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17 Replies Latest reply: Jul 23, 2009 3:01 PM by SBC Team RSS

Event July 23: The Upwardly Mobile Small Business

SBC Team Master
Currently Being Moderated
Using Mobility to Compete, Survive and Thrive in a Web 2.0 World
  • Sponsored by BlackBerry®

In the face of tough economic conditions, small business owners are looking for ways to build long lasting relationships with current customers while pursuing new relationships with good prospects. In this event with Brent Leary, speaker and award winning blogger, we will look at how a strategic use of today's powerful mobile devices can offer solutions to challenges small businesses are faced with in effectively communicating with today's socially-empowered, on-the-go customer base.

Brent will be answering questions like:

  • How can we use mobile devices to easily capture and share information amongst ourselves? with customers?
  • How can we use mobile devices from a sales and marketing perspective?
  • How can a mobile strategy help lower costs?
  • How do you measure the ROI for mobility?
  • How can mobility help us build better relationships with customers? Acquire new ones?

About Brent Leary

Brent Leary is a CRM industry analyst, advisor, author, speaker and award winning blogger. He is co-founder and Partner of CRM Essentials LLC, an Atlanta based CRM advisory firm covering tools and strategies for improving business relationships. His client list includes Research In Motion, Sage, Microsoft, Intuit, Cisco and the state of Georgia's Depart of Economic Development.

Recognized by InsideCRM as one of 2007's 25 most influential industry leaders, Leary also is a past recipient of CRM Magazine's Most Influential Leader Award. He serves on the national board of the CRM Association, and as a subject matter expert for the Small Business Technology Task Force. He's been quoted in several national business publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek and Entrepreneur magazine. In 2009 Leary co-authored Barack 2.0: Social Media Lessons for Small Business. He has written regular online columns for Inc. and Black Enterprise magazines, as well as for popular business sites including American Express OPEN Forum. Leary also hosts and produces the popular "Technology For Business $ake" Internet radio program.

Brent will be live on SBOC on July 23 at 2:00 p.m. EST. However, if you can't participate at that specific day/time - you can post a question now and check back during or after the event for Brent's response. Brent will try to answer as many questions as possible on July 23, but may not get to all of them. Note, you do not need to register for the event. You simply need to be a member of SBOC to post a question. If you don't have a user ID, join now, it's free.

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  • Re: Event July 23: The Upwardly Mobile Small Business
    MajorNathan Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    My questions revolves around the best time to use social media, I am not sure that I am interested in the end-user (retail customer) following me on Facebook or twitter, what is your opinion on using social media (to a specific set of followers) with my key suppliers and B2B customers so they understand where we are in the product release cycle so they can plan accordingly??

    Edited by: SBOCTeam on Jul 23, 2009
    • Re: Event July 23: The Upwardly Mobile Small Business
      bleary Newbie
      Currently Being Moderated
      More and more, all kinds of businesses - b2c and b2b are using social media to interact with customers. they are doing so because we're using sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to find information to challenges they face, and collaborate with people who share the same interests. A study last year from Cone found that 60% of Americans participate in social media sites - 93% of them feel companies should have a social media presence. So I would definitely recommend using social media to share information with your customers and prospects, and also to have them give you their opinion and feedback. This will really help to cement current relationships as will as build new ones.

      Here's the link to the study for your review - http://www.coneinc.com/content1182

      Thanks!
  • Re: Event July 23: The Upwardly Mobile Small Business
    ChicDesigner Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hello,

    I am an interior designer constantly on the road across the US visitng with clients. I'm really curious about what the future state of mobile business banking and communications capabilitiies will look like for me in the next few years. It still seems as if much of this technology is still pretty basic and I want to get to the point where I can do anything I would do in a branch via my iPhone.

