Don’t Let Quality Leads Slip Away: Executive Takes Action with CRM Software
Posted on : 21-05-2013
Larry Caretsky, Commence CEO, has released the white paper “Don’t Let Quality Leads Slip Away: Executive Takes Action with CRM Software.” The project was driven by our internal requirements and the frustration shared by so many executives I had interviewed who were looking to address this business challenge.
Sales Question and Answer #23 – Which sales magazines and sales improvement seminars do you recommend?
Posted on : 20-05-2013
Q. Dave, I’m interested in what you would recommend for a subscription to a monthly sales magazine and a sales improvement seminar.
A. You have touched one of my hot-buttons with this question. So, forgive me if you give a longer answer than you expect.
Sales Best Practice #29 – Creates a well thought out monthly plan
Posted on : 13-05-2013
There are several very common temptations that routinely present themselves to the field salesperson. One is to become too reactive. When you succumb to this temptation, you eventually default to a mindset that sees your job as essentially being your customer’s gofer. You determine where to go and what to do on the basis of who wants something from you at the moment. Thus, where you go on Monday depends on who called on Friday.
Beliefs that limit a salesperson’s performance – the problem with passion
Posted on : 09-05-2013
This is one of those pieces of conventional wisdom that no one seems to question: “It’s good to be passionate about your product.” Like so many of these conventional myths that ingrain themselves into our psyche, this one has the potential for frustrating countless thousands of sales people, sales managers and chief sales officers.
Top Tips for Using Social Media to Enhance Your Reputation
Posted on : 07-05-2013
Did you catch that Clydesdales commercial during the 2013 Super Bowl? Budweiser had just a bit of an audience that day, yes? Now – think back. How did it end?What’s the last action you can do to be a tiny part of this masterful piece of marketing?
If you can get your audience to respond, act, remember, engage, think, click, create, offer, contribute, participate, like, tweet, take action – or even name a baby Clydesdale – you have successfully used your social media marketing tool.
Using CRM to Leverage Sales
Posted on : 06-05-2013
In part one of this paper, we discussed how critically important it is to select a sales model that is appropriate for the products or services you are selling. In our case study the ‘NewCo’ company needed to transition from a high cost direct sales organization to selling via the internet and channel partners.
Reaching Buyers at the Right Time
Posted on : 02-05-2013
Internet marketing experts estimate that at any given time only a fraction of the market is interested in the product or service you are selling. The problem is if you don’t know who they are or when they plan on buying, how can you earn their business? Here are some things you can and need to do.
Commence Corporation celebrates Take Your Child to Work Day
Posted on : 30-04-2013
Take Your Child to Work Day is gaining momentum in the state of New Jersey and provides an opportunity for children to experience what mom and dad do in their careers while the kids are busy at school. It’s a fun time for all and helps build a bond between staff members and their children.
Pointers for Breaking the Ice with New Customers
Posted on : 29-04-2013
Breaking the ice with new customers is based on the initial meeting or point of contact. With that, it is important to have an understanding of the prospect’s purpose and goals. Preparation and planning for that initial meeting is imperative.
Getting the Right Sales Model is Critical for Small to Mid-size Businesses
Posted on : 26-04-2013
“This is nothing new.” says Larry Caretsky, president of CRM solution provider Commence Corporation. “I think the biggest challenge facing small to mid-size companies today is dealing with the evolution of how products and services are sold today. The Internet has created an on-demand mentality for all kinds of products and services – products that were once sold by professional sales people, either face to face or via the telephone. While the bigger guys have adapted to this new sales paradigm, many small to mid-size companies are trapped in old school thinking. They tend to stay with what they have done for years even though it is no longer working.”
Join the Conversation with Commence CRM
Posted on : 18-04-2013
At Commence we value our customer relationships.
“Relationships, not technologies, are what make CRM strategies successful. They connect people and get work done, deliver value, solve problems and gain insight into how better to serve customers in the future.”
How CRM Can Help You Better Communicate with Your Customers
Posted on : 16-04-2013
Probably the number one mistake that companies make is that they think CRM is solely about their own efficiency. That’s well intentioned, but if this is indeed the only focus of their CRM, they’ve taken their eyes off the ball. Of course, the ball is the customer.
Pure Play CRM Vendor Making Big Impact
Posted on : 15-04-2013
You don’t have to be an 800 pound gorilla to provide a quality product and make an impact in the CRM software industry. In fact, pure play CRM solution provider Commence Corporation has been doing it for more than two decades and has a large and rapidly growing customer base.
Achieving a holistic 360 degree view of your customer
Posted on : 12-04-2013
Four best practices for achieving a holistic customer view. One of the main reasons businesses implement a CRM system is to gain a complete, 360-degree view of their customers. However, large enterprises in particular often have difficulty achieving this goal. Many organizations grapple with how best to provide a holistic view of all the activities of an enterprise customer and how to implement a one-stop shop for analytics and actionable data.
Commence Teams Up with the Kahle Way Sales System
Posted on : 10-04-2013
Commence Corporation, a leading provider of online CRM software, has teamed up with Dave Kahle of the Kahle Way sales system to provide customers with a winning formula for improving sales execution and performance. Start with a top rated CRM solution for contact and account management, lead management, sales opportunity and pipeline management, sales reporting and sales workflow automation. Complement this with sales representative and sales management training from an industry expert to create and implement a structured sales process that will deliver more sales more quickly.
