so you can work on your business not in it – been there and done that!  Read this article by Forbes that explains this more.

That’s why we have decided to reveal the steps that we go through with our clients to set up their CRM system so that you can do it yourself!


1. Create a CRM strategy and define your objectives

You need to understand a couple of things about your customers/clients before you get started with a CRM tool. Ask yourself some of these questions:

  • Do you know why your customers need your product or service?
  • Do you understand how your customers find you?
  • Do you understand what your customers like most about your products/services?
  • What are your customer’s expectations of you?
  • Where is customer information stored?

You may want to consider the customer lifecycle below when you ask yourself these questions.

Customer Lifecycle

These questions will help you to define a strategy to build relationships with your clients, which will then help you to define your CRM objectives. CRM objectives are what you want to achieve through your CRM system. Some examples are:

  • Have a central place to store all customer info
  • Staff to have a clear view of all interactions with a customer
  • Access customer demographics and segment customers to send targeted promotions
  • Increase revenue per customer – identify opportunities to sell additional products and services
  • Improve customer service by responding to enquiries, complaints and feedback within X mins, hours, days
  • Increase referrals from existing customers

Other common examples are:

  • Automate manual tasks in my business like preparing quotes, and tracking and sending follow-up emails
  • Be able to identify potential customers who are likely to buy
  • Be able to track which marketing campaigns are more successful
  • Find out which products/services sell more
  • Engage with customers via social media – find out what they like or don’t like about my products and services

Once you identify your objectives the next step is to prioritise these.

2. Prioritise your CRM objectives

It would be nice to achieve all your CRM objectives in one fell swoop, however it is not always possible.  The best thing to do is to prioritise your list of objectives into something like this:

  • High – Must Have
  • Medium
  • Low – Nice to Have

You can then concentrate on the high priority objectives first.  Once you have done this, the next step is to define your current processes.

3. Define your business processes

What are your processes when interacting with your customers?  For example, how do you handle phone enquiries?  How do you handle requests for quotes?  Processes are a way for you to deliver a consistent experience for your customers.  The more consistent you are the more you will build trust.

For example, if you receive an email enquiry, do you ensure you always reply within 24 hours or do you take an ad-hoc approach and reply days or weeks later?  Remember to look at the normal flows but also think of the ‘what if’ scenarios .  For example, have a look at how this client handles email enquiries.

Email enquiry process flow

It covers what happens when a general email enquiry comes in and also if the enquiry needs to be passed on to another staff member to respond.

Once you have noted down all your usual processes to handle clients, the next step is to find the right CRM tool for your business.

4. Select the right CRM tool/system

Now that you have understood the processes in your business the next step is to find the right CRM system that can cater for these processes.  For example, do you regularly have to prepare quotes for your clients?  Do you need to track the proposals/quotes until the client is won?  If so, you would need a CRM system that can create quotes and plus track potential sales.

What if you have members and run a lot of events?  What if you already have an email marketing tool (like Mailchimp or Aweber) but you want a central customer database? You would then look for a CRM system that has member and event management modules as well as the ability to integrate with email marketing software through a plugin.

Other tips are to look for a tool that can help you meet your CRM objectives. For example

  • Segment customers and send promotions via email marketing
  • Track the sales made via these campaigns
  • Get recommendations on who to upsell and cross-sell to based on sales reports.

Here’s some useful criteria to help you find the right solution.

CRM tool selection criteria

Now that you have found the right tool, the next step is to set up and configure your CRM solution.

We will cover this in Part II of How To Set Up a CRM System for Your Own Biz.  Meanwhile if you prefer to get face to face training on this, contact us to find out about our upcoming training courses or get on our list to receive latest updates.

To be continued….


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Small Biz CRM Buyer Trends for 2015

Ever wondered what small businesses like yours look for when buying a CRM system?

Well wonder no more, as have done all the hard work for you! They evaluated interactions with hundreds of small business buyers in the US, UK and Australia to understand buyers’ most desired applications, features and integrations, as well as their most common reasons for seeking new software.

