Archive for the ‘CRM’ Category

Promoting Small Business Growth with Document Management

Monday, October 10th, 2011

As a small business owner, you recognize the importance of proper document management and record security.  Everything from standard forms to employee records needs to be organized to facilitate efficient company procedures and be managed to ensure high standards of privacy and protection.  As a result, almost every small business in today’s market relies on digital technologies to organize and manage their records.  While some businesses utilize software packages to help manage their documents, many small businesses turn to professional software developers to customize these packages and create unique document management systems tailored to their company.

The Importance of Document Management

Over the decades, technology has evolved to meet the ever-changing needs of businesses and consumers.  Files that were once organized in cabinets and manila folders are now organized in digital folders and files on our computers.  With the evolution of file sharing and the digital marketplace, companies have adopted professional software to help manage their document load.  Unlike the old system of paper filing, digital document management provides executives, employees, and even clients with the ability to easily access forms and information and even collaborate on documents within the system.

Consider the following benefits of professional document management

  • Improved file organization
  • Improved ability for file sharing
  • Ability to create virtual teams to collaborate on projects and reports within the document management system
  • Improved organization, which reduces human error and improves information exchange
  • Improved management and efficiency
  • Improved accessibility and downloading of public forms
  • Reduced employee and client stress as the result of proper document management

Available Software and Customization

There is a variety of document management software available to small businesses and it is important to choose the best one that fits the needs of your company.  While very small companies might benefit from some of the free programs available from Google or Microsoft, most small businesses derive maximum benefits from dedicated software programs such as SharePoint.  As a large software system, SharePoint contains many tools designed to facilitate document sharing and improve communication, which can drastically improve productivity and growth potential in small businesses.  In order to maximize this software, however, consider hiring professionals to customize these tools and integrate the software into your existing system.

No two businesses are the same, and software professionals, like those at 3wC can customize the software programs to meet the culture and processes of your small business.  They can also take document-sharing software such as SharePoint and integrate it into your existing system.

Consider the following:

  • Customization creates document-sharing systems that are tailored to your businesses needs, culture, and goals.
  • Integration of software allows teams to pull information from any system to incorporate into reports.
  • Both customization and integration streamlines data gathering, communication, and research.

Professional document management software is an essential part of small business management and provides an organization with communication tools that grow with your business.  In order to determine which system best suits the needs of your small business, consider consulting a professional who can customize a document management system that is best for your business.

The Importance of Custom Software to Every Small Business

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Every business searches for opportunities to increase exposure in the marketplace and increase profit potential without exhausting resources.  As a small business owner, you understand the importance of investing in quality software that will not only benefit you now, but also give you a platform on which to build your business.  Not all software systems are alike, however, and if the wrong programs are installed, even the most basic tools can create management nightmares.

Professionally customized software, however, allows small businesses to maximize immediate productivity while simultaneously promoting long term growth.

Custom Software VS Out-of-the-Box

Why custom software?  Pre-packaged software is not designed to meet the unique needs of every small business.  Many of these products provide you with enough tools and technology to create a foundation on which your business can begin to develop, but few are tailored to meet the niche needs of your specific company.  By customizing software tools, professionals, like those at 3wC, can build a software platform that is specifically designed to meet the needs of your business and your team.  Customization involves not only choosing which tools would best benefit your company, but also creating a system that is designed around the way you work and integrating it into your existing software.

Saving Time and Money

Not only do you get business software that is designed for your business, you also get fully integrated programs created to save you time and money.  By customizing and integrating software, all your programs work together to provide you with the most efficient tools with which to run your business.  When systems work together, numbers and data need only be entered once and are accessible from any program.  This means that reports, documents, communication, and data-sharing are streamlined, thereby reducing time and maximizing resources.

Benefits at a glance

  • Streamlined data sharing
  • Software integration
  • Improved communication
  • Customization and Integration of popular software – SharePoint and Salesforce.com
  • Improved time and resource management – maximizing time and resources, thereby improving efficiency.

…and improved efficiency equals an increase in profit potential.

Consider choosing a company that will guide you through the customization and integration process from start to finish.  Companies such as 3wC ensure that the software tools meet the practical and cultural requirements of your company, and they guide you through the process of incorporating this new software into your business.  Once in place, these professionals train your staff to use the new tools so that you and your clients can derive maximum benefits.

In short, investing in customized software benefits you now so you can focus even more resources on a greater future for you and your small business.

The Importance of CRM for Small Business Growth Potential

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Salesforce was designed to help small and large businesses manage customer relations by maximizing efficiency and profitability.  By combining multiple software tools, Salesforce gives small business owners the ability to streamline communication, organize tasks and data, improve information collection and distribution, and save time and money by giving companies a platform on which to build better communication within their company as well as with clients.

How CRM Works

As one of the top Customer relationship Management (CRM) systems on the market, Salesforce was designed to be customized to suit the unique needs of each individual business.  Although Salesforce has multiple communication and data processing tools, not every business needs every tool.  Web development companies like 3wC can help small business owners determine which tools they need to improve immediate services and which ones can be added and developed later as their business grows.  CRM tools are designed to move with your business and provide you with all the tools you need as your company moves into the future.

The Ease and Importance of CRM for Small Businesses

So how can you, a small business owner, maximize the productive potential of this versatile software?