Sales Best Practice #28 – Sets annual specific, measurable goals for sales performance
Posted on : 08-04-2013
The best salespeople are habitual goal-setters. There’s a good reason for that. When you set a goal, you survey the world of all possible things that you could possibly do, and decide which of those things are the most important. You then turn that decision into a goal. And that goal then influences your day-to-day, week-to-week, and month-to-month decisions.
Commence Bridges the Gap in CRM
Posted on : 05-04-2013
The CRM software sector is highly competitive with dozens of automated systems to choose from. There are desktop solutions, hosted and cloud based systems that can be deployed in just a few minutes. Prices are all over the map ranging from free to more than $200 per user per month and in some cases just don’t make sense. It’s a confusing sector that has left many companies on the fence with regard to which CRM system to choose and here’s why.
Multi-tasking, focus, and other stuff
Posted on : 03-04-2013
I just had a conversation with a sales manager at my last seminar. The gist of it is this: he has so many competing responsibilities; it is difficult to spend time with his sales team. Sound familiar? It should. I have heard that idea expressed countless times by executives, sales managers and sales people. In one way or another, sales professionals find themselves increasingly occupied by trivial tasks at the expense of the important ones. Effective sales time management is the greatest challenge facing sales professionals in this turbulent economy.
Are you on the fence with your CRM selection?
Posted on : 01-04-2013
Selecting a CRM system for your business can be a daunting exercise. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to make a decision about a product or service that you do not feel educated about. You don’t have the time to dig into the details of every CRM product offering, but you may not have to.
Make CRM Work FOR You – Not Against You
Posted on : 22-03-2013
Want to improve your marketing and brand awareness, generate more leads and close more business? Of course you do and you can with the right tools and business processes. Today’s online CRM programs offer excellent functionality to help you become a more efficient sales and service organization. But it’s hard to use CRM to automate your internal business processes if the processes themselves don’t exist.
3 Tips for Finding the Right CRM Vendor
Posted on : 27-03-2013
Picking the right tool and the right vendor is the most important first step to effective use of a customer relationship management, or CRM, system, according to Mark Dancer of Channelvation, featured in MDM’s recent episode of Executive Briefing. You have to pick a solution that is aligned with how you want to use CRM.
Sales Question and Answer #21 – Dropped the Ball
Posted on : 25-03-2013
Q. If you dropped the ball with a customer, how can you redeem their trust again?
A. By “dropped the ball”, you can be referring to two different situations. First, it was your company who messed up. Your company didn’t fulfill the promises you made. Or, second, it was you. You didn’t do what you said you would do, or you somehow personally violated the customer’s expectations for you. Regardless, the remedy is similar.
Are You Price Sensitive or Value Sensitive?
Posted on : 22-03-2013
While the economy limps along the computer software industry is doing fairly well perhaps due to the continued growth of software as a service. Software as a service (SaaS) allows businesses to begin utilizing a variety of software applications quickly and efficiently. With software as a service there is no hardware to purchase or software to implement. Both hardware and software is provided, managed and maintained by a third party solution
It’s Time to Upgrade from Contact Management Software
Posted on : 20-03-2013
There was a time long ago when contact management products like ACT!, Goldmine and Maximizer provided good value for people looking to manage contacts, their calendar and their activities. But limited functionality, troublesome synchronization of data, and lack of mobile access has now made these products obsolete. The good news is that there is a completely new generation of products available that are affordable, and offer so much more than traditional contact management systems.
CRM Competitors Invade Salesforce.com Territory
Posted on : 18-03-2013
Now that the enterprise CRM market has become saturated, CRM solution provider Salesforce.com has set their sights on the small to mid-size market. But they are running into some stiff competition in this sector.
Salesforce.com has done an excellent job at building their brand and creating name recognition. How have they done this? With a lot of money and some tricky marketing. The problem is that they have a cost structure that’s not really designed for small to mid-size enterprises. Let’s face it, Salesforce.com was designed for enterprise level companies that have unique business requirements – features that people simply had to pay dearly for if they really required them. I am referring to things like multi-language and multi-currency support and the ability to support several thousand users.
Customers Realize Maximum Value with CRM Video Training
Posted on : 15-03-2013
Commence On-Demand, the popular online CRM software for small to mid-size businesses, is helping customers realize a rapid return on their investment through the use of video training. “We know our customers are busy and may not have the time to schedule formal training sessions” says Flo Viau, a senior member of Commence Corporation’s professional services team, “so we are making it easier for them by continuing to add video training sessions to our current library. This allows customers to view these video presentations from the comfort of their office desktop PC or from home.”
Sales Best Practice #27 – Has a systematic set of criteria for classifying customers and prospects into ABC categories
Posted on : 13-03-2013
Today’s selling environment is jammed with an unbelievable array of “things to do.” Left without any mechanism to take control, salespeople can easily default to a way of going about their jobs that is characterized by being extremely busy at all the wrong things. We spend all day reacting to the pressures and demands on us. At the end of the day, we have been busy, but we’ve accomplished little of value.
The best salespeople understand that daily temptation to give in to the urgent in place of the important. They understand the need to prioritize. And, when it comes to sales, the most important aspect of your job to prioritize is your list of customers and prospects.
Best Value in CRM Software
Posted on : 11-03-2013
If you are a small to mid-size business looking for CRM software you probably have one business objective in mind and that is to find: (1) a stable and quality company, (2) a top rated product that will meet your requirements and (3) a firm that will provide you with world class customer service.
