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» A VIRTUAL REPOSITORY IS TRADITIONALLY EQUIPPED WITH NUMEROUS OPTIONS THAT WILL SPEED UP THE BUSINESS PROCESS AND WILL MAKE THE LIFE OF BUSINESSMEN LESS CUMBERSOME

A VIRTUAL REPOSITORY IS TRADITIONALLY EQUIPPED WITH NUMEROUS OPTIONS THAT WILL SPEED UP THE BUSINESS PROCESS AND WILL MAKE THE LIFE OF BUSINESSMEN LESS CUMBERSOME

September 29th, 2016

Within the context of continuing technological progress, traditional ways of business development are being altered. Not that long time ago those involved in business were expected to set up physical data room to share certain information with their stakeholders or they were expected to hand all the documents personally in a course of face-to-face meetings. However, with the launch of virtual repositories, a new way of documents exchange appeared.

A VDR is digital environment for digital copies of confidential corporate information and the access to the room might be opened for some groups of stakeholders. Ordinarily, virtual repositories are equipped with a multi-sided security system. Hence, you do not need to expect any misuse, unauthorized sharing, destruction, loss, data leakage, etc. Safety is ensured by such features as data encryption, firewalls, virus scanning, two-step user verification, dynamic watermarks, regular backups and a few other specific options immanent to reputable virtual rooms.

Along with military-level security, a virtual room is also known for instant accessibility: you are allowed to browse the documents whenever it is online gambling convenient for you all over the planet and continue to work even without your PC or laptop via the mobile application. Hence, you can share files with your transborder partners, investors, employees, etc. without any additional efforts and that the fulfillment of the operation is without any interruptions in progress: you do not need to take inconvenient business trips and to attend individual meetings. Moreover, when you exploit VDRs for accomplishment of the deals you can comment on all the documents directly within the virtual repository with the help of Q&A section. >>>

Also, a virtual room provides you with a fully equipped space for work. The VDR is commonly equipped with a variety instruments that accelerate and facilitate the course of the deal. Hence, you will not miss pros guaranteed by efficient search functions, filtering functions, in-document linking options, by integration with Microsoft Office. All the listed instruments let you to move around the virtual platform naturally, to adapt the file system to your own expectations, to investigate information directly in a VDR. Therefore, a VDR provides you with the virtual place which is identically suitable for communication with the stakeholders and for individual data storage.

When dealing with contacts with your stakeholders, you are not expected to bother with setting up numerous virtual data rooms for individual deals. The room allows you to separate room visitors into separate groups of users and to share only selected documents with some groups. For this reason, one virtual room is enough for simultaneous implementation of diverse transactions. Also, all the users can enter the room concurrently and any of the operations is left behind due to the platform being busy with the visitors working on the other project.

Moreover, when exploiting a virtual data room you have excessive knowledge of what occurs in your room: activity tracking function ignores not a single action performed inside the room. Thus, whatever a room visitor performs within the data room – browse, download, modify files – it is written down and reflected in an audit report. The report helps you to find the most engaged visitors, to keep under observation actions of your employees, etc.

The other beneficial trait of virtual rooms is that you have a chance to make your virtual platform consistent with your company’s identity by using logos in reports, emails, other letters, by designing your virtual platform in corporate colours, etc. Hence, by preparing a customized resource, you make your virtual repository represent your firm online to all the buyers all over the planet.

The traits listed above make it clear to some extent why virtual rooms are becoming popular and why businessmen switch to the exploitation of virtual data rooms. These digital depositories can be adjusted to your transactions’ requirements and make the project be finished without any troubles. At the same time, VDRs keep on being rather cheap and you have no doubts that you are spending money on the features you require to reach your goals. So, there is any reason to avoid virtual platforms and to to be faithful to old-school ways of making business. Innovative nature of virtual rooms will simplify your life and facilitate cooperation with the partners worldwide!

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How to protect yourself from fraudsters in a case of your plan to find a girlfriend abroad

December 29th, 2016

Some reviews depicting insincere ladies at virtual dating sites are pretty alike: a naпve man in search sends funds to a pretty girl and after that she disappears and doesn’t answer. Plenty of violent comments posted online are connected with such trouble. This can create an opinion like each of venues are inhabited by scam and that the opportunities to find love on the Web are illusionary. However view is wrong: not every women is scammer. Therefore, the obligation of each gentleman who is eager to look for a potential wife on the Internet is to try everything in detecting unfair women.

