InfusionSoft – Think twice before sinking your money in this CRM tool

Champion Assistants Technology TeamI’ve seen a number of clients invest in CRM tools that are far more powerful than their businesses require – and more expensive than they can currently afford – because their business advisers have told them that they should invest in technologies now that will support their future business plans.  These business advisers instill the fear  in their clients that their company won’t be prepared in the future when their prospects and clients outweigh the capability for the company to manage them.  I have never witnessed a case where this was the reality.  In reality, the sudden onslaught of clients never comes, and even if it were to, most CRM systems are built so that all current data can be easily migrated with a learning curve for using the technology.

The biggest example I have seen in unfortunate CRM purchases is InfusionSoft.  I have seen InfusionSoft touted by so-called industry experts and gurus (think Dan Kennedy, Bill Glazer, Ali Brown) who advise info-marketers to invest in this CRM solution now in preparation for future business.  InfusionSoft has a number of drawbacks like not being able to paste text in various modules and difficulties pasting links to name a couple quick irritants.  The biggest thing about InfusionSoft is that it is NOT for info-marketers.  InfusionSoft is for businesses with actual sales teams.  To use InfusionSoft effectively the business needs to be sales-oriented, equipped with a multi-person sales force, have a database with hundreds of thousands of contacts AND have the budget to effectively implement this technology.  The time to migrate data, implement the tool and train a salesforce how to use it – and continue to update it – is extremely time intensive.  This is not the responsibility of a business owner either.  This is the responsiblity of an IT Leader.  While Champion Assistants provides the service of IT Team Lead, we are very careful to only work with clients who have a business that is both financially and mentally prepared for a company-wide CRM rollout.

Sadly, I have seen a number of solo-preneurs buy InfusionSoft on the recommendation of their marketing or sales advisor and start implementing the software only to find that it’s extremely cumbersome to use and their business only requires a fraction of the power of the tool.  InfusionSoft is not for contact management.  It is in fact a full-scale CRM tool.  Also, I have seen that the people referring this software get a handsome referral bonus, and I know there are ulterior motives at play as well.  For instance the Dan Kennedy – Bill Glazer Inner Circle has made huge amounts of money through their referrals to InfusionSoft.  They make so much money they actually hold presentations on buying InfusionSoft at their SuperConference and InfoSummit conferences!  It’s great business for them, but not necessarily the right decision for all of those people trying to follow the Dan Kennedy – Bill Glazer methods.

I advise against purchasing any technologies that require your business to grow into.  It’s difficult to predict if the tool will be outdated by the time you need it or if there would have been a better solution based on what your business actually needs at the time. Save yourself time and aggravation and focus on strategic growth instead.

Best,

Heather

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What Do You Charge?

Deciding what to charge clients is a complex process based on factors including cost of goods or services, overhead and business expenses. Lately there is a lot of talk about charging a client what you think you’re worth, which seems vague and possibly self-defeating. What you charge should probably take into account your value to them!

In addition to the above factors, the price you charge depends on the following:

  • Who you attract. Price according to your target clients. If you market to upscale clientele your prices should reflect that.
  • Effective sales process. Define the sales process and make sure it works smoothly every time. Many of us have left a business frustrated by not being able to make a purchase simply because of the inability of the salesperson to take an order, ring it up and deliver. It may seem simple, but make sure your sales process is clear and functional.
  • Persuasive sales language. Using persuasive sales language creates images in prospects’ minds of what they can have by choosing you. A positive image will result in them choosing you and willingness to pay more for what they expect.
  • Congruency of the movie in their mind. Some prospects have a mental image of what their experience with you will be like before they even meet you. Living up to this expectation underscores your value.
  • Be honest about what you can or can’t do. People will pay more for honesty and accurate results.

I would welcome your thoughts and insights on this topic! What factors influence your pricing strategy?

Kind regards,

Heather

Is Your Business Perceived as Godiva or Hershey Kisses?

Studies have been conducted where chocolate tasters actually preferred ordinary Hershey’s Kisses over elegant Godiva chocolates. Imagine people preferring the taste of chocolates that come wrapped in foil and jumbled in a bag over hand-crafted chocolates carefully placed in a gold box! How can a $4.00 bag of Kisses win over a $40.00 box of Godiva chocolates, and if Kisses taste better, how does Godiva get away with charging more? Perceived value is the difference. How would you feel if someone presented you with a bag of Kisses versus a gold box of Godiva? Regardless of the actual chocolate taste, you would likely feel more special if someone gave you the Godiva box (perhaps you might even feel a bit insulte d by a bag of Kisses!). Hershey’s created chocolates people like to eat and Godiva created chocolates people like to give.

