Google-ize My CRM

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Learn about how integrating Google Apps with your CRM can transform your business.


  • 1. Best Practices Series Produced by: CRM Media Whats the biggest problem associated with rolling out new business technology of any type? User adoption. How can you overcome this universal hurdle? By making the process the least intrusive and cumbersome as possible, which is much easier if you incorporate tools that your workforce already feels comfortable using. In this case, were talking about integrating serious business applications with the Google platform, which has become ubiquitous among workers at all levels of technical acumen. In the following Best Practices section, we present four scenarios of how to increase user adoption rates for your serious business apps by integrating with Google and leveraging the comfort zone of your existing and new employees. Some great ideas to follow! Bob Fernekees VP/Group Publisher CRM Media Information Today, Inc. GOLD SPONSOR SILVER SPONSORS Mavenlink PAGE 26 HOW SERVICE AGENCIES CAN IMPROVE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT IN 4 STEPS Cloud Sherpas PAGE 29 ADD VALUE TO YOUR CLOUD WITH A GOOGLE AND SALESFORCE INTEGRATION Cirrus Insight PAGE 30 MAKE REPS ACTUALLY WANT TO USE SALESFORCE Bring Salesforce into Gmail (literally) to get a 5x increase in Salesforce adoption Cloud Sherpas PAGE 32 GOOGLE MAPS AND SALESFORCE INTEGRATION IS THE ROUTE TO SUCCESS 47 Discovery, Suite 200 Irvine, CA 92618 888-803-5595 3525 Piedmont Rd NE Bldg 8 Ste #710 Atlanta, GA 30305 (888) 260 7660 23046 Avenida de la Carlota Suite 600 Laguna Hills, CA 92653 (800) 678-4950 Bob Fernekees, Group Publisher 212-251-0608 x13 Adrienne Snyder, Eastern/Midwest Account Director 201-327-2773 Dennis Sullivan, Western Account Director 800-248-8466 x538 Google-ize My CRM The consumerization of business technology and why that is a good thing