There are a plethora of CRM solution providers to choose from, but very few that meet all three criteria. There is one company however that has consistently risen to the top in all three areas. That company and product is Commence. Outlined below are some of the reasons customers say they chose Commence CRM for their business.
4 Reasons Why [CRM] Software Purchases Fail
Posted on : 07-03-2013
Have you ever been in a “blame” meeting? It’s one of those meetings called when numbers are down or after a project or purchase failed miserably. As you might guess, there’s a lot of finger pointing and blame spreading. Not only are these meetings painful, they are completely unproductive. Since everyone is too busy deflecting blame, no one learns from their mistakes.
Fundamentals of Key Account Selling
Posted on : 06-03-2013
Almost every professional B2B sales person comes to grips with one of the challenges of penetrating key accounts. Key accounts are different than the ordinary, and require some more sophisticated skills and strategies. Here are four fundamentals for effectively penetrating key accounts.
Sales Question and Answer #20 – Is Being Yourself a Sales Strategy?
Posted on : 04-03-2013
Q. Is “being yourself” a sales strategy?
A. If you are naturally an attractive, sensitive, empathetic human being who everyone loves to be with, if you have a great measure of sensitivity and perceptiveness coupled with outstanding intelligence and unshakable integrity, then the answer is “Yes, of course, be yourself.” If you are anything less than perfect, though, maybe you ought to carefully consider it.
Small Businesses Need to Think Differently when Considering CRM Software
Posted on : 03-03-2013
Small businesses have the same challenges as larger firms. They want to improve how they market, sell and provide service to their customers, and they want to use CRM technology to gain an edge over their competition. Where they differ however is how they evaluate and purchase the products and services that can help them to achieve this goal.
Commence CRM Battles Industry Leaders in Europe
Posted on : 27-02-2013
Who says a smaller less known CRM software provider can’t mix it up with the big boys? While industry leaders Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce.com fight for market share in Europe they now have to contend with Commence Corporation, a company that has been gaining ground in the small to mid-size business sector.
Sales Best Practice #39 – Regularly and systematically meets and interacts with all the key contact people within A accounts
Posted on : 25-02-2013
It’s so easy to become complacent and satisfied with our “relational comfort zones.”
Those are defined by the people with whom we have developed comfortable relationships, who can be counted upon to see us and spend some time with us. These people make us feel comfortable.
Commence CRM – The Best Choice for Small to Mid-Size Businesses
Posted on : 20-02-2013
Competition in the online CRM software sector is intense and growing as more players seem to enter the space every day. While companies like Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce.com CRM are mainstream players that are trying to be all things to all people, several other CRM software providers are now challenging these companies with similar offerings that have been designed specifically for small to mid-size businesses.
Commence Automates Lead Management Process with Flexible CRM Program
Posted on : 18-02-2013
Commence Corporation, a leading provider of online CRM software, is helping small to mid-size businesses tackle the grueling process of lead generation, lead qualification and lead management. “This is one of the biggest challenges facing the SMB sector” says Larry Caretsky, president of Commence Corporation. “Many of these firms do not have highly experienced sales management or their sales staff may not have worked with automated programs like CRM software before. As a result, there are a lot of manual processes in place that work but are highly inefficient and costing these companies time and money.”
Commence Corporation Tangles with CRM Giant
Posted on : 15-02-2013
Everyone knows that the CRM software industry is highly competitive with companies like Microsoft making a whole lot of noise and spending millions of dollars to market their solution. So how does a smaller player like Commence Corporation continue to make a name for itself and win decisions over this industry giant? “It’s easy if you understand what you provide and your competitors do not” says Tom Gibson, sales manager at Commence. “Of course some people are always going to make their decision based on name recognition, but Microsoft’s reputation in the CRM sector is sort of ‘good company, so-so CRM product’ and it has been this way for years.”
The Ultimate Sales Improvement Skill
Posted on : 13-02-2013
These are incredibly difficult times for sales people.
Competition in almost every industry continues to intensify. At the same time, customers seem to expect more and more service and demand lower margins. Most markets are rapidly changing, and it’s hard to keep up with the changes in technology and products.
CRM Software – No Training Required
Posted on : 11-02-2013
Got your attention haven’t I and isn’t this exactly what small businesses want to hear? It sure is and it’s the “tag line” of the majority of CRM vendors who sell to the small to mid-size business community. Why? Because it’s the only way to sell to this segment of the industry and it works.
No one wants to hear that they have to invest time in training or customization to address their business requirements. The darn thing should just work out of the box and make my organization a more efficient sales and service organization.
CRM No Commitment – Means No Results
Posted on : 06-02-2013
As an executive of a company servicing the Customer Relationship Management software sector, CRM has become a bit of an oxymoron for me. I believe that building long term business relationships with your customers requires a commitment to providing quality products and great customer service. This traditionally involves reaching out to your customers and engaging with them so that they realize the maximum value from your product.
Best Small Business CRM 2013
Posted on : 04-02-2013
Small businesses have the same challenges as larger businesses. They want to improve how they market, sell and provide services to their customers. They want a dashboard that provides a snapshot of current business activity and they want real time reporting so that they can make informed business decisions.
A Three Step Approach for Differentiating CRM Software
Posted on : 01-02-2013
Selecting a CRM software solution for your business does not have to be a grueling exercise or require months of analysis. Believe me, it’s not as hard as you think if you know how and where to focus your time. This three step approach will help you to determine what type or category of CRM solution you should be looking for in just minutes – I promise. This paper is a three part series starting with an introduction and discussion of the first step in the three step approach.