In general, it proves to be more simple to meet and to rely on someone who is local. But, there is a set of pretty easy and plain pieces of advice that can assist any gentlemen to keep him away from a deceiver. So, if the one is eager to initiate looking for partner on the Internet the gentleman should memorize several tips:

  • Choose merely decent dating websites which possess an ideal status. In order to explore how successfully the dating portal carries out the offer it gave you are supposed to read commentaries, familiarize yourself with commentaries of the existing and previous clients, get acquainted with competent reviews.
  • In a case you find a woman online never share the personal information: she is still an alien before you meet each other face-to-face and reach particular level of trust. You are supposed to avoid giving the credit card or your personal and sensitive details to a person before you are confident that it is safe.
  • Listen to the speech of the girl you met: scammers commonly are not skilled in foreign languages and the tricksters try to communicate in generic words, with no mentioning of any of your personal data that is appropriate in the communication with every other man. In such way deceivers might utilize a single letter to interact with numerous potential victims.
  • Be attentive to letters. In a case you are not sure you may investigate the text with search instruments and try to indentify alike messages online.
  • Be attentive to photos. Up-to-date technologies give you a possibility to check the identical images on the Web. Fraudsters have a chance to use photos of models or use own pictures on different online date websites. Considering you see that the photo was posted by numerous ladies then you have to be extremely watchful.
  • Be careful with the woman’s identity. You can type the name in a search software and to try to find certain information online.
  • Do not agree to switch to private email talks after a few messages. Some deceivers want to hack laptop you utilize via your email.
  • Do not dare to open files sent by new acquaintances as they might be full of malicious software.
  • Stay careful when you are being told some sentimental stories referring to death of relatives, financial troubles, lost tickets, or any others.
  • Also do not even try, under no circumstances transfer money to strangers! That’s the most common error the gentleman have a possibility to perform while online dating.

You have an opportunity to find numerous Internet-based dating websites which are ensuring guys a successful acquaintance with a foreign woman. But, it proves to be not that simple to select the high-quality dating venue which can satisfy all the expectations of a customer. YourBride.com is a digital site offering complete and detailed reviews of the main decent cross-national and local dating portals. Eventually, this source plays a role of a catalog: when you want to find a selected online dating portal you may get to know about it on the blog. With the support of the blog, you would choose the decent website and fulfill the desire you have to search out love on the Web.

Evidently, none of the dating portals would dare to offer you an absolute warranty that none of the ladies online would attempt to use any man. But you can decrease the risk and to ensure safety to you personally. Putting together the whole bunch of hints named lately, you are supposed to find a high-quality Internet-based dating site and stay thoughtful and watchful with ladies you interact with online. No one insists that you must worry and accuse every woman of misleading wishes! However in a case you do not wish to become a victim of a smart scammer you have to always estimate risks and realize how to avoid them.

Posted in Online dating | No Comments »

As a CRM User, Where Do I Send Emails From?

August 24th, 2014

Clients ask me this question all the time — when I’m sending an individual email, do I send it from my email client (i.e. Outlook) or from the CRM system?  And what about when sending out mass emails?

There’s no one correct answer, because a lot depends on the setup you have with your CRM system, and what integration tools you’re using for connecting with Outlook, Gmail, etc.  But overall, here are the guidelines I would give — If you send individual emails from your CRM system, they will automatically be linked to the contact record for historical purposes.  If you are using an integration tool or BCC dropbox and send it from your email client, then you can still link the email to the contact record in CRM.  So the answer here is sometimes “it doesn’t matter”.

For mass emails, my answer here is always the same — use a 3rd party email marketing tool (iContact, Constant Contact, MailChimp, etc.)  CRM system servers are not built with mass emails in mind.  They can typically support up to 250 messages going out at a time.  But you’ll be missing the email tracking statistics that come with the email marketing systems (open rates, click-through rates, bounces, etc.).  CRM systems also are not able to keep up with whitelists as well as the email marketing tools are — and what this does is ensure your messages are not stuck in the Spam folder of everyone you send a message to, or that your domain is banned from getting through to them. 

Instead, what you can do is use one of the 3rd party email marketing tools to send out your messages, but integrate them with your CRM system so that you only have to categorize and segment your contacts in one place, then push that information to the 3rd party tool, and let it gather the email statistics that you need.

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Posted in CRM General, CRM Systems | No Comments »

Survey on Software Project Success or Failure

December 16th, 2013

 

I have been asked to be a part of a survey that’s in production now from Software Advice that explores whether choices made during the selection of a new software impact the success or failure of that software being implemented at a company.  Please take the time to fill it out and help uncover the answers.