  • Salesforce and Quickbooks – Salesforce recently integrated software with the popular Quickbooks accounting program as a way to help small businesses better manage time and data. This means that businesses using Quickbooks as their primary accounting system now have access to CRM software that is fully integrated with their financial tools.  Through this integration, data is entered in only one system but is accessible through both programs.  By combining two of the most popular software tools in small business, this integration allows companies to not only streamline process and save time, but also to analyze and compare data on a larger scale.  This also means that sales data can be overlapped with financial tools to give real-time feedback to business owners and associates.
  • A Tailored Approach to CRM – Every small business is unique, and as a result no CRM software will meet all your needs straight out of the box.  Instead, your business needs a CRM system specifically tailored to the unique rhythms and goals of your business.  Thankfully, Salesforce was designed so that businesses could customize the software to maximize its potential.   There are countless ways to mix and match the tools available with this CRM software, and tools can be added and changed as your business grows.
  • More Than Software – Customer Resource Management is more than just software:  CRM is a business model.  In order for small businesses to derive maximum value from CRM software like Salesforce, they need to view CRM as an idea rather than just a tool.  CRM software works best when business owners adopt the concept of integrating departments and procedures to better serve clients and maximize time and resources.
  • When to implement CRM? – Anytime, it’s never too late.

Remember, a customer-centered approach is an endless learning process adapted by all companies looking to grow and adapt with an ever-changing marketplace.  CRM tools, especially customized ones like Salesforce, can grow and adapt with your business and the market to give you even greater opportunities far into the future.

Salesforce.com for Customer Service

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Imagine a successful company for a second – what are some of its characteristics? Innovation, organization, and automation are definitely at the top of the list. These are some of the things that make a company sustainable in the long run.

Another important aspect of a successful enterprise is the quality of their customer service, both offline and online. In today’s digital age, there are many tools that help companies stay in touch with their customers via the Internet. And the best part is that it increases their sales. Customer relations can really be broken down into three areas:

-        New client acquisitions: sales process

-        Improving current clients’ experience: building a strong base of loyal customers

-        Repeat-business: long-term retention strategies

Before we had the Internet, there were tons of books written on each of these three categories. The tactics improved with time, and new ideas were discovered, but the whole “customer service” process has not undergone a massive change until the era of the Internet.

With that, many companies are still clinging to the old ways of doing business and are simply “testing out the waters” with their online marketing. Others, on the other hand, are jumping in with both feet – and reaping the wonderful benefits of modern-day technology.

A very useful piece of software that has become an integral part of many company’s successful customer service process is called Salesforce Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software. It’s a web-based program that is integrated into your company’s website and eventually automates many of your operational tasks, which saves you a lot of time and money.

Here is a quick list of some of its most essential components:

  • Sales process: this phase includes contact management, tracking of the sales process for new clients, and automatic price generation
  • Marketing: automatically qualifying and generating leads and measuring your success with various marketing campaigns (on and off-line)
  • Job scheduling: tracking of pertinent documents, scheduling and email correspondence between various departments; very useful for smooth collaboration between workers in remote locations
  • Social Media integration: brings companies into their clients’ social world by carefully reaching out through various social media campaigns

Salesforce CRM works not only within the framework of a web browser, but also on various smart phone devices. Instead of trying to come up with different software applications and trying to figure out how to make them work together (and they usually don’t), Salesforce CRM takes care of all your sales, customer service and marketing needs in one program. Wouldn’t it be great to have these processes automated? Learn more about it HERE.  

What is Cloud Computing?

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

There is so much talk nowadays about Cloud computing I thought it might be helpful to discuss the topic in a way that I think everyone can understand. So here is a three-part article on Cloud computing broken up in three topics: (1) What is Cloud computing, (2) What are the benefits of Cloud computing and (3) What is the future of Cloud computing?

According to Wikipedia, cloud computing is internet computing whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices on demand similar to an electricity grid.

Cloud computing is a paradigm shift following the shift from mainframe to client-server in the early 1980s. Details are abstracted from the users, who no longer have need for expertise in, or control over, the technology infrastructure “in the cloud” that supports them. Cloud computing describes a new supplement, consumption, and delivery model for IT services based on the Internet, and it typically involves over-the-Internet-provision of dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources. It is a byproduct and consequence of the ease-of-access to remote computing sites provided by the Internet.

The term “cloud” is used as a metaphor for the internet, based on the cloud drawing used in the past to represent the telephone network, and later to depict the Internet in computer network diagram as an abstraction of the underlying infrastructure it represents. Typical cloud computing providers deliver common business applications online that are accessed from another Web service or software such as a Web browser, while the software and data are stored on servers.

Most cloud computing infrastructure consists of services delivered through common centers and built on servers. Clouds often appear as single points of access for all consumers’ computing needs. Commercial offerings are generally expected to meet quality of service (QoS) requirements of customers and typically include SLAs. The major cloud-only service providers include Salesforce.com, Amazon and Google.

According to wikiinvest.com, a simple example of cloud computing is Yahoo email or Gmail. You don’t need software or a server to use them. All a consumer needs is an internet connection and you can start sending emails. The server and email management software is all on the cloud (internet) and is totally managed by the cloud service provider Yahoo, Google, etc. The consumer uses the software alone and enjoys the benefits.