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Relationship management is the one of the new buzz words of today’s technology world but in today’s world, instant access to contact information is critical to a successful business. Maintaining healthy relationship with customers is primary need of each and every business. All businesses are dependent on consumers, so they make each and every effort to attract customer’s attention and increase their number. Conventional CRM programs help companies manage sales opportunities that typically end with the deal being either closed or lost. For professional service-based companies, such as those in the financial, legal and consulting industries, converting a potential customer into a client is the beginning of securing and maintaining a long-term, client-based relationship. In the earlier days, relationships were managed by an address book, file cabinet etc. The problem was, you couldn’t find the information you were looking for in a timely manner and key contacts were often lost. As professional services firms adjust to the ups and downs of economic cycles, executives are pressured to more efficiently manage their practices to attract, serve, and retain customers. The name of the game is selling expertise in the professional services industry. The vertical is governed not by traditional durable goods, but by intellectual property. Without the ability to physically demonstrate a product, word-of-mouth endorsements and leads from colleagues are critical for professional services organizations, which include accounting, consulting, IT services, financial services, and law firms. The challenge plaguing many professional services firms is to get people to share knowledge. To overcome these challenges, executives are adopting customer relationship management (CRM) solutions.

Contact management software allows professionals to:

• Organize all the details of prospects, leads and clients relationships in one place.

• Get 360 degree view by managing complete history of interactions with prospects/customers

• Schedule and prioritize tasks

• Launch and manage marketing initiatives including mass mailing campaigns.

• Take action on your most qualified sales leads with total visibility of your sales pipeline.

• Management reporting for improved business decision making

• Stay focused by automating daily to-dos and schedules

• View others calenders and task lists from your workstation

• Delegate work to administrative personnel Effective contact management is an absolute necessity for any business in today’s highly competitive environment

. Contact management software gives you a method or track which can make the difference in your business. A successful CRM implementation can help a professional services firm stay ahead of the competition.

To know more , get in touch with us at info@Connect2Consult.com

Companies across industries and around the globe regard logistics and supply chain management as key components of their overall business success – 2009 14th Annual Third Party Logistics Study

Companies are of opinion that their relationships with 3PLs have helped them achieve critical goals related to service, cost, and customer satisfaction.

As the third-party logistics (3PL) market matures the core or basic services continue to become commodities, while value-added services and relationship management skills are becoming points of differentiation. Logistics outsourcing has become more complex, as third-party providers expand their offerings from basic to advanced services. . A sea change is underway in logistics as companies rethink their long, thin Supply chains.

Growth in the 3PL industry continues to outpace the general economy. But it has become a fragmented industry with many players chasing the same customers. The situation calls for smart, strategic marketing that helps your company break through the clutter and create awareness that leads to more opportunities and more sales.

A logistics service provider is no more just involved in moving boxes but is gearing up to play an important role in the total supply chain of the customer . A 3 PL salesperson is no more an order taker but a solution provider. The changing role of 3 PL from a basic service provider to a full service provider is one of the major factors shaping the way 3PL services are marketed, sold, and bought today. The first place many 3PLs look when crafting marketing messages is the mirror. But what they see often describes most of their competitors, as well.

If everyone says we are quality driven, customer oriented easy-to-work-with, we can provide visibility to your inventory, etc., how does the prospect know who to buy from?

As a 3PL company, marketing deserves your attention. 3PLs need to adapt marketing strategies to connect with increasingly educated buyers of logistics services. Great service at an acceptable price are now table stakes and therefore difficult to leverage as a source of competitive advantage. As the 3PL industry has become more competitive, there is a greater need to identify new markets, differentiate the company and tell its story in a compelling way. Companies need smart marketing to identify profitable niches, and create awareness and understanding of the company’s unique value proposition to potential prospects.

3PL Companies today waste large segments of their 3PL marketing budgets communicating generic messages to a broad and undifferentiated target market. To meet the challenge of producing better results with less spend, companies should shift focus towards strategic ways of marketing.

Connect2Consult advises 3PLs to better define there unique value proposition and market niche, resulting in more focused messages targeted at prospects who offer the best fit for your business.

Get in touch with us at info@connect2consult.com to know more on our 3PL Marketing Planning services or visit us at http://www.connect2Consult.com

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Pooja and Aashita, Co-founders Connect2consult , in conversation with Paritosh Sharma for their innovative implementation methodologies and business model leveraging ACT! by Sage for the Education domain.

