CRM in SmallBiz: Disappointing Misconceptions

Written by Dinko Bacun

Inrepparttar last few months there has been quite a lot of discussion on CRM (customer relationship management) solutions inrepparttar 125241 forums and ezines. Although it is extremely positive that people finally started to talk aboutrepparttar 125242 one concept that will makerepparttar 125243 future of a business successful or unsuccessful, there are quite a few misconceptions aboutrepparttar 125244 term. Those misconceptions make people lose time and energy finding solutions in areas they should not be even searching, instead in concentrating onrepparttar 125245 really important things. First,repparttar 125246 simplest andrepparttar 125247 least obvious: Customer Relationship Management is about RELATIONS between people (yes, business is done by people, not companies). It is NOT technology. Business did exist before computers, so relations between business people existed before computers, i.e. CRM was not invented withrepparttar 125248 invention of computers (justrepparttar 125249 name CRM was). The good practices of relating with your customer did not become obsolete withrepparttar 125250 introduction of computers, thoughrepparttar 125251 TOOLS changed. So we userepparttar 125252 same practices, but we take advantage ofrepparttar 125253 possibilities that technology gives. It certainly is a different experience forrepparttar 125254 buyer if he is met onrepparttar 125255 web site by a human voice or keyboard chat (LivePerson, FireTalk, HumanClick) which is what technology now makes possible. The technology enables us to see howrepparttar 125256 customer is navigating throughrepparttar 125257 site, and, if we want to, interrupt him and offer assistance. But I wonder whetherrepparttar 125258 customer will welcome that. If you are a salesman in a brick and mortar store, you would watchrepparttar 125259 expression ofrepparttar 125260 customer and, based on that, decide to approach him or not. Onrepparttar 125261 net you cannot see his face (it's questionable if he'll let you even if possible). In any case, CRM is NOT technology, so you will not find your CRM solution among SW vendors. Which brings us torepparttar 125262 misconception number two. Business people tend to search for a CRM solution among SW developers and vendors. "They knowrepparttar 125263 technology, which I (the business manager) don't know, so they will know my needs and how to implement it". If a business manager would object to such a suggestion he would be labeled "old" and "overdue". In today fast business lane, fortunes are made fast, and young managers tend to "buy" a CRM software solution. CRM should already be in place, functioning, BEFORE starting IT implementation (who has to forward which info to whom to be ready for who, when? Who has to respond to what in how much time?). CRM Software solution is only a TOOL for procedures already in place. Let me draw a parallel. Withrepparttar 125264 invention of cars,repparttar 125265 way we conduct business changed. We could do much more business and do it better. But never once, it occurred to us to let auto designers lead and ENFORCErepparttar 125266 way we are building relations with our customers. So why does everybody think that software designers are capable of that? They might be brilliant SW developers, but still they wouldn't know how to better customer retention in a company manufacturing furniture. So why do we try to do that? Because it is easier not to lose time over enforcement of customer retention rules in our own company, when we can pay someone to do it. Because we have repparttar 125267 money, but we don't have TIME. Well, we can't do that. We cannot avoid our involvement inrepparttar 125268 process (and our hours, of course), although I know most of you didn't want to hear this. Which brings us torepparttar 125269 misconception number three. You search for an SW solution for your CRM, buy it, and let those people do their job. As good manager, you organize weekly meetings to have your finger on things. Because you selected a SW vendor which is a respectable company,repparttar 125270 first thing those people do, is to organize internal audit. They pass out forms to people in different departments, to find out exactly what are repparttar 125271 needs of different parts of your company. Alternatively, they conduct interviews. And that is good. That is much better then them trying to force their "proven" flow of documentation upon your company. But what they are actually doing is LEARNING repparttar 125272 way your company functions. Andrepparttar 125273 teaching is done by people who work in each department, that most probably, don't haverepparttar 125274 whole picture. Sorepparttar 125275 integration ofrepparttar 125276 whole picture is done byrepparttar 125277 SW vendor. Can they learn in a fortnight or a month? I would suggest another approach. Find an "oldie" within your company, preferably one year from retirement. The one that does know how your company lives, who preferably worked a bit in sales, a bit in procurement and a bit in support or reclamation.

Guaranteed Traffic Generators!

Written by Chad Hall

How do you promote a web site for a company that has an extremely limited buying group? Sure, most ofrepparttar companies onrepparttar 125240 Internet today sell one small product or service, which is searched for by thousands, if not millions of people every day. But, if your company is like ours, you don't have a lot of people searching for your product. Or your competitor's product! Our company is inrepparttar 125241 high voltage capacitor business. There just aren't a lot of uses for our product in today's "smaller, faster, cheaper" world. What does all of this mean? It means that I have to work twice as hard as most web developers or promoters to get hits to our site. If your company is like our company, then you will want to followrepparttar 125242 experience driven methods I have listed below.

1. Links, links, links. I can't say enough about getting sites to link to yours. It is a very simple method, but it takes time and it WORKS! In my case, I have simply searched for companies that would require one of our parts. I then write to them and let them know that we would be interested in a link to their site. Nine out of ten times, they link to us without ever asking for a reciprocal link! Most search engines today take into accountrepparttar 125243 number of other sites that link to your site. They assume that if other companies are linked to you, that your site must be good. Another approach is to search for links to your competitor's page. Go torepparttar 125244 sites that come up, and ask them to link to your site as well. You will be amazed atrepparttar 125245 number of web sites that are simply devoted to linking to other pages! To search for links to a page, try using AltaVista or HotBot. As an example, type inrepparttar 125246 following: You will be amazed atrepparttar 125247 results! Of course, after you request links to pages, you will have to wait untilrepparttar 125248 search engines have indexed again before they know that you are now linked to other sites. Search Engines index on a rate from every two weeks to ever six months.

2. Meta tags. You MUST make sure that you have your Meta tags generated properly. This has been covered by Web Pro News an infinite amount of time, and it is just as important as registering your own domain name. Without Meta tags, most search engines will just pass over you. For a brief explanation on Search Engines and for a free Meta tag evaluation, visit Northern Webs at

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