Commence Adding Staff to Support Growth in Managed Services

If you have been using Commence RM desktop software, you appreciate how quickly and efficiently you can modify the applications to meet unique and challenging business requirements.

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Despite the intense level of competition that has entered the market, Commence RM is still highly regarded as one of the most customizable and affordable CRM solutions available for automating internal business processes. Our new mobile add-on iCommence now offers even more value to this top rated solution.

The economic environment over the past few years has placed significant challenges upon small to mid-size businesses. Some no longer have the internal staff to manage and maintain their system while others that relied on third party companies no longer have that option. This has resulted in a significant increase in the need for managed services whereby Commence Corporation is engaged in managing, maintaining, and customizing the software for our clients. It’s a program that is delivering exceptional value to customers at a fraction of the cost of internal staff or third party resources. In order to meet the increasing demand for services Commence is adding staff to our professional services and engineering team.

While some customers wish to have their entire system managed and maintained by Commence engineers, others are taking advantage of our development services to modify, enhance, and integrate their current Commence system. Customers have found that they can realize substantial value from these additional services at a reasonable cost and like the comfort of working directly with the Commence engineering team.

Our business objective is to ensure you realize the maximum value from our CRM solution, and that we enjoy a mutually rewarding business relationship for years to come. If you are considering managed services or are in need of even the smallest of services to enhance your Commence system, call us at 732-266-6362 and see how we can assist you in meeting your objective. You’ll be glad you did.

CRM Software a Commodity, but Not For Everyone

I do not think you can find a more competitive market sector than CRM software. If you are a small business there are at least 100 options to choose from. There are dozens of free offerings and dozens more for just a few dollars a day. Some are not bad and some are not very good, but it’s clear that CRM has become a commodity market for the small businesses market.

This is not the case for mid-size and larger companies who require robust functionality, the ability to customize the CRM software and integrate it with other third party software programs such as accounting or ERP. If you require the CRM system to automate sales, marketing, customer service and project management functions it narrows done the field quite a bit. There are some very good companies and solutions to choose from, but CRM at this level is anything but a commodity. Selecting a higher level CRM solution will require you to spend the time to ensure the solution you select can meet your unique requirements, can scale as your business grows and that there is a strong support organization in place to assist with the implementation, training and support of the product.

If you are a small business one of the ways to narrow the field in this commodity market is to ask a few simple questions.

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1. Reputation of the company

Does the vendor you are considering have a track record in the industry? All you are trying to determine here is if others have been in your position, selected this vendor and are satisfied with their decision.

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2. Where do they house your data?

This is perhaps one of the most overlooked questions. Your data is your business and you need to know where it is being stored and how you can get at it if you need to.

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3. Is there a telephone number on the website?

If the company does not have a telephone number on their web site it is most likely because there is no one there to answer when you call. This is a big red flag that service will be poor and that your business relationship will consist of untimely e-mails and frustration. Call the vendors you are considering and see how they respond to your questions. This will tell you a lot about the kind of support you can expect after the sale.

Images courtesy of Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net

Sales Tip – Keeping track of the things discussed with customers

BP #12: Has a good system for keeping track of the things discussed with the customers. A best practice for sales people by Dave Kahle, author and leading sales educator.

By Dave Kahle

I am constantly amazed at the number of sales people who never take notes during or after the visit with a customer, thinking, I suppose, that they will remember everything important. Or worse, that nothing is important enough to actually remember.

A close second are those who, on occasion, realize the need to take notes, but who seem constantly surprised by that need, and unprepared for it. They find themselves using the backs of printed pages, the margins of selling literature, the backs of business cards, etc. to scribble cryptic remarks. The concept of a well-thought-out system has evaded them.

By the way, this is one of the benefits of a well-designed and comprehensive CRM system, which forces you to take good notes by requiring that you respond to the prompts and blank spaces of a computer screen.

A well-prepared, organized sales person needs to have a system that prompts him/her to take the right kinds of notes for every sales call, organizes that information so that he/she can take the necessary follow up action, and makes that information available in every succeeding sales call.

As a minimum, that system should include forms, either electronic or paper, to record certain aspects of the account that the sales person picks up from time to time – things like the number of employees, the type of equipment used, the position and title of the key decision-makers, etc.

Then, there needs to be a place to record the important aspects of the conversation. What did you talk about?

Finally, there ought to be a place to record the action items that came out of that conversation. Do you need to call someone? Check on something? Arrange for something? These “to dos” should also be kept in a duplicate file, with the date by which you promised to have them completed.

Finally, you ought to record those things that you want to take up in the next sales call. That information should be readily assessable so that you can plan for it as you prepare for the next time you see this customer.

There are various mediums on which this information can be recorded. Some people will use paper, others will use smart phones or tablets, while others record everything on a laptop. With the sophistication of today’s computer systems, there really is no excuse for a sales person not to be conscientiously and systematically recording, storing, and using meticulously gathered information from the customer.

It’s a regular practice of the best.

To learn more about this best practice, review:

Copyright MMXIV by Dave Kahle
All Rights Reserved

Commence Prepares for Rollout of Customer Service Portal

One of the biggest challenges software manufacturers have to deal with is keeping pace with the rapid advances in technology growth. With main-stream giants like Microsoft and Salesforce.com in the CRM sector, many smaller Customer Relationship Management solution providers simply cannot compete. Yet one company seems to consistently invest in their software and introduce new features and enhancements each year. That company is Commence Corporation. How does Commence do it? Perhaps it’s because the management team at Commence has had a lot of practice.

The company recently celebrated its 25th year in business and announced that it was developing a customer support portal which would be released in July of this year. With just a few weeks to go the company is actively looking for beta sites that are interesting in using the Commence CRM portal to provide better and more efficient online support services to their customers.

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The portal will include a knowledge base, frequently asked questions and the ability for customers to enter service tickets directly into the CRM system. Commence CRM already offers a help desk application for ticket management. The portal extends this capability enabling Commence CRM customers to offer additional online services to their customers.

Image © 2014 Commence Corporation. All Rights Reserved