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Archive for August, 2013

Case study: Sage Music School

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Music to our ears! Jason Sagebiel, owner of Sage Music School in New York, made our day by writing this awesome case study.

Jason Sagebiel, owner of Sage Music School

So, how do you run a music school, combining student care with creative work, your own music, and the business side of running an academy? If you’re passionate like Jason, you put a lot of heart into your work – and you use Relenta to manage student relationships, scheduling, staff, sales and all that jazz.

Contact forms go directly into Relenta

The website forms are sent directly into Jason’s Relenta CRM system and prospective students get the specific information they are looking for thanks to the auto-reply and autoresponder features.

Autoresponders keep everyone in the loop

Relenta’s email marketing tools let Sage Music school send out targeted and personalized newsletters, promotions, and more – automatically. Prospective students are in a separate group in the system, so they get introductory information and details about upcoming new classes. Current students are in a different group and get information about extra classes and school policies.

Contact timelines keep track of learning progress

To be an excellent teacher, you have to know your students well. A good CRM software is a perfect teacher’s tool. Relenta helps Jason by keeping a progress timeline for each student, which includes past emails, conversations, notes, and other details so that more time is spent on teaching and less on recalling information.

Today’s educational entrepreneurs like Jason Sagebiel wear many hats. They are artists, educators, astute businessmen, community leaders, and impeccable organizers.

Rock on, Jason!

Written by Dmitri Eroshenko

August 27th, 2013 at 2:41 am

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Mission possible: 5 tips to stop work clutter

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A symbol of your inner condition

A new study from the University of Minnesota claims that people with messy workspaces are more likely to be creative while people with tidy desks and offices tend to be healthier and more generous.

Creative, maybe. Productive, hardly.

Haven’t you had a major screw up because of a chaotic work system? Creativity doesn’t make up for letting things fall through the cracks. Luckily, getting rid of clutter isn’t a big deal as long as you commit to a few basic steps:

Make a list

Clutter is not just the stuff you can touch, like that ugly pile on your desk. It lurks everywhere – in your email inboxes, Excel spreadsheets, contact manager apps, CRM software and so on. Do a complete inventory and leave no stone unturned.

Centralize

Having seven separate apps and logins to deal with all your email accounts, contacts, to-do lists, files, calendars, social media, and email newsletters makes no sense. As much as possible, try to streamline your life into one, two systems tops. At the very least, integrate and sync all the multiple apps that you use, although methinks life is too short for that. Oh, and if you’re a team, it goes without saying that all information should be shared in real time.

Do not fear

Start with a big clean up and throw out as much crap as possible. You will not miss it. When my laptop was stolen in Bali a few years ago, I thought it would be the end of the world. It wasn’t. (A real-time cloud backup is still a very good idea.)

Go paperless

Paper takes up a ton of space and can easily get out of control. Digitize everything, put it on one system, and use tags so that you can easily establish connections with customers, events and everything else. Evernote is great for personal use but it has its limitations if you have thousands of customer relationships to keep track of. If that’s the case, attach digitized stuff to the appropriate contact records in your CRM or contact management software.

Remain vigilant

David Allen of Getting Things Done fame suggests getting to zero – leaving work each day with nothing in your inbox and no new emails. It may work for some, but good luck with that if your shop is dealing with thousands of customer emails per day. I mean, you can file all of your inbox items into a bunch of other folders to get things out of sight and out of mind, but you still have to respond to all those messages, right? In any case, the point is that clutter is a moving target, especially if you are predisposed to it by nature. I recommend regularly scheduled team meetings dedicated solely to tackling clutter. Wash and repeat your daily, weekly and monthly anti-clutter routines.

There’s no time like the moment. Get to it – and as added bonus, become healthier and more generous.

Written by Dmitri Eroshenko

August 23rd, 2013 at 4:27 am

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Introducing Deals (beta)

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You’ve been asking for this feature since the beginning of time, and here it is: Sales deals management.

Here’s how it works.

A Deal is a type of activity. It represents something you want to sell, and has a money value attached to it. Deals at various stages of the sales process together form a sales deal pipeline, also known as sales funnel.

Deals are organized by stages of the sales process. Each stage has a name and probability of closing. The default stages are:

  • Lost 0%
  • Lead 10%
  • Qualified 30%
  • Proposal 80%
  • Won 100%

You can edit these stages and probabilities in Settings > Deals.

The total value of your sales pipeline with an estimated closing date that falls within a certain time period is calculated based on the number of deals at each stage multiplied by the probability of closing.

Changing the stage of the deal will also set its probability of closing to the default value for the new stage. You can change the probability of closing without changing the stage.

You can filter deals by stages and who’s responsible by clicking on the Filter Deals dropdown.

Your sales deal pipeline is characterized by these key metrics:

  • Number of deals
  • Average deal size
  • Percentage of closed (won) deals
  • Average time to closing

Deal attributes include name, description, stage, probability of closing and expected closing date. Like with any type of activity, you can associate contacts and users with a deal, add comments and attach files to it.

By default, Deals in your Relenta account are not enabled. You can turn this feature on and off in Settings > Department. When enabled, the Deals tab appears under the top Activities tab.

Written by Dmitri Eroshenko

August 1st, 2013 at 9:27 am

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