By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Beach Boys:
5square.com, which sells Sales Process Automation software to automotive dealerships, has released an automated follow-up tool, built right into the overall 5square.com Web-based system.
Company officials say the follow-up tool "greatly expands upon the previous follow-up functionality," and includes features "specifically requested by dealers to help improve prospect follow-up that to date have not been available in sales process software."
The new tool links each lead to an automated follow-up schedule, allowing dealerships to "tailor follow-up by lead source and the reason the customer left," company officials explain. They contend such a method "ties directly into how the dealership is spending to get prospects into the store and then targets why they leave to get them back into the store."
Basically the tool is designed to force more discipline inside the store, as management can set a specific follow-up schedule which automatically enforces follow-up.
According to Manny Sousa, Director of Internet Sales at Anderson Honda in Palo Alto, CA; the #1 Honda e-dealer in the country, his dealership has increased its sales by 5-10 percent from automated follow-up alone, because, according to Sousa, it allows the sales people to concentrate on prospects that are in the market right now without abandoning prospects who may not be so high on the sales chain.
"Lots of dealers have a process in place but no guarantee a sales person will follow-up," Sousa said, adding that automatic follow-up is "like having robot sales people working for us."
When a customer leaves without making a purchase, the reason they have left is logged into the computer; conducting more research, credit challenged, bringing back spouse, etc., and a pull down menu directly links to a follow-up schedule. For instance, the credit challenged individual can be offered credit counseling services.
The follow-up schedule is also linked to the source the lead originally came from; a newspaper ad, AAA, OEM, Web site, etc., and a schedule of follow-up events is tied to how that specific buyer behaves with a schedule of calls, tailored e-mails and letters. E-mails and letters are sent automatically with no sales person intervention.
For telephone calls the task appears automatically on their work plan to prompt them to place the call. The sales person clicks on the icon and it pulls up the customer record so the call can be made.
5square's CRM is described by company officials as a single system capturing and tracking every aspect of every lead, every deal, every time. The system integrates with both ADP and R&R DMS systems.
BPT Partners, LLC, a CRM training and consulting firm, has announced a "new CRM 2.0 and all new updated content for the popular CRM Strategy Seminar Series" designed to help attendees "identify, acquire, serve and grow customer relationships."
Four out of five doctors agree: "This advanced CRM training delivers immediate return on investment for your company and your career," said Michael Thomas, President of the National CRM Association. "Even after 12 years in the CRM industry, I came away with new ideas on how to improve my CRM strategy," said Cathryn Rheiner, former Vice President CRM Solutions, SAP Americas.
Two CRM certification seminars, leading to Certification in Applied CRM Strategy and Certification in Social Media and CRM 2.0, are offered this year.
Certification in Applied CRM Strategy is a two-day seminar comprised of five courses focused on how to use established and proven customer strategies and best practices. Certification in Social Media & CRM 2.0 is a "hands-on" seminar where attendees are taught how to create blogs, podcasts and social networks that establish "meaningful interactions with customers, prospects and others who are important to the success of a business."
These certification seminars are designed for C-level executives, managers and professionals in sales, marketing, information technology, consulting and professional services, customer support, and corporate customer strategy.
VendorGuru.com's new white paper, titled "Getting the Most from Your Call Center Investment," details how businesses can "maximize their call center investment and cut costs through better call handling," according to VendorGuru officials.
The paper highlights improving customer satisfaction and trust and provides actionable items for business professionals in CRM and telephony. It focuses on ,the importance of planning and scalability in call center equipment and provides a case study on Johnson Controls, Inc.
The case study describes how JCI switched to a new office phone system using voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), saving a considerable amount of time in call handling as well as improve sales productivity.
In a study of more than 240 call centers with a minimum of 50 agents, Benchmark Portal learned that 100 percent -- 100 percent now, campers -- of those companies using all-in-one integrated products were able to add on to their system without significant issues.
Of the respondents using an all-in-one product, 86 percent did not even consider a multi-point product. Of the reasons given were that multi-point products were harder to administer, less scalable and support for integrated products is easier and less costly. These are some of the issues the VendorGuru.com paper tries to address.
VendorGuru.com describes itself as an "online resource center connecting businesses with cutting edge products in both CRM and telephony."
Way to go, Virginia Cavaliers. Tunes up for the ACC tournament, one we actually have an outside shot of winning for the first time in many a moon -- we've only ever won it once, in 1976, with Wally "the Wonder Boy" Walker -- by losing to dismal Wake Forest. Dave Leitao's done a great job so far, but we lost to dismal ACC teams under Pete "Frankencoach" Gillen.
Heck, under Frankencoach we were one of the dismal ACC teams.
We could've won the ACC title outright, for the first time in 26 years, by beating a 13-15 Wake team on a losing streak, but we did beat Tech, so it was a good year.
VinSolutions, which sells Internet-based software and dealer services, has announced that General Motors has officially included VinSolutions as a Certified Lead Management provider, as part of the GM OneSource Leads Consolidation and Reporting System.
The GM OneSource certification allows GM Dealers to manage inbound leads through the VinSolutions Internet Lead Management and CRM modules.
"This certification is a result of development work to create software that meets GM's quality standards," said Eric Hinkle, President of VinSolutions.
GM OneSource is the latest addition to the GM Certified Internet Dealer Program, a suite of tools and services that enables "specially trained dealership employees" to "better address the needs of online shoppers," according to VinSolutions officials.
GM is requiring all dealers to participate in the new program. They must complete GM OneSource training to access GM OneSource.
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