The musings of our CRM Team

Welcome to My Little Voice

Welcome to our blog. Its great to have you here.

We wanted a place where we could explain the type of work we do, our goals and passions, the business journey and any successes we have along the way. We also wanted somewhere to hold all that trivia that has a connection to what we do here at OpenCRM (sometimes we admit these links are very tenuous). Please take a look and feel free to contact us if you have any comments, ideas or feedback we would love to hear from you - just click here.

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Let’s Work Together

team-ashley

Centralised collaboration and feedback is essential when you’re working on a big, team project. You know what it’s like to work on a big assignment as a group, it’s so easy to lose track of who suggested what and who is taking care of which task.

I’ve recently been working on a pretty big project with people from a variety of different teams here at OpenCRM. We’ve got our Project set up for it, so it’s easy for everyone to link all of their completed and pending Activities to see who is supposed to be doing what.

So that’s one part of group organisation.

The second part,

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What Monty Python can teach us about Email Marketing

Last Sunday, I was amongst the thousands of avid fans watching the global finale of the Monty Python’s O2 Arena show, and boy was it a show. We watched it at our local cinema which was a great experience as it was quite nice literally ‘laughing out loud’ with people we knew from the area.

The other week I wrote a post in homage to the Python’s sketch ‘Dead Parrot’, this week I would like to continue in the same ‘quite silly’ vein, choosing the SPAM sketch. In this sketch an old-ish couple walk into a café looking (as you do) for something to eat. The lady* behind the

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Work's a Beach!

beach-claire

Do you often find yourself bringing work on holiday with you? Do you find yourself at diner with your family, checking your emails while sipping a mojito?

Well, you might be super duper busy, or you might just be disorganised! I don’t judge. I am a bit of both, but since starting work at OpenCRM, I realise I am relying less on memory and more on the amazing tool I have at hand.

With our wonderful SalesForce alternative, we have an easier way to let you delegate with our “Notify” and “Assign to” features. You can rest assured that the work will get picked up, and, you can

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Support Growth, Don’t Hinder It

kidspicture-ash

Growing a business isn't easy, why make the transition any harder with a CRM system that won't grow with you? I was babysitting my nephew for most of the day Saturday. He’s 11 and will freely acknowledge that he’s in that “awkward age” where he’s not really a kid anymore, but also not quite a teenager. Saying that, you do get glimpses of both from time to time…with the teenager side rearing its head more and more often.

I remember being that age and finding it very frustrating. On one hand, I wanted to still be a kid and would try to play the same games with my friends as we

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Your End Of Year CRM Report

Well it’s the end of another school year, and as with every year, students will either be loving or dreading it – the end of term report!

Last week I talked about some basic measures of security that can be adopted to keep the data in your CRM solution as safe as possible. Strong passwords, roles, permissions, IP address and export restrictions can be set up to ensure access to your CRM is kept as secure as possible, and that your data will not go walkabout when you least expect it.

This week I want to focus on one of the cornerstones of effective and safety-conscious management of

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Safe Data is Happy Data

safe-data

I had a very interesting conversation with a friend of mine who works as a teacher in the local secondary school, she was saying how increasingly they are having conversations with their pupils about internet sharing and consequences of such. These conversations were a step towards raising awareness to their pupils about how powerful the internet is and that each individual needs to recognise that what they post today, will still be there in the future when they are applying for jobs, mortgages and well, generally trying to grow up in the social world around them.

We were discussing how

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Fans, Loyalty, and Listening

original-superheroes

Both my partner and I are pretty big comic book/graphic novel fans. We each have our own pet authors and superheroes (or superhero teams) that we love, buying up every new release as soon as is humanly possible. We read each other’s favourites, of course, but the conversation of “who would win in a fight…” never ends in full agreement, with both of us believing that our chosen favourite has the winning edge.

This kind of loyalty is pretty common, I think. Everyone has their favourite** T.V. show, author, actor, book series, character, etc. People buy products and subscribe to

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Is Your Data Vulnerable?

Whether mundane or extraordinary, behind everything we experience in life, there are structures in place to ensure things run smoothly. Your pride and joy may be your new car, with incredible acceleration and all-round performance, looking good, with a top of the range sound system. But you still need to check the oil and tyre pressure. Your gorgeous brand new kitchen still needs to be kept clean, and sharp and dangerous implements need to be stored somewhere safe.

With your cloud CRM solution you can benefit from all the usual advantages of cloud-based software – access from anywhere

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Because I want to!

equations

Sometimes you know instantly if something is the right decision. Something in your gut tells you that you can trust that person, or the maths just adds up or you just love whatever it is you are looking at.

However, just because your gut wants you to act in a certain way about something, does not necessarily mean it is a good idea. Perhaps that person is less trustworthy than you thought. Maybe you missed a line in your equation or possibly below the surface things weren’t as lovable as they seemed.

My colleague sent me a link to quite a funny slideshow by SEO.com, where they mock

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Clearing My Calendar

cloud-hosted-crm-holiday-calendar-OLD

My family was visiting this past week. I had a great time showing them around Yorkshire and just having a good, old-fashioned catch up. It was a wonderful trip, but I spent all day yesterday attempting to catch up on my emails and various tasks that arose during my absence.

