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5 Ways Affiliate Marketing Can Help You Make Sales

August 18th, 2010 :: Thursday Bram

Affiliate marketing is a simple concept: you offer a percentage of the sales price to anyone who can help you close a sale. There are more than a few nuances to the situation, of course: especially with the advent of online tools, you can control which affiliates you’re willing to work with, what constitutes a sale and a variety of other factors. The important point is that for small businesses, affiliate marketing can be a relatively inexpensive way to increase your sales.

  1. Affiliate marketing lets you market inexpensively. The cost of marketing a product or service can cut into your margin of profit. But, as long as you know how much margin you can afford to offer up to affiliates, you can often get them to market your products less expensively than you can arrange for yourself. Depending on the payoff, some affiliates will even buy ads and take other steps to promote your product or service.
  2. Affiliate marketing helps build brand recognition. Even if your affiliates make relatively few sales, your product will be on their websites. They may write reviews, put up ads and take a variety of different steps to make sure that their readers are aware of your product (with the intention of selling, of course). But that sort of exposure can help create sales down the line, especially if a prospective customer sees your product all over a variety of websites.
  3. Affiliate marketing offers access to tastemakers. While it’s nice when someone refers a friend to your product, the fact of the matter is that people are more likely to do so when they have a financial interest. Tastemakers, such as bloggers, can be especially interested in affiliate marketing.
  4. Affiliate marketing can get you access to existing audiences. Many affiliates work hard to build up their own audiences, on blogs and through other media. The size of that audience can vary, but it’s not out of the question that you can get access to an audience in the tens or even hundreds of thousands with some careful planning. That sort of exposure, combined with the endorsement of the person who has brought a particular community together can be very worthwhile.
  5. Affiliate marketing can give you the initial connection to a new customer. If you offer products or services that allow you to build on one small sale to earn significantly more over the lifetime of that customer, affiliate marketing can be a cheap way to get access to new customers. Even if you have to offer up most of your profit margin on that initial sale to the affiliate that referred your new customer, it can still wind up being less expensive than advertising.

Affiliate marketing can take some work — you need to give your affiliates tools that will help them to be successful, whether that means logos or review copies. But the pay off can be phenomenal, especially if you can get the support of affiliates with wide audiences already in place.

Image by Flickr user Steve Snodgrass

Leveraging Your Blog for your Inbound Marketing Efforts

August 12th, 2010 :: Steven Fisher

In these days of social media marketing there are all sorts of tools that help you market but the most fundamental is your blog. It is funny that only six years ago all that everyone talked about was blogging. Now it has seemed to fade into the background and that is actually a good thing. A blog has become a fundamental component in an organizations communication strategy that if you do not have it included or have one running you will be perceived as behind the times.

But let’s face it, writing for writing sake can be fun in some cases but in this case you are looking for customers. The term inbound marketing is the opposite of outbound marketing (i.e. cold calls, email marketing) and it is focused on getting the customer to come to you on their own. One of the best way to do this is through blogs.

A few great ways to use you blog for inbound marketing are:

Forms for downloading content – You want to drive leads to your site and the best way to do that is give something away. These can be white papers and ebooks or other types of content that people want. One thing to keep in mind is that your content doesn’t have to be completely new. It can be repackaged blog posts in a new context along with some updated content.

Surveys and polls – This is a great and quick way to engage the reader. People that read your blog have an opinion and if you are looking to learn from them, do a survey or a poll. It can also be a great way to test new features or content types that people might want in the future. Don’t forget to make a blog post about the survey, it will bring people to the site to engage.

Most of all….provide fresh content – This continues to establish you as an authority and search engines love it. They see that as a site that is new and with linking and trackbacks it builds your search engine juice.

So don’t just look at a blog as a necessary evil you have to “deal with” and “write for” but a real communications channel that can engage and make new sales in ways you never thought possible.

Integrating Social CRM into your Inbound Marketing Strategy

April 19th, 2010 :: Steven Fisher

I am sure you have all heard of the term, CRM which stands for Customer Service Management. CRM systems have been around for the last two decades have taken on all shapes (sales focused, customer service focused), sizes (small teams and enterprises) and technology approaches (local installations and cloud services). They generally have five major functions – lead management, opportunity management, account management, document management and reports/analytics. For the most part this hasn’t really changed, only the processes and approaches to convert those at the beginning of the pipeline as a prospect to the end of the pipeline where they become a customer. Sure there are tools and other stuff to manage the customer when they have issues or want to order more stuff in the future but things in the last two years have seen a shift in the way we view the customer and communicate with them.

