Archive for March 2011

Webinar every Tuesday at 2pm EST

March 28, 2011

Join us for another brief overview of LeadMaster’s cloud computing solution capabilities – sales lead management, opportunity management, CRM, e-marketing, Outlook integration and more…

Webinar every Tuesday at 2pm EST.  No pre-registration required. Either dial-in or listen through your computer. Q&A available via chat.

http://www.leadmaster.com/LeadMaster-Library/Tues-Webinar/webinar.html

 

The all-in-one solution for managing leads and customer relationships, automating marketing, email marketing, call center and inside sales.

New Feature – Bounce Manager Sorts Soft Bounces

March 25, 2011

Whenever you send email from LeadMaster it records in the system whether or not that email was delivered.  If it wasn’t delivered it is marked as ‘bounced’.  There are two types of bounced emails – soft & hard.  A soft bounce means the email address is valid but for some reason (mailbox full, mail server down etc) this particular email couldn’t be delivered.  A hard bounce means the email address is invalid.

As a best practice you should always disable email addresses that have a hard bounce before launching another e-marketing campaign.  With soft bounces there is some flexibility in the number of bounces before disabling those email addresses.

With this new feature LeadMaster makes it easy to sort your soft bounces bringing those with the most bounces to the top so that you can easily disable those emails.

Bounce Manager Sorts Soft Bounces

Bounce Manager Sorts Soft Bounces

Here are some previous posts on E-Marketing best practices and why it’s a good idea to manage your bounces.

 

The all-in-one solution for managing leads and customer relationships, automating marketing, email marketing, call center and inside sales.

The Benefits of Lead-Xpress – SaaS Lead Management / CRM

March 24, 2011

Companies around the globe are embracing software as a service (SaaS), especially for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and sales lead management. The benefits of software as a service are many:

• reduced costs • instant deployment • scalability • easy upgrades • measurable ROI • access to information from any location with Internet access and from multiple computing platforms (cell phone to laptop & desktop)

But some companies are finding that when it comes to SaaS CRM actual benefits can be less than expected. Some of the reasons cited include:

• cost increases – many vendors offer a limited version at low cost but require a long term contract, once the companies have their data in the system they find they need features only available in the higher cost version, additionally many vendors make it hard to extract data once it’s in the system, virtually forcing companies to move to more expensive versions – one of the top vendors lists their introductory version at $5 per user per month and their most popular version at $125 per user per month

• unexpected expenses like internal development, deployment and support

• long-term contracts that lock you into a minimum number of users so that even if your business has changed and you no longer need all those users you still have to pay for them

• steep learning curves and resistance from the sales team to use the tools

• requiring multiple vendors to provide a complete solution driving up consulting costs

The primary justification for implementing software as a service was reduced costs but at $125 per person per month the costs can add up quickly. Add to that the cost of training, consulting, development, deployment, support and additional apps and the costs can quickly escalate. A company with 100 users at $125 per user per month can spend $150,000 per year in software licensing costs alone. According to the Yankee Group, software licensing accounts for less than 50% of the cost, this brings the total cost of ownership to well over $300,000 per year for 100 users.

As for adoption by the sales team, recent studies indicate that a majority of sales reps using the brand name CRM products use less than 50% of the features of the system. The number one reason cited was difficulty using the product.

A software company called LeadMaster recently.  The software company had spent $370,000 in development costs on customizing their open source CRM solution. They called LeadMaster because they required functionality that their in-house solution didn’t provide and the estimated cost to add it to their open source solution was forecasted to be very expensive. If a software development company with plenty of programming talent can’t accomplish their goals with $370,000 what chance does the average company have?

Many companies are finding that CRM is great for managing customer interactions but they were also looking for something to manage interactions with prospects as well. What they were really looking for was a Lead Management / Opportunity Management / CRM system. And unfortunately many of the big name SaaS CRM tools fall short of their needs.

Businesses are constantly trying to find new ways to cut costs while improving productivity. And while the solution eludes many, the all-new Lead-Xpress from LeadMaster provides a Lead Management / Opportunity Management / CRM solution that truly reduces costs while boosting productivity. LeadMaster provides an all-in-one solution. LeadMaster includes Lead Management, Opportunity Management and CRM features. Some of the LeadMaster built-in features include Email Marketing, Lead Nurturing, Workflow Automation, Outlook Integration, Google Calendar Synchronization, Round Robin Lead Distribution, Duplicate Record Management, Sophisticated Reporting, Report Subscriptions and Automated Task Management to name a few .