Choose Your Own Adventure Header

Posted in CRM Systems, DB Pros Blog | No Comments »

Response to Article on Google Apps

November 11th, 2013

I recently read an article found on AMEX’s OpenForum and wanted to respond to the article, as I found some misinformation in it.  The article is about Google Apps for Business and how it can be very beneficial to small businesses and entrepreneurs.  That part I wholeheartedly agree with.  But some of the points within the article are not completely true and I wanted to give a reply to the article in this blog post.  Here is a link to the article for better context, and below is my response.  - https://www.openforum.com/articles/getting-the-most-out-of-google-apps/.

I agree that a business should upgrade to Google Apps for Business (instead of staying on the free version) and spend the mere $50/year for it.  You should have the support and other features that the free version does not provide.

In tweaking the apps, I have found some misinformation that I’d like to clarify:

  1. In Gmail, the new category folders can be turned off, so you’re still dealing with the main Inbox folder.  And the categories do not replace the Labels (or folders in Outlook) that already exist.  In Settings of Gmail, select “Configure Inbox” and deselect all choices but Primary to remove the category folders.
  2. You’d be surprised how often people need/want to collaborate on a document at the same time, therefore relying on tools like Google Docs to do so.  It is also very useful not to have to email a file back and forth, and for the system to automatically email you when a comment is made on a document shared with you.  You can’t do that with Microsoft Word!
  3. Sheets has the functionality of creating formulas, therefore showing totals.  Cell selection you have to get used to some changes but is otherwise very similar to Excel.
  4. When someone shares a file with you in Drive, you do not need to ask permission to find/open/use it, it’s just there in your Drive folder under “Shared with me”.
  5. The calendar IS available in Outlook.  You just have to add it by using the URL provided in the Google Calendar settings.  I have 6 different calendars that I see in Outlook, that I also see in 3 different Google accounts I have.  All synchronize so that a change on one end gets made on the other end (Google to Outlook and vice versa).  Simply hover on the calendar in Google you want to send to Outlook, click the arrow and select Calendar Settings.  In the Calendar Address section, click on iCal and copy the link that appears.  Then in Outlook, select Tools –> Accounts.  Go to the Internet Calendar tab and click New…  Paste the link that you copied and click Add.  You will now have the Google Calendar appear in Outlook and see any changes made in Google.

I will agree that if you are not tech savvy, setting some of this up can be overwhelming, but once done, the Google Apps suite of tools can be extremely powerful to help run a business, and help manage a team that requires remote collaboration.

I personally use Google Apps for Business to help run my business’ technology, and use Outlook on a daily basis.  All of my information (email, calendar, contacts) are synchronized between the two tools, as well as synchronized with my Smartphone  and tablet without much effort.

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Why Excel is Not a Proper Database Tool

June 7th, 2013

In the 6+ years I’ve been working with businesses to help them implement database systems, I’ve seen many scenarios of what they’re currently using to track key business information.  One scenario that probably makes up the majority is a company using various Excel spreadsheets to track this information – whether it be prospecting, clients, contacts, project management, etc.

While Excel is a great and powerful tool for many things, what it is NOT is a robust database solution!  Yes, you can sort and filter your data to view the information you need at the moment.  But you cannot build upon that information as easily as you can with a proper database system.  And here’s the top 5 reasons why you shouldn’t use Excel as your database tool.