The key findings were:

  1. Over half of CRM buyers (53 percent) currently use manual methods, such as paper and spreadsheets—up from 44 percent in 2013.
  2. Many small-business buyers (37 percent) seek an integrated suite of multiple CRM applications, up from just 7 percent in 2013.
  3. Nearly all CRM buyers (88 percent) want a sales force automation application; only 10 percent want a customer service application.
  4. Most small-business buyers (71 percent) prefer a cloud-based over on-premise CRM system—up from just 48 percent in 2013.
  5. CRM buyers in the U.S. are over three times more likely than U.K. or AU buyers to request social media functionality or integrations.

Jay Harvey ,market research associate at Software Advice  says

“The vast majority of small-business CRM buyers are still looking for basic contact management, with 62 percent seeking a standalone application for sales force automation (SFA). That’s no surprise. SFA is typically the first step for businesses to organize their customer data and track customer interactions across the sales funnel. As such, it’s long been the first thing small businesses look for when it comes time to adopt a real CRM technology strategy.

Many Australian buyers (34 percent) are also beginning to request an integrated suite that combines SFA with marketing automation. So small businesses are increasingly looking to implement a full, end-to-end CRM solution. They want to better aligns marketing and sales. They want to enable sales reps with access to lead nurturing data and interaction histories from across the sales pipeline. This means growing opportunities for vendors that offer a broader small-business-centric suite of sales, marketing and service applications, and for vendors of standalone solutions that offer integrations with popular services such as Gmail, MailChimp and Zapier.

When we asked small-business CRM buyers why they were evaluating software, the most common response was that they were simply interested to learn more about how CRM software in general could help their business, or about how more robust systems might improve upon their current solution. This is consistent with Gartner’s research, as well, which suggests that an increasing majority of buyers are citing “self-driven information search” as their most preferred method at every stage of the buying cycle.

This highlights the need for CRM providers to ensure that they’re in a position to be found when buyers research potential options—whether through search engine optimization, content marketing, driving B2B software reviews or other inbound marketing efforts.”

Here are the statistics below

1. Prospective Buyers Current Methods to Manage Clients/Customers

Prospective Buyers’ Current Methods

In 90% of our encounters with small businesses in Australia, spreadsheets are typically their current method of managing their customers. They come to us when they can no longer keep track of everything in an efficient manner.


2. Nearly All Buyers Request Sales Force Automation (SFA)


Sales force automation is the ability to track potential sales and interactions and schedule automated follow ups thus keeping track of the sales pipeline.  This is one of the most requested features from all of the businesses that we meet.

3. Top-Requested CRM Integrations in Australia

We have never come across a business who has not asked for a CRM to be integrated with their mail client or calendar.  Therefore the findings below did not suprise us!


4. Australian Buyers’ Reasons for Evaluating Software


As small businesses grow their client database, it becomes increasingly harder to manage via manual methods.  Therefore having a CRM system which is cloud based and has a multitude of features to help automate manual tasks becomes a necessity.

For more information and to read the full report, please go to

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CRM For Wellness


Last weekend, one of our clients –  SMV/Annalakshmi Culinary Science – hosted a seminar on Ayurvedic principles entitled “Cooking for Wellness”

Ayurveda is the Indian system of Holistic Medicine, offering life style knowledge to maintain balance of Body, Mind and Spirit.

Our client was using CiviCRM to manage their contact base and needed to take the system one step further by managing the Ayurvedic seminar online.


CiviCRM was configured to:

  • Manage the event information – date, time, venue, maximum number of participants, waiting list
  • Online registrations for this event which included the participant receiving an email confirmation with  all the event details
  • Once the event was full, the people who registered were automatically put on a waiting list
  • An automated reminder was sent 1 week before the event.

During the Event

On the day of the event, the list was seamlessly exported to a spreadsheet and printed out to mark off attendance as it was believed this would be faster than doing it online.


Post event, the CRM was updated to check off participants who actually attended.

An automated email will be sent to:

  • People who actually attended, thanking them for coming and asking them to sign up for their newsletter to be informed of more upcoming events.
  • People who didn’t attend, saying that they missed them and asking them to sign up for their newsletter to be informed of more upcoming events.

So you can see just how much time a CRM can save you to manage an event as well as automate relationship building with your clients and supporters.

Stay tuned for our next blog post on another success story in CRM for Wellness – Cancer Support WA!

