Editor

ERP and CRM

YouTube Guy

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are the two of the most popular business systems, sharing some common features but differing in most. Many software developers have also managed to build systems which can perform as CRM and ERP systems at a time.

  • ERP systems are enterprise-oriented systems which improve co-ordination between different company departments, not just limited to sales and marketing, help to gather key enterprise data and manage these data in an unified database.
  • CRM systems are more customer-oriented which mainly improve co-ordination between sales and marketing departments, automate sales and marketing and customer service practices, enhances communication between sales persons, gather key information about customers and opportunities, and manage these information is a centralized database.
  • For most small businesses, where no great integration is required among financial, production and supply chain departments, CRM systems can the more than enough. Big business may need both, usually as separate systems.
  • It is the medium sized businesses, especially those operate from different localities; need an integration between CRM and ERP system. Web based systems are ideal as they offer greater mobility and limit in-house infrastructure requirements.
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Editor

First Impressions Make Lasting Impressions

{Note: About Interviewing for a new job.}

You walk into your second interview of the day.  You are the third person to interview for the position at the Company.  Plus, it’s the last interview of the day.  How can you make them remember you over other candidates?  We have all been in the position of underdog or feeling insignificant, but with a few tips, you’ll go from underdog to top dog and from insignificant to unforgettable.

Inquiries, Cover Letters and Emails

When making appointments to meet with anyone in the Company or emailing the Human Resources department to inquiring about a potential job, keep it professional, but don’t be afraid to let some of your personality shine through.  Try to stay away from “To Whom It May Concern” or general addresses of the like do a little research on the company and title the cover letter or email to Human Resources Director or even the CEO, it shows you were willing to go the extra step to personalize the communication.

Resume, Resume, Resume

Over the years, there has been a growing significance to the content of your resume, but now it has become even more imperative to make your resume count.  Get examples of resumes of people you admire and respect and copy the language on those to enhance your resume.  No matter what kind of document you create your resume in (Word, Excel, Photoshop) always send an Adobe PDF with the original document to maintain the format consistently across any platform.

‘My name is Bond, James Bond’, inspired from the book “How to Wow” by Frances Cole Jones

Whether you like it or not, your name is you, you are your name, make it count.  It is the absolute first thing that people see when you send an email, send a letter, or viewing your resume so make people excited to meet you and glad to have met you.  We’re not saying that you have to say, “My name is Smith, John Smith,” but say your name when introducing yourself with clarity and significance.

Ending the Interview or Conversation

Never leave a conversation open-ended, always leave with an action item for you to do.  This ensures your interviewer that you are excited about the job and the possibility of working for them.   A good way to end an interview is to ask them when they are looking to fill the position, or see if you can schedule another meeting with them prior to making the decision.

Follow-up Email or Phone Call

Regardless of how the interview went, whether they hired you on the spot, you didn’t think it was a good fit or were unsure on the Company, always, always, follow up the interview the following day with a thank you email, phone call or note.  Recap the meeting, highlights from the interview, and ways in which you are excited for the opportunity with the Company.

Finally, you are a unique person and only you can show that through your communications, make it happen.

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Editor

Take a Mini Lesson From Our Minivan…

The infamous journey

My wife (passenger): “Hon, do you remember how to get there?”

Me (driver): “Approximately.”

My wife: “Approximately?”

Me:  “Yes, Approximately. We’re getting close.”

Kids: (Screaming)

My wife: “How close?”

Me: “Close.  Just around the corner… I think.”

My wife: “You think?”

Me: “Yes. We’re getting close.”

Kids: (Screaming)

My wife:  “Maybe you should stop and ask directions.”

Me: “No. We’re getting close.”

My wife “You have no idea where it at.”

Me: “Yes I do… approximately.”

Kids: (Screaming)

My wife: “STOP AND ASK FOR DIRECTIONS.”

Me: “Can’t. It takes too much time. Almost there.”

