Monday, 26 August 2013

The Cost of Disorganization

Most organizations focus their efforts on either generating revenues, or cutting expenses.  What frequently gets lost in the mix is the cost of disorganization.  Check out our recent infograph, that highlights the most popular offenders, and the estimated costs to an average small business.  Do you see any of the offenders in your business?  While most think of a CRM as a tool to improve sales, CRMs can also improve internal productivity, tracking, collaboration, and customer communication.


For better clarity, click on the infograph, place your cursor on the image, then click the magnifying glass




Monday, 19 August 2013

CRM Comparison: The Right Solution at the Right Price

If you aren’t already clear about the importance of customer relationships, consider the following statistics:

●    More than 85% of customers would pay more for a better customer experience.
●    Almost 90% of customers who leave to seek out a competitor do so after a poor customer experience.
●    Half of customers give a brand only one week to respond to a question before they choose to leave that brand.


A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system used to be regarded as an enterprise-level solution reserved for companies with an IT department, money to spend and enough human resources to implement a complex system. These days, small businesses are turning the CRM market on its head. With technology changes bringing more seamless integration, helpful automation, and better low-cost options, small business owners are rapidly embracing CRMs for their affordability and usefulness in retaining (and expanding) their customer base. In fact, 84% of high-performing small and medium sized businesses cite being proactive with customers as their top reason for using a CRM.

That said, finding the right CRM solution can be tricky. With a host of features and pricing structures out there, how can a small business determine which CRM is best for them? Here are some tips for making the best CRM match for your small business.

Conduct an Audit
The truth is, no single “best” CRM exists. However, with research, you can find the CRM that’s best for you.  A CRM may be ranked well for its mobile application, but if everyone in your company works in-house, that CRM may not be a great fit. The best way to determine your CRM needs is to conduct an audit of your current workflow and approach to customer relationships. Interview your employees about their biggest challenges and top priorities. This will not only help you better identify company needs, but also build a foundation for later buy-in—a critical component of implementation.

Prioritize Top Features

After you have conducted your audit, make a priority list of mission-critical features your company needs to effectively handle customer relationships, workflow, and metrics. Some of the priority features you may wish to consider include:
●    Search capability and speed
●    Workflow automation
●    Email and calendar integration
●    Pipeline/opportunity management
●    Project management
●    Notification and follow systems
●    Social media integration
●    Task management and alerts

Do Your Research
Once you have your priority features or needs identified, do your research. You may run across important features you never considered but really want. Don't be afraid to stop and evaluate how these features play into your priority list. It's well worth taking the time to reconsider if it means setting up a system with full employee buy-in and a positive impact on your bottom line.

Explore Your Top Choices
Plenty of resources for comparing CRMs are just a keyword search away. One of the best resources for comparing CRMs, GetApp.com, offers a robust set of one-to-one comparisons of applications by category. The comparisons are very thorough and include customer rankings. Insightly has ranked very well amidst a handful of top-rated tools for small businesses—specifically, free CRM software. In fact, PCMag.com, another great resource, gave Insightly a rating of “Excellent” and designated it their Editor’s Choice. Take the time to compare the pros and cons of each tool carefully; the best solution for you may or may not be the one with the highest ranking. It all depends on your specific needs.  Also, your top choice may not offer all the features you want -- maybe the CRM that you want only offers 8 out of the 10 features you require.  In this case, contact the vendor to check if those features maybe added in the near future.  Leading CRM vendors are continually updating and improving applications.  In addition, take advantage of any free trials or free accounts so that you can 'play' with the product before you roll it out in your company. 

Involve Your Employees
Once you have identified your top contenders, you may want to involve a team of employees in making the final choice. Bringing them into the selection process  will increase their buy-in and the likelihood of effective implementation, so be sure to pay attention to their feedback, questions and concerns.  Once you have narrowed your choices of CRMs, think about an internal 'bake off' with your employees.  This can bring different perspectives to your decision and the employees involved in the testing can help get other employees on board with the new CRM.

Making an investment in improved customer relationships is essential to the health and growth of your business. With thorough research and comprehensive employee engagement throughout the CRM selection process, you’ll be well-equipped to find the right solution—at the right price—for you.

Friday, 16 August 2013

New Insightly Updates: API Access Available to Free Accounts and Web to Contact

Application Programming Interface
Our REST API is now available to free accounts. Our API is pretty conventional and you can pick it up pretty quickly if you have experience with REST APIs. We provide you with technical details and other resources to make your job easier. The API allows you automate data retrieval and modification in Insightly. We support JSON and XML based requests, and most of the data stored in Insightly can be accessed and updated via the API.  You can learn more here.
 