Commence Addresses Gap in Mac CRM Software
Posted on : 31-01-2013
A few years ago you would have never thought that the Apple Mac would become so popular as an alternative for automating and managing business processes. The PC owned the desktop for more than two decades, but that was then and now is now.
The one concern that does exist is that the number of business applications designed specifically for the Mac is far less than for the PC and in some areas there is a large gap. One business segment that has experienced this is the CRM or Customer Relationship Management sector. While there are some programs that support the Mac, they require additional add-on or plug-in software which is often more costly and can be problematic.
Lead Management Tool Helps Close More Business
Posted on : 29-01-2013
Leads are the bread and butter of every company. Properly capturing and managing leads can make the difference between closing more business or wasting time on tire kickers. Despite this, most small to mid-size companies do not have an efficient process for lead management and conversion. The good news is that they can.
Maintaining Price Points in 2013 Challenging for CRM Vendors
Posted on : 24-01-2013
A lot has changed in the past 24 months in the CRM sector. Increased competition at all levels has created a commodity market where price points have fallen drastically and vendors are struggling to renew their agreements with existing customers. Perhaps most affected by this is the once dominant Salesforce.com who was first to market with a cloud based offering for account management and sales software. Being first to market enabled Salesforce.com to establish a high entry price for their product which many companies were happy to pay. But that was then and the market for CRM software has changed substantially in the past two years. So much so that Salesforce has now set its sights in other areas for growth, such as unified communications and social CRM. This has opened the door to pure play online CRM providers who are now signing up customers that two years ago would have gone to Salesforce.com.
Sales Question and Answer #19 – How to Become the Best Salesperson
Posted on : 22-01-2013
Q. Mr. Kahle, was there ever a time in your sales life that you just decided to be the best? Or was it something that you have always had? I started a business a few years ago, and need to take it to the next level.
A. Wow. What a good question. I have honestly never been asked that before, nor have I ever thought about it. So, your question prompted a whole new area of thought for me.
Professional Service is the Differentiator for Commence CRM
Posted on : 17-01-2013
Customer Relationship Management is all about maximizing the long term business relationship with your customers. In order to do this you need to ensure that you become efficient with how you market, sell and provide service to your customers. The problem here is that this is a significant challenge for most small to mid-size businesses, who often do not have the resources or experience to become a more efficient sales and service organization. Those who foolishly believe that a good CRM system will address this requirement have found out the hard way that it won’t and are now frustrated that a year has gone by with little to no change.
Step Three in the Approach for Differentiating CRM Software
Posted on : 15-01-2013
Ok you are nearing the end of the process. In Step One, you selected the category of CRM vendor best suited for your business and in Step Two you narrowed down your choices to 2-3 vendors. Now you are looking for that one unique differentiator that pushes you in the direction of one vendor or product over the other and here it is – Value Added Services.
Foolish Thinking Causes the Failure of CRM Software
Posted on : 14-01-2013
Small businesses often struggle with how they manage and execute their marketing message, lead generation programs and sales opportunity management. This is because they typically do not have the expertise on board to implement or automate the internal business processes that drive these requirements. What’s worse is that many believe that the mere purchase of a good CRM software program will fix the problem; then later learn that it won’t. Want to know why? Because CRM software doesn’t run your business – people do.
Use Online CRM Software to Connect With Your Customers
Posted on : 11-01-2013
You have probably heard the old saying: “Leave your customers alone and they will go away“. In today’s business environment staying in touch with your customers is paramount to achieving a level of service that drives customer loyalty. While the human touch is important for building rapport and ensuring that your customers are pleased with your product or service, CRM software is now playing an important role in complementing the human side of the service equation.
Setting Expectations for Online CRM
Posted on : 10-01-2013
Small to mid-size businesses looking for online CRM software need to set the proper expectations when selecting newer CRM technology that’s delivered over the Internet.For the past two decades the standard for CRM software was on premise or desktop applications. Over the years, these programs became very mature allowing administrators and end users to tailor the software to meet unique business requirements. Companies that are now looking to transition to online CRM where the software is hosted or managed by a third party need to appreciate that many of these newer CRM software programs have been designed to provide customers with a set of “out of the box applications” and features that meet generic business requirements. While some of the enterprise CRM solutions offer tools for customization they are traditionally very expensive and require programming expertise to utilize. This can add a significant cost to the overall expense of your CRM system.
A Three Step Approach for Differentiating CRM Software
Posted on : 02-01-2013
Strategic Planning for Sales People
Posted on : 31-12-2012
“Ready, shoot, aim.” Unfortunately, that’s the all too common description of the field sales person’s modus operandi. In a misguided attempt to stay busy and see as many people as possible, too many sales people subscribe to the theory that any activity is good activity.
There was a time when this was true. Customers had more time, sales was a simpler job, and any conversation with a prospect or customer was a good thing. But times have changed, and the job of the sales person has become much more complex. The pressure on the sales person to make good decisions about the effective use of his time has never been greater. Sales people now must confront an overwhelming number of potential “things to do,” and that requires them to make decisions about which customers in which to invest their time, to prioritize their activities every day, and to continually choose from a menu of possible activities. In other words, sales people must now engage in strategic planning.
