10 Steps To Successful CRM Implementation

Here are our 10 essential steps to successfully transitioning to a CRM-centric enviornment:

CRM Software

1. Build Your Team

Your implementation team should comprise of the following people: a member of the executive team, a project manager, an IT administrator (if applicable) and 3-4 representatives from the front line and sales teams.


2. Identify and Document Existing Processes

All companies rely on a set of processes that help move their business forward. Part of initial deployment process will consist of asking yourself these questions:

  • How does my company collect leads?
  • How are our deals guided through the sales process?
  • How does my company maintain relationships with current customers?
  • How does my company identify our most important clients?
  • How does my company handle customer service inquiries?
  • How are contacts stored and shared?

The answers to these questions and others will help you gain an understanding of your current business processes and allow you to understand how a CRM solution can help improve and automate some portions of them.


3. Conduct a Gap Analysis

Conduct a gap analysis. Take a look at where you are currently standing, where you are willing to head and examine the gap between the two paths. Think of how you can close that gap using CRM tool.


4. Define Your Vision

Set high goals and make sure that they are viable and measurable. Example of goals may include better reporting, increased conversion, improved retention rates, more marketing leaders etc. Make sure to also define how CRM will fit into the overall direction and strategy of your organization.


5. Prioritize Your Goals

Plan your CRM implementation with a staggered approach that focuses on quick wins for your team.  Goals that you feel can be most improved with the implementation should come first. Remember, Rome was not built in a day and neither will be your CRM. In the implementation phase, your project team will need to determine what you want CRM to do for you. Think big picture.


6. Partner with the CRM Consultant

Buying and deploying a CRM tool can be made easy with the guidance of an experienced CRM consultant and vendor.  If you want to have the greatest chance at success and the highest ROI from your investments, it is wise not to go through the process alone.


7. Share your Vision

Share your vision with the rest of your team. It should be no secret that you are trying to improve businesses processes and make working more productive. Don’t forget to also provide training to staff who will be utilizing the software in order to ease their mind and prevent reluctance in adopting the change.


8. Data Migration

Depending on your current processes and the tools you use to store your data, data migration can be the most challenging and expensive part of the entire deployment. The cost of your data migration effort can be affected by a number of factors, including the size, complexity, and format of your existing backend database. A savvy CRM consultant can help you do it in the most cost-effective way possible.


9. Test

The second last step is to test the system thoroughly before it enters into production in order to avoid the heartbreak of failure or unexpected glitches.


10. Don’t Stop!

CRM is an ongoing effort that never stops and neither should you. To be successful you need to continually coach users, re-state expectations and introduce new features. Offer a “suggestion box” within CRM that users can request new features and then give them credit when those new features are rolled out.


6 Leadership Lessons To Learn By Next Year

Here are 6 leadership lessons we should all learn by the start of 2016. This applies to all sales managers and sales representatives who are using CRM Software for lead management purposes.  The hope is to assist you in building confidence in your skills and make you one of the top sales people in your industry.

1. Make Time For Personal Growth

As a leader, you already know how important of a resource time is. As you work to grow your organization in 2016, you will notice that time will become even more valuable. Free up some time to learn, grow and lean in to what’s important to you, and inevitably, your business as well. As well, challenge yourself to be more open to opinions, ideas and suggestions from others.

2. Avoid Isolation

Effective leaders know that isolating yourself from the rest of your team is like shooting yourself in the foot. Being transparent about your goals, challenges and vision is important to developing a strong team as well as organization.

3. Understand Motivation

Effective leaders are motivated by different things and in different ways. Taking the time to figure out how you can motivate the various personality types in 2016 throughout your organization will make for more productive and satisfied employees.

4. Take Risks

In 2016, don’t be afraid to take risks. According to Seth Godin, if you never take risks, you will never succeed. Effective leaders know how to take calculated risks because they know that it is in the best interest of their organization. No matter what happens, remain confident in your ability to lead and be steadfast in your decision-making skills.

5. Preach Selflessness

Effective leaders will always put others ahead of themselves, take santa claus for example. They believe in working as a team and know that there’s strength in numbers.

6. Lead With The Why

Find the meaning and make connection between the work you do and why it affects a lot of people. Be sure to share  your vision with employees and clients so they can help spread it.


What are you doing to improve management and leadership skills? If you feel like you need to work on these two traits, contact Carmel Vision.We have just the right solution for your business needs. It is our belief that change does not always have to necessitate breaking the bank.


