Commence Addresses Gap in Mac CRM Software

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.

Commence Corporation is one firm that has addressed this need with a CRM solution that runs natively on the Mac. This means there is no add-on or plug-in software required to utilize the program.  Commence CRM even integrates with e-mail on the Mac which is one of the most sought after integrations when using CRM software. Another key feature that has made Commence CRM a popular choice for Apple Mac users is that Commence operates in a mixed environment, on both Mac and PC.  It’s quite common to see a combination of PC and Mac in small to mid-size businesses today and Commence has got it covered.  If you have a 100% Apple Mac environment or a combination of Mac and PC take a look at Commence CRM.

Lead Management Tool Helps Close More Business

hot-warm-coldLeads 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.

The process of capturing, managing and converting leads can be easily addressed using online CRM solutions like Commence CRM.  Commence is a lead management solution that automates the process of lead management and lead conversion.

Leads can be generated from multiple marketing channels such as trade shows, direct mail, e-mail campaigns, customer referrals or cold calls.  Once captured, systems like Commence classify the leads by placing them in individual buckets. This allows you to determine which of your marketing campaigns is producing the best results.

cold-lead-management
Cold Leads categorized by Marketing Source and color-coded ranking

 

The lead management tool then helps to qualify each lead by color-coding them according to pre-defined criteria. Leads can be red for hot, yellow for warm and blue for cold.   The color-coding serves two functions.

  • First, it ensures that your sales team is working on qualified new business opportunities; those colored red.
  • Secondly, it enables you to take the warm and cold leads that are not ready to make a decision or engage with your sales team and place them in an automated lead follow-up program.
cold-lead-marketing-emails
Automated Lead Followup

 

The automated lead follow-up system sends out a marketing email message on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. The message can contain product information, customer testimonials or news clips for example about your product or service. This ensures that these warm and cold leads are being nurtured without robbing valuable selling time from your sales team.

Maintaining Price Points in 2013 Challenging for CRM Vendors

cut priceA 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.  One of these companies is Commence Corporation.  The company offers a comprehensive CRM solution at a substantially reduced cost.  With the economy hammering the small to mid-size community, these businesses are all too happy to see a high quality product like Commence CRM enter the race.

Commence CRM is recognized as a top 10 solution for small to mid-size businesses. What differentiates Commence CRM from competitive products is a combination of unique product features coupled with an array of professional services.  “Smaller businesses want to compete with the same tools and business applications as the big guys” says Larry Caretsky, president of Commence Corporation. “With Commence they can, but there is one thing big companies have that the smaller ones do not, and that’s experienced resources.  Smaller organizations often have limited resources in the marketing department and may not have seasoned sales managers or customer service personnel.  Commence has an experienced team of marketing, sales and service professionals who provide advice and counsel to our customers. This ensures that they realize the maximum value from our CRM software and get a measurable return on their investment.  Few companies serving the SMB sector can offer this” says Caretsky “and it has resulted in improved business performance for our customers.”

Commence CRM is utilized by small to mid-size firms across numerous industries and is functionally competitive with both Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce.com. Companies that have selected Commence CRM have indicated that the product’s user interface, cost of ownership and quality customer service were driving factors in their decision.

To learn more about Commence, contact the sales department at www.commence.com and ask for your free trial.

Image by Russell Davies on Flickr under Creative Commons license.

Sales Question and Answer #19 – How to Become the Best Salesperson

This is a Sales Question and Answer article from guest poster Dave Kahle, author and leading sales educator. Follow Dave’s latest Tweets at @davekahle.

Article By Dave Kahle

trophy 1 | the both and | shorts and longs | julie rybarczykQ.  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.

I’ve been fortunate in my sales career to have been the number one sales person in the nation for two different companies in two different industries.  I’ve had other successes in almost all of my jobs.  My firm, The DaCo Corporation, is today one of the most successful of our type of business.

Having said that, your question prompted some real introspection and reflection.  Thank you.

Let’s begin by defining the terms.  First of all, I rarely compared myself with other people.  So, when you use the words “the best”, it wasn’t that I wanted to achieve more than other people.  Instead, I wanted to become the “best” that I was capable of becoming.  So, my motivation has always been to make the most of the opportunities and gifts given to me.  It was never to be better than someone else.  “The best” was never a statement relative to my standing with other people.  It always was an internal goal, relative to the situations in which I found myself.

