How Marie Forleo is revolutionising CRM

photo courtesy of http://www.marieforleo.com/

Marie was recently interviewed by Oprah as a thought leader for the next generation. Her mission is to help you realize your greatest potential and use your unique talents to change the world. She reaches over 200,000 readers in 191 countries worldwide and leads dynamic training programs that teach individuals to succeed in business and life.

Read more: http://www.marieforleo.com/about/#ixzz2ts12vVmE

In case some of you have been living under  a rock lately, you may have been inundated with posts, emails and links to a phenomenon called B School by Marie Forleo.  B School is is an 8 week, interactive video-based training program that teaches smart, effective online marketing strategies to business owners who want more sales and more impact from their online presence.

Graduates from B School include “advanced” students who are New York Times bestselling authors and million dollar plus business owners who have large lists (from 10K – 100K).   These “advanced” students completed B-School and have added anywhere from $65,000 to over $1,000,000 in revenue to their business from what they learned in our program. While they were already successful, they weren’t fully leveraging their online presence to drive more revenue.

Amazing huh! Marie also launched a series of 3 free training videos to teach her tribe, the “right way to market”.  So why am I telling you all this?  Well, Marie’s marketing strategies are one of the best ways we have seen CRM being implemented.

In her first training video, she talks about a  6 Pillars Map. Pillar 2  in particular is just one example of pure poetry in motion when it comes to CRM.  Pillar 2 is  how to create “Websites that Sell and Don’t Suck”:

1. Connect

 You must connect with your audience instantly when they land on your site and communicate how you can help them.

2. Capture

This is super important.  You MUST find  a way to capture your prospect’s name and email.  The majority of your visitors will not buy from you the first time. You need to capture their details so that you can build a relationship with them over time (CRM strategy anyone?!)

3. Convert

Your website needs to be the best unpaid salesperson in our business and convert browsers into buyers. Your website can and should bring revenue to your business 24/7.

So there you have it! An amazingly simple CRM strategy that does not cost you much.

For more info on the brilliant Marie Forleo, head over to http://www.marieforleo.com/.

 

3 Forever FREE CRM systems to try for the New Year!

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A lot of small businesses I know are currently using spreadsheets to manage their contacts and are finding a lot of issues with using this as a way to manage their contacts (understandably!).  They have told me that they really need a CRM system for the new year but don’t have a big budget and also have no idea where to start or where to look.

So fear not!  We are here to take out all the hard work for you in finding a system that fits your business AND your budget.  Our Christmas and New Year gift to you is a list of 3 FREE (YES FREE!) CRM systems that do a darn good job of managing your contacts and some even have other bonus features that can supercharge your business to propel you forward in 2014.

So without further ado, here they are!

1. Bitrix 24

Bitrix 24, we believe, gives you amazing features  for  FREE! It is more than just a CRM system.  It is a united work space which handles the many aspects of daily operations and tasks in the form of a cloud based social intranet.   Some of the great features the free version has are:

  • Free for up to 12 users!
  • 5Gb of online storage
  • Social Communications
  • Tasks and Projects
  • Calendars
  • File and Documents (sharing and collaboration)
  • and last but not least – a built in CRM which includes:
    • Contact management
    • Sales/pipeline management
    • Invoice management
    • An advanced business process  workflow builder (it has a great GUI interface)
    • Website integration -connect your online store and your contact forms to pass sales and leads data directly into your CRM.

It doesn’t include a case management/support module in the free version, but for most small businesses, the existing features are more than sufficient.

2. Capsule CRM

Capsule CRM has a great, user friendly interface which is quite simple to use.  The features in their free edition are:

  • Free for up to 2 users
  • 10Mb Storage
  • Calendar and Activities
  • Automated workflows
  • Contact management (up to 250 contacts)
  • Opportunity/Sales Pipeline Management (unlimited)
  • Case Management (unlimited cases)

There is no module for invoice management but if  you want to upgrade  to the professional plan for only $12 per user per month, you have access to integration with Xero cloud based accounting software which handles your invoicing.

3. Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM has grown in leaps and bounds in the past few years and now offers an Enterprise version which includes territory management.  However, it still offers it’s free version for small businesses with the basic CRM  functionality to cater for their needs including social media integration.   It Features in the free version include:

  • Free for up to 3 users
  • 250Mb file storage/organisation
  • Lead, Contact and Account management
  • Opportunity/Sales Pipeline Management
  • Tasks, Calendar, Call Log, and Notes
  • Integration with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
  • 2 Email templates
  • 1 Web-to-Lead form for integration with your website
  • 1 Web-to-Contact form for integration with your website

The great thing about all 3 of the CRM systems featured here, is that they give you the opportunity to upgrade at any time as your business grows.

So what are you waiting for?  Get 2014 off to a great start for your business with a brand new CRM system and watch your business thrive!

Chamber of Commerce Gains Hundreds of Hours by Using CiviCRM

Fremantle Chamber of Commerce

We have been privileged to have one of our CRM projects featured as a case study in the CiviCRM July Newsletter.

CiviCRM helps organizations grow and sustain strong relationships over time. It is a web-based, open source CRM software geared toward meeting the needs of non-profit and other civic-sector organizations.

We were approached by one of the co-founders of CiviCRM (Dave Greenberg) to feature our project as their case study of the month.  The article can be found below.  For more information on CiviCRM, please visit www.civicrm.org.

The newsletter can also be found here.

Case Study

The Fremantle Chamber of Commerce (FCC) champions policies and strategies that improve the business environment in Fremantle (Perth, Western Australia), enhance community prosperity and develop a sustainable mix of business and lifestyle opportunities for Fremantle’s future. They act as an advocate for the business community, a conduit for information and a promoter of Fremantle’s position in the regional landscape. The Chamber currently have over 500 members, ranging from major corporate organizations to small micro-businesses.

FCC required a CRM system to manage their members, events and organizational activities more efficiently. The main challenge, as is often the case when moving to a new system, was importing and cleaning the existing data which existed in different locations such as multiple Excel sheets and Outlook.

It’s really interesting to see how CiviCRM is being used by these types of associations, as well as smaller not-for-profits. As Brian Shaughnessy of Lighthouse Consulting and Design says“CiviCRM provides a robust set of tools for professional, trade, and community associations. Configure the membership options to track fixed period and rolling memberships, build reports to view new, current, and lapsed memberships, while empowering your members to manage their renewals and personal contact data through self-service forms. Coupled with the event registration, case management, and other tools, CiviCRM creates a single, web-based, centralized database for your association’s data management needs — creating system efficiencies, improving the quality of your data, and allowing organization staff to better serve your members!”

Sankhya Consultants were chosen for the CiviCRM implementation. The project was funded by a grant from the Western Australian government as part of a project to train businesses the benefits of CRMs. The benefits of that for the wider community are that the team at Sankhya had to submit a report on the implementation, so we have that unusual and precious thing – measurable success!

One of the most marked improvements from having their new CiviCRM in place was the streamlined efficiency of the event management process. Before Civi, the average time spent on recording each event participant’s attendance, tracking payment, sending reminders, raising invoices etc was around 70 minutes. Since Civi that average time has gone down to 10 minutes. That’s a saving of around 1 hour per contact, per event!

There are lots of other really impressive stats in the report, such as:

  • Updating memberships: Before Civi, 5 mins to contact each member individually, for 1,500 members that’s 125 hours every membership renewal cycle. Since Civi, with automated reminders for the entire database, it takes something like 10 mins admin time per cycle. That’s 125 hours saved!!
  • Searching for contacts, to find all the contacts that fulfilled a certain criteria (e.g. lived in a certain area): Before Civi this was a manual process of checking through numerous spreadsheets, taking an average of 2 hours. Since being able to search with Civi’s built-in contact search, this takes less than 5 minutes. Time saved – just under 2 hours!

See a report of the outcomes 3 months after the CiviCRM implementation.

Read the entire case study here