7 Big Communication Errors Leaders Must Avoid

Here are the 7 communication errors that we find leaders in sales are making before they CRM Software implementation. By the time they’ve embraced InfoFlo, they’ve learned how to avoid them.


1. Schedule Back-To-Back Meetings

When a leader has no breaks in between meetings, they have little or no time to prepare or follow-up. To prevent this, you should schedule no more than two meetings a day; one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Give yourself 1 hour between the time you walk into the office and the time you enter the meeting.


2. Failure To Plan Thoroughly

Point number 1 brings us to point #2. Poorly-prepared presentations, reports, emails and meetings frustrate your audience and, over time, damage the reputation you worked so hard to build. This is why it’s important to prepare and plan your communication carefully and thoroughly before being broadcast for the world to see.


3. Too Irrelevant

Irrelevant communications have given rise to what email marketing gurus dubs the “deletist consumer.” In 2014, over a third of Canadians were deleting or only reading the title of emails or text messages from companies.

No communication is better than some communication. Messages you sent out often have content that your recipients don’t need – pointless tips, outdated promotions and bulky paragraphs that don’t get to the point. To avoid customers or prospects from disengaging, brands have to ensure they’re sending the latter the right message at the right time and via the right channel.


4. Too Selfish

Communication is not about you and what you need. It is about what your customers need and believe in.

Take Steve Jobs, for example, he was not able to convince people to use iTUNES because he felt the product was good for them. People started subscribing to iTUNES because they believed Steve Jobs wanted to make it easy for them to purchase music and synchronize all their data under one umbrella.

It’s therefore not about what you want; it is always about what your customers want. Your objective should always be to improve your customers’ businesses and providing them with what they really need.


5. Failure to Deliver Bad News in Person

Written communication channels don’t permit you to soften convoluted messages with nonverbal cues (i.e., body language) and they don’t allow you to deal immediately with the emotions that come after the bad news is shared. If you have to deliver some bad news, do it in person.


6. Failure to Try New Things

In a time of need, leaders must adapt and be willing to adapt quickly, to embrace new ways on the fly and to use problem-solving techniques never before thought of. And they must act without show signs of fear.


7. Overaggressive Selling

Customers are tired of the conventional, self-focused, product pusher who only cares about getting the deal signed. It is very common today for prospects to become immediately defensive or suspicious of business owners because of the way they have treated them in the past. Overaggressive selling has caused tension and problems with customers and must be replaced with helping the customer do what is best for them and in the time frame the customer wishes to make a decision. Provide useful information not a sales pitch.


What are you doing to improve communication? If you feel like you need to work on productivity, contact Carmel Vision.We have just the right solution for your business needs. It is our belief that change does not always have to necessitate breaking the bank.


8 Tips for Beating Procrastination

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” – Theodore Roosevelt


Having  a hard time completing tasks on time due to a lack of motivation? Here are 8 tips for beating the biggest productivity killer – Procrastination.


Sign to beat procrastination


1. Get Rid of Distractions

How often have you finally gotten to start a difficult project, only to be interrupted the minute you get to it? Turn off your mobile phone, access to social media (unless it is for work, television ad do some work.


2. Use Headphones

Cancel out noise and distractions by listening to some music. Very often, I create an extensive play list on YouTube that plays the music non-stop for 2-3 hours. That way I don’t have to touch anything or switch tasks to put on a new song.


3. Set a Time Limit

Commit to working for the time you have set. You will also know when it’s time to take a break. I encourage you to take on the Pomodoro Technique, which has you work in four 25-30 minute intervals and take 3-5 minute breaks in between the intervals. After 2 hours have past the technique encourages its adherents to take a 15-30 minute break.


4. Know Your Energy Cycle

Work only when you feel peppy and awake, not when you’re exhausted. That regularly means not starting a new task 30 minutes before home time. It may be wise to start the task the next morning on a clear mind.


5. Be Accountable

Ask a family member, friend or co-worker to remind you of your task if you get distracted or off task. Have them keep you in check and don’t forget to return the favour if they ask you.


6. Reward Yourself

Take yourself out for lunch or coffee break when you’re done the hard task to reward yourself for staying on task. Feel good about your accomplishment and feel the large strain off your back.


7. Ask For Help

This is one of my most useful secrets to productivity. Why is this so hard? I could never understand. But whenever I have trouble getting started because I don’t know exactly what to do, and I ask for help, I’m amazed at how much it benefits me and my team.