Sales Question and Answer #18 – Are sales people made or born
Posted on : 21-12-2012
A. I field this question, in one form or other, in almost every seminar I do. Just heard it again yesterday in relationship to the competency of building relationships. The questioner opined that building relationships was a natural talent. You either had it or you didn’t.
One of the things I’ve learned over the years is this: On some issues, the person’s opinion says more about that person than it does the subject of his thoughts. I’ve found that to be true in regards to the question “Are sales people made or born?”
Top Salesforce CRM Competitors
Posted on : 13-11-2012
Many people hear a lot of great things about Salesforce.com CRM and instantly wonder if it is the right platform for them. If this sounds like you, then you are probably full of questions and quite intrigued. You may also be wondering what the top Salesforce competitors are, so you can compare and review them. After all, if you are going to make use of a cloud CRM, you should make sure that it is the right one for you.
Contact Management Software for Apple Mac and PC
Posted on : 19-03-2012
There are some features that you will want to look for when shopping for your contact management software to make it more user friendly. You want to make sure your software is user friendly so your employees want to use it and don’t see it as another thing that will take up more time. To make it user friendly, make sure you find contact software that can be used online. Not only does this save you money but it also makes it easier on your employees since the contact management system can be accessed from anywhere. You may also want to look into making sure the software is compatible on both Mac and PC computers. This way everyone can have access to the system and there are no compatibility worries. You also want to make sure email and other programs can be integrated into the system to make it easier to have everything in one place.
What is Cloud CRM Software?
Posted on : 25-03-2011
The term Cloud CRM software means different things to different people. CRM refers to Customer Relationship Management or the process by which you market, sell and provide service to your customers. Today’s highly competitive landscape coupled with a difficult economic climate has many businesses looking at Customer Relationship Management software as tool to give them a competitive edge over their competition.
Sales Best Practice #25 – Maintains good records about customers
Posted on : 12-12-2012
It is the Information Age. That means wise and effective sales people collect, store and use good information about their customers and prospects. That information provides the salesperson with a competitive advantage, is invaluable for planning for the best use of his sales time, and allows him to be much more effective in his sales calls.
Commence CRM Makes Mobile Computing Easy
Posted on : 10-12-2012
The mobile device market is booming. 2012 will be the year that mobile devices, specifically tablets, end up as holiday gifts for more people than ever before. While many of these tablets will be used mainly as social media devices, more and more companies are beginning to outfit their field sales and service personnel with tablets for business use.
What does this mean for CRM solution providers? Well cloud based CRM providers like Commence Corporation are paying very close attention to the mobile explosion and understand that the use of these devices for business purposes will continue to grow.
Gaining Market Share in a Difficult Economy
Posted on : 05-12-2012
In the B2B world, the relationship between the customer and the vendor, and more specifically, the vendor’s sales person, can be of utmost importance.
It doesn’t take long in the business to understand that if the customer dislikes you, he is rarely going to see you. And if he does know you and trust you, he is more likely to do business with you.
Sales Question and Answer #17 – Scheduling Field Visits
Posted on : 27-11-2012
A. There are a couple of ways to answer the question. From one perspective, you need to have your own relationship with the good customers in your area of responsibility. There are several reasons for that.
First of all, you’re a boss – part of the company’s management. As such, you are perceived to have more power and influence than a sales person. Your good customers will want to know you, because the relationship with you gives them access to higher levels within your organization.
Best Lead Management Software is Commence CRM
Posted on : 21-11-2012
Managing and qualifying leads is a serious matter in today’s highly competitive market. Poor lead qualification means that your highest cost resource (i.e. your sales team) is spending valuable time and money on sales opportunities that either never close because they were poorly qualified or if they do close, they do not return the margin you need to stay in business. So what do you do? You can’t buy you way out of this problem by hiring the best sales people in the country that are experienced qualifiers, but you can fix the problem quickly and efficiently for just a few dollars a month. How?! By implementing a lead management system from Commence Corporation. Each new business opportunity is properly qualified — not by the experience level of the sales representative, but instead by an automated process the rates and color codes each new lead based on a set of pre-determined criteria.
Are You Paying Too Much for Your CRM System?
Posted on : 19-11-2012
If you chose a CRM solution over the past 18 to 24 months you may have paid more for that system than you would today. The CRM software industry that had once been dominated by a few vendors, like Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce.com, has now become highly competitive and somewhat of a commodity. In fact, there are now more than 400 companies offering some component of CRM software to the small to mid-size business sector. This increased competition has caused prices to plummet and the advantage that companies like Microsoft and Salesforce.com once had in the sector has withered away. Why has this happened? The answer is quite simple.
Sales Best Practice #24 – Regularly and methodically invests in personal and professional development
Posted on : 16-11-2012
Only one out of every twenty salespeople has invested $20.00 or more of their own money on their improvement in the last twelve months.
Amazing, isn’t it? In a world that demands ever-improving productivity, the overwhelming majority of salespeople are content with their personal status quo. That is not true, of course, of other professions. That’s why teachers have in-services, doctors go to conferences, nurses have on-going training, ministers and social workers attend workshops, etc. Members of every other profession in the world understand that continuously improving yourself is one of the characteristics of a professional. If you are going to be in the game, you have to play by the rules. And continuous development is an expectation for every professional.
It’s Time to Move Past Contact Management
Posted on : 14-11-2012
Many small to mid-size businesses continue to manage their business using basic contact management tools and an Excel spreadsheet. They have become so comfortable with this process that they may have overlooked the value offered today through the use of CRM or customer relationship management software.