Web to Contact
This has been a popular request for some time so we are excited to deliver it to our users!  The Web to Contact feature allows you to easily create an HTML form for your website which will collect information from your prospects. It’s ingenious and simple -- select the fields you wish to capture in Insightly and we create the HTML code for your website on the fly. Once you paste the HTML code on your website a form is created.  When a visitor submits their information, Insightly will create a contact with the data they have entered and tag it with the ‘Web Contact’ tag.  If you choose to, Insightly can also send email notifications and limit the visibility of the new contacts to selected users.  You can access Web to Contact from the Systems Settings menu (gear icon in the top right hand corner).

Choose the fields you want to capture and Insightly generates the HTML code


Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Mobile Client Relationship Management

The digital marketplace never sleeps, and neither should your customer relationship management (CRM) solution. While some CRMs don’t offer the greatest mobile functionality, others place a premium on it. Decide on the features and level of access that work best for you to find the right small business CRM solution for your mobile and real-time needs.

Access to Your CRM
No one ever truly leaves work behind anymore. We’re always connected. When it comes to tracking the most important relationships to your business, the value of instant access cannot be overstated. With customer interactions occurring all the time, you must be able to access your valuable CRM on an iPad, tablet or smartphone at any time. Reliable, fast mobile access is even more important for solutions that combine project management with CRM.

Mobile CRM access is a powerful benefit for sales teams. Imagine: a customer comes into your business or gives a call, and your associate can ask their name, pull out a smartphone, and have all that customer’s information in front of them with a few taps. In an instant, your rep can offer advice, upsells, cross-sells, and even add tasks to projects that involve the client based on this specific set of personalized information.

Mobile Productivity
CRM plus project management in the palm of your hand means you can stay on top of call logging, update contact details on the fly, and track project progression no matter where you are. The ability to sync data with other apps and software helps further flesh out your multi-channel view of your clients. It also keeps everyone in the company in the proverbial loop. Ideally, when accessing customer data, you’ll want more than just a purchase history. Call history, emails, appointments, and notes from any of these communications are all helpful pieces of the customer’s history. Well-crafted CRM apps and mobile sites ensure all members of your team can take advantage of this information immediately.

Small Businesses
For entrepreneurs and small businesses, Insightly’s free plan can get you started on managing all your customer data without a big price tag or contractual obligation. You can maintain an email list of farmer’s market customers, letting them know when you’ll be in the area and what in-season items they’ll find at your booth. Artists and craft businesses can similarly track sales and customer interactions with a few swipes whenever they’re needed.  Non-profits can track donors and fund raising events.  Real estate agents can continue to provide a personal touch when they are on the road.  The possibilities are endless.

Mobile payment apps are gaining popularity with small businesses and customers alike. The ability to process credit and debit card payments, no matter where you are, opens up many more sales possibilities. Using a CRM app, you can incorporate information from your mobile payment app at the time of payment, instead of waiting until later. Not only is this faster than waiting until you’re back in the office or at home, but you can add helpful notes in your CRM while they’re still fresh. Adding even a quick note about the conversation with a client (such as “Customer mentioned their blog at whateverblog-dot-net.”) at the point of sale may be beneficial information to include in the client’s profile and share with your team.

Instant access to the most important information about your clients is clearly a benefit to your sales staff, and your company as a whole. Building real relationships with your clients means tracking not only their contact information and sales, but their needs and interests, and then seeking to meet them as effectively as possible. Mobile CRM is not just convenient; it’s necessary to create the most beneficial, fully-formed picture of your customers’ behavior in order to provide them with the products and services that best fit their needs.

Monday, 5 August 2013

HealthInsurancePlus.com Interviewed in August Issue of Healthcare Global

Healthcare Global speaks to Morgan Hege at HealthInsurancePlus.com about the benefits the company has gained since adopting cloud technology.  The article focuses on the benefits and competitive advantage that cloud technology can bring to the healthcare industry which is notoriously slow to innovate. The advantage of adopting technology at this time is key as two simultaneous events occur in the industry. First, options for healthcare consumers are evolving, and that creates both opportunity and challenge in the marketplace. Second, cloud-based technologies – once anathema for companies in highly regulated markets – now offer both the functionality and the security reassurances the industry needs.


HealthInsurancePlus.com gives advice to individuals, families and small businesses to help them select affordable health insurance plans in California.  In the article, Morgan Hege reveals how they started with an enterprise solution that was intended to improve productivity.  However in practice, it didn't work as it was cumbersome and not suited to their business which relies on collaboration between field agents and inside agents and customer service representatives that staff the office.   This was the impetus for HealthInsurancePlus.com to switch to a cloud-based CRM. 

Check out the HealthInsurancePlus.com case study to learn more about their experience with Insightly.

Are you seeing an adoption of cloud technology in your industry, or is your industry slow to innovate?