8. Set Macro Goals & Micro Quotas

President Eisenhower once said “plans are worthless, but planning is everything”. Motivation for doing things is inter-woven with what goals you make as well as the plans you build to achieve them. A 2006 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that abstract thinking about goals can go a long way to help with disciplining yourself. Your goals should be the large scale things that you hope to accomplish, but your quotas are what you must get done everyday to make it happen.


What are you doing to stop procrastination? If you feel like you need to work on productivity, contact Carmel Vision.We have just the right solution for your business needs. It is our belief that change does not always have to necessitate breaking the bank.


8 Smart Time Management Tips For Managers

What makes a productive manager successful at Time Management? I went ahead and asked 300 managers in the Information Technology, Marketing, Pharmaceutical, Education and Property Management sectors and here are 8 common time management traits (or tips) that they shared with me. I now proudly share them with my readers here at Carmel Vision, the leading provider of affordable CRM Software Solutions.

Before you scroll down and browse through the tips, I encourage you to closely examine the image below and see how you fit in the picture. Once done, continue reading!


Time Management


1. They Listen

Failure to listen to others’ opinions, new ideas or sound advice benefits no one. Not only does it slow down your learning, but it allows others to ignore you and leave you in the dust.


2. They Finish On Time

The best way to measure how successful a person is with their time is to measure the percentage of the work they get done. Successful and productive people are always great finishers, on time too. They seldom forget their responsibilities and almost always make sure they meet their deadlines.


3. They Plan Ahead

Few things negatively affect productivity like lack of planning. Taking the time to plan and organize your day in advance negates the need to waste time and make adjustments on the whim.


4. They Do Not Let Technology Dictate Them

People who allow technology to control them as opposed to them controlling the technology are addicts. Technology should be an asset, not a distraction. If you know the telephone is a distraction, put it on silent and place it in the drawer. Suggestion: Customize your incoming calls so that only second time callers will go through; the rest will go to voice mail.


5. They Take Initiative

Biting off more than you can chew is one of the leading ways to over-complicate things in the most unproductive ways. Know your limit and play within it.


6. They Delegate Well

Leaders see delegation as proper alignment of resources such that the best talent is matched with the greatest opportunities or the biggest challenges.


7. They End Work At A Fixed Time

Successful people end their working day at a fixed time. Don’t let work fill up your entire evening and break other arrangements. You can also have two finishing times: one for an ideal day and another for the latest time that you won’t work past.


8. They Are Organized

Being organized helps you to be on top of everything both at home and at work. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items. 2 in 3 productive sales managers use a CRM Software tool to help them stay organized and on top.


What are your goals as manager of your department or business? If you feel like you need to work on some of the above-described traits, contact Carmel Vision. We have just the right solution for your business needs. It is our belief that change does not always have to necessitate breaking the bank.

Download free trial of our Customer Relationship Management tool here.


5 Killer Tips To Achieve Your Goals Faster

Do you want to be successful? Of course, that’s a silly question to ask. Everyone does, but it takes a special someone to commit to it 100%. Here are 5 tips for helping you achieve your goals faster and become successful at what you do.


1. Share Them

One reason why many goals never get off the ground is because the person making them never shares them with others. It is a quiet goal that only lives inside of their minds. The one who wants to achieve their dream must tell that dream to many people. One reason: As we continually say it, we begin to believe it more and more. If we are talking about it then it could happen. Another reason: It holds us accountable. When we have shared it with others, it spurs us on to actually doing it so we don’t look foolish.


2. Commit To Them

Commit to accomplishing your goals you set out to complete. Make an inward commitment to yourself that this is what you want to do. This takes tons of courage, but it’s still only a decision. If you have to, write it down, tell someone, or make a promise to yourself. Whatever you have to do, decide to go into it 100%.


3. Do something every day

Momentum is key when it comes to achieving your dreams. Once you get started, you need to keep the ball rolling; the more things happen, the closer you will get to realizing your dream. If you just do things every so often, it’s going to take so much longer for you to get there and you’re more likely to give up. Do something every day, even if it’s something small. Doing something daily keeps your dream in your mind and it reminds you of what you’re aiming for. It’s easy to get lost in the routine of everyday life and not to make any time for realizing your dream.


4. Be prepared for all eventualities

Goals are not easy to achieve. By their very nature, they are things that need a lot of time and work invested in them for them to be realized. Roads are never paved gold: there is always going to be some setbacks on the way that you have to prepare yourself for. You always have to be prepared for every eventuality, even ones you would prefer not to happen, and you have to remember not to let these sway you on the wrong track. If you’re prepared for the worst, you can deal with more effectively, move on and put it behind you.


