Do You Know the 5 Levels of CRM?


The Five Levels of CRM by Ross & Ross International


Ten years ago, there were a few dozen CRM Systems available from ACT (for Small Businesses) to Siebel (for Large Enterprises).  In the past, you bought the software once, paid for the implementation and then paid an annual support fee…forever.

Today, there are hundreds of CRM Solutions for all size businesses –  from a one-person company Small Office (or Home Office) to tens of thousands of employees in a Fortune 100 company. Now all the leading CRM Solutions are built with Cloud and Mobile Technology (or they’re rewriting their old CRM software using the new technology). You typically pay an implementation fee and an on-going monthly fee per user per month…. forever.

Many business people are very confused about what CRM is and how to best use it. So let’s review a brief definition of CMR according to Wikipedia:

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a system for managing a company’s interactions with current and future customers. It involves using technology to organize, automate and synchronize sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support.

Since there are so many solutions and so many vendors that use the “CRM” definition in so many ways, we decided to help summarize the different levels of CRM in Business.

There are five typical levels of CRM in business today. Which level is your company?


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The #1 Secret to Motivating Your Sales Reps

Make Money Selling Used Technology Equipment

  • It’s NOT more Money!
  • It’s NOT a Trophy!
  • A Sales Manager Can’t Do It!
  • So… What is it?



It’s so Simple…  and Every Sales Manager and Sales Executive should read this tip…


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Over the last five years, has become very complex to successfully implement and manage.

However, the CRM System is still very easy to just turn on with their standard configuration and start working. It’s quick, not too painful and many companies just do that.

Unfortunately, the standard process, forms and reports very often don’t match what the company sales team really needs to be productive… and over time, sales people stop using parts of the system, the customer database gets very dirty and sales managers go back to using spreadsheets to prepare their forecasts, usually over the weekends.

Most companies need some help improving their system.

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Top 10 Paperless Office Technologies that will Increase Your Productivity

Blue File Draws - photo source by by cooldesign

The concept of the paperless office has been around for decades.  Unfortunately, the available technology was never quite good enough or cost effective enough to give most businesses a good return on investment (ROI)… until Now!

The latest technology is unbelievably effective at reducing or eliminating paper in your office.  Significant employee productivity gains are exciting to see within months, not years.

In our Small Business offices, we’ve been reducing one file cabinet per year by implementing these techniques.

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Top 7 Benefits of New Customer Service Technology

Woman at Work in Small Business

We all know that Customer Service has always been a critical component of all successful Businesses. However, you may not know about some of the latest Customer Service System Benefits.

If you are still using the same Customer Service Technology from 3 to 5 years ago, you may find this information helpful to help Increase your Customer Satisfaction, Improve Staff Productivity and Increase your Sales this year.

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How to Find and Hire Top People Faster for Your Business?

The other day I was browsing the Zendesk website to learn more about their Customer Service / Help Desk solution for one of our clients.  As part of my review, I always look at the jobs postings (to see how fast a company is growing) and also scan the company Youtube videos.

I came across their recruiting video called “This is Zendesk.”  I didn’t plan on watching the whole thing.  However, the more I watched, the more I liked it. The video sucked me in, bit by bit.  After watching, I called over my business partner to watch it and give me her opinion.

We both thought it was great and walked away being very  impressed with the company and the people. If I was looking for a job, I would have wanted to work there… all from a simple video.

The job market for top people is getting more and more competitive. There are so many bad companies to work for out there.

After watching this video, you too may want to work at Zendesk. …. or you can produce one of these videos for your own company today.

The Zendesk Company Video used for Recruiting New Employees

So, one of the Secrets to finding and hiring Top People is … Produce a great low-budget recruiting video about working at your company.

Please comment with any other great company videos that would get a new employee excited to work for your company.




Top 5 Reasons the New iPads are Really Hot

Apple iPad Mini Retina 2013 via Apple PR

Apple rolled out the new iPad Air and the iPad Mini with Retina in November 2013 and many of the reporters and analysts complained that there was nothing new or exciting in the new products. They questioned if Apple still had it….

Well, I beg to differ with them!

Here are five technology reasons why the new iPads are really HOT and why you should consider buying them. …Continue Reading

iPad Air or iPad Mini Retina? …Top 10 Tips for a Small Business

Apple iPad Air and iPad Mini Rentina - photos via Apple PR




If you’re planning on buying a new iPad, you have to decide which size works best for you and your small business.

The good news is that both the iPad Air (10″) and the iPad Mini Retina (8″) have the latest technology in the tablet industry and are rated very high by most of the industry reviewers.


Below are Top 10 Tips for selecting an iPad, a description of my ideal iPad and some Final Tips when considering buying an iPad.


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Don’t Let Your Mobile Professionals Use Free WiFi at Starbucks

Businessman in a Cafe having Coffee using a Smartphone and Tablet  with VPN - photos by adamr with As a Small Business owner, you have to be crazy to let your mobile professionals use the Starbucks Free WiFi without using a low-cost VPN App on their Smartphone, Tablet or Laptop.

I’m not trying to pick on Starbucks (although it helped get your attention didn’t it?).  This issue exists with most FREE WiFi services, including Airports, Restaurants, Cafes, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Hotels, etc.  It’s a bigger concern when you travel overseas.

If you are wondering… A virtual private network (VPN) enables a Desktop, Laptop, Smartphone and Tablet to send and receive encrypted data across open public networks like WiFi. In many small businesses, VPN is more secure than their own private company WiFi network.   Wikipedia has a more technical description of a VPN Network

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Top 10 Tips for Setting Up a Partner Program

Small Business Partner Team During a Meeting - Photo by

We’ve been working with various partner programs for the last 20 years. Some very good… many NOT so good.

Today, setting up partnerships in business is a standard practice for many new companies.

It’s a lot of work to do it right. Since so many companies now have partner programs, it’s also very hard to compete with all the other companies pitching their programs.  So how do you stand out from the crowd? How do you get your partners to use your product over the competition?

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