(10 minutes later)

Kids: (Screaming)

My wife: (Screaming)

Me: (Lost)

Take a mini lesson from our minivan, for any company looking to implement a CRM… Stop and ask for directions.  No matter which CRM you go with, it will save you a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to pay for the set-up and training.  This is business. It’s not a trip to your Aunt Martha’s house.  You need to get to where you’re going…fast—for the sake of your company, employees, and customers.  You may save a few bucks by trying to “find your way through it”, but the pain and headache you’ll face will most likely outweigh any money you’ll save.  I promise.

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Editor

Cloud Expo 2010 · Show & Video

We were very excited about the Cloud Expo show in NYC it was a great show for us.  Great weather, great food, Time Square was great, and a great expo floor at the show!  We were showing off the newest features found in eSalesTrack. There were a number of brilliant companies at the show.  We met some of the true mechanics of cloud computing.  The great minds who help keep all this cloud, SaaS stuff working.

In comparing notes with some fellow companies during the sessions we saw a gap.  The gap many entrepreneurs try to navigate, from a great idea to selling the idea.  We found ourselves doing what we do best; offer our selling expertise and counsel.  Helping these up start companies define their customer, how to market themselves, and track who they are talking too.

We also got to see customers who just stopped by while we were in the Big Apple like Ken Gibson from Skystream.  We even did an interview with the folks at the show, and here it is for your viewing pleasure.

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Editor

Software as a Service Makes Economic Sense for Your Company

With the economy recovering and your business slow to follow the curve of an upward trend, is there a solution out there that is cost-effective and can improve your business at the same time?  As a manager of your business, you are constantly looking for the cost-benefit for new products and services for your company.

If you are a small to mid-sized business or even a large corporation, you could spend tens of thousands of dollars implementing an internal database and software to serve and maintain all of your needs.  This is a heavy financial burden on any company at any time, but is even more pertinent in the current economy.

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a growing marketplace that is occupied by major providers such as Microsoft, Intuit, AT&T and numerous small to mid-size companies.  Software as a Service can be offered in various forms for various company needs, but is often utilized for Customer Relationship Management (CRM).  Online CRM tools are one potential solution to cut costs and improve productivity for your sales team and for your company.

Current versions of eSalesTrack CRM are available for a fraction of these costs and can be scaled to any size business and customized for your particular industry and business.  We have the infrastructure in place already for your use, you just have sit back relax and (pay your monthly dues) watch your sales grow with our easy to use system.

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Editor

The Nightmare of Moving Away from a Strong CRM

I used a fairly sophisticated web-based CRM for more than a year, and then my former employer moved away from it to a more comprehensive software system for purchasing, receiving, production, and shipping.  Unfortunately, this new software was a shadow of the CRM that I was used to as a salesman – spending the majority of every day on the phone calling leads, prospects, and customers.  Before you make the potential mistake of downgrading the tools of your sales team, here are a few huge time-drains that I wasn’t used to dealing with when using a reasonably rich web-based CRM:

  1. No Shortcuts: a good CRM will allow you to navigate with one click to any of the main modules you will often visit: contacts, leads, customers, reports, funnel, and support.  Our lesser software had none of these shortcuts, so if I was 4 screens into a contact, I had to hit the back button 4 times to get to the main page.  Dashboards and “hot keys” are a HUGE time saver.
  2. Mass Communication/Actions: back in the good old days I could run a search, filter by date, age, region, size, etc. and send mass emails or schedule follow-ups for many, many contacts at once.  The new software required single-click modifications and allowed no mass-modifications.  I can’t tell you how much time I lost having to click 200 times to go into 40 tasks, edit, put in a new date, and hit save – day after day.  A good CRM will allow you to grab a large number of leads/accounts/contacts and make changes all at once.
  3. Reports: an easy-to-use CRM will have ready-made basic reports, and an intuitive report creator to allow you to grab, sort, summarize (and VERY importantly – drill down), your data according to whatever metrics or filters you can create.  Unless you want to lock yourself into the rigidity of an industry-specific CRM, you’ll need the ability to customize in whatever manner you see fit – and unless you have a programmer on staff, you need to be able to make these changes with ease.  It’s a horrible feeling being “dead in the water,” as my former boss put it, not knowing where your sales team is for the current day, week, month, quarter, etc.

