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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3 Tips to staying on top of your work

Claire-Paperwork

It's the end of the week before a long weekend. You look around and see you still have piles of work to do, but only 8 scheduled hours in which to do them. Plus, you are busy! You have meetings and calls, not all this work will be done. If you ever feel like this, here are 3 of my favourite tips and tricks on how to keep on top of your work and all whilst keeping a level head.

$1   1-      Know when you are out of your depth and ask for help

Knowing when you are out of your depth. Easy to say harder to do right? I know for a fact that I tend to take on a lot, because I feel I can, and

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In Case of Roman Holiday

While you are reading this, I am wandering around the Eternal City. That’s right, I am, right at this moment, on holiday in Rome (the wonders of technology). I thought, however, that this would be a great opportunity to write a blog about using OpenCRM to manage your personnel records.

When we were planning this holiday, the first thing I did was check that no one else in my team was scheduled to be on holiday at the same time. To do this, I just went to my Calendar, selected to view the activities of my own team and the type of activity “Holiday.”

Lucky me! No one else had yet

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Ensuring The Customer Journey Is A Smooth Ride

I am sure most of us are creatures of habit. Whether it means going to a branch of Ikea, shopping on Amazon or going to a supermarket, we will generally know the layout of the place and how the customer experience works, regardless of branch or even which country we are visiting. Generally we expect a consistent consumer experience.

Of course, we also have a spirit of adventure and there is something fascinating about visiting something new – for example a craft food store or a unique museum. But even in those places we expect consistency. If the food is good one day and less good the

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Warping Past Your Competition with OpenCRM – Part Two

Bike-warp

A few weeks ago I bought a new bike. I was so excited about how speedy it was compared to my old bike, which was approximately 15 years old. With gears that worked and a lighter frame, I shaved 15 minutes off my old time when commuting to work.

But, only one day into cycling to work I got a puncture… urgh! Cutting a potentially very long story short, I have now, a week later, purchased some super slime inner tubes, which should in theory prevent punctures in the future. This morning I cycled into work again, hurrah!

Now, one thing I noticed about not being able to cycle around the

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New to the CRM game?

Map-claire2

 

When I was a child, I moved around quite a bit. I started life in a sunny village in the south of France, to then move across the world to a smaller lesser known London, in Canada.

Moving around taught me a few great lessons:

 $1 1.       “Adapt or Evolve”

 It sounds severe, but it really has saved my life. I have been able to be thrown into situations and was able to tread water and keep myself from drowning.

$1  2.       “Keep your mind open to the unknown”

 Not knowing is scary for most people. I thrive on knowledge, and want to know more and more, always more.

Both

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HelpDesk: For Speedy Support

Speedy Support

I have written a few times about how important the Calendar and Activities modules are in our day-to-day life, while Tom has recently written about the importance of Projects in his own work and Abi’s given you the nitty-gritty on recurring Sales Orders. All of the modules in OpenCRM have their champions in our office, with Opportunities being the home of our sales team and our Accounts department living in Invoices. The module I’d like to highlight in this blog, however, is the domain of our support team: HelpDesk.

You may have contacted our support team in the past, either by

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You'll Never Get Lost Again!

Incredible as it may seem, the humble postcode is only 40 years old today. This short combination of letters and numbers has become a totally integral part of our lives that is used for so many things. Obviously we use it to receive post. Increasingly in physical stores at the checkout we are asked for our postcode and house number, in order to help the organisation compile their customer statistics. It affects us in other ways for example calculating insurance premiums. And many of us use postcodes on a daily basis when entering destinations into our satnavs. Somehow it’s hard to imagine

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Warping Past Your Competition with OpenCRM – Part One

When each day seems filled to the brim with clients, opportunities and meetings, how do you ensure you stay ahead of your competition? Keeping an edge over competing companies can be difficult when you feel you are already working at 110%.

By utilizing good CRM tools which help you to streamline your sales process and refine your procedures, your companies’ efficiency and productivity will improve.

One of the handy CRM tools our customers use to help ease their heavy workloads is recurring Sales Orders. If you have ongoing customers and you have a regular amount you want to invoice

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Pay it Forward

pay it forward

Being a relative newbie to CRM I am always impressed that, as a Salesforce alternative, OpenCRM really does stand out in comparison to its bigger brother. Lately, I have been focusing on the way we capture leads.

As a sales person myself, I’ve come to realise that some people bend the truth or the facts just to serve their purpose, just to get your money. I fell into sales because I realised I was good at convincing people. However, I will never sell you something I am not 100% convinced you will need and get full benefit from.
I think that is something we, as sales people in general,

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Time to Celebrate the Silly Season

April Fools

Several months ago, I was fortunate enough to have one of my blogging days land on Bonfire Night. I wanted to write about the story of Guy Fawkes and started by looking at other people who were executed for similar crimes. The post ended up focusing on how perfectly both Bonfire Night and Halloween match the season in which they are celebrated.