I am of course talking about social media.

Gone are the days of one-way communications or a back a forth with emails and phone calls. Social media means two-way engagement and at some times hearing customers talk about your company and your products in ways you might not be happy about. You have one of two choices at this point in time – ignore them and their voices will get louder and you will be considered obsolete or engage and talk to them hearing their concerns and responding in a transparent way so others see you as a company that actually cares about its customers.

So I have talked about CRM and social media. Let me introduce you to the concept of Social CRM.

I know, I know, everybody is slapping the word “social” on everything like they did with “e-” in 2000. I will give you that Social Media is on a groundswell right now but the concept of Social CRM is a great one and true evolution in a technology that needs a breathe of fresh air. Here is a great example of traditional CRM and Social CRM:

(photo: Hurricane Agency)

Barack Obama, the Social CRM president

I was introduced to the concept of social CRM about two years ago by two friends, Brent Leary and David Bullock. They were following the campaign of this freshman Senator from Chicago that had just announced his run for the presidency. His name of course, Barack Obama. Senator Obama had assembled many talented people including young innovative campaign marketing staffers who began leveraging social media tools to build a community and begin what many call a movement to get Senator Obama elected. Over the course of the campaign, Brent and David created a site called Barack 2.0 and tracked all the tools utilized to create a comprehensive Social CRM system to help him get elected. It is a fascinating study and they eventually published a successful book on this entire process and you can check it out at the site Barack 2.0.

The 18 Use Cases of Social CRM

Fast forward two years and many companies have integrated Social CRM into their solutions. Many companies have attempted to implement some form of Social CRM process and last month, The Altimeter Group put together a great paper on 18 Use Cases of Social CRM and it is summarized in this chart below:

You can see that the use cases follow the segments of a typical CRM system the key here. You can read the full paper at http://www.slideshare.net/jeremiah_owyang/social-crm-the-new-rules-of-relationship-management and dive deep into the analysis.

Three Steps You Can Do to Integrate Social CRM into your Inbound Marketing Strategy

1.) Start Talking About it With Your Team – Now if you are a small business that team may be just you and in other cases it might be 50 people. In all cases you should look at the chart above and see which functions could be served by a Social CRM solution.

2.) Evaluate Your Social CRM Software Options – There are many Social CRM tools available for your small business. Some products, like BatchBlue CRM were launched from the beginning as a Social CRM solution. There are many others like Salesforce.com and Siebel that are adding Social CRM functionality to their solutions. If you already use these tools see how you can utilize these functions and if not, look around the web and search on “Social CRM software” to see your options.

3.) Integrate Social CRM practices into your inbound marketing processes – The only way to start using this is by doing it. If your company isn’t on Twitter, sign up. If it doesn’t have a fan page, make one and start promoting it. Learn what customers are using social media tools and engage with them. Social CRM software can help but ultimately your inbound marketing activities will use your Social CRM tool as a hub.

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Follow-up: The Secret of Networking

February 18th, 2010 :: Thursday Bram

Networking is crucial to any small business. Whether you’re looking for clients or vendors, who you know will make a difference in the deals you can find. That can translate into attending a lot of networking meetings. Just showing up, though, isn’t enough. If you want to make the most of your networking efforts, you need to follow up with the people you meet. Whether you send out personal emails after an event or pass along opportunities, you’ll get the most out of introductions if you follow up with a real relationship.

The Importance of Follow Up

Phelan Riessen knows networking. Not only is he a serial entrepreneur, but he runs RefreshSD and has helped bring together events like BarCampSD. He can attend more than fifteen networking events in any given month.

Riessen points out the importance of follow up: “Chances are you’re not the only person they met at a networking event. They‘ll forget you soon after unless you’ve made a grand impression on them. People need constant reminders you even exist. The sweet spot used to be six interactions with someone before they may even consider buying from you. Now days it’s up to ten times or more. And don’t even think about getting any business directly from a networking event. Longevity, consistency, reminders and rapport are what will eventually drive the business back to you.”