Why should these businesses consider CRM? The answer is clear. In order to respond quickly to customer inquiries and new sales opportunities, follow-up on leads and get proposals out the door your staff regardless of their position needs immediate access to vital customer information.
Beliefs that limit sales people – Good salespeople are good talkers
Posted on : 13-11-2012
“He has the gift of gab. He’ll make a good sales person.” It’s been a while since I last heard that expression. The idea is, of course, that sales people are good talkers. If you are a good talker, you are well on your way to having the necessary qualifications for a sales career. While that figure of speech isn’t popular today, the idea behind it continues to have currency.
That idea is, like so many other pearls of conventional wisdom, completely and utterly wrong.
Nothing Personal but Your Sales Management Process Stinks
Posted on : 07-11-2012
“…no CRM system alone is going to fix a sales team that has no sales process, no management and no direction.”
Sales is a tough game and getting harder and harder in this troubled economy. For sales people it seems like the competition will do almost anything to win business. This is why it so critical to have an established set of rules in place for qualifying new leads and managing the sales cycle. By properly vetting leads you can ensure that you are following up on the most promising new business opportunities. Having an established sales methodology or process in place will help define each stage in the selling cycle from introduction to closure.
Apple Mac Users Recommend Commence Online CRM
Posted on : 06-11-2012
Users of Apple Mac computers have had difficulty finding customer management software designed to operate specifically on the Mac platform. Some vendors indicated that they could operate on the Mac, but required plug-in software or add-on components that added complexity and caused reliability concerns for Mac users. While more options have become available, internet bloggers and customer forums are recommending an online CRM software program from Commence Corporation that not only offers robust functionality, but operates natively with the platform. Commence CRM also integrates with e-mail for the MAC allowing Mac users to continue to use the e-mail environment they are accustomed to.
Does Your Monthly Sales Forecast Keep Coming Up Short?
Posted on : 26-10-2012
If you’re a sales executive you have got to be tired of explaining why the monthly or quarterly forecast keeps coming up short? I understand because I have managed large teams of sales representatives ranging in experience from 1 year to more than 20 years. I shared your experience then I decided to fix it. What I learned is that there is one main reason why the forecast consistently disappoints and a fairly easy way to address this challenge.
Sales Question and Answer #16 – How to Handle Difficult Customers
Posted on : 24-10-2012
Q. How would you suggest I respond when a customer gets abusive and uses profanity with me?
A. That’s a difficult call. I have had only a couple of these experiences in my career. Let me do a little thinking out loud (or as it may be, on the computer.)
First, let’s clarify the situation. We are not talking about a customer whose conversation is routinely laced with four letter words. In that case, there is no animosity, anger or abuse directed at you; this is just how he/she speaks. These customers are crude and vulgar, but they are crude and vulgar with everyone, not just you, and there is no negative impact intended. We all know customers like this.
#1 Alternative to Salesforce.com
Posted on : 23-10-2012
Salesforce.com has done an excellent job in establishing themselves as a leading provider of CRM software. They have done it with a massive marketing and advertising campaign and a pretty good product, but this solution is not for everyone and small to mid-size enterprises continue to find it to be cumbersome and simply too expensive. The good news is that like any product or service offered today there are some very good low cost alternatives that are easier to use.
Managing Customer Relationships Doesn’t Have to be a Chore
Posted on : 19-10-2012
The key to building quality customer relationships is ensuring that all employees have immediate access to the data they need when a customer calls. Today’s customer management software solutions offer the ability to capture, manage and share vital customer information with the people who need it to provide world-class customer service.
Are CRM Product Reviews Losing Credibility?
Posted on : 15-10-2012
Consumers looking to purchase specific products and services often turn to the internet to begin the process of gathering information about what’s available to them. The internet is a wonderful, quick and efficient source of information, enabling you to hone in on specific products or services and visit individual company websites or read product reviews.
Sales Best Practice #22 – Has a system for selling any product or service that we present.
Posted on : 12-10-2012
The best salespeople are systematic in their approach to their job, while ordinary salespeople are haphazard. That’s one of the reasons why they are the best.
We know that sophisticated routine work is best accomplished by implementing effective systems. McDonald’s, for example, didn’t get to where they are by hiring the best people they could find and then asking them to figure it out. Rather, they created a system, and then constantly tweaked that system. That approach applies to every area of human endeavor. From surgeons to ministers to fishermen to house painters, the routine and sophisticated aspects of their jobs are best addressed with systems. It applies to sales as well.
Thinking about Sales: It’s all about the Risk!
Posted on : 10-10-2012
Sometimes it is so frustrating. You know you have a better product than that which your prospect is currently using. Your price is attractive, your service is outstanding. If the prospect would switch to your solution, you know they’d be delighted. You’d save them money, smooth out their processes, reduce their inventory and generally make their life simpler.
Commence CRM Reviewers Guide Making an Impact on Sales
Posted on : 01-10-2012
Every company interested in selecting online CRM software wants to make sure they are making the right decision by fully understanding the capabilities and limitations of the products they are evaluating. This can be a challenging task for the person or people chosen to complete the evaluations.
Sales Question and Answer #15 – Betrayed
Posted on : 28-09-2012
Article By Dave Kahle
Q. I worked on a large bid for a company with which I had relationships in the past. I knew that we could do a great job for them but I also knew the buyer in charge of the project worked from fear and comfort and it would be a big change for him to turn over about 600K of business to us.