LeadMaster’s primary design focus was ease of use for the sales rep. The most popular software as a service CRM solution requires a dozen clicks of the mouse to make a note in the system that the sales rep left a voicemail. LeadMaster has a feature called ‘Click-Actions’ that allows frequently performed tasks to be reduced to a single click of the mouse. For example, a click action could update the notes, send an email, schedule a callback and add the contact to lead nurturing all with two clicks – a single click of the mouse for the click action and then click go.

Lead-Xpress takes the best features of the LeadMaster Lead Management / CRM system and makes them available for companies to help them manage their sales leads and customer interactions. Lead-Xpress is the ultimate lead management solution for companies that wish to dramatically cut Software as a Service CRM costs while actually boosting productivity. With Lead-Xpress, a simplified version of the LeadMaster CRM, users can easily receive leads via email and update records via a secure link in their email.

LeadMaster users can easily assign leads to Lead-Xpress users with just a couple of clicks in the LeadMaster system. Users only have access to the records to which they are assigned. Lead-Xpress users are sent an email alerting them of the lead including an embedded or hyperlinked web form. This simple form takes seconds to fill out and submit. The form is customizable and typically requires no training. This allows Lead-Xpress users to update the Lead Management / CRM system easily within seconds. With mobile access included for every Xpress user, reps can now update their leads from an Internet enabled mobile phone.

Lead-Xpress clients save up to 90% on their SaaS Lead Management / CRM costs. Call LeadMaster at (800) 699-4164 to speak with a Lead-Xpress expert.


The all-in-one solution for managing leads and customer relationships, automating marketing, email marketing, call center and inside sales.

New Feature – Click Actions Available from Search Results

March 14, 2011

LeadMaster has a feature that goes by a variety of names: Call Stats, Click Actions etc.  Basically these are checkboxes that can be setup to do a wide variety of routine tasks.  For example, suppose you called a prospect and got voicemail.  In one of the big name salesforce automation software packages it takes a dozen clicks to put a note in the system that you got voicemail.  That doesn’t seem much like automation to me.  LeadMaster takes a different approach to automation.  With a two clicks of the mouse you can put a note in the system, add a call back to your calendar for the next day, send an email to your contact, text inside sales and more.  And the best news is that you don’t have to be a programmer to set it up.  It’s point and click easy.

Click Actions from LeadMaster Search Results

Click Actions from LeadMaster Search Results

Until now you had to go into the record to access the calls stats / click actions.  Now you can do it from search results.  They are in the more info menu along with email marketing and lead nurturing.  For those of you who like to make calls and take notes from the search results page this will make your life a lot easier and your calling a lot quicker.

 

The all-in-one solution for managing leads and customer relationships, automating marketing, email marketing, call center and inside sales.

New Feature – posting Comments to LeadMaster

March 10, 2011

Before leads can be tracked they need to get into the lead management system.  LeadMaster makes that easy with a variety of tools (http post, web form to custom form mapping, email parse etc).  The more information provided with the lead the better.

Many of our customers and  lead providers asked for the ability to post comments along with the leads.  Multiple lines of comments can now be included.  The field “lp_Comments:” must be the last field in the body of the email message, since all text following the “lp_Comments:” label and all subsequent lines in the body of the email message are included for the comments.

About LeadMaster / Lead Provider Integration

LeadMaster provides the ability  to automate the process of submitting leads to LeadMaster

Registering as a Lead Provider

The following information is maintained for each lead provider submitting leads to LeadMaster:

1. Name – the name of the lead provider. For each lead submitted to LeadMaster by the lead provider, the “Edited By” field is set initially to the name of the lead provider.

2. Username – the username used (along with the password) to authenticate the lead provider before leads are accepted.

3. Password – the password used (along with the username) to authenticate the lead provider before leads are accepted.

Overall Process

1. The lead provider registers with LeadMaster for one or more workgroups.

2. The lead provider develops and implements an HTTP post call using their development language of choice (javascript, vbscript, java, etc.) to pass information about a lead to LeadMaster.

3. The lead provider receives and processes the response to an HTTP post call.

Posting Leads via Email

As an alternative to developing and implementing an HTTP post call using their development language of choice (javascript, vbscript, java, etc.) to pass information about a lead to LeadMaster, a lead provider can pass information via email. Information about the lead is parsed from the message body of the email message and added to LeadMaster.

 

The all-in-one solution for managing leads and customer relationships, automating marketing, email marketing, call center and inside sales.

Updated Feature – Embedding Custom Forms in Email Messages

March 3, 2011

One of the great features of LeadMaster is custom forms.  Custom forms allow the user to add a variety of fields to a blank form and then attach that form to a record. This is an extension of the basic application and allows for customization for individual requirements. One of the unique features of Custom Forms is that it allows for the “extension” of the application’s basic search capabilities to many of the fields on the Custom Forms.