A Follow Up Method

In order to follow up on the stack of business cards you take home from a networking event, you have to have a process in place. Riessen’s process is relatively simple:

  • He marks an ‘X’ on cards during the event to note warm or hot leads. Riessen points out, “In some cultures you should not write on their card so be careful about doing so in their presence.”
  • After he leaves, Riessen writes the date and event on the front of each card he received, so that he remembers where and when he met that person.
  • He gets the data into a format he can use. While manually adding information to a spreadsheet is an option, Riessen suggests either using a service like CloudContacts or a virtual secretary so that you can spend your time on actually making calls or sending follow up emails.

Once you’ve got your information in to a format that you can more easily handle, it’s time to actually reconnect. If you made a point of saying that you could send your new connection specific information when you met, you may already have a reason to do so — but even if you don’t, you should still reach out.

“Don’t be afraid. Pick up the phone. Set up a meeting or lunch date. Follow up and build that rapport,” says Riessen. He points out that even if your new connection doesn’t buy from you, he may introduce you to your next sale. Even something as simple as emailing out a report on an important topic affecting your industry to each person you meet can help spark the conversations that turn someone you met at a networking event into a connection who can help your business grow.

Image by Flickr user Locomotive Stillstand

Does great CRM software exist for an independent professional?

February 17th, 2010 :: Carlos Diggs

One of the greatest frustrations for many independent professionals is the lack of a really good, flexible, economical contact relationship management system.

Does such a thing exist for a solo business person?

Everyone’s needs are unique. Your knowledge and experience may make the selection and implementation easy or difficult. You may have to compromise on a few features and functionality and settle for at least 80% of your requirements. I have spoken with many colleagues and clients who are all dissatisfied with what they are using. So, a fundamental question is this: Is there a resource for doing a fair assessment of all options? Well, it depends.

All successful systems and software selection projects begin with a list of requirements or wish list (Must have vs. Would like to have). You may ask, “Where should one start? Are there knowledgeable people who can guide a person or team toward an intelligent selection of a contact management system?” The answer is YES.  They exist at www.360salesfocus.com. 360SF will hold your hand through the entire selection process or provide just-in-time coaching on an as needed basis. For individuals who want to do it themselves, below are some initial considerations.

Regardless of the nature of your practice as an independent professional or the size of a company, its sales value and volume, business development for simple or complex opportunities, I always suggest to clients to first clearly define their processes before evaluating and selecting a technology or automation tool for anything.

For example: What does a typical sales cycle look like for you? How do you process new leads/contacts? How soon do you follow up?  What method do you prefer (email, letter, greeting card, phone call, etc.)? What’s the message? Do you have a sales/biz dev process? What are the steps, decisions, possible outcomes, etc.?

Processes enable people and technology enables processes

Technology without a correctly defined process will speed up poor results. It’s the old garbage in, garbage out concept…but faster.

MY PREFERED METHOD when I was an independent consultant: Even though I’ve implemented, used, optimized, and managed several CRM projects for clients (including SalesForce.com and ACT!), for 20 plus years as a solo consultant or, as the only business development person, my preferred CRM & Sales Force Automation (SFA) has consisted mostly of Microsoft Outlook for basic contact profile descriptions & management. I first had to learn effective relationship management without technology to make this work, thanks to Stephen Covey’s 7-Habits of Effective People. Outlook has all the basics such as detail contact info, calendar, and task, space for tons of notes, attachments, and links on every item. I think this may be true for most PC & Mac office-like contact/calendar/email applications.

For forecasting and tracking sales/business development opportunities, a spreadsheet does it all on one sheet, one line per opportunity (forecast of qualified opportunities…date, company, contact, offer, value, priority, close date, win-probability percentage, next Step (notes/remarks). If you want to see a good example, contact www.360salefocus.com/contact-us for a free Microsoft Excel forecasting spreadsheet that we use often and that you may use and modify for your unique purposes.

One of my requirements is mobility. Both Outlook and the spreadsheet interface well and are mobile (works on my smart phone).  I use Card Scan to scan business cards that I receive from meetings and networking events. I import ../../css/and_synchronize_contacts_with_Outlook._It_s_also_great_for_mail_merges__letters_and_emails.css). I’ve also incorporated David Allen’s Getting Things Done method for processing all my action items.

Once you get your process defined, then you can go shopping. Effective contact relationship management is at the core of what I do and coach my clients to do. Technology can bog you down if you are not careful. Let’s face it; nothing gets done unless you do it…whether on paper or on-screen. A discipline to keep records up to date, follow-up and follow-through still requires the consistent human touch.

