It’s all about the customer.  Cultivating and managing your customer relationships is essential for effective marketing campaigns, sales, and repeat business.  But when your contact list becomes unwieldy or you find that several people within your company are reaching out to the same contact, you know you need to get organized.  Customer Relationship Management (CRM) programs enable you to respond to your customer base with timely communication, targeted marketing campaigns and strategic follow up.

3-Tips-to-Using-Email-Thread-for-Smooth-CommunicationMy Pet Peeve: Email Threads

How often have you needed to check a customer detail that was in an email thread you received days or weeks ago? You’re hustling to get to a meeting and just can’t find that all important message.

CRMs centralize, store and organize detailed customer data and history logs for easy reference. Help your salespeople improve their effectiveness by sharing information with your team or designating members to manage a particular lead or customer.

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The cost of a website is a bit like the cost of a car. You can spend $5,000 for a ‘get around town’ car, $50,000 for a luxury vehicle or millions for a  transportation fleet!  With today’s open source platforms like Drupal, Joomla, WordPress (among others) and with a vast array of design templates, a small business can deploy a professional responsive website for under $10,000.  But take advantage of professional help to incorporate design and technology customizations, and a site can cost a lot more.

RevenueArchitectsWebsiteSo how can you estimate a website cost and scope and plan the right approach?  How do you effectively work with a web consultant or write a website RFP?

The answer is to  understand key factors and deploy your website in phases.

A phased approach reduces risk and helps align your business needs and budget along the way.

Start with a planning phase to make sure the business goals are clear and the people involved agree on the vision and plan.  For a small business, this phase can be days. But for an enterprise, the strategy phase can be months.  Right-size this phase and use it to develop a clear budget and plan for the subsequent design and build phases.

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