  1. Excel does not connect your data tables to one another automatically.  In a database system, you can connect your tables in a way that allow you to enter one piece of information once, and let it flow down to other records.  For example, a Company record can be entered once, and then you can add multiple Contacts that are tied to that Company.  This eliminates the need to enter the address, phone number, website URL, etc. more than once.  In Excel, if you want a complete list to report on, you must enter that information for each row that includes that Company.
  2. Excel does not handle one-to-many relationships well.  First, let me explain what a one-to-many relationship is.  Say you have a contact and you want to add Notes for that contact each time you have an interaction with him/her.  The contact (one) now has Notes (many) that must be stored.  To do this in Excel, just like the Company-Contact scenario in #1  above, you’d have to replicate the basic Contact information for each row you have a Note for the contact.  In a proper database system, you simply go to the Contact’s record and add a note.  The system will automatically enter a new note each time and store it under the Contact’s record for future use. 
  3. Inconsistent Data.  I had a client once use a different spreadsheet for each of the stages of the business – prospects, clients, etc.  They were copying and pasting data (or re-entering it manually) when a company went from a prospect to a client.  Then they had to update other information in different spots (and remember which spots these were each time!).  Then they switched to a database system and this information seamlessly flowed simply by changing one field from Prospect to Client!  That not only saved them a ton of time in data entry, but also in report generation!  It also cut down on the time spent in meetings discussing the changes from week to week.  Everyone could see the changes being made as they happened, and did not need to wait for the weekly spreadsheet to be circulated! 
  4. Workflow. Database systems can be set up to handle all sorts of business rules and processes to create a workflow for how you enter information, what triggers get pushed to you (an automatic email, a report sent to you weekly, etc.).  Excel can have automation built into it, but it is a lot more time-consuming and costly to build this in Excel than it is in a database system. 
  5. Visual Appeal.  The more pieces of information you need to track in an Excel spreadsheet, the more columns you need to add.  With a database system, you can lay out the screen in a way that you do not need to scroll from left to right (although many times you will need to scroll up and down) in order to enter all of the information.  By the time you scroll to the right, you’ve forgotten what information was already entered and have to go back to look.  This not only wastes time, but is not a very efficient way to work each day.

These are just 5 of the key reasons why Excel is not a database tool.  We can come up with tons more, but I think you get the point.  If your company is using Excel spreadsheets to manage its operations and key business information, give us a call and we can discuss with you ways to move that information to a more manageable database system that will save you time, money and allow your company to grow because of it!

We’d love to hear your stories – good or bad – with using Excel or moving to a database system.  Feel free to comment on this blog post.

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Posted in CRM Systems, data tools | 1 Comment »

Top 10 Evaluation Criteria for CRM Software

April 16th, 2013

Selecting a CRM software package for your company is NOT an easy decision.  There are a lot of factors to consider, a lot of decision-makers to collaborate with (usually), and user feedback to take into consideration.  Here we summarize the Top 10 criteria to use when evaluating CRM software for your business.

  1. Deployment Type:  On Premise vs. Cloud – do you want the software installed on your company’s servers and pay a one-time licensing fee to use that software (on-premise), or do you want to essentially rent the software from the vendor and have it hosted, backed up, upgraded, etc. by them (Cloud)?
  2. Ease of Use: How easy is it for users to use/navigate through the product?  Is the user interface (UI) simple or complex?  Are there a lot of clicks to get to where you need, or does the product make it very easy to navigate through it?
  3. Feature Breadth: Is there a full selection of CRM features? (see our article on Top 10 Functionalities of CRM Systems for more information)
  4. Feature Match:  Are the features you need today in the product you’re looking to purchase?  Keep in mind your needs for today, as well as your needs over the next 2-5 years.  You do not want to have to purchase another system in a year or two because you outgrew it!
  5. Flexibility: How well can it adapt to your existing business processes?  Are there features you don’t need, but can easily “turn off” so your users are not bothered by them?
  6. Reporting and Analytics: How well will it help you manage your process?  Can you create fully customized reports and Dashboards to get the most out of your data?
  7. Scalability:  How will it handle adding more users and data now and in the future?
  8. Cost:  What does it cost per user to license, implement and maintain?  If you are choosing on-premise software, don’t forget to include possible server costs (or upgrades), any additional component licensing (like SQL server, etc.), and annual maintenance costs.  If you are looking at Cloud, find out if the costs are annual or monthly; and whether they have alternate licenses for part-time users or those that will only use one or two modules of the system (this may reduce your overall costs!)
  9. Integration Options:  Will it work with your other software tools, such as your accounting software, marketing tools, and the like?
  10. Developer Strength:  Can you trust that the company will stay in business?  How long have they been in business so far?

There are several other criteria that you may want to consider when purchasing and implementing CRM software, but these are ones we find more common and necessary for majority of companies.

We’d like to hear from you – what criteria do you use in selecting software for your organization, whether you are currently using a CRM system or are thinking about using one?  Leave a comment to contribute to the discussion.

 

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Posted in CRM General, CRM Implementation, CRM Systems | 1 Comment »

10 Key CRM Functionalities to Consider

March 27th, 2013

I recently did a joint presentation with another CRM consultant, and part of the presentation was sharing the Top 10 CRM Functional Areas.  So I wanted to share those with you too.

