Why You Should Be Using Sales Orders in CRM

CRM Sales OrdersFor many types of businesses, the creation of a CRM sales order is (or should be) the logical next step in the CRM process after an sales opportunity is marked “won”.

In this post we’ll look at the business benefits of using CRM sales orders. We’ll then look an example implementation of orders in CRM.

While the information in a CRM order can be used to generate a traditional confirmation document for a customer, this post will focus on the internal usage and value of orders.

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When Buying a CRM System is The Wrong Choice

Boss Saying "No" to CRMOne of the unspoken assumptions our prospects have when they come to us to discuss help with CRM evaluation and selection is: whichever product is selected, it will be better than what’s currently in place. But recently, one of our consultants was asked an interesting question that we felt warranted further examination.

The question was, “Is one of the possible outcomes of your evaluation to not invest in a CRM system and leave things the way they are?”

It was a great question. Can a company be better off by continuing to rely on legacy systems, spreadsheets, and Post-it notes?

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How To Crush Google’s New Performance Measurement Score With Your WordPress Site

WordPress Website Performance for GoogleGoogle recently released a beta page performance measuring tool which is built on top of Lighthouse. The tool scores website pages on four factors:

  1. Performance
  2. Accessibility
  3. Best Practices
  4. SEO

This post will focus on Performance, as this area often represents a page’s lowest relative score. We’ll also focus on WordPress.

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What is CRM artificial intelligence and what can it do for my business?

Updated: September 20, 2018

CRM Artificial IntelligenceIt was only a matter of time before artificial intelligence was embedded in CRM. Next year we’ll probably see self-aware water coolers. Skynet can’t be much further behind, right?

Okay, maybe that’s a bit far-fetched. But CRM with artificial intelligence is very much a real thing now, and the implications it has for your business are substantial. But before you start panicking about your CRM system displacing real people in sales and marketing, let’s take a moment to examine what AI is, what it can and can’t do, and how to work with it rather than around it.

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20 Business Blogging Mistakes That Can Reduce Lead Volume

Business Blogging MistakesWith more marketers focusing on blog content for attracting website visitors, it has become a greater challenge for a business blogger to stand out in an ever expanding sea of web content.

This, in turn, means it’s more important than ever for business bloggers to avoid the mistakes that result in less traffic and fewer conversions than would be otherwise possible.

While there are many forms of content marketing, blogging can be one of the most effective forms when done correctly.

Here are 20 common business blogging mistakes that can stop sales leads before they start.

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Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365: The Ultimate Objective Comparison

Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Compared

Updated: December 11, 2018

This is a fact-based comparison of Salesforce® and Microsoft Dynamics™ 365.

For those who work for an organization that is moving toward a new CRM solution, the information below is a starting point.

While we have attempted as much as possible to keep this analysis a statement of facts, we expect that advocates for each solution will find areas that appear slanted in the direction of the other.

The analysis primarily focuses on out-of-the-box functionality. We have intentionally limited the number of references to third party products.

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CRM Requirements Example Document

CRM Requirements ExampleIt’s difficult to start a CRM requirements document from a blank slate.

While every business is different, the following set of example CRM requirements, which are based on a fictional kiosk manufacturer, provides a framework for the type of information that can be given to a would-be CRM implementation company.

This type of document can give CRM service providers a substantial amount of the information they need to more precisely estimate the scope of required CRM services. Many additional questions usually need to be posed before a services estimate is provided.

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CRM Cost Calculator

CRM Cost CalculatorUse this CRM cost calculator to estimate your organization’s total CRM investment over the number of years you specify.

The total cost of CRM is more than just the CRM subscription fees. We have taken multiple levels of expense into consideration.

The fields contain default values. You can input/select your own values.

If you do not plan to subscribe to any add-on products you can set that cost to 0 or blank.

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Is There Too Much Starch In Your B2B Digital Marketing?

Starchy B2B Digital MarketingLet’s face it – most B2B digital marketing is stiff and boring.

Maybe it’s a fear of crossing a perceived fine line between being entertaining and being unprofessional.

It could be because marketers think that something has to be laugh-out-loud funny in order for it to be humorous. After all, how can we compete with professional comedy?

Whatever the reasons, the tendency is for marketers to err on the side of being starchy.

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10 CRM Review Sites For You To Review in 2019

Updated: February 8, 2019

CRM Review WebsitesThinking about investing in CRM software in 2019?

In today’s reviews-driven marketplace, the starting point for many is to look for a CRM review site.

The proliferation of business technology vendors has spawned a cottage industry of business software review websites. According to one of the sites covered below, enterprise technology is on track to exceed $2 trillion annually.

Some software review sites have hundreds of categories. Categories range from bakery software to heat map software to live chat software.

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Don’t Be That Marketer – Include All Activities In Your Process Maps

Car Dealership CRMI recently listened to an excellent episode of Doug Burdett’s Marketing Book Podcast. Doug interviewed Mark Schaefer about the most recent edition of his book, The Tao of Twitter.

Included among a lot of great marketing information was an interesting story that Mark told near the end of the podcast.

As do many small business owners, Mark leases a car rather than purchasing one.

Read moreDon’t Be That Marketer – Include All Activities In Your Process Maps

Is It Time to Dump That Legacy CRM System?

Pile of Legacy System ComputersRarely does a week go by that we don’t hear from someone whose company is using a legacy system for CRM.

In many cases, there have been hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in the system over the years. There can be multiple integrations with other legacy systems.

A common problem with a legacy system is that sales user adoption is low. We often hear, “our salespeople enter their opportunities into CRM — but that’s about it.”

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Can Your CRM Database Be Extended?

Adding CRM Database TablesLike all databases, a CRM database has tables. Tables are the most important component of a database. Data are stored in rows within tables.

In CRM systems, the Account table stores company information. The Contact table stores information about people.

Different CRM vendors have different names for tables. Microsoft calls tables entities. Salesforce.com and GreenRope refer to tables as objects. SugarCRM and Zoho both label tables modules.

All CRM systems come with a standard set of tables. These typically include Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities and Activities. There are usually a variety of other tables that are in place to support the CRM system’s functionality.

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The Fastest Way For a Sales Leader to Get a New CRM

Get a new CRM system fastWhether you’re a long-time sales leader at your company or you’re brand new to your organization, you may not have the right tools in place for reporting on the activities and aggregate pipeline of your sales team.

However, the CEO has asked you to regularly report to him or her about specific sales activity and what new business to expect in the coming months. To get the requested information, you spend a lot of time asking salespeople questions, collecting spreadsheets and consolidating information.

What you really need — and need fast — is a CRM system that works for both your salespeople and for you, as an accountable manager. In this situation, patience is not always a virtue. The faster you can get a new CRM system up and running (or an existing CRM system properly configured), the better.

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CRM in Manufacturing: A Necessary Investment For Increasing Sales?

CRM In ManufacturingMany manufacturing companies have had thriving businesses for decades, without the help of a standalone CRM system.

For most of these manufacturers, the ERP system has served as the company’s shared repository customer information.

Individual salespeople have been managing end customer, dealer and distributor personnel information as email client contacts.

A salesperson at a manufacturer who manages major accounts knows exactly who to stay in touch with. In their case, it’s the quality of relationships, not the quantity.

For manufacturers that do not have a CRM system in place, here are some of the places where we’ve seen CRM-equivalent data stored:

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