Unleash the Rain – July 19, 2016, Taming the Email BEAST! Blogging Live

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Welcome to the live blogging of my radio show. The show is live every Tuesday from 4-6 pm pacific and we broadcast on MutinyRadio.FM. If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, feel free to drop by the studio at 2781 21st St, San Francisco, CA 94110 at 21st & Florida in the beautiful Mission District of San Francisco. Bring pie. Or Coffee. Or both!

If you want to listen in live, go to MutinyRadio.FM and click the speaker icon on the right side of the page where it says Click Here to Listen Live: If you want to hear the podcast after the fact, go here and they are listed by date. Or, super easy, subscribe on iTunes, just search for “Unleash the Rain” (without quotes.)

The content is broken down monthly along broadly thematic lines:

First Tuesday: SME’s on SME; Subject Matter Experts on Sales & Marketing Enablement
Second Tuesday: Keep Your Eye on the Ball; Why Operations Stuff is Important Even if it’s not Terribly Exciting
Third Tuesday: Geek Week! The Latest Tech Stuff, Gadgets and a Whole Lotta Productivity Porn
Fourth Tuesday: The Enlightened Entrepreneur: Keep your Sanity and Your Company/Job/Family/Life

If you have any questions, you can reach us live during the show on the station bat line at415-550-0511 or via our Facebook page or Twitter.

/Begin Live Blogging

Taming the Email BEAST!

Today, at the top of the hour we’re going to discuss how to manage your email more effectively.

60: Discussing the ubiquity of email and how to get control – all productivity
70: If you are in a service business or support products, invest in a cloud based support ticketing system, like Zendesk, Zoho Support,
72: Create a “disposable” email address, like MyName2016@yahoo.com, and use that to sign up for services and products that aren’t core to your business.
76: Use Unroll.Me to bundle subscriptions and it will also help you unsubscribe from the lists to which you no longer want to be subscribed.
80: Many productivity experts advocate for “Inbox Zero” Setup a Zapier “Zap” to automatically copy emails to your To-Do list app, like Trello. Setup your Inbox
90: Use “mirroring” to make your email communication more effective
99: More and more email is getting open on mobile devices: http://www.emailmonday.com/mobile-email-usage-statistics
103: Contextual Email organization – Zoho Email and Zoho CRM SalesInbox

What Up?

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There have been a lot of changes at Po3 over the last couple of years, and you might be wondering why you haven’t heard from me in about that same time. Fair question. Life threw me a curveball, as it’s known to do, if you want the backstory, click here.

T̶h̶r̶e̶e̶ Four Big New Things at Po3

1. Po3 Selects Primary Cloud CRM for Our Clients

I’ve been looking for an alternative to Salesforce.com ever since I wrote the book on it back in 2008. Not because it’s a bad product, it’s not. It’s great, in fact. But I wanted a CRM tool that met the needs of my clients, and my clients tend to fall into the SMB market – firms with fewer than 1,000 employees. Organizations in that space need a flexible solution that doesn’t weigh them down with features they don’t really need. They also need a solution that works, is easy to use and from a company they can rely on. I also wanted a cloud-based tool with slick apps so that my clients would have access to their critical lead and client data everywhere – smart phones, tablets, phablets, laptops and watches.

Well, 3 years ago, I found it. Zoho. Click here to register for my demo on Zoho CRM on June 1st at 11 am pacific.

First, Zoho is more like a platform, or an operating system for your business. They have over 30 apps in a variety of categories from back office to front office. Zoho as a company has been around for 20 years, with their headquarters in Pleasanton, CA. The company has grown organically, which means they’ve bootstrapped the financing and have always been profitable. They have over 3.600 employees across the globe and more than 18M users. Here’s a link to CEO Sridhar Vembu’s recent keynote address at the Zoholics Developer Conference in April of 2016.

In it, he talks about the role of software in an organization – which is essentially productivity. The Zoho Sales & Marketing User Conference is coming up June 7-9th in Pleasanton, CA, click here for more info and to register. If you are a Po3 Customer, email me for a 50% code.

Second, as a platform, I can work with my clients and help them pick and choose the apps they truly need for sales enablement, from the core CRM to email marketing campaigns, support, project management and more, and they only pay for what they need right now, but we have the option to add and grow their toolset as their business expands and grows. At a minimum, Zoho CRM is about half the cost of Salesforce.com and much more robust than some of the smaller cloud CRM solutions.