Do you work in the Health and Wellness Area and can see a CRM system working for you?  Perhaps you already have a CRM system and are using it to manage your clients.  Tell me in the comments below! I would love to hear from you!

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What Hawaii taught me about CRM

When you mention the word “Hawaii”, what images usually spring to mind?  Pristine waters, blue skies, palm trees swaying in the wind…

Well I was fortunate enough to experience it first hand and let me tell you  – it is every bit if not more beautiful than what you see on tv or in magazines.

The magnificent Hawaiian North Shore
The magnificent Hawaiian North Shore


One of the things that struck me when I was there, was how friendly all the locals were.  Whether it be any shop, national park, or restaurant I entered,  I was always greeted with a warm smile and asked how I could be assisted.

This is one of the fundamental concepts of CRM.  The “R” which stands for “Relationship”.  Unknowingly, these beautiful people were building a relationship with me and memories that  would last a lifetime.

A Stunning Sunset
A Stunning Sunset


In any business, this is where your company voice must come from.  Your staff must have this “relationship building” instilled in them and it must come naturally.  Like when meeting a long lost friend – it has to be genuine or it will not have the required effect.

One beautiful experience I had was trying a Lomi Lomi massage for the first time.  It was an amazing experience – so much so, I booked another one the next day! It was not so much that the salon was swanky or had an amazing ambience.  It looked like a quaint rustic shack.  It was more so that the lovely lady performing the massage was genuinely putting her heart and soul into giving me the best customer experience she could.

And it worked a treat, because afterwards I was “dumbstruck” by the amazing experience and wanted to shout out their company name from the rooftops.

That there ladies and gentlemen is one of the best examples of marketing and CRM I have ever seen.

The moral of the story is, give your customers the best possible service coming from a warm hearted and genuine place and that will be the best marketing you could ever do that will not cost you thousands of dollars.

Have you ever had an amazing customer experience?

Let us know in the comments below what your best customer experience was and why.

Till next time


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Posted in CRM Marketing, Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

5 Free must-have online tools to manage your business more efficiently



When running a business, your website is basically the hub of all your online activity.  It is the face of your business and any online interactions will be passing through there.  As you probably already know, when people are looking for products and services they (yep you guessed it), GOOGLE it!  Therefore it is VITAL that you are capturing data so you can do some analysis and use this information to:

  • Drive more visitors to your website
  • Know how people are finding you on the web
  • Understand their behaviour once they reach your website – which pages they are going to and how long they are staying etc.
  • Use your website to grow your email marketing list
  • Capture sales and enquiry data in a CRM system/database

In order to do this, there are some FREE (yes free!) online tools that can help your website become a cash machine for your business.   So let’s get started!

1. Google Keyword Planner

This nifty tool is actually used for creating Google Adwords .  The  Keyword Planner tool requires you to login before using it.  You will need to create an Adwords account but don’t worry, you won’t need to pay for any advertising to use it.


Once you login, click on “Search for new keywords and Ad group ideas”.  Then enter your product or service.  For example, I would enter “CRM consulting” and click “Get Ideas”.  Click on the “Keyword ideas” tab to get some ideas of which keywords are being used the most in monthly searches.

For more information, there are some great resources such as:

The Definitive Guide to Using Google’s Keyword Planner Tool for Keyword Research

2. Google Analytics


In my opinion, Google Analytics  is the BEST free tool I have ever seen in terms of  the vast amount of insights you can get from your website stats.  If you don’t already have it for your website you have to get it NOW! The type of information you can gather includes:

  • The demographics of people coming to your site
  • Who are new visitors, who are returning visitors
  • Which country, cities they came from.
  • Which keywords they are using to get there
  • Which sources they used eg Google, Bing, Facebook etc
  • Which landing page they reached first
  • How long they spent on each page
  • Which browser they used and whether they used a PC or mobile device
  • How well your opt-in pages and sales pages are converting

There is way to much information to cover in this blog post but there are some great resources such as



3. Mailchimp


Mailchimp is an email marketing tool which is FREE for under 2000 subscribers.