5. Be optimistic

Having a negative outlook is the main thing that can put you off realizing your dream. If you think you cannt do it, you won’t achieve it. If you think you can do it, you’ll have a much better chance of success. Get rid of any negative thoughts you might have and replace them with positive ones. Build yourself up with positive thoughts to motivate yourself. Keep telling yourself you can and will get there, rather than telling yourself you can’t and won’t ever get there.


5 Life Hacks To Improve Weekend Productivity

The weekend has arrived, and whilst it might be tempting to simply sit back and do ‘nothing’, it will only leave you wondering why it went by so far. Here are 5 ways to improve weekend productivity, in ways that boosts energy, helps you tap into your creative synapses, and prepares you for a productive workweek ahead.


1. Wake Up Early

It’s vital to keep your schedule on the weekend consistent with your schedule during the workweek. Not having to work on the weekend does not necessarily mean you should spend half of your day in bed. Sometimes excessive sleep causes a hangover-like feeling. Your body follows a natural clock and after you’ve got used to waking up at 6 am each day, waking up at noon or later on the weekends will upset that routine and your mood.


2. Take Naps

If you do wake up early and find yourself feeling groggy as a result, it may be a good idea to take a short nap. While some people view naps as a sign of laziness, they are actually a productive way to enhance performance and restore alertness, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Keep in mind that a nap is an art and not all naps result in the same goals being met:

10-20 minutes:For a quick boost in energy levels and alertness.
60 minutes: To improve memory for facts and faces.
90 minutes (a full sleep cycle): To improve creativity and emotional and procedural memory


3. Plan for The Upcoming Week

Every Sunday, I make a list of what I have to complete during the workweek using a CRM Software tool I purchased. I allot a few hours to get the tasks done. I also save the last 30 minutes of each workday to creating a plan for the next day with two priority tasks. I also use that last 30 minutes to finish up tasks and read the rest of my emails. This makes early mornings so much easier!


4. Leave Time for Items on Bucket List

Weekends are great for exploring and relaxing. Make a list of activities you would like to try within one-hour distance of where you live. Maybe it’s biking around your neighbourhood with your children or partner. Perhaps it is camping in a nearby park. Whatever it may be, remember that life can’t just occur on vacations once a year, so invite in some serendipity.


5. Set Goals

It’s all well and good being productive with your time on the weekend, but to what end if you really don’t know how to allocate your time properly. Most people spend their time and energy trying to be more efficient without having measurable goals in place — in other words, they don’t focus on the things that are most important to them and their goals. By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you will know exactly where to concentrate more. Having set goals can also be a good motivator.


Looking to become more productive on the weekend? InfoFlo CRM Software and its various productivity-enhancing features is a good place to start. Click here to download free trial.


5 Tips For Capturing The Attention of Audience

What makes a person and their message memorable? They know how to create a connection with their audience. We’ve written a productivity booster blog highlighting 5 proven tips for engaging and capturing the attention of your audience:


1. Break It Down

A decade ago, one paragraph would take up an entire page if printed. Today it is recommended to have no more than 4 sentences long. That’s because no one likes to search for a message hidden in bulky texts. This applies to emails, PowerPoint presentations web content, promotional materials and the like.


2. Pace Yourself

Group your information under headings and pace the flow with bullet points and spaces in between. Force your audience to pay attention and don’t give away the punchline too soon. Perhaps add audio and video clips in between.


3. Stay On Topic

You would think this is obvious and that you’d never make this mistake ever. I see some of the most intelligent and brilliant speakers and email blast writers talk about what they’re interested in rather than what the audience is interested in. The biggest names in the Silicon Valley became successful not because people believed in what they did, but because they believed in their cause and why they were doing it.


4. Tell Stories

Every presentation expert extols the power of stories. There’s evidence that people are prone to listen to stories. When you say “ I’ll tell you a story about…” your audience will turn their heads. Your stories should of course reinforce the point you’re making. Keep those stories short, especially when you are addressing it in emails and podcasts.


5. Add Video Clips

Insert short multimedia clips. A well-produced video is a sure way to capture the attention of your audience. It provides variation in the format and allows the audience to see remote facilities and hear from different people. The video may include customer testimonials, a special message from the CEO or a promotional corporate message, to name just a few IDEA.