2. WP26 January 2014 | CRM Magazine Sponsored Content by Kasim Aslam, Co-Owner, Solutions 8 Resource management is like human accounting. If youre in a professional services field, resource management should be as important to your management staff as accounting is to your financial staff. Speaking from personal experience, resource management tends to be overlooked by growing agencies because, in the beginning, you probably didnt need it. However, as your business grows, resource management takes its place at the table of crucial business practices that can make or break your organization. So where does effective resource management start? Management is decision making. If you run a business, department or team you are a professional decision maker, and one of the most important things a decision maker can have at hand when making key decisions is visibility. The general idea behind resource management is to improve visibility for key decision makers by providing an at a glance overview of where their resource allocation stands at any given time. That said, here are the four crucial steps to effective resource management: 1. EVERYONE NEEDS TO TRACK THEIR TIME...ALL OF THEIR TIME. Many service agencies bill by the hour so time tracking isnt a foreign concept. If you arent tracking time for any particular reason (maybe your firm bills by output or milestone), be prepared for some inevitable push back from your team. Employees often view time tracking as cumbersome and, in some cases, intrusive. It is extremely important to have the complete buy-in of your entire staff in order to ensure that the results you get from your time tracking are as accurate as possible. There are a couple steps you can take to mitigate potential resistance from employees. First, help your staff begin with the end in mind by explaining the need for resource management. Let them know that resource management will actually protect them from overload by keeping their full scope of responsibilities visible to management. Additionally, make sure to employ a project management application that is intuitive and easy to use. It should only take a few seconds at most for your employees to switch between tracking time for individual tasks. We use Mavenlink for our project management because its onboard time-tracking capabilities and interface are extremely intuitive, easy-to- use and adopt companywide. Moreover, just because a task isnt billable doesnt mean that its not payable. If your employee is spending their time on something, you are paying for the output. When our staff first started tracking time, there turned out to be a number of surprises in store for us. First, it was shocking how much time our staff spent on email. Once we realized this, we were empowered to take some corrective measures to mitigate the number of emails being sent back and forth (including a group mock for interoffice chat) and we also made sure to account for email management as a time requirement when we took stock of available hours. 2. MANAGE RESOURCES BY TASK We manage our resource allocation on a monthly basis since the majority of our initiatives tend to roll out every 30 days. Depending upon the size of your projects and how long each associated task takes, you might decide to manage resources by the week, month or quarter. Break all of your initiatives up into individual tasks; for larger organizations, this might be easier to do by department or even by project. After breaking up your tasks, be sure to determine the following: Assign an hourly estimate to each task. If you dont have historical data to assist with your estimates, take an educated guess. This will allow you to compare how long you thought tasks should take versus how long theyre actually taking. Determine if the task is stand alone or interdependent. Interdependent tasks rely upon each other for completion (i.e., task B cant begin until task A is complete so task B is dependent upon task A). Determine the due date for each task. Make sure that your due dates are consistent with your dependencies. In the example above, if task B takes two full days to complete you have to make sure task A is finished at least two days prior to the due date for task B. Once you have a complete breakdown of all of your tasks, you now have a full representation of your entire workload. The next step is to define your available resources. Determine the number of hours you can reasonably expect out of each of your employees. Once you have defined your tasks and available resources, put them together. Allocate the tasks to resources according to their bandwidth. In our organization, we have our employees take the tasks that are allocated to them and assign each with specific dates and times on their How Service Agencies Can Improve Resource Management in 4 Steps 3. Sponsored Content CRM Magazine | January 2014 WP27 shared Google calendars. This provides us with instant visibility into their daily task allocation, bandwidth and availability. 3. USE YOUR RESOURCE MANAGEMENT TOOLS AS A WORKING DOCUMENT Dont simply perform resource management at the beginning of every month and then lock it away. The information you now have available to you should be utilized on a daily basis to make ongoing management decisions. When we first began resource management, a frequent piece of feedback I received was that it would be very difficult to feasibly schedule every single task at the beginning of every month. This is even more reason to undertake resource management. Use your resource management blueprint as a working document. Accept that its inevitable that changes will be made on an ongoing basis. As unforeseen situations arise, you are now readily equipped to postpone tasks or bring tasks to the forefront as needed. The benefits of using Google Apps and Mavenlink together: At our firm, we utilize Google Calendar as our relative working document. Every employee has their own shared calendar which is made available to everyone within our organization. Since our employees load all of their tasks into their shared Google Calendar it allows for immediate visibility of any single employee (or group of employees) in an instant. Google Calendar allows users to view multiple calendars at a single glance as well as toggle calendar views on and off quickly and easily. This allows our staff to view each others schedules as well as identify availability for one or multiple people instantly. Google Calendar is also a fantastic working document for resource management since it features an extremely easy drag-and-drop utility. Throughout the month, as tasks are pushed, pulled and otherwise played with, its extremely easy to drag tasks around in Google Calendar; it ensures that there are no conflicts or overlaps. Another critical piece of this puzzle for us is the fact that Mavenlink our growth management software for online project management syncs seamlessly with Google Apps. A few of the reasons we use Mavenlink to track the status and progress of our tasks and project collaboration is because it provides high-level reporting and comprehensive Gantt charts (which show task and project dependencies) in a visual, intuitive interface. Now, using two applications could potentially result in redundant processes, but as mentioned, Mavenlink offers seamless integration with Google. All of the tasks loaded into Mavenlink sync to each users individual Google Task list. Google displays a users Task list alongside their Calendar, which gives our employees the ability to cross-reference their master task list with their Calendar to ensure adequate reconciliation. The real take home message is that your employees task lists should be reflected on their schedule. As obvious as that may sound, I find more often than not that people tend to think of their to-do list and their daily schedule as two independent tracking mechanisms. Ironically, the daily schedule is meant to reflect what it is you 4. WP28 January 2014 | CRM Magazin