Q: Since when have you been associated with Sage India?

A: Connect2Consult has been associated with Sage India since September 2009

Q: Describe the nature of your business and your association with Sage India?

A: We are a consulting firm, providing a single point of contact to businesses to support their cross functional business needs across Industry verticals. We provide end to end value chain of services and solutions with focus on three practice areas – Process Consulting, Process Solutions and Process Outsourcing.

ACT! by Sage, is a value add to our existing portfolio of solutions in the Technology domain. It complements our existing package to provide end-to-end sales and marketing support to businesses in different verticals. ACT! by Sage act as an enabler to support our consulting services in sales and marketing.

Q: Which are the verticals where you have implemented ACT! By Sage?

A: Since the start of the partnership with Sage, education vertical has been our prime focus , considering the opportunities that exist in this space. But as a business entity , we are also focusing at other verticals as we see immense traction in industries like Research and Consulting and Logistics. We work on developing vertical specific solutions after doing a good amount of pre-research at our end in understanding processes and challenges of the verticals. This process helps us to build robust solutions tuned to business processes of the specific vertical to alleviate the pain areas from the business.

Q: What business challenges made it necessary for education vertical to adopt ACT! By Sage solution?

A: To compete successfully, educational institutes should adopt best practices that enable them to consistently interact with their diverse constituencies in a highly personalized manner. At every touch-point across the student lifecycle, it is important to deliver the kind of differentiated experience required to attract applicants, retain active students, and maintain quality relationships with alumni.

At different stages of the student lifecycle, specific problem is faced by institutes, but the universal problem across the stages is the single view of student and corporate information, Maintaining proper history of records, Timely follow-ups, avoid duplications, Customized communication with students and corporations. As institutes use excel/spreadsheets to facilitate their processes, they find it difficult to manage databases and related information as they grow. This results in inefficiency, duplications, difficulties in tracking communications leading to opportunity loss and productivity loss.

Our solution which is built on top of ACT! by Sage, helps institutes to become more productive, efficient in handling their relationships with students and streamline the processes

Q: Which are the functional areas and modules of ACT! By Sage used in this vertical?

A: Admission, Placement and Alumni are the three functional areas which are benefitted by the solution.

All modules of ACT! by Sage, Contact, Company and Opportunity are part of our solution.

• The Admission function uses Contact module apart from features like reporting, activities, mail merge extensively to manage their processes
• Placement function uses all the modules and features in ACT!, Contact, Company and Opportunity to manage their processes.
• For Alumni, the Contact module along with Mail Merge, history and activities helps streamline their processes.
• The Social media marketing and Swift Page integration in the new version of ACT! has been considered as a value add to the previous versions, and extensively used by our clients in their processes.

Q: How has the process improved and what are the benefits accrued with the implementation of ACT! By Sage?

A: Centralize and single view of all Students, Alumni’s, and Corporations, their updated details and interaction history at one place helped them to effectively manage the process and become more efficient and productive. The well organized processes helps institute with:

• Higher application and enrollment rates
• Higher “brand” awareness with prospective students
• Higher outreach to corporations across different verticals
• Increased student satisfaction levels

Q: What innovations/ customizations that you have contributed as Connect2Consult to the product to better service your customers?

Product
We have customized ACT! after doing fair amount of research in understanding educational processes to cater to different functional requirements of the institutes.

Implementation process
Personalized approach to help end users gets accustomed to the changes in the processes. Motivate them to use the system by proactively getting in touch with them to take their feedback and any queries during the implementation cycle.

Post Implementation
Regular training programs are conducted for new users and modules are introduced in a phased manner to improve user adoption

Integration of Product with Service
Connect2consult has gone a step ahead to engage students, who are biggest stakeholders for any institute, to provide hands-on training on the CRM application The hands on approach will make a huge difference to students as they learn the `ins and outs’ of CRM. Integrating CRM in the business curriculum will provide realistic opportunities to the students to develop and enhance their decision-making and technology skills.

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Connect2Consult was voted a winner of “The Most Popular Entrepreneur Challenge 09”, a month long, one hundred percent community driven online contest for entrepreneurs that measured the popularity and zest of young entrepreneurs at pan India level, organized by Yourstory.in in collaboration with Sun Startup Essentials, a division of Sun Microsystems

Connect2Consult emerged as winners out of 180 first generation entrepreneurs from all over India

“Networking is the key to entrepreneurship and is something all entrepreneurs should be good at to be successful. In the initial days of starting a venture and building your company brand, it is the personal brand that comes to rescue which one develops over a period of time through networking capabilities”

Entrepreneurs today have to build contacts no matter what; it is not an option but a pre-requisite for survival in this world of intense competition. Who you know is equally important than what you know” said the founders emphasizing the importance of networking and the unique concept of the contest. For the first time the winning metric was solely judged on the business acumen and networking abilities of the entrepreneurs.

