Posts

Using Excel as your CRM

Using Excel As Your CRM

Millions of businesses around the world recognise the importance of keeping all of their contacts, and sales activities, in one place.  They don’t necessarily want all of the features of a cloud based CRM, but want to be able to do the following:

  • keep records of client details
  • keep records of client interactions
  • keep records of sales activity

Using Excel as your CRM covers those bases.

As a business that manages the CRM of thousands of clients, some of them using Excel, we have seen all manner of templates and formats!

One we love, and refer many clients to is available here.

It’s simple.  It’s free.  And it has some added features.

It is also a great one to use if you are migrating your data from one CRM to another.

If using a CRM is new to you, and you want to learn about managing your CRM, getting the most out of your CRM, then join us to discuss all things Customer Relationship Management at our upcoming webinar on YouTube here.

 

Sales VA and Insightly CRM

An Insight Into Insightly

Over the last 12 months, on behalf of our clients, we have been working with many, many CRMs.  

As we learnt more about our clients, we continued to discover a hold point. A number of prospective customers managed client information record keeping in their own way, but without a recognisable CRM.

As an Assistant As An App Service, one which inputs data into CRMs – this was a challenge!

Sure, we could do a workaround, and input the data into a shared spreadsheet.  But we wanted our clients to understand that a CRM isn’t scary, and it is worth it.

A few of the best things about a CRM:

    1. It’s a platform that is scaleable.  It may just be you and a partner right now and you know your business, but using a CRM early on is going to help you scale your business faster, bring new team members up to speed quickly and ensure you are managing your clients well.
    2. It brings together several platforms of data, into the one platform.  (Think email, notes, contacts and tasks – all in one.)
    3. It will give you a snapshot of the key KPI’s of your sales process.

There are many more benefits of using a CRM from the start, but these are all you should need.

So, back to our challenge.  Some clients were holding off selecting a CRM because:

  1. Too many choices.  With over 40 CRMs applicable to their industry,it is difficult to make the “right” choice when they have a business to run.
  2. Too hard and time consuming to set it up.  Time.  Time.  Time.  Clients felt that it was going to take too much time to bring across the data to set it up and they didn’t know where to start.
  3. Ease of use.  Running a business takes bandwidth.  Everyone is familiar and comfortable with their own system.  Learning a new CRM takes extra bandwidth.  Is it worth it? (For the reasons listed above, of course it is!)

Once we better understood the position of our Beta Clients, we started testing some CRMs.  We concentrated on CRMs that made it easy to move clients from a spreadsheet to a CRM.

We discovered that there are over 40 of them.  Yikes!  We whittled them down to a few, and will share their stories over the next few months.  (Yes, we will work with any CRM, but bring clients into only a few, dependant on their needs.)

One of the best fits for a new or small business is Insightly.  Yesterday, our CEO, Emma Monro, visited their office in San Francisco.  Here are sometake outs for businesses considering moving from a spreadsheet to a CRM:

    • Great, welcoming vibe.  Dwight Foster, VP of Sales & Business Development, is open to new integrations, such as SalesVA, and is continually looking for ways to make it even easier for their clients to work with their CRM solution.
    • They specialise in bringing businesses across from no CRM or using Excel as a CRM.
    • They have put a lot of work into making their integrations seamless – if you already use Google Apps and Gmail, you are going to love how that works with Insightly.
    • Under two users is free

If you are an Insightly user, what do you love about your CRM?

Keep an eye out over the next week for our How To Video Series on setting up Insightly, as your CRM.

Tanya Williams, Digital Conversations

Day in the life of Tanya Williams, Chief of Everything

I have been running Digital Conversations for over 18 months.  Also, I have just launched a new business, in custom digital training, called Sofistika, with a business partner.

I don’t class myself as a salesperson, but I do pitch to clients.  So one can sale I am in sales. I am usually up bright and early, (not as early as some though) and find myself most productive in the morning. My day is always scheduled (yep, I am OCD organised).  I need to be in order to get everything done.

5am Most days I try to get up and either go to Boxing or Group Training classes. It gives me the energy I need to get through the day, and is just the kickstart I need.

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 8.25.07 am

7am I’m usually at my desk bright and early (even earlier if I skip exercise).  While I start answering my many emails that have appeared between sleep and rise, I try and make a point to listen to my theme song (Unwritten by Natasha Beddingfield).   Working in a global 24/7 digital world, my Inbox is usually packed before I start the day. I love the efficiency of email and that I can communicate with clients and strategic partners so quickly. (I just hate waiting for responses!) That’s the problem with being a ‘want everything to happen now’ kind of gal.

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 8.24.55 am

8.30am I am a big fan of video as a communication tool. I often record a quick client video in the morning. It adds a personal element to an email, and shows I have taken time and effort to communicate with a personalised touch.  It always gets a positive reaction from my clients, too.  I am big user of social media (it’s part of my job) so I am constantly checking into Facebook, Twitter and Linked during the day.  For pleasure I love Pinterest and Instagram.

