Monday, 28 January 2013

Insightly University Now Online!

Happy Monday!

We've just put the finishing touches on "Insightly University" -- our series of tutorial videos designed to get you productive with Insightly ASAP.  For a complete overview, we recommend you start with the general introduction video (about 10 mins).  Our 2-3 minute videos review how to upload files, create and manage tasks, contacts projects and opportunities, and much more!

Give them a look and let us know what you think!

Friday, 18 January 2013

Small Business Predicted to Grow at a Rapid Pace

It’s a new year for small business, and that means new goals and challenges.  MainSail Partners conducted a survey of 500 execs at small 'bootstrapped' companies and results may indicate that hiring for small businesses may be a challenge:

        42% Predict the economy will perform better this year than last
        65% predict their business will grow faster
        54% expect to hire more employees
        45% say their biggest challenge will be finding 'good people to hire'

With the unemployment rate at a national 7.8%,  you might think that hiring will be a breeze -- but according to the survey, 45% of the survey respondents feel that finding the right people may be somewhat of a hardship this year.  Aside from this, many SMBs don’t have an HR department so no one is solely responsible for hiring.  This may make it harder to methodically find people with the appropriate skill sets and managerial talent to help the business grow.  So here are some ideas to consider when you decide it's time to start hiring: 

1. Start with a comprehensive job description. 
Spend some time on the job description.  A job description shouldn't just be a paragraph explaining the open position. It’s a way for you to communicate the skills, personality and talent that you are looking for.  The right person should be able to see this description and think “That sounds like me.”  If you seem to be interviewing people that don't quite match what you're looking for, then review the job description and update it accordingly. 

2. Judge the resumes you get
Forget judging books by their cover -- here’s your chance to take a resume at face value.  The more effort someone puts into their resume, the more it will show.  This is probably obvious -- you want to choose people who have polished resumes because it shows the kind of particular care that you want in your employees.  Also, pay attention to the way the resume is written or the tone of the resume.  This can give you clues into the personality of the applicant and offer an indication if the person is a good cultural fit... which brings us to point #3...

3.  Make Sure Personalities Mesh
Before you look at an interviewee and say “You’re hired!” spend some time with the person and let the rest of your staff also interview the applicant. The right person will mix well and it will show.  Ask your current employees for referrals.  If you don't offer any compensation for employee referrals, think about putting a program like this in place. 

4.  Check all References
Your applicants will probably give you 2-3 references that will say great things about them.  Certainly speak to those references and also check online.  Does your applicant have a Facebook page or Twitter account?  Look at those pages.  Does your applicant belong to any online communities?  For example, if you are hiring for an IT position check out some online IT communities (i.e. SpiceWorks or Talkin' Cloud) and see if, or what your applicant has posted.

5. Don’t forget to leverage your CRM to support your hiring goals
And last but certainly not least, use your CRM as a centralized location to help you make the hiring process as efficient and painless as possible.   Check to see if any of your existing contacts in your CRM might be an eligible candidate or could offer a reference for your open position.  You can use your CRM's organizational and tracking capabilities to store resumes, tag and follow specific resumes, and capture interview notes and email exchanges from prospective employees.  You could even create a specific set of hiring activities so that you don't miss a step in the process.  The more organized you are, the less of a headache the hiring process will be.
Add hiring activities to your  CRM to create a smooth recruitment process

Monday, 14 January 2013

User Tip: Facilitate Collaboration with Docs Stored in Google Drive

Here's a user tip from Chris:

You can create/schedule a task for someone and then link the task to a document in Google drive.  When the delegate receives the task they just click on the link (under 'details' on the task pane).  You can easily check on the status of the task by either looking at the status or % indicator in Insightly, or by clicking on the link in the online document and seeing the progress.  Creating this link to a online document easily facilitates group collaboration. No one is hunting around trying to find where the file is stored -- and the document is not held hostage on someone's personal machine -- it's all right there and available with one-click from Insightly.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Calling All User Tips!

It's always great to hear from our customers about the creative ways our application is used -- and we appreciate that you share these tips with our support folks.  So in that spirit of sharing, we are starting an 'Insightly User Tips' Campaign.  To contribute, all you need to do is submit your tip and your contact information to our support team (  We'll post the tip online so all users can collectively benefit.  Each month we will randomly pick a user tip and send the winner an Insightly gift (which is why we need your contact info).  So -- drum roll please! -- here is our inaugural tip from Antoine:

Do you want to allow someone (e.g., your assistant) to schedule appointments on your calendar?  Every week, you can create public events for your empty time slots and your assistant can edit the events to schedule appointments.  So it's a win win -- the assistant knows when to reserve appointments on your calendar, and you can see when your calendar events are scheduled.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Start off 2013 with Tips & Best Practices

Start 2013 with your best foot forward.  Here are some recent articles on best practices when using a CRM and tips on creating a successful customer pipeline.  Do you have any tips or best practices that you want to share?

CRM Best Practices for Small Businesses

3 Steps to Creating a Successful Customer Pipeline    

What Won't Tell You