None of these emails or tasks were particularly onerous, but it still took time to work through them all.

Most of the tasks were automatically created by the system using one of our various Action Plans. These action plans largely involve my account management responsibilities and function to remind me of key

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I Would Walk 500 Miles… Would You?

Would you be able to walk 500 miles? In a week? 

The answer of course will be no!

But how about extending the challenge to include members of your team at work? Would your team be able to walk, run, cycle, swim, ride, or skate 500 miles to work in the space of a week? Now that's starting to look a bit more achievable!

We at OpenCRM decided to see if we could turn 500 miles of commute into 500 miles of action. Just to see if it can be done, raise money for a good cause, encourage team spirit and participation, and have lots of fun doing so!

Will You Take Up the 500 Mile Challenge?

For

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3 Simple Rules to Customer Service Monty Python has Taught Us!

deadparrot

As you may know, the supergroup of comedians which go by the name of Monty Python have just started a new reunion tour Monty Python Live (almost). Selling out in impeccable time, it is clear that these comedy heroes are still as popular as ever and that their comedic efforts have well and truly survived the test of time. In respect to these brilliant men, I’d like to base today’s blog post around one of their very much loved sketch Dead Parrot.

1. The customer is always right!

‘Mr. Praline (Cleese): Look, matey, I know a dead parrot when I see one, and I'm looking at one right

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Emilie's Wild Ride

bike-warhol

My best friend Emilie is in town this week, and today is her birthday! She came to visit, but apart from seeing me she has the most amazing plans for the summer. She has been training for the better part of a year to cycle by herself all around Scotland! How cool is that!?

Obviously, there is so much planning involved in a big trip like that. This is, on top of it being a lot of work, made even more complicated by the fact that there is a 7h time difference, as she lives in Canada. Trying to get herself organised, I suggest she use OpenCRM to be able to get all her activities and

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What an Eye-Opener

eyetest

The other week I started noticing that I was having headaches more and more often. My eyes would feel really tired at the end of the day and I was inching closer and closer to my computer monitor.

The time had come.

I made my appointment and, my suspicions had been correct, I needed new glasses. This happens every time my vision starts to deteriorate, I put off going to the Opticians, not because I don’t enjoy buying new glasses, but because I feel oddly sentimental about my old ones.

The spectacles that I was about to discard had been through a lot and stuck with me through

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Think Big, Act Small

We live in an instantaneous world. Look in a coffee shop, on a train or bus or most public spaces; everyone is staring into their phones, consuming bite-size content. Vine videos, tweets, viral memes - no-one is sitting there reading War & Peace!

And so your response times and reactions to customer communications need to be to the point. When a customer rings your support, it should be easy to identify who they are and what they are calling about. Maybe it's time to explore how a CRM solution can help your support management? Furthermore any advice given should be as succinct as possible

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5 Things your CRM System Won’t Do For You

dog-walk 

1. Go to your interview for you

2. Find you inspiration

3. Walk your dog

4. Build relationships

5. Your job

 

This may seem like a very strange and negative snippet to begin a blog post with, but, it’s not really, I promise!

My meaning behind this list, is to emphasise that it doesn’t matter how good your CRM system if it is not being used correctly.

1. Go to your interview for you:

Whilst you will physically have to attend the interview and hopefully make a good impression, a good CRM system should help you to be more prepared. It should provide you with tools to remind

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Why we need to make it H2H, not B2B or B2C

h2h-claire

You may have heard different advice and suggestions for selling and marketing to B2B customers and B2C customers.

Frankly, I am tired of having to make the distinction. Why is it that I need to differentiate the service I give depending on whether it is for a fellow company or an individual? My strategy is the same: analyse the needs, find the best product, and give the best service. I will not treat the person(s) I am actually talking to any different.

Tom mentioned this in his blog on Monday, it is important for us to reconnect with our peers. Living through devices day in day out, may

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Formulas and Fixtures

mathsfootball
An accountant friend of mine is running a little competition between friends. He put together a World Cup prediction spreadsheet and we all filled it out with our predictions for the group stages right through to the final. It was a piece of Excel genius.

I don’t know if he created it or copied it, but it is a thing of beauty and I don’t even like spreadsheets. This thing auto-populates the group tables, with the number of points gained and goals scored. It then populated the quarter finals and, when I’d added my prediction scores there, it just kept going.

We get awarded points for

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Putting The Relationship Back Into CRM

I went on a long walk over the weekend. 40 miles across the North Yorkshire Moors. Well, I did say it was a long walk! Weather conditions were perfect, and it was a great day out. One aspect of such a walk in a remote location, is wifi cover, of lack thereof.

Basically - aside from being preoccupied with putting one foot in front of another, navigating the route, trying not to fall in ravines, and preventing grouse and sheep from getting squashed in the road - there was no means of looking up email, messages or social media to add any further distractions.

I did record details of the

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