  1. Lead Management- tracking leads generated for the business, including who the sales rep is, what products/services it’s for, timing, status, etc.
  2. Pipeline or Opportunity Management – Once a lead is qualified, and you know what work you will be performing/products you’re selling to the prospect, you can track this information as an Opportunity.  All of your opportunities in various stages can be used to create a pipeline of future closed/potential business for you.
  3. Account Management – Tracking all companies/organizations you work with.  These can be prospects, clients/customers, referral sources, or general business connections.
  4. Contact Management – All people you do business with.  Again, these can be prospects, clients/customers, referral sources, or general business connections.
  5. Sales Activity Tracking – These are the tasks you need to do/complete in order to move a sale forward.
  6. Quotation and Proposal Management – Some CRM systems allow for you to produce quotes/proposals listing out the line items of each product/service, and capturing information about other specifics of the possible deal.  These can then be sent to the prospect right from the CRM system.
  7. Marketing Campaign Management – This area of CRM allows you to track your success rate for all marketing-related activities of the company.  How many leads/opportunities did you get out of that advertising campaign?  Which marketing efforts proved more successful (# leads or $) in a given period of time?  This can all be tracked in a CRM system!
  8. Customer Service – If you need to track cases, tickets, issues, etc. for your company, the Customer Service area of CRM can be your best friend.  It allows you to tie a Customer Service (or Case) record to a given Account and ensure that it gets handled in a timely fashion (through reminders/alerts).
  9. Customer Collaboration Tools – Many CRM systems have ways to allow customers and employees to interact with one another through various mediums.  This can be through a customer portal that allows a customer to create a Case in the system; live chat through the company’s website; and other collaboration vehicles.  These are becoming more and more common, especially in service-based organizations.
  10. Sales Territory Management – If you have multiple sales reps across multiple territories across a region, country, or globally, then you will really appreciate the sales territory management aspect of CRM systems.  It allows leads to be created and automatically assigned to the appropriate sales rep.  It also allows leads/accounts to be reassigned from one rep to another without updating each individual record.

There are many more features and functionality that come with most CRM applications today, but these are ones we find more common and necessary for majority of companies.

We’d like to hear from you – what functionality do you find most beneficial in your organization, whether you are currently using a CRM system or are thinking about using one?  Leave a comment to contribute to the discussion.

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Posted in CRM General, CRM Systems | No Comments »

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

January 25th, 2013

Consultants vs. Order Takers: Don’t Be Fooled!

 

I recently sat down with a new prospect and they shared a story with me about their initial experience with the software we were discussing.  I was quickly able to realize that their first interaction was with an “order taker” – someone who simply asks what you want and makes it happen.  How this differs from a consultant is what I’m going to explain in this article.

 

The Order Taker’s Role

An order taker simply does just that – they listen to you to find out what they need to do to complete the task/project.  It’s like going into a furniture store, pointing to what couch you want to buy and having the store clerk write up your order.  The clerk didn’t do much, other than maybe show you so options of couches in the store and what colors they come in.

The Consultant’s Role

Continuing with the furniture scenario, a consultant would be someone that would come to your house to see the surrounding furniture and room where the couch will go.  He/she will measure the room, bring color samples, and help you determine what the best couch for your needs is.  Then you will go to the store (with or without the consultant) to find said couch.

As a consultant, I ask a lot of detailed questions of my clients about how their business operates, what their needs are, what their goals are, and such.  This is the groundwork for me learning more about their business so I can find out what they do and don’t know.  The danger with any new initiative in a company is that you don’t know what you don’t know!  So how could you know what questions to ask a consultant or order taker, if you don’t know what you don’t know?!

It’s the consultant’s job to figure out what you don’t know and ask pertinent questions to fill in the gaps.  Then, and only then, can a plan be established to figure out how to achieve what you set out to achieve.

 

Summary

So when you’re interviewing a vendor/consultant to work with you on an initiative, make sure you not only make sure they are competent in the tools and skills to get the job done, but that they are also asking probing questions instead of sitting back and asking you for your existing list of wants/needs.  If they give you the latter, run the other way and find the right consultant to work with that will not just be an order taker!  It may cost you a little bit more, but in the end, you will get just what you need and the money will be worth the effort.

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Posted in CRM General, CRM Implementation | No Comments »

By-lined Article by Kendra Von Achen Published in NY Enterprise Report

January 3rd, 2013

2013 started off with a published article written by DB Pros owner and President, Kendra Von Achen.  The article is titled “How to Turn Data into Dollars”.  This article was published by New York Enterprise Report, and can be found at http://www.nyreport.com/node/83705.

Please click to read and share your comments with us!

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Posted in CRM General, News | No Comments »

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