It doesn't have to be hard to manage your lead funnel. Don't know what that is? It's simple… as you conduct your business you generated leads. These leads then need to be qualifies and priortized so you know which ones to focus on and which ones to simply set aside.
Delmarva Group is in a high growth stage. We have lots of leads… but few are making it past the qualifying rounds. Here's a take on our early process.
Essentially, our process has 4 key areas each with several steps.
- New Lead - here the lead arrives from any number of sources… the internet, a business contact or warm referral.
- Lead Qualification and Data Collection - Here the lead is qualified.
- In Process - DMVG is actively in the process of selling to this lead.
- Close - We're signing contracts!
- Delivery - We're delivering and supporting this account.
This is a lot to manage in a spreadsheet or something like that… so DMVG has opted to leverage SugarCRM Community Edition. The Community Edition is a fancy way of saying "open source" for them. But this is an excellent, inexpensive tool to use to manage your lead funnel. Here is an example of how a company will flow through our SugarCRM system:
I meet a business leader at a business function and obtain his business card. The data from this card, then flows into SugarCRM and blammo… he's now categorized as a new lead.
In Step 2, we do a lot to learn about a company. We look the contact up on LinkedIn to determine how we're connected to them. This is especially valuable with what we call "association leads" but that's another article. We also analyze their website and public computing environment to fill out our checklist to determine how good of a client they can be.
Last Updated (Friday, 21 December 2012 23:21)
Here's a great post on what small businesses can learn from Sandy. Hopefully, you and yours made it through without issue. Either way, these are some good pointers. -Ed.
Gerri Stansky knew Superstorm Sandy was going to be bad. She evacuated her home in Breezy Point Queens, NY to nearby Rockaway, where her in-laws and business, Strands hair salon, were located. But that wasn’t far enough. During the worst of the storm, she watched eight feet of water surge outside, carrying pieces of boardwalk and railings with it. When the water receded, it left her home uninhabitable and her salon ruined. “My 11-year-old son still has nightmares about it,” she says.
After Superstorm Sandy hit the eastern seaboard on October 29, it left devastation and billions of dollars of damage in its wake. And while the attention given to the storm’s aftermath begins to fade from the headlines, many business owners like Stansky are still trying to pick up the pieces and keep their businesses going. Here are lessons that three hard-hit businesses have learned.
Here's a great take on the new dawn for metrics about your website. Gone are the days of page views, etc… it's time to find something actionable to measure and act upon. Engagement, for example. -Ed.
Every day feels the same. A fledgling startup tries to appear like the up-and-coming market leader while the market incumbent aims to protect its dominance. It has become exhausting to keep up with how fast everyone seems to grow: 100,000 new users per week here, 20 billion monthly pageviews there, and let’s not pass up a watershed moment like 3 million members total. These are the industry’s most praised metrics.
Sadly, we haven’t moved forward over the past decade despite our whole industry becoming smarter about how it measures and analyzes data. Companies still pitch investors with a cumulative user sign up graph, sell advertisers on how many pageviews they get, and bamboozle reporters with the biggest numbers they can find regardless of whether they correlate to success. We can do better as an industry. We should do better because collectively we’re not benefiting–we’re all just fooling each other.
While this article speaks of people "sorting, filing, flagging and tagging", we are left to wonder, what about proper training for these people in the use of their email clients? There are rules that will dramatically help with these things.
Personally, I recently went through an unplanned email migration. I now have rules for everything. So my inbox is primarily filled with real business communications, while the rest of my email filters down to one of my many other folders to be viewed and browsed later. The truth is, only a small presentation of our email requires immediate attention. So, we should deal with it that way. -Ed.
Surging numbers of emails cause workers to spend countless hours sorting, filing, flagging and tagging instead of focusing on action items, according to a survey of nearly 100 organizations by data governance software provider Varonis.
The study, which questioned employees about their digital habits and vices, found that nearly a quarter receive between 100 and 1,000 emails. One in 10 workers now faces more than 10,000 emails in their inbox. The problem has grown so bad that 43 percent of those surveyed said they routinely abandon their inboxes altogether in favor of a virtual coffee break.