With the right kind of basic platform a CRM should be buildable and customizable to whatever extent the customer wants – and there’s no reason this should cost a bundle.  Look for software that is easy to customize.  Before you move to something with less power make sure you calculate the loss of productivity felt by staff when they no longer have the time-saving tools they used to be able to use.  Take the lessons learned from my nightmare, and select a CRM that serves your staff not the other way around.

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Editor

Talking Strategy vs. Shooting General Numbers

What do you do when your boss calls and wants to know what you are working on or closing this month?  Is everything in your head?  Are you looking through notebooks to remember?  Can you remember every detail anyway?  We’ve all been there, shooting general statements right off the top of our mind, trying to remember dates, giving them general numbers, forgetting an account that we talked to 3 weeks ago, and not getting all the information right.  Besides staying focused on the “hot” deal you are closing this week, or a “hot” appointment set for next week.  What are you doing to stay organized and not let deals fall through the cracks?

A good CRM lets you keep track of dates, notes, and details for any opportunity you’re working on.  It gives you and your boss access to your sales funnel or pipeline; they don’t need to ask you what you are working on.  Just about the status of everything in your funnel.  It saves them time, it saves you time.  You can set up follow-up date views for all your accounts so nothing gets forgotten.  In this way, it can make your life more productive.  Wouldn’t you rather use the time talking with your boss about how they can help you close some deals, instead of what you are working on.  Check out eSalesTrack today, and see how it can help you.

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Editor

Unclog your Sales Pipeline

At the center of Soleran’s company story is the desire to help every business have bottom line success.  What’s one of the easiest ways a business can have success in its bottom line?  Simply it is to sell more, quicker.  To sell more and quicker also brings with it more paperwork and more follow up support.  The increase of these details also increases complexity for the sales team which then clogs up the sales cycle pipeline.

Hence the birth of eSalesTrack, a sales tool created around simplifying tools used by the sales team. Details can be the giant hairball that slows down any great sales person.  With the goal of closing more deals and quicker it all boils down to two main strategies.  Get more deals in the pipeline, and shorten the length of your pipeline.  We all have limited time in our work days whether that is 24 hours or around 8 hours.  So to close more deals and shorten our pipeline let’s look at some sales principles that eSalesTrack was built around.

The first is closing more deals.  This brings with it many questions…

Which deals will close?

By when will they close?

What is the holdup that’s preventing them to close?

Are we even talking to the right decision makers?

One main tool in eSalesTrack is the Sales Funnel.  The Sales Funnel is a visual tool that can help us see at a glance the answer to a lot of these questions, leaving time to talk with the client and answer the rest.  Every time we talk with the client we want to focus how we can close this deal and how to shorten our pipeline.  So, eSalesTrack is built around reminding us of these questions.

What is the clients expected close date?
A: Just enter this date in the Sales Funnel.

What is the mutual next step?
A: Just make a quick task with a target date.

When is the next follow-up call?
A: Just make a quick appointment.

Who is the right decision maker?
A: Just enter that new contact.

Now in our dashboard we can see an updated Sales Funnel, calendar, and critical tasks.  Allowing even more time to focus on the next opportunity we can close today.  At Soleran, we built eSalesTrack to do just this unblock those clogs of the sales pipeline.

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Editor

Soleran Grows Exponentially With eSalesTrack CRM

The Channel Partners Conference & Expo welcomes eSalesTrack to its 2010 show and comments how the industry perception of CRM software is about to change. Channel Partners Show: Read the Article

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Editor

eSalesTrack to Exhibit at Cloud Expo 2010 East

eSalestrack catches the attention of online editor, Liz McMillan, in advance of the International Cloud Expo. eSalesTrack will be exhibiting at the expo April 19-21, 2010, at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City. Cloud Computing Expo: Read the Article

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