Third, it’s the cloud. In the last 3 years I have moved my entire business to the cloud and I’ve never been happier. Starting with Google Apps for Work and then Zoho CRM, followed quickly by migrating from Quickbooks to Zoho Books and now Zoho Support, Zoho Projects and more. Now I have access to all my systems and data, no matter where I am. And I don’t have to invest a ton in maintaining an expensive infrastructure – I even got rid of my server! This enables me to focus on my business and clients, not on solving IT issues.

To start your free trial on Zoho CRM, click here. Oh, and we can get all of your data out of your current CRM, including Act!, and into Zoho CRM, which makes switching e̶a̶s̶y̶ easier. Just ask me.

2. Po3 Merges Act! Business with Keystroke

So with the move to Zoho, you might be wondering what of my longtime Act! business? I’ve been an Act! Consultant for over 16 years now, and I still think Act! is a good product with a definite niche. I’m still supporting my Act! clients. That won’t change. But a few key things convinced me to merge my Act! business and Act! Consultant listing with Keystroke.

First, if you read the backstory blog about why I’ve been so quiet the last couple of years, you’ll know that I needed to have backup. I found it in Keystroke. I’ve known Ken Quigley for around 10 years, served on the Act! Advisory Board with him and I really like both him and his company. He’s smart, easy to work with and fun. When I joined the Keystroke Partner Program I was instantly part of a team of over 30 qualified Act! Consultants, access to Team Keystrokes 14+ employees that support the business.

Second, Swiftpage (maker’s of Act!) made changes to their partner program and it made becoming part of the Keystroke Partner Program a no-brainer. For all Act! software sales, you’ll get a quote from Keystroke and they’ll handle the order and provisioning process. I still get [tiny] credit for the software sale, but Team Keystroke manages the process for us and they rock.

Joining the Keystroke Partner Program just made so much sense. Expect to hear from them if you are on Act! and coming up for subscription or business care renewal. As always, I’m here to support you and your decisions around CRM software, so please reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns. I’m not leaving Act!, I just made some changes to make my Act! business better.

3. Po3 is Expanding Our Services

We’ve always had a focus on CRM – because that’s the cornerstone of any sales enablement strategy. But there is so much more. At Po3 we like taking a step back and helping our clients look at the big technology picture and identify areas to make major productivity improvements. This includes invaluable tools for email marketing, inbound marketing, social selling & marketing, proposal management, customer support, project management, finance and more.

Also, while we are partners of many CRM solutions, inlcuding Zoho CRM, Nimble, Infusionsoft, MS CRM and Act!, we can actually help folks leverage their CRM, no matter what tool they are using. That inlcudes Salesforce.com, Sugar CRM, Netsuite, Insightly, Pipedrive and more. If you’re using a CRM tool, we can help you squeeze more ROI for those investment dollars, guaranteed.

We’re looking at a few cool new things to offer our clients, including sales coaching and sales enablement technology strategy. We’ll reach out over the next few months as we have more to share, but it’s going to be exciting and we can’t wait.

4. Po3 has a Weekly Radio Show – Unleash the Rain

A little over a year ago we launched a weekly internet radio program called Unleash the Rain on MutinyRadio.fm every Tuesday from 4 – 6 pm pacific. The show’s focus is on helping small and medium businesses leverage technology to increase revenue and reduce expenses. You can listen live here or choose a previous broadcast from the podcast archives. We’re rigging up an RSS feed through iTunes and possibly another podcast subscription app, we’ll announce that when it’s ready. In the meantime, feel free to listen in and we LOVE taking questions – you can call in live or email questions to stacy@unleashtherain.com 

I post a lot of information about the show, topics, upcoming guests and more on our Facebook page.

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That’s all for now, watch for more posts and information on the regular and as always, if you have any questions or I can help in any way, please reach out.

Thanks,

Stacy Roach

Sales Coach // Technology Strategist
Zoho CRM Authorized Partner
Zoho Creator Certified Solution Provider – The “make magic happen” platform!

