|Two months ago I wrote an article titled, "Build Business by Smart Use of Technology (Part 1)” that identified 8 areas of business development and how to leverage technology and web-based services to streamline and maximize your business development in these areas. Part 1 focused on the first 3 areas:|
- Client Referrals & Testimonials
- Branding & Design
- Social Media
In this article, Part 2, we will focus on the remaining 5 areas of business development:
Customer Relationship Management
- Customer Relationship Management
- Online Payments
- Email Marketing
- Project Management
I don’t need to convince anyone on how important a
good CRM program is. However, as software-as-a-service
improves, so do the CRM tools. No longer
are we bound to self-hosting, expensive, clunky CRM programs. CRM programs are becoming truly slick,
effective, and affordable options for organizing and coordinating our business
development efforts. Below is a list of
services to consider.
Zoho offers a suite of online web applications
in the areas of collaboration, business and productivity. Zoho CRM system is web-based.
One of the most
popular web-based CRM platforms available.
Over 87,200 companies currently use them.
An open source customer platform
that prides itself in being able to adjust to how your firm works.
This is the service we at Boomer Consulting currently
use. It integrates seamlessly with
Although the payment phase of the process falls outside the
responsibility of sales & marketing, it is still important to use
technology that streamlines this area so results and commissions can be tied
back quicker to sales & marketing. Offering the ability for your clients to pay for your
services online will get you your money faster while being more convenient for
Bill.com streamlines and automates your business bill
payment and invoicing process.
Intaact offers accounting, revenue management,
project accounting, order and billing management, financial consolidation and
financial reporting software.
See your cashflow in real-time with online accounting, invoicing, billing & banking.
Developing an email communication plan and schedule is crucial to a
well-rounded business development strategy.
Despite spamming, email marketing is still a very effective medium for
communicating with your clients and generating leads. You can have the best strategy in the world
but if your email marketing platform is difficult to use and ineffective, it
won’t do you much good. Below are a few email marketing platforms that range
from simplistic to robust but they are all powerful.
Creating a great looking website is no longer expensive and
time consuming. Using the website building services available, you can have a
complete website in less than a week or two.
Below are some platforms for creating a website if you are interested in
someone from your firm building it.
Wordpress is core software that has been built by hundreds
of community volunteers. It boasts easy
to use plugins and theme allowing you to create a custom website. However, you will need to find your own
Emochila specializes in website design and development for
CPA firms and accountants throughout the nation.
Squarespace is a full service design, build and hosting
platform. Rates start at $12 a month.
Weebly is a free service that allows you to quickly create
simple, elegant websites. All sites are
hosted with Weebly and upgrades are available for a fee.
Wix is a flash-based platform for creating websites and does not require
any programming or coding.
Webs claims to have some of the easiest website building
tools on the market. They have a free
version but you will most likely wants to upgrade to the "Enhanced” package for
$7.75 per month.
YourMembership provides one solution that delivers
membership management software that’s fully integrated with vibrant social
Project management tools are becoming more effective while
decreasing in complexity. You firm’s
business development efforts need to be fully coordinated to maximize the
results. As firms are producing more
with a leaner staff, it is crucial to have a "go to” place that partners and
staff can refer to check the progress on projects. We are learning every day that our email is
the best place for this. The below tools
will help your firm manage projects, tasks, resources, clients, budgets and
more. These are great for keeping your sales & marketing efforts properly
Created by 37 Signals, Basecamp is easy-to-use and is
trusted by millions as their online project collaboration tool.
Copper is a project management software tool that helps your
team manage projects, tasks, clients, contact and documents online.
As you can tell, there is no shortage of web-based services
we can access to begin improving our business development efforts. Although some of the principles are the same,
business isn’t developed the same way it was 5, 10, 20 years ago. Taking full advantage of smart technology,
especially in the area of business development, is quickly becoming a
"no-brainer”. These services are becoming more powerful and more affordable
every day. However, with the
implementation of these services comes the need for communication, organization
and management. These web-based services
can’t substitute the soft skills that you have or haven’t invested in your
employees. As always, continue to Think, Plan, Grow!
Disclaimer: Not all of the resources recommended in this 2-part article have been thoroughly tested. We encourage everyone to research business development solutions fully and determine which solution is best for your firm before purchasing. Also, Boomer Consulting, Inc. does not have a financial interest in recommending these resources.