To this day, I continue to think that way.  For example, I spend very little time comparing my company and my personal progress to others.  It’s not about me (or us) relative to others.  It is always about us, relative to who we are, to the opportunities that present themselves to us.

I think that is an important distinction.  My standards and goals were always internally derived, and never defined in terms of other people.

Here’s another thought.  To be the “best” connotes a fixed position.  When you are “the best” you have arrived.  The race has been won, the prize achieved.  I have never thought in those terms.  To me, it has always been a continuous, never-ending process.  I am certainly not the best that I can be, not by a long shot.  My company has not “arrived,” nor will we ever.  We continually strive, however, to become ever-better.  The focus is on the journey and the process, not the end.

One more thought.  While the concept of becoming the “best that you can be” may make sense in a general, long-range, lifelong perspective, I have always found my motivation to be more urgent and within reach.  In other words, while I could understand and assent to the general rule to “become the best that I could be”, what motivated me on a day to day basis, and still motivates me, are the immediate opportunities and challenges.  In a practical sense, I have not been motivated to “be the best that I could be in my life,” rather I have been motivated to do the best with the opportunity and situation which I see in front of me.

Since your question really speaks to core motivation, I feel compelled to share that with you.  We both realize that this Ezine focuses on sales and sales management concepts and situations.  I have no desire to stray from that focus.  However, because my core motivation is such an integral part of my approach to everything, I can not ignore it.

I am a committed, born-again Christian.  That commitment, and the growing relationship that I have enjoyed with Jesus Christ, has been by far the greatest impact on my performance.

It is a basic premise of Christianity that each Christian is given certain gifts of talent and abilities and is expected to use them to the fullest.  It is also a basic tenant that each Christian is given responsibility for jobs and people, and is expected to effectively manage that which he/she has been given.

It is from those basic Christian values that my motivation proceeds.  I view every talent that I have as a gift from God, temporarily entrusted to me to make the most of it.  I view every employee in my organization in a similar vein.  I view every client and every participant in every seminar as opportunities put there for me with which I must do the best I can.  It is my responsibility to bring as much value to them as I can – to have the greatest positive impact on them that I can, within the constraints of the time and situation.

From a sales perspective, I view every customer and every opportunity as specifically entrusted to me.  I must do the best with whatever opportunity and challenge I have in front of me today.  I must maximize every opportunity and our impact on every person.

Understand, also, that this represents an ideal to which I strive.  I fall far short of implementing it perfectly.  However, even though I often fail to do everything as well as I would like, it keeps me on my game, focusing on the process and the journey.

Whew!  I have waxed philosophically.  I hope it has been of benefit to you.

Copyright MMX by Dave Kahle
All Rights Reserved

Image by Julie Rybarczyk on Flickr under Creative Commons license.

Professional Service is the Differentiator for Commence CRM

UX Help

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.

The fact is that online CRM software programs have proven to be an excellent tool for facilitating change and helping you to improve sales execution and customer service, but like an automobile that’s driven by a human being, CRM software doesn’t work by itself. It’s driven by experienced people who understand business workflow, sales process management and can manage change.  Well what if you don’t have these people?  Does this mean you can’t become more efficient or improve your internal business processes?  Of course not and in fact the availability of experienced resources is one of the key components that is now differentiating one CRM software provider from another.

Commence Corporation for example has been providing customer management software to small and mid-size businesses for more than two decades and while in the past businesses selected Commence CRM for its  powerful feature set and flexibility, today it’s an array of professional services that’s making the difference.

“We’ve got a top rated CRM solution” says Larry Caretsky, President of Commence Corporation, “but it’s the value added services that we provide that is making the difference for our customers and for our business.  We have a staff of sales, marketing and customer service personnel that average 20 years in the business who are filling the resource gap and providing substantial value to small and mid-size businesses at an extremely affordable cost. This team has helped companies establish business practices for managing the sales cycle, created target marketing campaigns, improved lead generation and lead qualification and implemented an automated ticket management system for improved customer service.  No other CRM software provider can offer this level of service to the SMB community” says Caretsky, “and it is the difference between a failed CRM implementation and providing a return on investment for our customers.”

Image “UX Help” by Betsy Weber on Flickr under Creative Commons license.