TOP 7 REASONS YOU NEED A CRM - Keeping Better Track of Your Customers

Brianna Loftin - Friday, January 20, 2017

If you are realizing that you need to do a better job of keeping track of your clients, a CRM is essential, here are 7 reasons why:

1. Centralized Information - One of the most obvious reasons that a CRM is apparent in today's work environment is having your information centralized. Customer information does nobody any good when it is stored in separate laptops, accessible only to users on that machine. Emails are usually stored in a single system, but are invisible to other people who work with the same clients. Communicating through a CRM allows everyone in your organization to see and keep up with what is happening with a given client. No one will look unprepared if they missed a discussion or critical meeting. Every piece of information can be made available to everyone who needs to know, and conversely you can keep certain files separate, by changing access privileges for users. 

2. Paper Solutions are Not Sufficient - Are you one of those people who has collections of business cards and 3-ring binders full of notes in their office?  Its easy to grab a pen and paper to jot down notes quickly, but even easier to lose that scrap of crucial information. You can’t type a phrase into a file cabinet and have it arrange your information so that it shows just the contacts who meet your criteria. You can send a paper marketing mail out, but you won’t get the attention of people who check their email twenty times a day for every time they check their post. CRM technology is as critical part of any successful business.

3. No Data Loss - In addition to paper notes being mislaid, disorganized, or discarded. Data is even vulnerable when it is stored on your laptop or desktop, or on your office server. Servers can crash. Hard drives can fail. But a good CRM solution, administered by a good CRM provider, will be structured in a secure manner on servers that are maintained and backed up regularly. The advent of cloud computing brings you data anywhere and anytime, so long as you can access a connection. No matter where you are in the world, the critical customer data you gather is immediately accessible to your colleagues in every location needed.

4. Coordinate the Present - Using what you’ve learned about the relationship you have with your customers, you can make your business into a responsive and confident authority. You can design programs that give your customers the right kind of customer service experience. You can get sales and support staff talking to each other so that they can work together to give customers only what they want. You can use customer feedback to tell you where your resources are best spent. You can use past sales history to suggest what potential maintenance issues a customer might be facing. In addition, you can plan your time using built-in calendar and task management so that every process is done right the first time.

5. Quickly Understand the Past - There’s really no good way to look back into the history of your relationship with a customer without using CRM technology. If you want to look back in time and understand how things have progressed, you need a solution that tracks all of their communication, history, and issues. You’ll be able to save clients by knowing how to anticipate their needs and forestall common problems. You’ll be able to create marketing materials based on purchase and communication history.

6. Stay Organized in the Present - You can design programs that give your customers the right kind of customer service experience. You can get sales and support staff talking to each other so that they can work together to give customers what they will need next. You can use customer feedback to tell you where your resources are best spent.  In addition, you can plan your time using built-in calendar and task management so that every process is done right the first time.

7. Predict the Future - Once you understand the past, and know what to do in the present, you will have a reasonably good idea what your efforts now will give rise to in the future. You can use past sales history to suggest what potential maintenance issues a customer might be facing.  Things that used to come as complete surprises will be explainable, and you can plan for them, when you know why and how they happened. The better your data is in your history, and the better you track your campaigns, projects, and events, the more you can know about what is likely to happen. 

For more information on a CRM to suit your needs call (866) 710-4228 or send us an email.

Cycling to the Office - Top 5 Reasons to ride your Bike to Work

Brianna Loftin - Friday, January 06, 2017

I recently started riding my bike to work, and have already seen the myriad of benefits, even though work is only one mile away.  

Weight loss - The combination of cardio and resistance from pedaling has already made me shed pounds which everyone noticed right away. Plus I have built up muscles that aren't easy to achieve from other forms of exercise.  

Increased Productivity - There is a natural energy boost from getting fresh air and exercise, which generates more productivity in the workplace. Plus bicycling may be one of the most fun forms of exercise. You can either use it as a utilitarian tool to get you quickly from point A to B or you can do tricks and fun maneuvers all while the wind whips through your hair. Additionally there are fun accessories, like lights and bells.  I am thinking about bringing back the classic noise-making card attached to my spokes with a clothespin. 

Save Money - Bike purchases are a relatively low cost compared to buying a car, plus there are many rental and craigslist options if you really want to save money.  Again, even with a one mile (two both ways) trek, I have noticed a substantial decrease in m weekly gasoline expenses, which also saves me from having to fill up at the pump.  Its takes about a minute more to bike than to drive, and i may even make it in the same time after I gain more stamina. There are also tax incentives to save you cash for your bike upkeep. 