One other consideration might be a marketing campaign management system for managing high volumes (> 500 contacts per campaign) of outbound/inbound lead generation efforts of large and frequent marketing campaigns (direct mail, events, website leads, etc.). This is ideal for processing and managing hundreds of leads that you will try to convert to clients. You still need a process first.

Unless you are trying to track contacts for a multiple people, I would keep it simple and use your desktop office apps for contact profiles, scheduling events/meetings and tasks, date all detail notes, and use every reminder and alert possible.

If you need help implementing a program like this, consider contacting a sales consultant.

Share your experience by leaving a comment.

At http://www.360salesfocus.com we have an entire integrated sales and marketing company at your disposal. How can we help you generate more business? Let’s talk about making something happen for your company.

Carlos Diggs is Managing Partner at 360 Sales Focus, a full service sales and marketing consultancy. His LinkedIn profile can be viewed at www.linkedin.com/in/carlosdiggs. Reach Carlos at [email protected] or 410.782.0360 or follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/360salesfocus.

How to Follow Up with Prospects and Clients: Be Diligent, Not Desperate.

February 10th, 2010 :: Carlos Diggs

Sales Coaching Tip

I am often asked how much is enough or too much:

  • How soon should I follow up with a prospect?
  • How many phone call attempts?
  • How many voice mail messages?
  • How many emails?
  • How many pigeons?
  • How many telegraphs?
  • How many smoke signals?

Well, it depends on many variables, so let’s address one of the common scenarios.

Common Scenario: You just had a meeting or presentation with a prospective client. Your client requests a proposal. Assuming you’ve qualified this opportunity and client based on need, budget, time frame and solution fit (Free B2B Qualifier). Before you leave the meeting agree to a proposal delivery due date (stick to it), and agree to a decision date. Get your clients preferred method of communication (i.e. email, phone, texting). If your client agreed to tell you NO, chances are, you won’t have to call or email them too often. We all know that things happen. People get sick, holidays, vacations, etc. So, you have to trust your instinct, be diligent, but don’t always assume the worst if you are unsuccessful in reaching them after a couple attempts. Now is the time to practice DILIGENCE and PROFESSIONAL PATIENCE.

In a situation like the one outlined above, the first and most important point to keep in mind is not trying to trick the client into saying yes. Hearing “No” is more productive than spending three months chasing the opportunity only to learn that you did not win. Top sales professionals have learned how to win fast and lose fast. They spend less time forcing unproductive opportunities and more time advancing relationships, opportunities, and sales.

How to develop an open and upfront channel of communication?

One method for developing an open and upfront communication channel with a prospect or client is to let them know that it’s okay for them to tell you NO. Saying something like, “I know you have many options, so if for some reason you don’t think we are a good fit or you just don’t like our offering, are you okay with telling me NO”? With a smile and humor say, “I don’t want to be annoying, leaving you  hundreds of voice mail messages and thousands of emails, because you are trying to be polite and don’t want to hurt my feelings. I would be most grateful if you would say NO as early as possible so we are not wasting each others time.”

How to Follow Up?

Don’t call or email everyday. Once per week is enough (no more than twice if you just feel compelled). Develop a mind set that you have too many new prospects in line waiting to meet with you and too many clients to care for. You really don’t time to call more than once per week…maybe only once every other week.

If you call first and choose to leave a voice message, immediately send an email, “I’m sorry I missed you today. I just left you a voice message regarding…I would appreciate a reply by___”.

If you send an email first, call and say, “I just sent you an email regarding… I want to make sure it didn’t end up in your junk/spam folder. I would appreciate a reply by ____”.

Always smile when on the phone…especially when leaving a voice message (they will hear your smile or lack thereof). Never sound impatient, rude, arrogant, annoyed, or timid, shy, soft spoken or weak. Leave an optimistic and friendly message like you would for a close friend or your grandmother. Regarding emails carefully check your writing tone. Try to choose words and phrases that evoke images and emotions of professional gentleness and kindness, yet with a mild since of urgency to meet upfront expectations.

I have a lot of success with getting timely replies from prospects and clients by using email subject lines to send very short “text-like” messages to ask a question or make a request. I don’t use cute texting shorthand or abbreviations. I may just insert a brief question that can easily be reviewed in their email inbox. If you need to write more, continue in the body of the email. Use clear key words such as: “Do you have time to meet next week” “Request for Information:” “Proposal Attached:” “Action Required:” “Please Review:” “Call me 400.555.1234,” etc…use your imagination.