Power of 3 Consulting, Inc. 
(866) 362-4263

To book an appointment with me directly, online, go here: http://po3inc.setmore.com

Book Appointment

 

Excel – How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Sum the Ways…

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Microsoft Excel. Oh, how I love thee. I love the endless geeky ways that I can analyze data to my heart’s content. Pivot tables anyone? But I’ll tell you my dirty little secret about Excel… I just about start cheering when I am talking with folks about how they are currently managing their contacts or sales pipeline and they say “Excel”. Why does my heart beat just a little faster? Is it because I love working over their data in Excel? Nope. It’s because these are the types of people that have the most to gain from implementing a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution like ACT! or Microsoft CRM. And those are just the sorts of people I love to work with.

Excel is a great tool, but it is really limited. With a CRM solution like ACT!, you get so much more. First, you have that all-important central repository of leads, prospects, customers, vendors and even competitors. Second, you have an integrated calendar that links activities, appointments and follow-ups to your contacts. Third, you can track and view all the history and interaction with your contacts and you can view that information on the individual contact level, or the account level or even a project level. That includes all the e-mails sent & received from Outlook, and you can live your e-mail life in Outlook and ACT! will still note your e-mail activity on the contact’s history tab. Fourth, you can use ACT! to track your deals in your pipeline. Fifth, you can setup e-marketing campaigns and track your lead/prospect/customer interest and response to those campaigns on the history tab. There’s more, a lot more, but those are the biggies. But here is the cool thing, the feature that makes my geeky Excel-loving side just dance a jig – you can still export most of your data to Excel, often with one easy click, giving you the ability to continue your data slicing & dicing.

Let’s take managing the sales pipeline, for example. You can have an Excel list of your current deals, but updating that list and keeping it current is time-consuming and, over time, can become unwieldy. If instead you use ACT!, and you track your deals using Sales Opportunities, then you can view your deals on the Contact and/or Company view, or you can view a list of all your deals.

And hey, while we are on the topic, I did a guest blog for Sage on the latest cool features of Sales Opportunities in ACT! 2010, the latest version of ACT! – check it out here.

Back to ACT! & Excel – so you have all your sales opportunity data in ACT!, and you want to send an Excel report to someone in your company, but you first want to work with the data in Excel. No problem, just follow these easy steps:

  1. Click View | Opportunities from the pull-down menus.
  2. Filter this list view to show the data you want to play with in Excel. Maybe you only want Open opportunities, or just the deals that are set to close in the next month, or deals that are over a particular dollar figure. Hmmmm, I think I smell a future blog post on filtering list views…
  3. Customize the list view to add whatever opportunity data you want to see. For instance, I always add Days Open and Probability of Closure to the opportunity list view. Hey, there’s another blog post topic, customizing list views.
  4. Now click Tools | Export to Excel and voila, all you data is in an Excel spreadsheet. But wait, there’s more. Notice the other tabs at the bottom of the Excel worksheet – ACT! very kindly builds a pivot table which you can use as a starting point to begin some really slick data analysis. Pivot tables, blog post topic #3!

 

Recording History in ACT!

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Recording History

Many of our customers use the ACT! calendar and scheduling features, so they understand the value of clearing those activities and recording the details of a call or meeting, which then appear on the History tab in ACT! But other customer either don’t or can’t use the ACT! calendar, and use the Outlook calendar instead. In fact, we talk to virtually every one of our clients about integrating the ACT! & Outlook calendars. There isn’t a simple answer, it really depends on what information you want to send to and from Outlook and how your ACT! database is setup. If you do primarily use Outlook, there is a quick way to enter the details of your customer & prospect interactions into ACT! so that the information can be viewed, shared and reported on from ACT!

For most of our clients tracking that all-important history of your interaction & communication with your ACT! contacts is an important requirement. And even if your company relies on Outlook for calendaring, you can use the powerful Record History function in ACT! to enter the details of your meetings and calls with ACT! contacts.

How To Record History:

  1. To Record History on a contact record, first find the contact by looking up the contact.
  2. Click on the History tab and then either click on the Record History icon, or anywhere in the white space on the tab, right-click and select Record History.
  3. Set the Type to either Call, Meeting, To-do or one of your custom activities if you have those defined. In the Regarding field enter the main topic of the interaction, such as “Proposal Review”.
  4. Click in the Details: area and add all the detailed notes from the interaction. Note here that if you do use ACT! activities, you can click on the Follow-up button at the bottom of the dialog box and schedule the next follow-up activity for this contact, so that any key next steps don’t fall through the cracks.
  5. Click OK and you should now be viewing the your recorded history on the History tab.

This is an image for recording history in ACT!

Recording History

This is a screen shot of the Record History Dialog Box in ACT!