Both holidays have a spooky and/or macabre feel to them, making them particularly well suited to a season characterised by shorter days and a rather creepy chill to the air.

This got me thinking when I realised that I was going to get to blog on

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Planes, Trains, Automobiles & CRM

I’ve been thinking recently about how I actually use CRM within my own role as a Project Manager here at OpenCRM. Here’s an example of how it would have certainly helped with my own private planning.

Last year, a holiday trip turned into an epic voyage. I was to take a train to London, the Eurostar to Paris, another rail jaunt across France, a bus ride to the coast and finally a boat to get to my eventual destination. As you all probably know, such journeys can be done really cheap if you buy advanced tickets, but these are not especially flexible – they are only valid on one

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To Infinity and Beyond – Part 2

Last week I wrote a post about how all good business ventures start with a dream, inspired by Richard Branson’s epic work on the Virgin Galactic project.

This week I would like to discuss a similarly brilliant venture, the ‘Cybathlon’. This is an incredibly inventive project put together by the Swiss National Competence Center of Research in Robotics (NCCR Robotics). The project is to put on an Olympic games for ‘bionic athletes’ to take part in, hosted in Switzerland, in 2016. The aims of the sporting event will be ‘to promote the development of novel assistive systems and

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Keeping Focused

thoughts

It’s not always easy to keep your mind on your work, even if (or maybe especially if) you’re trying to puzzle out the solution to a tricky problem. You have the best of intentions, but sometimes your mind just wanders. Maybe you start looking forward to that relaxing bath you’re planning on having when you get home or just get distracted by trying to decide what you want for dinner. No matter how useful or important that distraction is, your mind has drifted and you’re no longer in puzzle-solving mode.

Then, to further complicate matters, there’s always some new task or process

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Encouraging Customer Loyalty By Offering Superior Service

Regardless of what your current marketing objectives may be, one goal that many of you will have is to increase customer loyalty. For some this strategy simply revolves around being cheaper than anyone else. On the surface this makes sense, I mean surely everyone loves a bargain?!

But this strategy is fraught with danger. If you are being as cheap as you can possibly be, it means that you are probably keeping your profit margins wafer thin. What if your suppliers increase their prices? Or what about when someone comes along who is even cheaper than you are?

And whilst cheapness is often

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To Infinity and Beyond

When I was a kid, Sir Richard Branson was in the press quite a lot for his entrepreneurial millionaire shenanigans, from his Virgin record company and store, to the Virgin airways; it seemed this man was unstoppable and such a determined bodacious character. Not much has changed now I am an adult, Sir Branson is still continuing to amaze me.

I used to love watching the old cartoon called the Jetsons, about a family who lived and worked in space. It felt a lot like the better known Flintstones, but set in space! Like most people, TV programs and films have inspired me to grow up with a

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The Rules of Feedback

Feedback2

Though I like to keep a very tight lip about my time working with the fruit giant, this is one of the biggest lessons I learnt from the word go. I was taught that there were 4 kinds of feedback, not two.

$11.       Positive General

$12.       Positive Specific

$13.       Negative Specific

$14.       Negative General

I quickly gathered I would only really use three types of feedback though.

First, let me go ahead and explain what I mean by specific and general. When you give someone Positive General feedback it makes them have a warm fuzzy feeling but it doesn’t help them grow. So

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How to Manage Your Time Effectively

Do you ever have the feeling that no sooner than you’ve got to the office, flicked on the computer screen to start working, when all of a sudden lunchtime comes around? And in another blink of an eye it’s time to head home?!

We have written on many occasions about the benefits of using CRM for managing your customer-facing activities. Just as important is the internal management of information, and CRM has some great tools to help you keep a handle on your in-house business goings on. The one feature I want to focus on in this post is the management of time.

When you have those days

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A Helping Hand on the Home Stretch.

running

A few adverts have caught my attention this week for these charitable sports events. It is that time of year again, when it is good to sign up for something. Giving yourself a goal to focus on, whether it’s a 5k, marathon or assault course, can be great for the soul.

Last year, as well as taking part in one of these charity events myself, I went to support a friend who ran the Edinburgh marathon. I was so impressed by the dedication she had shown in achieving this amazing feat.

Hours and hours a week, prior to the event, went into her training up, eating the right foods and avoiding

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David vs. Goliath

David-and-Goliath-Claire

I’m not one for biblical metaphors, but I find the story of David and Goliath particularly fitting for our situation.

The CRM world is full of different kinds of players, to stick with our theme, let’s call them armies.
You’ll have small armies, with very limited skills, niche armies with specific talents and then other enormous armies, like Goliath’s army.

 

As you may know, David stood up to Goliath. I think we are like David. We have learned how to create a deep bag of stones to throw at Goliath to win.

The reason our clients choose us is because we are better. Yes, it

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