Take ownership of your customer relationships

Who owns prospects and customers in your company?  Do you know?  Just as importantly, would folks in other departments give the same answer?

You need "yes" answers to all those questions or you'll mismanage your customer relationships.

To get to "yes," your customer-facing teams need good definitions of your company's Customer Life Cycle and Rules of (Customer) Engagement.

Let’s dish on strategies to propel your company's business success by spring boarding on well-defined customer relationships  – and then layer in the technology tools for managing the customer.

Read More

Integrate community and CRM solutions & alleviate sales challenges

Over the last two articles in the Sales Challenges series (here and here), we’ve delved into the sales challenges revolving on messaging, prospecting and closing sales.  We also identified using online community and CRM solutions to resolve these challenges.

Today, I want to close the loop by discussing the benefits of integrating these solutions together to further mitigate sales challenges.

Read More

Mitigate prospecting and sale-closing challenges – Use CRM and community solutions

Sales Challenges series, part 2

Yesterday, we opened the Sales Challenge series by looking at challenges around messaging and the solutions to mitigate them.  Today, we’re going to investigate challenges around prospecting and closing sales and the ways in which you can use CRM and community solutions to resolve them.

Read More

Resolve messaging sales challenges with community solutions

In this economy, we all face sales challenges.  Topping the list are those related to messaging, prospecting, and closing the sale.

Each of these challenges can be mitigated through the effective use of CRM and community solutions in the Sales Challenge series will investigate each and provide solutions to mitigate them.  To start off, we’ll focus on the messaging.

However, these challenges interconnect so in our third and closing article in the Sales Challenge series, we’ll address integrating the solutions to achieve a holistic resolution.

Read More

Salesforce.com leads vs contacts – mining social networks

One of my sales buddies made a professional commitment to use LinkedIn more actively as a tool to expand her network and generate leads.  She experimented with it the last few months to great success and wants to expand her community involvement.

She had been entering new LinkedIn connections as Contacts because of the diversity of connections she made, many of whom were not leads.  For example, she says her connections span prospective customers, prospective partners, competitors, referral sources, and other miscellaneous networking connections.

I counseled her to enter them all or most of them as Leads instead.  Here’s why...

Read More

8 Salesforce.com marketing automation tips

Picture this.  Your company is small- to medium-sized with a marketing budget to match.  The economy is stinkaroo and your company big cheeses have told you to keep up the lead generation efforts – and even gen more leads – at the same or less budget.

One of the things I love about Salesforce.com is how readily you can automate your marketing efforts -- and you don't have to be big to do it.  Via Salesforce, you can:

  • Automate lead data entry and follow up.
  • Determine what activities are contributing to your pipeline.
  • Determine your marketing ROI.
  • Provide consistent branding and messaging for your sales teams.
  • Make your company look bigger.

Let’s talk about some marketing automation tips and best practices for lead management.  This is kind of a list day for me so here are quick hits...


Read More