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 8.24.44 am

10am I love being near the water and find it calms me and allows me thinking time before my meetings. I love meeting with clients who are passionate about their business and dedicated to bringing their vision to life. It keeps me inspired and I love being around that kind of energy.

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 8.24.15 am

11am One of the favourite parts of my job is when I have the opportunity to interview other CEO’s (here pictured with Karl Schwantes of Xennox Diamonds) for Having Digital Conversations.  I love the passion other business owners have for their business.  It is addictive.

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 8.24.31 am

3pm Nothing better than getting home from a busy day of meetings to a gorgeous Thank you gift from Laquar.  Super personalised and guaranteed to put a huge grin from ear to ear. I love my business partners.

End of The Selling Day Routine

5.30pm One of my favourite parts of the day is wine time. If I am not at a networking event, I usually have a wine to wind down and have a brain break. It gives me a chance to breath, reboot & appreciate the day I’ve had (good & bad).

7.30-8pm After dinner and some trash TV, I’m usually back at my desk working ON the business and researching. There is never enough time in the day.

9.30pm This princess needs her sleep so I’m off to bed early so I can do it all over again tomorrow.

Tanya Williams, Chief of Everything at Digital Conversations

http://www.digitalconversations.com.au/

https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile&id=50028288

Hip Pocket Workwear

The Challenges of Managing a Family Business.

We are going through an interesting change in management this year.  Dad originally owned and has been very involved in the business… until this year.  With Dad letting go of the reigns, we have had to redefine our family relationship, our business relationship, how we manage the business, our vision and how we see ourselves.  We both see ourselves working together forever – we make a good team, Dad has set a good foundation for us, and within us.  But now we are adults.  And we are ready to take Hip Pocket Workwear in our own direction.  It’s no better and no less than Dad’s vision.  It’s just our own journey.  We are really excited… and we have a great business coach to help us.

Make Customers Feel Good

Make Your Customers Feel Good.

“Everything we do is geared around the customer.  Even if a customer is unhappy, it’s a challenge that we love to deal with.  Nothing feels better than understanding why a customer is unhappy, searching out why, and delivering a solution which makes them jump over the moon.  The only type of customer that I struggle with is the ‘Humph’ customer.  The one who just will not engage in open dialogue.”

Culture at Hip Pocket Workwear

Creating a Culture To Be Proud Of.

We’ve mentioned the team affectionately known as ‘The Triplets’ in a previous post.  But in case you missed it, meet Millie, Bron and Kayla.

A central focus of building the culture in this business is evident in Graham’s comments on his focus with these talented, young ladies,  “When members of our team leave our employment, we want them to leave with confidence.  We want them to leave with relevant skills.  We want them to understand the importance of their own personal brand – to either work for themselves, or to command some serious money.”  

Hip Pocket Workwear Toowoomba

The Bermuda Triangle.

Investing In Your Team

Investing In Your Team.

“Our Mum always taught us that to create a cohesive work (and family) environment, that everyone is to have morning tea together.”

Graham and Nic are serious about this.  Appointments are made around morning tea.  And everyone shows up for it.  When customers come in during this time, they are welcomed and one of the team members will serve them.  For everyone else at the table, it is the perfect time to check in with them, see where their head is at, and address any challenges.  One team member a day is also asked to contribute something that they think can be improved in their systems.  This last activity is just another example of how Graham and Nic are focused on empowering their team to contribute solutions – and not just bring up problems.

Now let’s talk about the vibe.  Every team members brings a ‘get in and get it done,’ while being helpful, attitude.  The pace is fast and focused, while the discussions with clients are lively.

To say that Graham and Nic are invested in their team is an understatement.  As Graham said, “When members of our team leave our employment, we want them to leave with confidence.  We want them to leave with relevant skills.  We want them to understand the importance of their own personal brand – to either work for themselves, or to command some serious money.”

The Hazards of Selling in the Bush.

Trucks & Roo’s: The Hazards of Selling in The Bush.

“Driving great distances has it’s perks, but also it’s dangers.  I make phone calls when I’m in range.  But I also need to keep an eye out for Kangaroo’s.  They can cause serious damage.  A bull bar will only protect you so much.  If one comes through your windscreen you are in serious trouble.  Other than that, it is beautiful driving out west.”

Prospecting

Prospecting 100 New Contacts a Week – What does it look like?

A team member that prospects 100 new people a week?  It’s a sales managers’ dream come true!

It’s no easy feat though.

Brendan Goleby, of Black Toyota, does exactly that.  100 new prospects per week.  But how?  With much planning and dedication.

Here are some of Brendan’s tips:

  • Starting at 5am with LinkedIn database maintenance
  • Getting on the road by 7am
  • Offer free LinkedIn training
  • Create events that value add, and invite people
  • Know what is happening in the community – show up, volunteer, spread the love
  • Have a plan for the week – prospecting 100 new people takes time
  • Communicate with people how they want to receive communication

One more tip?  Make sure you keep healthy on the road.  Keep it light and easy to digest.