It's about time. Ed.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A loophole that permits software companies to sell cyberstalking apps that operate secretly on cellphones could soon be closed by Congress. The software is popular among jealous wives or husbands because it can continuously track the whereabouts of a spouse.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill Thursday that makes it a crime for companies to make and intentionally operate a stalking app. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., also would curb the appeal for such inexpensive and easy-to-use programs by requiring companies to disclose their existence on a target's phone.
We continue to and will continue to highlight small business risk of cyber security for some time. Remember, this is war, people. While this particular article focuses on banks, it's key to know that many hackers use stepping stones and other less obvious computers as a way to mask their identity and location. What does this mean to you? Well, in short, we small business owners and operators are actually in the front lines and we need to act like. it. We need to empower and motivate our IT provides whether they're internal or external to take charge and lock systems down. Ed.
The wave of distributed denial of service attacks that hit U.S. banks in October was next-to-nothing compared to what could happen if cybercriminals actually carry through with their plans for next year.
According to a report (PDF) released today by McAfee Labs, an impending attack on U.S. financial institutions -- dubbed Project Blitzkrieg -- isn't only a possibility, it's a "credible threat."
Walt Disney World has been on a kick to upgrade the guest experience through easier-to-use technologies.
Part of that effort was the implementation of radio-frequency identification, which uses a radio frequency to send data wirelessly between two different objects. That type of technology is pretty commonplace in things like parking cards that allow employees to enter their office building.
But Disney seems to be increasing that presence, as reported by Attractions Magazine. “This week, RF sensors were added to many retail locations and will also be available for entrance to all four Walt Disney World parks,” said an Attractions Magazine blog.
Inbound Marketing is a hot topic in these times. In light of that, we thought that folks like mike a real world example of how it's working. The Red Cross is currently using it to drive donations. Obviously, if it's working for them, it can work for your business too! -Ed.
The holiday season is here. Sipping on eggnog, baking chocolate chip cookies, popping champagne with family and friends -- these are some of the most enjoyable parts of the season. But while we enjoy these little pleasures, it’s important to remember that there are still many people recovering from the devastation of recent natural disasters, like Hurricane Sandy. Does that mean we shouldn’t sip eggnog, bake cookies, or pop champagne? Of course not! But perhaps we should give a little bit back, and share our holiday spirit.
Over the past six years at HubSpot, we’ve been humbled to grow an incredible network of inbound marketers. So now we’d like to call on you, the inbound marketers across the globe, to rally together and do something that truly means something. We invite you to join us, and donate what you can to the American Red Cross to help those affected by natural disasters. The Red Cross has done a stellar job collecting donations through its "Give Something That Means Something" campaign. Read on to learn more about this campaign, and how the Red Cross has had success leveraging inbound marketing to drive donations. You can also download the PDF version of this case study here, no form submission required.
For those of you who don't know, Delmarva Group, LLC works closely in the entrepreneurial fields meaning we're always dealing with Entrepreneurs, Angel and Venture Capitalists. Every once in a while a refresher to our vocabulary is a good thing. Here's an article that specifically speaks to the language of Venture Capital. Good Read! --Ed.
As a young entrepreneur, you may have convinced yourself (or been given advice) that you should raise money. The wisdom of that move aside, when attempting to raise a giant pile of cash to make your dream a reality, it’s important to know that you will be entering a new world, where the natives speak a language that sounds like English but most certainly isn’t.
You’ll be talking VC and Angels speak. Here’s a translation:
Dry Powder — Translation, “Money to invest” A dirty little secret is that VCs leave their doors open, continue to talk to entrepreneurs, and act like they can (and will) still invest in you well after they have allocated all of the money in their current fund to companies and follow-on funding.
As a road warrior type, a lot of work at home issues apply to Delmarva Group, LLC staff. The punch list included in this article is a fantastic way to help keep top productivity in a place where your surroundings are not those of the typical office. Great read! Ed.
Do you run your business from home? These days, more and more small businesses are going virtual, and some of the most successful small businesses are run entirely from home. With online conferencing and project management tools, websites where you can outsource to workers all over the world, and most clients now recognizing that working from home doesn’t mean you’re small potatoes, there’s no reason not to be home-based.
But while working from home may no longer have the stigma it used to back in the 1980s or ‘90s, it brings with it its own set of challenges, as any home-based small business owner knows. After three years of working from home, my partners and I have learned a lot about staying energetic and motivated.