If you need help implementing a program like this, consider contacting a sales consultant.

Share your experience by leaving a comment.

At http://www.360salesfocus.com we have an entire integrated sales and marketing company at your disposal. How can we help you generate more business? Let’s talk about making something happen for your company.

Carlos Diggs is Managing Partner at 360 Sales Focus, a full service sales and marketing consultancy. His LinkedIn profile can be viewed at www.linkedin.com/in/carlosdiggs. Reach Carlos at [email protected] or 410.782.0360 or follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/360salesfocus.

#1 problem salespeople need to overcome?

February 3rd, 2010 :: Carlos Diggs

Sales Coaching Tip 

After all is said and done (listening, planning, practicing, preparing, attitude adjustments, etc)…IF YOU ARE NOT OUT SELLING, YOU ARE BEING OUT SOLD. 

TOP PERFORMING sales professionals too often get bogged down with too many unnecessary and labor intensive administrative chores imposed on them by a poorly defined sales management process. (e.g. legacy/manual forecasting systems, CRM systems that are not used correctly). Therefore, impeding their quantity & quality face time with clients and prospects. Release (free up) your top performers by giving them administrative support and streamlining/optimizing systems, processes, and reporting requirements.

 UNDER PERFORMING sales professionals too often welcome all administrative tasks and sales/reporting fire drills as an escape and sanctioned excuse for not achieving goals. Even more importantly, this group must be released (freed up) by giving them administrative support and streamlining/optimizing systems, processes, and reporting requirements. To help get them back on track, some initial performance coaching focused on easy wins (appointment setting, proposal submitted, etc) will be required to build confidence, momentum, sales endurance.

Take Action

Nothing, absolutely nothing happens without ACTION. The law of physics says…for every ACTION, there is an equal and opposite reaction (RESULTS). So, as the recording artist Sting sings in one of his songs, “If You Love Someone, Set Them Free.” You do love your sales people? Sales people need love too (smile).

If you need help implementing a program like this, consider contacting a sales consultant.

Share your experience by leaving a comment.

At http://www.360salesfocus.com  we have an entire integrated sales and marketing company at your disposal. How can we help you generate more business? Let’s talk about making something happen for your company.

Carlos Diggs is Managing Partner at 360 Sales Focus, a full service sales and marketing consultancy. His LinkedIn profile can be viewed at www.linkedin.com/in/carlosdiggs. Reach Carlos at [email protected] or 410.782.0360 or follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/360salesfocus.

Six Things You Need to Do to Build a Sales Pipeline

January 26th, 2010 :: Steven Fisher

People get thousands of sales messages and pitches per day and it only is getting more saturated. How do you get more customers with so little time to get your message in front of them and acted on? They say it takes six impressions for people to remember a sales pitch or message.

You will need to utilize different channels where your audience is located. This could be email newsletters, search engine advertising, cold calls, letters, etc. This is a mix of inbound and outbound marketing and in order to build your sales pipeline we have identified six things you need to do to get that pipeline to grow and produce results:

1.)  Perform Outbound Marketing Activities

  • Networking with existing friends, colleagues, and acquaintances.
  • Attending industry/trade meetings and walking the floor
  • Securing speaking engagements at local and regional associations or interest groups
  • Hosting breakfast meetings people in the circle of who you are looking to connect with
  • Cold and warm telephone prospecting
  • Direct mail/e-mail/fax prospecting followed up with direct telephone calls

2.) Reinforce brand with inbound marketing activities – this includes e-mail newsletters, podcasts, search engine optimization, white papers, and social media tools (blogs, Twitter, Facebook).

3.) Set Metrics – These can be a variety of things and Bnet.com sums it up well – “Measure the performance in each stage of the process, benchmark, and establish the potential for improvement. This allows you to trade off strategies, such as investing in after-care versus A&P, account management versus tele-sales. It also helps you prioritise key initiatives, and incentivise teams around the biggest value drivers. The absolute key to success is finding ways to collect good quality information without creating a paper-chase for the team That will provide them with added value in their roles. Involving the sales team in developing this is critical.”

4.) Follow up – You know, many people work so hard to get your information or they meet you and never reach out even after having identified the need for your offering. Follow up with a hand-written letter or send them an email to schedule a meeting or a quick call. Many people don’t like the interuptions of a phone call unless they asked or you have asked a gotten their permission. I know that nothing that irritates me more than getting a number on my cell that I don’t recognize and answer thinking it might be important and the sales person tries to pitch me at the wrong time.