With this enhancement we’ve changed the way custom forms can be embedded into an email message and sent from LeadMaster.  The custom form can either be an existing form where the recipient can update the data on the existing record, or it can be a new form and the form with the recipients data will be attached to the existing record.

This enhancement make LeadMaster an excellent platform for surveys.

There are 5 types of custom forms:

Supplemental Form – developed using point and click to create the fields and optionally map the new fields to existing fields in the database.   Can be attached to a profile when records are manually added to the application or anytime after adding a record.  Existing records can have forms attached using the global update feature.

Web Form – developed the same way as Supplemental Forms but can be made available for direct web input into the database.

Sales Update Form – developed the same way as Supplemental Forms but can be linked “in-line” into the Sales Update page (instead of just being an attachment via a pop-up this form appears as if it is part of the actual Sales Update page) and can be made variable by individual campaign

Feedback Form – this form appears “in-line” at the end of the Sales Update page and can contain a series of questions regarding the lead (used for Sales Feedback purposes)

Sales Opportunity Form – this form appears in the Sales Opportunity section of the Edit Profile and Record Update page and can be customized for a particular workgroup

Custom Forms can be embedded in email messages created from the following:

1. From the ‘Accounts’ and ‘Search Results’ pages and from the ‘More Info’ menu for a specific record – ‘Send Email’ option:

a. You can insert a link in the email message body to a blank ‘Web’ or ‘Supplemental’ custom form which when completed will attach to the record.

b. You can insert a link in the email message body to an existing ‘Web’ or ‘Supplemental’ custom form from the record which when opened will display the current data for the custom form an allow the email recipient to update the custom form.

c. You can select an email message template which can include a link to a blank ‘Web’ or ‘Supplemental’ custom form which when completed will attach to the record.

2. From the ‘Accounts’ and ‘Search Results’ pages and from the ‘Options’ menu – ‘Send Email’ option:

a. You can insert a link in the email message body to a blank ‘Web’ or ‘Supplemental’ custom form which when completed will attach to the record.

b. You can select an email message template which can include a link to a blank ‘Web’ or ‘Supplemental’ custom form which when completed will attach to the record.

3. From the ‘Contacts’ and ‘Contact Search Results’ pages and from the ‘Options’ menu – ‘Send Email option:

a. You can insert a link in the email message body to a blank ‘Web’ or ‘Supplemental’ custom form which when completed will attach to the contact.

b. You can select an email message template which can include a link to a blank ‘Web’ or ‘Supplemental’ custom form which when completed will attach to the contact.

4. From the ‘Sales Update’, ‘Edit Profile’ and ‘View Profile’ pages and from the email link associated with the envelope image for a contact:

a. You can insert a link in the email message body to a blank ‘Web’ or ‘Supplemental’ custom form which when completed will attach to the record.

b. You can insert a link in the email message body to an existing ‘Web’ or ‘Supplemental’ custom form from the record which when opened will display the current data for the custom form an allow the email recipient to update the custom form.

c. You can insert a link in the email message body to an existing ‘Web’ or ‘Supplemental’ custom form from the contact which when opened will display the current data for the custom form an allow the email recipient to update the custom form.

d. You can select an email message template which can include a link to a blank ‘Web’ or ‘Supplemental’ custom form which when completed will attach to the record.

5. From the ‘eMarketing’ / ‘Launch an Email Campaign’ page:

a. You can insert a link in the email message body to a blank ‘Web’ or ‘Supplemental’ custom form which when completed will attach to the contact.

b. You can select an email message template which can include a link to a blank ‘Web’ or ‘Supplemental’ custom form which when completed will attach to the contact.

6. From the ‘Automation and Workflow Management’ feature, ‘Send Email’ action page

a. You can select an email message template which can include a link to a blank ‘Web’ or ‘Supplemental’ custom form which when completed will attach to the record.

7. From the ‘Lead Nurturing Tracks’ feature, ‘Email Step’ page

a. You can insert a link in the email message body to a blank ‘Web’ or ‘Supplemental’ custom form which when completed will attach to the contact.

b. You can select an email message template which can include a link to a blank ‘Web’ or ‘Supplemental’ custom form which when completed will attach to the contact.

8. From ‘Administration’, ‘Email Message Templates’ feature, ‘Add / Edit Email Message Template’ page

a. You can insert a link in the email message body to a blank ‘Web’ or ‘Supplemental’ custom form which when completed will attach to either the record or the contact depending on where the email message template is used.

The all-in-one solution for managing leads and customer relationships, automating marketing, email marketing, call center and inside sales.