The Single Point Engagement Model has been well appreciated by clients and associates, and the testimonials received by Connect2Consult on their yourstory.in profile page are a testimony to this fact.

“Connect2Consult was leading throughout the MPEC contest and the win reiterated the popularity that they command with their clients and vendors” said the founder of yourstory.in, Shradha Sharma.

Their model has been designed keeping in mind the challenges that are faced by businesses of all sizes in identification and implementation of right processes and technology across all functional areas.

“The single point engagement business model ensures that we work as ‘One’, our clients and our team and our efforts are on solving cross functional business problems that they face. As we represent our client, we make sure that we do not push any solution to them rather work with their team to find the best solution to their business problems.” echoed the founders of Connect2Consult.

On being asked what does becoming the most popular entrepreneur mean, the founders said, “ The challenge does not mean anything if one is looking for fame and visibility , however if the company is able to communicate the vision it stands for and infuse the spirit of dreaming and doing big in life – we have done that.”

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Connect2Consult launches a student relationship management solution for the education sector covering business schools and Universities to help them manage and build long lasting relationship with students by integrating different stages of the student lifecycle with CRM

“We believe these are challenging times for institutes providing higher education, and to compete successfully it is important to adopt best practices that can enable them to consistently interact with their diverse stakeholders in a highly personalized manner”

For Universities and business schools, students are their customers, but as CRM usage is widespread in the corporate sector, higher education is far behind with CRM implementation. Connect2Consult understand how higher education institutes can benefit from CRM by improving student-facing processes, by personalizing communications with students, by providing hands on training on the technology and by increasing placement opportunities thereby increasing student’s satisfaction.

Connect2Consult has designed this solution, which will empower higher education institutes to automate their student facing processes thereby helping them achieve two fold objectives, of managing relationships with current students and alumni, and of fulfilling their promise to effectively educate, prepare and place students for today’s job market.

“The student relationship management will enable the enquiry, placement and alumni team to be more efficient and provides visibility across the team’s efforts. Modules that manage different touch points of the student lifecycle”

  • Enquiry – Help institute design recruitment and marketing campaigns to attract new students and have a customized communication with prospective students. Also, help them assess campaign effectiveness by calculating ROI from different campaigns that that they run
  • Enrollment – Maintain all academic data and student-related pro¬cesses in one central access point
  • Engage – Engage students by providing them hands on training on CRM to prepare them for the corporate world
  • Placement – Attract new corporations for campus placements basis the past successful placements and students profile like education, specialization, summer training etc., and run vertical specific customized campaigns to attract corporations and increase visibility in the corporate world
  • Alumni – Connect with Alumni, to promote alumni programs that can generate contributions, and participations. Target the right alumni for the right opportunity and promote continuing education programs by identifying those who are likely to have high levels of interest in executive level courses. This is a cost effective solution which is easy and quick to deploy.

To know more, please visit –http://www.connect2consult.com/EducationalInstitutes.aspx

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Connect2Consult is planning to go international by expanding its reach to markets in Europe and US through its Offshore Talent Sourcing Model (OTS).

“The Offshore Talent Sourcing (OTS) Model is designed specifically keeping in mind the need to support cross functional routine/non-core processes of businesses across different verticals”

The company provides offshore support to cover processes like

  • Sales and Marketing Support – contact database building for lead generation, pre-engagement intelligence (Company/Industry research) and other business development support
  • Strategy Formulation – Research support for new market entry strategies (including India), opportunity assessments, tracking events related to current clients, prospects and competitors
  • Sourcing and Supply Chain – Vendor identification and selection in India to support sourcing strategies for cost and competitive advantage
  • HR and Administration Support – providing virtual assistance for documentation work, backend data entry, working on word/PowerPoint/excel documents
  • Custom Software Application Development or support and Website development(SEO)

With its OTS Model, the company aims to provide extended support to global companies across different verticals to help them create value and competitive advantage in the market at lower overheads. OTS model help companies operate even more profitably and improve competitiveness and capacity to adopt to ongoing global trends

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