9 Steps To Writing The Perfect Email Pitch

You’ve come up with the most amazing product or service and now want to promote it via email marketing. Now what? In order to be successful, you have to understand a few things about selling and email marketing, so you can connect with and engage eager buyers. The following are 9 steps you can follow to creating the perfect email pitch for your email marketing campaigns:


email marketing pitch tips


1. Gripping Subject Line

The subject line is the first thing that people notice in an email, so it is clearly a very important thing to get right. The most successful subject lines are those that are under 50 characters and stand out by invoking a sense of excitement and urgency.


2. Design

The next thing in order of importance is the design. If your email looks like it is from the past, you’ll find a lot of readers sending it to their spam box or trash bin. You do not need to hire a fancy shmancy designer. All that is required is a bit of time to properly format the content and making it readable and user friendly.


3. Customize the Message

It is very unlikely that every email you send is going to appeal to ever sender in your email database. Keep your lists in separate categories so you can customize each email to work for each particular group and prevent annoying your readers with things that do not interest them.


4. Make It Mobile Friendly

65% of emails are read first on mobile devices. That means if your emails are not optimized to look good on mobile devices, you’re going to miss out on a big chunk of potential readers.


5. Avoid Spam Trigger Words

You can craft the greatest email ever, but if it gets picked up by the recipient’s spam filters it is not going to do much good for you. Avoid using all caps and exclamation marks in your subject line and use common sense when writing the copy.


6. Add Call To Actions (CTAs)

Make sure that the actions you want your readers to take are clearly stated and easily accessible. Whether it be signing up for a service or calling a phone number, you don’t want readers to miss out on the point of the email.


7. Get To The Point

Everyone’s inboxes are overflowing and their attention spam is at the bare minimum. Skip the fluff that will clutter the email and focus on the quality of information and clearness of the call to actions.


8. Include Social Media Buttons

Social media is a great way to get your message across to people who are not subscribed to your email lists. Just by having one strategically placed “Share” button, you can potentially have your emails seen by thousands of people when clicked on.


9. Track

After the email is sent out, don’t forget to track the analytics and use the stats to craft the next email blast.


For just $49/user,  InfoFlo’s email marketing add-on allows you to easily create professional email marketing campaigns and email templates, manage subscribers, and send to unlimited contacts. Click here to schedule a live demo.


5 Ways To Overcome Negative Thinking in Sales

“See the positive side, the potential, and make an effort.” ~Dalai Lama

By a show of hands – how many of us go for an hour without experiencing negative thoughts? How many of us go for a whole day without having negative thoughts running through their heads?

The reality is that the great majority of entrepreneurs and sales representatives think and speak negatively without realizing it. For some, it’s their social conditioning, while for others it is because they have become desensitized and do it to fit in to the culture.

Our advice to all entrepreneurs, sales managers and sales representatives is to be careful about what you think most of the time because you will attract it whether you want it or not. We have also come up with 5 tips to help you overcome negative thinking and increase your positive outlook on the work that you do:


1. Become Conscious of the Things that go Through Your Mind

Don’t become alarmed over the number of negative thoughts that are running through your head. If it happens and you notice it, then let it go and avoid talking about it aloud to colleagues, friends and managers. As well, think of the ways in which you can change your negative thoughts into something positive. For example, you can change “I am not getting any sales today” thought into “The sales environment is challenging but I am up for it.” Give it a try!

2. Change the Way you Feel

This is the most difficult part of the process. To unfreeze the feelings you want replaced and refreeze the new ones, begin by visualizing the outcome(s) you desire. The outcome must be real and measurable and something that you can achieve in a decent period of time.

3. Take Affirmative Action

If no action is taken, change will never take place. Actively go about your day and apply what you have learned every time there is an opportunity. It will be difficult to do so at beginning, but if you have the perseverance and the strength, you will be able to over come your negative thinking.

4. Surround Yourself with Positive People

Call upon a friend or colleague who you know could give you constructive, yet positive feedback. When you’re stuck in a negative spiral, talk to people who can put things into perspective and won’t feed your negative thoughts. Two negatives, don’t always make a positive.

5. Read Positive Quotes

Every Monday, in honour of #MondayMotivation and #MotivationalMondays, I add a post-it note with a positive quote to my board. This board serves as a reminder to me and my colleagues to stay positive, especially during the most pressing times.


Becoming successful in sales is never easy, but everyone has to start somewhere. The first step to sales success is to embrace productivity and realize that the change is for the good. The second and most crucial step to sales success is to invest in the right software that will help you stay motivated  and A+ player. Download a free trial of  InfoFlo CRM Tool here.