Good for the Environment - Not only is the gas saved easy on your wallet, but it keeps the smog and green house gases down, even a little bit goes a long way.  Plus the more cyclists on the road makes it safer for other riders because drivers are more aware cyclists as a mode of transportation.

I mainly sit down all day, except for water cooler and bathroom breaks, so the bike ride is a no-brainer when its time to leave.  Living in Houston means we never know what weather to expect, yesterday it was about 80 degrees out, now its nearly freezing.  No matter the weather, I dress accordingly; however I wasn't prepared for today's freezing rain for the ride home, but at least I can count on it being an adventure.   

A Better Business in 2017 - 6 Tips for Getting your Business Ready for the New Year

Brianna Loftin - Friday, December 23, 2016

New Year's Day is coming upon us quickly!  If you haven't started yet, now is that time to get organized and start implementing new tools that will help your business take off in 2017.
1. Update your Website.  If you don't have the time to do a total revamp, at least make sure that all of your links are working correctly and your information is up to date.
2. Review your Data and make sure that you aren't holding on to material that serves no purpose aside from clutter.  You will thank yourself when your processes become that much quicker in 2017.
3. Check out how Act! CRM can help your business and sales teams organize prospects and customer details in one place, send emails, market products and services more effectively, and drive sales results.
4. Update the Look and productivity of your proposals with the market leading quote solution, QuoteWerks. 
5. Get QuickBooks up and running so that your tax documents are in shape for the following year.  
6. Start working in the Cloud so that you can work wherever and whenever you need.  Leaving you the ability to get more done in a time frame that works for you.  Contact us so that we can help you get setup with your Virtual Desktop to gain access to your software from any location on any device!

Email Us or Call 866-710-4228.

QuoteWerks - The Best Quoting Software

Brianna Loftin - Friday, December 16, 2016

QuoteWerks is the best all around quoting solution available, here's why: 

Interactive Webpage - Know when quotes are Viewed and Accepted and will not be flagged as Spam.

QuoteValet Shopping Cart - Create online order forms

Affordable Pricing

FedEx & UPS Integration

Seamless CRM and QuickBooks Integrations -automatically create and keep sales opportunities current

Turn Key Implementation

For Companies of All Sizes

Recurring Revenue

Customized Quote Layouts

and much more!

For more information on QuoteWerks Software or to have QuoteWerks Hosted, call (866) 710-4228 or email us.

A Virtual Desktop is Good for your Health and your Company - Working from Home when You are Sick

Brianna Loftin - Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Working remotely isn't just a great option for workers in various locations, but is a useful tool to keep your company in good health.  Most Americans don't call in sick anymore when they get a cold, or they go back to work while they are still contagious. A survey by Wakefield Research discovered earlier this year that 69% of working Americans don’t take sick days off, even when they’re genuinely ill. 

Many workers go to the office because they don't want to fall behind, or let coworkers down, however this actually cuts down on productivity. In a 2014 Staples Survey, found that 90% of office workers had, at some point, gone to work sick, and the study found that they were only 60% as productive as they would be under normal circumstances. Productivity is higher when employees aren’t being infected by sick co-workers and generating the whole company to work at 60 percent. 

Next time someone is under the weather, tell them to work from home if they feel up to it, so that everyone in the office can stay healthy and work at peak performance.  Stop spreading germs to individuals and families so that they feel healthy enough to have fun on the weekends, rather than just taking that time to recuperate. 

For more information on your options to work from home call (866) 710-4228 or send us an email.

Happy Thanksgiving - 10 Interesting Facts about Thanksgiving

Brianna Loftin - Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Thanksgiving is loved by historians because it is a holiday that we celebrate that is actually celebrated in nearly the same way that it began.  Here are some interesting facts about Thanksgiving to get you started off on the right foot: 

1. The first Thanksgiving took place in Plymouth Colony in 1621, but it wasn't until more than 200 years later, that President Abraham Lincoln declared the final Thursday in November as a national day of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving Day became an official national holiday in 1941.

2. In 1939 President Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving to the third week in November, hoping it would boost the shopping season during the Depression. It never caught on and was changed back two years later.

3. The first Thanksgiving was eaten with spoons and knives — but no forks! Forks weren't even introduced to the Pilgrims until 10 years later and weren't a popular utensil until the 18th century.

4. Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird, not the eagle.  (He was a brilliant man, but I'm glad we didn't take his advise on this one)

5. Fossil evidence shows that turkeys roamed the Americas 10 million years ago.

6. A spooked turkey can run at speeds up to 20 miles per hour. They can also burst into flight approaching speeds between 50-55 mph in a matter of seconds.