It’s a fantastic tool with many features including:

  • Ability to generate sign up forms which you can embed in your website very easily
  • Double – opt in feature to prevent SPAM and to easily provide offers to people who sign up to be on your list such as free downloads or ebooks.
  • Ability to integrate with Google Analytics so you can see which campaigns drove visitors to your website
  • Reporting to see how many people opened your mail, how many clicked on links and it also provides a click map to see where people clicked in your mail – very handy
  • Ability to test your subject lines and view how the mail looks on a mobile device before sending out your mail
  • Easy to use templates to build really nice looking newsletters.
  • Compare your stats to industry standards

For more info, please visit their website which has a wealth of information.

4. Hootsuite



Hootsuite is your magic genie to manage all your social media interactions.  It can manage most of the main social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linked In etc.

Create once and your content will be posted to all of the social media channels you want it to be posted to.  You can even schedule posts so you can create in advance and not have to think about it for a couple of months.

There is a free version which works really well for most businesses and also a paid version with more features. More information can be found on their website.


5. Capsule CRM



We now come to the main core of your data capturing machine for your business.  A CRM system is ESSENTIAL to manage ONE customer database and get a 360 degree view of your customer.  The CRM system will integrate with Mailchimp and your website to capture important information like customer enquiries and feedback.

If you don’t already know the benefits, read these posts:

How Implementing CRM Can Fulfil Your Top 10 Business Wishes – Part I

How Implementing CRM Can Fulfil Your Top 10 Business Wishes – Part II

Capsule CRM has a FREE version which does a darn good job of managing your contacts, integrating with Mailchimp as well as giving you the ability to embed contact forms on your website so you can capture customer enquiries automatically.

Once you have got the enquiry in the CRM, it is easy to track and follow up and also know if a sale has resulted from the enquiry.

For more information on what Capsule CRM can do, please visit their website.

Do you live in Perth?

If you would like to attend  a FREE information session on the above tools, please sign up for our newsletter  to get the latest updates.  Our last information session with Perth B Schoolers  was a roaring success.  The kind people at Spacecubed sponsored the event in support of Women in Business.  We will be running these sessions every month so make sure you get on our list to find out when the next one is.

online tools for women in business





photo credit: greyweed via photopincc

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Posted in Must have online tools

How Implementing CRM Can Fulfil Your Top 10 Business Wishes – Part II

In my 10 or more years in the IT/CRM space, I have come across many businesses from various industry verticals.  However, all of them have the same business needs no matter which industry they are from.  I have compiled the Top 10 needs of most businesses and will explain how a CRM strategy and implementation can fulfill this wishlist.  Here is long awaited second part of this blog post.

6. “I want to be able to separate my contacts into different segments so I can target marketing promotions to the right people.”

It is invaluable for a business to be able to segment their customers to carry out targeted marketing and get the best outcome for their effort.  Most CRM systems on the market have the ability to be customised very easily.  They usually contain a field called “Contact Type”  which is a drop down with values like: “Client”, “Partner”, “Supplier” etc.  However, these dropdowns can be easily customised to add new values such as “Gold VIP”, “Silver VIP”, “Bronze VIP”.  In this way you can categorise your clients and identify your high value customers.

7. “I want to have a sign up form on my website for a newsletter or free e-book which can capture leads and store them automatically in a database.”

This is a biggie and quite frankly, if you don’t have an opt in to get prospects on your “list” you are losing out on lots of potential sales.  There are many email marketing tools like Mailchimp, Aweber etc which do a fantastic job of handling bulk emails.  The great thing is that they usually can integrate with a CRM system so that you dont have to manually add the contacts into the CRM system.  They are automatically synced!  You have now saved many painful hours of your time. Bonus!

8. “I want to engage more with my clients through emails, videos, social media, etc.  I want to know what they think of my products and service.”

We all know how important social media is in a company’s CRM strategy to build and nuture relationships.  So it makes sense that many CRM systems can now be integrated with Facebook, Twitter, Linked In etc.  So if your customer is praising your product, you can find out immediately, the information is stored in the CRM, and you can then go and thank them for the shout out and give them a free gift 🙂

9. “I would like to have sales and marketing reports at my fingertips so I can easily keep track of my business and potential sales pipeline.”