How you present your business has a tremendous impact on how your customers perceive your business. Your perceived value is largely based on how well you present what you do and what you offer. Whether your business is products or services based, if you can’t show your value in physical presentation or experience, you have a steep road ahead of you for attracting and keeping clients. Even more important, you need to come across as a Godiva so that your clients willingly refer you on. You may have the best products and services anywhere around, but if you can’t show this value you’re missing out on bigger opportunities.

If you want to present a stronger image and have your clients perceive a better experience, then it’s time to take a look inside. Evaluate what’s working, what’s not, and where energies are being wasted. If you are confident your products and services are just right for your target market, then it may be time to re-evaluate how you are presenting them and your business. Below are some guidelines for what you need to do to increase the perceived value of your business.

  • Differentiate your business from others. Be the uncommon offering!
  • Practice intentional congruence. Ensure that everything you do mimes and merges with everything else you do.
  • Connect all the dots. Check that your business processes are clearly defined and consistent with your business objectives.
  • Learn from others who have businesses you admire!

If you’ve become bogged down with to-do’s, Champion Assistants is here to help you define your business processes and implement methods that will increase your perceived business value. We’re at your service!

Will You Be My Facebook Friend?

I have been advising my clients for months to set up separate accounts for their personal and business online networking, and finally I have taken my own advice and set up my business profile. I look forward to building my existing connections and linking to those I can share information with and make new connections with. Facebook is a great tool for connecting with former colleagues, establishing new business relationships and spreading the word about upcoming events, products and business news. I’ve seen how it’s benefited my clients and I’m excited to be using this tool now, too!

If you would like to join my network, please look me up at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1288339561.

Kind regards,

Heather

Featured Service: Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping – Is Yours Up-to-Date?

Bookkeeping is a process many business owners are lax to get done – even if this means invoicing clients to receive money they earned!

If you are someone who dreads tax time because of a non-existent bookkeeping system (or one you won’t admit to), or by the end of January are already behind in entering expenses, or you can’t manage to get into a monthly routine, then outsourcing your bookkeeping may be the way to go.

Champion Assistants works mostly with QuickBooks either as company files or online accounts. We can take care of everything from entering and categorizing expenses to invoicing to producing quarterly reports that let you know exactly where your money is and where you are within your budget.

From initial company set-up to ongoing bookkeeping, Champion Assistants is at your service!

8 Easy Things to Delegate

8 Easy Things to Delegate

For those of you who are currently overwhelmed, here are some things to consider delegating:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Scheduling and Contact Management
  • Contact follow-up after events
  • Web updates
  • Online shopping cart management
  • Article submission
  • Website optimization
  • Blog posts and optimization

Anything you are currently doing that is not something only you can do is something that can be delegated to someone who enjoys doing it, is skilled at doing it and can do it faster.

If you feel overwhelmed and aren’t sure what to delegate or where to start, Champion Assistants would be happy to speak with you and answer questions. you can find out more through the website www.championassistants.com, e-mail info@championassistants.com, or call 425.821.2936.

Is it time to consider outsourcing your overload?

Increasingly, small business owners and busy executives are turning to outsourcing to meet their business goals and attain work-life balance. More people are realizing they can’t be everyone doing everything and that they need extra help to accomplish their goals. Another reason virtual assistants are becoming so popular is because the work gets done remotely without having someone in your office who you need to manage. Most people simply don’t have time to manage someone in addition to delegating.

For those of you who are familiar with Ali Brown, she is one of the top marketing and success strategists, and she constantly promotes using virtual assistants in order to drive your business where you want to go. Ali truly understands that entrepreneurs may be skilled at doing everything, but they can’t do everything as one person, and there are virtual assistants who are more skilled in certain areas. Especially as businesses grow, more and more support is required in order to keep up with prospects, clients, marketing, inventory and the list goes on. Most entrepreneurs have more ideas than time to implement them, and that is when a virtual assistant can be a huge asset.

If you find yourself struggling with accomplishing projects and getting enough done each day, maybe it’s time to consider a virtual assistant. Oftentimes people just don’t know where to start delegating. One way to decide what to delegate is to make a list of everything you don’t like doing, everything that you aren’t able to do, and everything that takes too long for you to do and keeps you away from doing what you do best. This list then becomes what you are ready to delegate. Once you have your virtual support in place you can decide how to invest the time you just freed up!