Monday, June 17, 2013

Act Globally. Think Locally.

I recently returned from a two-week trip to Shanghai for the annual meeting of IPREX, a global network of communications agencies. 

It was my latest in a string of opportunities to travel overseas in recent years, on account of taking on an increasing role in IPREX (I was sworn in as the new president at the meeting), as well as serving several clients with global operations.

But throughout my relatively modest travels, I’m always reminded of an important truth upon my return: I still have a lot to learn about the people and places I’ve visited. 

So who can help me better understand these essential elements? Only the people who’ve lived there all their lives. 

If you’re looking to succeed on international fronts, there’s simply no substitute for local expertise. You need people who not only speak the language fluently, but also truly understand the culture, the mindset and the current environment.

That’s why our partners throughout IPREX are so important to our business and our clients. In a global economy in which knowledge and speed are crucial, these relationships ensure instant access to professionals who really know how to advance success in Shanghai, Sao Paulo, Sydney and so many places in between.

Friday, June 7, 2013

No Lead Left Behind – It’s Easy to Keep Track with Today’s CRM

How many times have you engaged in a conversation with a potential customer and never made contact again? Whether you lost their business card or simply forgot about them, you missed an opportunity.

Lucky for you and your team, there are powerful tools available to help you make sure you never let another one slip away. It’s now easier than ever to stay on top of leads through web-based customer relationship management (CRM) programs like

Here’s a quick primer at the two main categories of leads and how to use them.

Leads – Pretty much anyone that meets your target audience criteria. Leads are categorized by cold (people or businesses that do not know who you are) and warm (leads that have a prior relationship with you). Each can be assigned to a specific person on your sales team to increase accountability for converting this lead into revenue.

Opportunity Pipeline – Leads who recognize the need for your company’s services and have engaged in multiple conversations with your team. Keep track of the conversations in the “status update” section to gauge your progress and share notes to tailor your next message to that company’s needs. The opportunity pipeline is separated by three stages:
  • Prospect – Recognizes the value of your products or services and has engaged in initial, informal discussions about moving forward.
  • Dance – In the process of talking about specific products or projects, but yet to decide if your company is the perfect partner.
  • Quote – Has received a formal proposal that outlines the cost and timeline of a given project.
If you’ve never tried one of today’s online CRM tools, you’ll be surprised just how simple they are. So give it a try. There’s no reason to ever lose another lead.