CRM systems have this amazing module often called “Opportunities” or “Potentials”.  This module can keep track of your potential sales, tell you which company/individual it relates to, how much you can expect to receive if you close the sale, track sale stages , expected close dates, and also be linked to marketing campaigns – so you know which campaigns actually resulted in sales!  Beats having to sift through multiple excel sheets from different sales staff any day!

10. “I want to sell my products/services online and automatically capture customer and purchase info in a database.”

How many of you have an ecommerce software like Shopify or Magento and have information on customers who bought through your online store but have no idea how many of these have bought stuff from you offline?  Well CRM vendors have come to the rescue, where a lot of them have integrated with ecommerce software such as (Vtiger and Magento) so that you have a central database of customers, rather than having multiple databases all over the place.  There are also third party integration tools like Zapier and OneSaas which can integrate pretty much any CRM with any other software. Aahh the wonders of technology!
So there you have it.  The top 10 needs of most businesses and how they can be addressed by a simple little application called a CRM system.  So come on, what are you waiting for?  If you need any help on where to start, check out my post on some free CRM options to get you started.

Dr Vish Ramakonar – CRM Consultant/Analyst

Sankhya Consultants

photo credit: ffaalumni via photopin cc

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Posted in CRM Marketing, CRM Sales, CRM Software, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Customer Service, Social CRM

How Marie Forleo is revolutionising CRM

photo courtesy of

Marie was recently interviewed by Oprah as a thought leader for the next generation. Her mission is to help you realize your greatest potential and use your unique talents to change the world. She reaches over 200,000 readers in 191 countries worldwide and leads dynamic training programs that teach individuals to succeed in business and life.

In case some of you have been living under  a rock lately, you may have been inundated with posts, emails and links to a phenomenon called B School by Marie Forleo.  B School is is an 8 week, interactive video-based training program that teaches smart, effective online marketing strategies to business owners who want more sales and more impact from their online presence.

Graduates from B School include “advanced” students who are New York Times bestselling authors and million dollar plus business owners who have large lists (from 10K – 100K).   These “advanced” students completed B-School and have added anywhere from $65,000 to over $1,000,000 in revenue to their business from what they learned in our program. While they were already successful, they weren’t fully leveraging their online presence to drive more revenue.

Amazing huh! Marie also launched a series of 3 free training videos to teach her tribe, the “right way to market”.  So why am I telling you all this?  Well, Marie’s marketing strategies are one of the best ways we have seen CRM being implemented.

In her first training video, she talks about a  6 Pillars Map. Pillar 2  in particular is just one example of pure poetry in motion when it comes to CRM – how to create “Websites that Sell and Don’t Suck”:

1. Connect

 You must connect with your audience instantly when they land on your site and communicate how you can help them.

2. Capture

This is super important.  You MUST find  a way to capture your prospect’s name and email.  The majority of your visitors will not buy from you the first time. You need to capture their details so that you can build a relationship with them over time (CRM strategy anyone?!)

3. Convert

Your website needs to be the best unpaid salesperson in our business and convert browsers into buyers. Your website can and should bring revenue to your business 24/7.

So there you have it! An amazingly simple CRM strategy that does not cost you much.

For more info on the brilliant Marie Forleo, head over to

Want to know how you can implement this in your business?

Join us for a FREE  introduction to CRM workshop where we  look at how to build long lasting relationships with your customers as well as increase sales, close more leads, and automate your business. We will show you the different CRM tools available in the market and show you how it fits in with your digital strategy (website, e-commerce, etc). We will also reveal the 7 steps to successful CRM implementation so you can start working ON your business not IN your business!

This will be followed by a hands on  demonstration of how to use CRM systems to help your business. Includes how to set up your customer database and track interactions so you can build long lasting relationships with your customers. This session will be more hands on so please bring along a laptop and/or tablet if possible.

Click here to book now.  Hurry, limited places available.







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Posted in CRM Marketing, Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
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Learn how a CRM system can help you to:

  • Have all your customer information in one central place.
  • Gain valuable insights to close more sales
  • Save time and improve productivity
  • Market more efficiently- generate more leads
  • Track interactions, get automated reminders

“Thank you Vish for the advice and support. Implementing the CRM made an immediate impact on the way we manage our customers” --Jacqui Warnock, Fremantle Chamber of Commerce