Small to Midsize Companies Need Better Sales Processes to Improve Sales Performance
Posted on : 20-09-2012
In today’s highly competitive market you need to have well-defined business processes for lead generation, lead qualification and sales pipeline management if you want to survive, and it does not matter what you are selling. Small to midsize firms however are often at a disadvantage against the industry giants in this area for the following reasons:
Sales Best Practice #8 – Knows how to overcome procrastination
Posted on : 13-09-2012
“Mañana.” It will wait until tomorrow. There are times when it is so tempting to tell yourself that, and to actually believe it. Clearly, sometimes it is true. However, when we continually put off for tomorrow those things that could and should be done today, we become less effective today. And while it is true that it is only one day, the truth is that we will never have that day back again.
Don’t Fly Solo with CRM Software
Posted on : 12-09-2012
Small to mid-size businesses want to take advantage of the same technology the big guys are using for lead generation, efficiently managing the sales cycle and improving their customers’ buying experience. The good news today is that they can. Online CRM programs are affordable, easy to implement and easy to use. So why do so many companies fail to realize a return on their investment with CRM software? The answer is simple.
CRM Invest Streamlines Order Taking Process With Commence CRM
Posted on : 05-09-2012
Eatontown, New Jersey (PRBuzz.com) September 5, 2012 -- Commence Corporation a leading provider of desktop and cloud based CRM software is continuing its expansion in the Baltic region through a partnership with CRM Invest, a consulting firm that provides application development and system integration services based in Finland.
Closing the Sale – A Realistic Perspective
Posted on : 04-09-2012
There is not a salesperson in existence who hasn’t repeatedly heard of the need to “close the sale.” Every new sales manager must view the process of encouraging his/her sales force to “close the sale” as an initiation into the profession. If you’re going to be a sales manager, you, therefore, must improve everyone’s ability to “close.” Doesn’t it come with the job?
Sales Question and Answer #14 – No response to emails
Posted on : 29-08-2012
Dave, I have been a fan for a number of years, and have a number of your books. In the last couple of years, I have grown increasingly frustrated. Why won’t people respond to my emails, return my voice mails, or even see me when I show up in person? Am I doing something wrong?
European IT Components Distributor to Sell Commence CRM
Posted on : 24-08-2012
Info Stor supplies products and services that organizations need to build and maintain their IT infrastructure. The company’s mission is to help organizations meet their information storage and other IT challenges by sourcing and supplying quality IT related products and by managing the implementation of sophisticated multivendor solutions. The company offers a line of products and services including SAN and NAS data storage systems, VoIP phone system implementation, server operating system upgrades, migration to cloud computing software and software development services.
Has the Shine Come Off the Salesforce.com Apple?
Posted on : 09-08-2012
Let’s give credit where credit is due. Salesforce.com paved the way into the cloud based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software sector with a unique offering that made good sense for customers who were tired of spending months of time and thousands of dollars struggling to implement desktop software applications. Being the first company in the SaaS, or software as a service sector, Salesforce.com was able to charge a hefty price for their offering and companies were more than happy to pay it. But that was then and this is now.
How Not to Make Joint Sales Calls
Posted on : 08-08-2012
While I continue to believe that, I received an email from an Ezine subscriber some time ago that made me think a bit more cautiously about this. He identified himself as a buyer, and wrote me about the practice from his point of view – a person on the other side of the desk. He began by observing that joint sales calls with the sales manager often caused more harm than good.
Commence CRM Helps Struggling Sales Representatives Get Focused
Posted on : 30-07-2012
If you are a sales professional in today’s competitive market you need every advantage you can get to close business. While some sales organizations are mired in paperwork and struggle to ensure new opportunities don’t fall through the cracks, others are turning to easy to use low cost CRM programs like Commence for help. Commence CRM has been specifically designed to address the common challenges faced by sales representatives across every industry — those being lead qualification and the efficient management of the sales process.
Sales Question and Answer #13 – Are company backorders costing you the sale?
Posted on : 25-07-2012
Article By Dave Kahle
Q. Help! I’m so frustrated. I just attended a “sales training” program that never addressed the real issues that I have to deal with every day.
What causes me problems is not my lack of sales ability, it is my company’s back orders, the lack of responsiveness and competence in my customer service people, and the mistakes in delivery by the warehouse. Those are the real issues. What can I do about those things?
How do you make the Right CRM Decision in a Commodity Market?
Posted on : 20-07-2012
Ok, you are looking for a CRM solution for your business. You have surveyed the market reviewed and tested a dozen or more CRM software solutions and you are still not comfortable in making a decision. In fact you’re frustrated and you are not alone.
The CRM software sector may be one of the most competitive in any industry. There are literally hundreds of CRM solutions available from desktop programs that run on your personal computer to cloud based ones that operate over the Internet. What’s most troubling is how hard it is to differentiate one from another. Other than price and term of contract they all seem the same. I understand and hear this every day.
Has CRM Software Become a Commodity?
Posted on : 17-07-2012
The CRM software sector had been and continues to be one of the fastest growing segments of the computer software industry. Analysts’ predictions of explosive growth served as the catalyst for those companies looking to grab a slice of this booming market. It wasn’t long before a myriad of CRM offerings became available.