7. The Guinness World Records for the largest pumpkin pie, weighed 2,020 pounds and measured just over 12 feet long. Baked on October 8, 2005 by the New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers in Ohio, and included 900 pounds of pumpkin, 62 gallons of evaporated milk, 155 dozen eggs, 300 pounds of sugar, 3.5 pounds of salt, 7 pounds of cinnamon, 2 pounds of pumpkin spice and 250 pounds of crust. :O 

8. Female turkeys (hens) do not gobble. Only male turkeys gobble.

9. Originally known as Macy’s Christmas Parade—to signify the launch of the Christmas shopping season—the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade took place in New York City in 1924. It was launched by Macy’s employees and featured animals from the Central Park Zoo. Today, 3 million people attend the annual parade and another 44 million watch it on television.

10. Thanksgiving was almost a fast — not a feast! The early settlers gave thanks by praying and abstaining from food, which is what they planned on doing to celebrate their first harvest, until the Wampanoag Indians joined them and turned their fast into a three-day feast! That is definitely something to give thanks for!

Send us an email for information about Cloud Hosting.  Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving!

Virtual Ransom - Protecting Your Computer from Security Threats

Brianna Loftin - Monday, November 21, 2016

After visiting my new dentist, he informed me that their recent server was hijacked by hackers for a ransom, and once the ransom was paid, they would put everything back as it was originally. Fortunately the hackers have not built trust in this business tactic, and the deal was not accepted.  

The Dental Business was down for two whole months while they had to replace their server and set everything up again with a new company. This is an extreme case, but nonetheless it is a severe risk that is waiting to happen to anyone with sensitive information and a glitch in their security.

This happened because their server was set up by a friend that "knows a lot about computers." There are many companies that use the person in their company that is the most tech savvy to monitor their server, but not hiring a professional puts your system up against some serious security threats. Please don't risk your data, contact us to help host a server for you so your business is no longer at risk and you can focus on growth, not maintenance. Call (866)710-4228 or send an email.

Incredible Cats

Brianna Loftin - Thursday, November 03, 2016

We turned the TV on to watch the final game of the World Series and were immediately drawn into the already tuned in program, "The Story of Cats" a PBS Nature mini series.
These shots beat out all of the You Tube Cat videos that I've seen.  The first cat we were drawn to was the "Fishing Cat" which I have never even heard of, and then we were blown away by the beautiful images of the snow leopard running through the mountains in Nepal.  The stunning beauty and interesting information kept us glued to the TV until the program finally ended, and the Cubs won, (Congrats Cubs, finally!)  

I'm looking forward to the airing of the second part of the mini series "Into the Americas" on November 9, 2016 at 8 p.m. (ET) on PBS.  Of course you can watch it online, but watching it in real time is always more fun.  I didn't want anyone to miss out on such awesome cats! I swear, I'm not a cat person, but who doesn't love a good cat video?

For more information on the most catlike and agile hosting platform, Call Now (866)710-4228 or send us an email.

Server went Down? - Speedy Solution to Get Back to Work Quickly

Brianna Loftin - Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Did your server go down? Need to be up in an hour? Give us a call and we can get you set up immediately! 

In today's market, any downtime can mean some serious loss in productivity and potential business. Don't fret over having to purchase a server without doing your research, and let us host you in the meantime. There is very little startup cost, and when you are ready to pick up where you left off with your own server, just let us know, and we can help put you back with no cancellation fee. Read more about our Virtual Servers.

Call Now (866)710-4228 or send us an email.

How My New Phone System Reminded me to Keep Track of Customers - Expanding my Company

Jon Klubnik - Friday, September 23, 2016

Several years ago, we needed a new phone system.  Don't get me wrong, our old system still worked, but we had outgrown throwing the cordless phone back and forth to each other.  I had read about VOIP systems and I was ready to give it a go.  So, we filled out a form on a few websites and waited. Within a few hours, someone from each company had called and was ready to sell us our dream system. However, in the mean time, we got busy again.  For the next month, we were swamped and were just doing business. I didn't have time to evaluate and implement that new phone system.

Do you know what happened?  After 30 days, every one of those sales persons had forgotten about us and stopped calling.  My need had not gone away.

I"m not perfect, and I do occasionally not follow up on legitimate opportunities.  BUT, our company works hard to implement good systems.  We use the tools we host and support.  If you call and say that this is your busy season, we have a system to get in touch with you and reach back when the time is more opportune.

Oh, back to that phone system.  After 30 days, only one guy had marked us for a follow up out of all the original requests.  He got the business.

For More information on how to keep track of your customers, call (866)710-4228 or send us an email through our website.

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