5.) Add them to the pipeline and keep up the activities – You have to keep up the activity. I know this sounds like a law of numbers and in most cases, it is. Keep the pipeline full and keep selling because you will close some and will lose some. The most important part is that you get out there and sell.

6.) Track your response rate and successes AND learn from them – This means that you will lose some and probably lose many deals. Learn why, was it turn around time or pricing or capabilities. Try and really learn what is getting you the sale and what is not. Also understand how they found out and what marketing activities worked. All of this will help you as you cycle back to step one and do this on a regular basis.

What is Working For You?

So what is working for you to build your sales pipeline? Are you following a process like this? What activities are you engaged in? Leave a comment so we can learn from you.

For Start-up Businesses, CRM Software is Not the Answer

October 9th, 2009 :: NetsoL-Chief

Instead, it is the question.  Small businesses, new businesses, unintentional businesses are still looking for the answers.  When you are still concocting the winning sales strategy, determining the right pricing structure, exploring service channels and developing your company’s voice, you can’t plug a handful of purchased leads into a preexisting  sales pipeline and expect a reliable return.  When your business is growing  1 or 10 or maybe  100 customers at a time, you need to be able to follow each relationship where the customer leads it.  Not where the software dictates it go.

At this stage of the game you need to understand your customers including who they are, why they buy your product, how much they can afford to pay for it, when they like to use it and why they tell their friends about it.  Then you can start determining some sales and marketing strategies.  If you are selling kids clothing online, you might see your mommy customers spreading the word on Twitter. If you are selling live bait to seasonal  tourists, Twitter might not be the way to go . There are no magic growing beans for new businesses.  The fun part is figuring it out as you go.

With this in mind I have a few suggestions for building a small business CRM (customer relationship management) tool  that will grow with your business:

–          Collect as much information as you can about your customers.  At every point of contact reach out to them and be sure to save every nugget of information they are willing to give.  Have an e-mail list sign-up in your retail shop. Keep detailed records of all purchases and decisions behind them (how they found you, what they bought etc).  If they send an e-mail to your support team, add their signature data (phone number, address, company web site etc.) into your CRM as part of the  logging process.

–          Ask for their personal or business web site address.  Or glean it from any e-mail messages sent in to your sales or support teams.

–          Periodically surf the web sites of your best customers and collect any information that might be helpful market research (their business type, location, personal interests, etc.). Save it all in your CRM system so that you will start to notice trends (my 9:00 AM coffee clients are apparently all chess players, all our customers in Australia are service businesses, etc.)

–          If they include any information about social media profiles, capture that in your CRM.  Look for a link to any blogs they contribute to, their Twitter account, their LinkedIn account, etc. You may not be networking in social media, yet, but when you do it will be nice to have some friends there to reach out to. And it is a great way to learn more about the things your customers want you to know about them.

–          Periodically survey your customers or potential customers about your product or service.  Limit the demographic questions to 1 or 2 short questions (i.e., “what type of business”, “annual sales”, “number of customers”, etc.) and have the rest of the questions focus on ways that you can help them (ie feedback on your product, pain points they are experiencing, ideas for new features, etc.).

–          Keep your data clean.  Right now it might be easy to scan an excel spreadsheet and read through the business categories your survey respondents typed in themselves.  But if you make that field a multi-select form (rather than a text field) in your web form then you will be able to more easily spot trends over time as you slice and dice your data with custom reports and graphs.

–          Integrate your CRM with as many of your other applications as possible – with your mobile phone, your e-mail software, your invoicing software, your web forms, your shopping cart software, etc. You do not have time to do double, triple, quintuple entries for your growing network. And it is helpful to know that John Doe bought one of your products, but the real insight comes when you see that he has bought the same product every quarter for 3 years, always pays promptly, has recommended it to his friends on Facebook, always reads your newsletter and rarely needs customer support.

I’m Pamela O’Hara (@pmohara on Twitter) the co-founder and owner of BatchBlue Software, the maker of BatchBook small business CRM product and host of #SBBuzz, a weekly Twitter chat discussing small business technology.  We’ve designed our  CRM product to be as flexible and agile as the entrepreneurial businesses that are using it. We understand the importance of a CRM solution that helps you ask the right questions and manage the answers.