Sales Best Practice #6 – Plans every sales call
Posted on : 10-07-2012
It continues to amaze me that so many sales people shuffle into most of their sales calls with very little, if any, prior planning. I suppose that is why this is one of the practices of the best. Most surveys of how field sales people really spend their time conclude that the typical sales person spends somewhere between 20 to 30 percent of the work week actually talking with customers. Just think about it – that time spent with customers is the heart of your job. Of all the things that you do in a typical work week, of all the tasks that you perform, nothing is more important than that!
Top 5 Cloud Based CRMs – Property Portal Watch
Posted on : 10-07-2012
Commence CRM is a robust highly flexible customer management solution for the middle market. Commence offers customers the ‘Freedom of Choice’ to deploy the CRM solution on premise or hosted on demand via the cloud. What differentiates Commence CRM from other CRM solutions starts with an intuitive, friendly user interface that makes the product extremely easy to navigate and easy to use.
Thinking About Sales: Is Integrity a Sales Strategy?
Posted on : 03-07-2012
I was speaking to a group of professional sales people in Johannesburg, South Africa, on the subject of integrity in business. At dinner later in the evening, my host, who had been sitting in the audience, sheepishly shared with me that several of the people seated near her snickered at the idea. Evidently, to them, sales was just a series of transactions, and the sales person’s job was to wring as much money out of each transaction as possible, under whatever means were necessary.
What CRM Vendors Don’t Want You to Know
Posted on : 29-06-2012
If you’re a small to mid-size business looking for a Customer Relationship Management solution you are most likely focusing your attention on evaluating and comparing each product’s features, functions and price. And while that may indeed be the key criteria for your decision there are several things that CRM vendors don’t want you to know that could impact your final selection.
Best Sales Management Tools for Small Business
Posted on : 20-06-2012
Small to mid-size businesses are finally paying very close attention to managing the sales process and are in desperate need of easy to use sales tools for automating the sales cycle and reporting on pipeline activity.
While there are a number of CRM software programs that offer sales cycle management one of the best ones for small to mid-size companies is Commence CRM. What makes Commence so popular is simply how easy it is to use.
Top 10 CRM Software Solutions for Small Business
Are you looking for ways to simplify the way you store all your potential customers and clients data? Do you need a system to track your sales pipeline and contacts?
In sales you often feel overwhelmed by the amount of data and facts you need to remember. Finding new clients is a huge task itself, let alone keeping in mind about every smallest thing in relation to your clients and prospects.
Is Your Business Implementing Workflow or Workarounds?
Posted on : 20-06-2012
Small to mid-size businesses often struggle to automate their internal business processes and tend to use workarounds rather than automate workflow.Workflow can be viewed as a series of steps that are required to complete a task from initiation to completion.
Sales Best Practice #5 – Is good at closing the sale
By Dave Kahle
The best salespeople earn that designation because they write more business than the mass of salespeople. They get the order!
One of the practices that contributes to that success is that of “closing the sale”. Unfortunately, there is no one issue that is more misunderstood and incompetently trained than that of “closing the sale.” Much of the sales training on the subject, as well as the vast preponderance of sales literature, is way off the mark.
Salesforce.com Challenged by Small to Mid-Size CRM Competitors
The market for Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) is highly competitive. While Salesforce.com, a pioneer in the evolution of cloud computing, was once the only game in town, 2012 is presenting some challenges to the current market leader as more and more competitors enter the race. One of the top Salesforce.com competitors is Commence Corporation, a company that has been providing customer management software to small and mid-size companies for more than two decades. Well regarded for its award winning desktop products, Commence now offers a robust cloud based CRM solution that’s easier to use and less expensive than Salesforce.com.
Investing in the Right CRM Automation
Customer Relationship Management software, Cloud CRM, Hosted CRM, Sales Software, Sales Automation, Customer Management Software…call it what you like, but you still need it.
I previously worked for two CRM software companies, so when I created the RevTurbo® Selling System, CRM technology was the logical solution to accurately track and measure its success.
Thinking about Sales: Your Most Powerful Sales Tool
Did you enjoy what you had for dinner last night?
You are probably wondering what that question has to do with sales. Bear with me a moment, and answer the question.
Now, pause a moment, and think about what you did when you read that question. Your mind probably flashed back to yesterday evening, and you saw a picture in your mind’s eye of what you had for dinner. Then you recalled your response to the dinner, and made a judgment that you did or didn’t enjoy it.
Professional Selling Skills Tip # 4 – Get To Top Management
Today’s challenging economy may be the best thing that’s happened for sales professionals in more than a decade and here is why. Every financial decision at any size company is now going through a level of scrutiny like never before. If you cannot demonstrate that your product or service will provide the customer with a rapid return on investment your chance of winning their business will be greatly diminished.
Professional Selling Skills Tip #1 – Probing
Selling is an art and effective sales people have mastered the art of proper communication during the selling process using three simple but effective techniques called “probing”. There are three types of probing questions: open probes, closed probes and supporting probes.
Professional Selling Skills Tip #2 – Handling Objection
Good sales managers will tell their staff that it’s OK to get no for an answer as long as it’s during the initial call or sales visit. This makes perfect sense as no one wants to spend their valuable time when the opportunity for a sale simply doesn’t exist. But in the world of sales, no does not always mean no.
Sales Tips Articles
Articles with professional sales tips to help increase your sales effectiveness.
Top 21 Hosted SaaS CRM Reviews
Here are my pics for top CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software. List list has been limited to only web-based applications, since these tend to offer the most convenient pricing and lowest overall TCO.
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