    Thanks,
    ChicDesigner
    • Re: Event July 23: The Upwardly Mobile Small Business
      SBC Team Master
      Currently Being Moderated
      Community, keep those questions coming. We love the submissions so far!
    • Re: Event July 23: The Upwardly Mobile Small Business
      bleary Newbie
      Currently Being Moderated

      Mobile banking and transaction processing is really starting to pick up. An example of this would be Intuit's GoPayment product, which allows you to use your mobile device to process credit card orders. So if your at a trade show and have product and services you're selling, you would be able to process credit card purchases right on your phone. Additionally if you're a Quickbooks user GoPayment is integrated into it, so the transaction would be booked automatically.

       

      Also mobile banking is getting to be pretty easy. You can get email alerts, move money between accounts and get your account balances all over the mobile phone.
  • Re: Event July 23: The Upwardly Mobile Small Business
    SBC Team Master
    Currently Being Moderated

    Community Members,

     

    Please join us in welcoming Brent Leary to your Small Business Online Community. Brent is here to answer questions on how today's powerful mobile devices can offer solutions to challenges small businesses are faced with in effectively communicating with today's socially-empowered, on-the-go customer base Today, Brent will be using the screen name bleary.

     


    To all Community Members
    If you have questions for Brent, post it here by simply hitting reply and then refresh your browsers often to view Brent's responses. Brent will try to answer as many of your questions as possible.
  • Re: Event July 23: The Upwardly Mobile Small Business
    bleary Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    In this current economic environment the one thing we truly can't afford is the loss of a good customer. it's critically important to be as responsive to their needs as possible, even when we're not in the office. Today's mobile devices allow us to be responsive to customer requests from wherever we are. We need to be able to multi-task while we're on the go, so we've got to maximize how we use devices so we can spend more time building relationships. So mobile devices and the applications that run on them can help us spend more time in front of customers and prospects building long-lasting relationships, while still getting things done.
  • Re: Event July 23: The Upwardly Mobile Small Business
    SBC Team Master
    Currently Being Moderated
    From a marketing perspective channel mix is a question that always comes up. Are you suggesting that mobile devices are another marketing channel? How much money do you invest in traditional channels versus a new channel like mobile?
    • Re: Event July 23: The Upwardly Mobile Small Business
      bleary Newbie
      Currently Being Moderated
      Mobile marketing is beginning to take hold in the marketplace. And it makes sense, as research from IDC says there will be 363M smartphones by 2012. People are getting their information for the first time from their mobile device. So it's important for us to realize that the first time a prospect may come in contact with our companies may be through the lens of a mobile device. So it's important for us to create content that shows well on them. Be it a well-formatted email, a nice video, or even an audio podcast, we need to be thinking about creating captivating content. And yes traditional advertising will be an important mix. But it's all something that's coming quicker than most people think.
  • Re: Event July 23: The Upwardly Mobile Small Business
    SBC Team Master
    Currently Being Moderated
    Certainly cost reduction is relaively easy to track, but linking sales to marketing is not. How do you measure the ROI for mobility, given the difficulty in measurement?
    • Re: Event July 23: The Upwardly Mobile Small Business
      bleary Newbie
      Currently Being Moderated

      That's a great question. But I think mobility can have a great impact on ROI and sales efficiency. Sales reps want to spend their time out building relationships with customers and prospects. They hate being in the office filling out reports. It takes time away from selling, even if the information is critical to the business overall, in terms of forecasting and resource allocation. Mobile CRM can help, because sales reps can make calls and have them automatically associated to the contact record, or send an email and do it as well. So if management wants to know what's going on with an account, the information is in there without any manual effort from the sales rep. Sales reps can update the status of a sale from the road, which gives management the information they need for forecasting. So if administrative work time is decreased from the sales reps daily activities, they can spend more time on building relationships and closing deals. This should make for more sales deals in the pipeline, and hopefully better relationships with customers - meaning more opportunities for up-sell, cross-sell and more years of sales. That will have measurable ROI impact.
      • Re: Event July 23: The Upwardly Mobile Small Business
        SBC Team Master
        Currently Being Moderated
        Brent,

        On behalf of the SBOC Team and the members of the Small Business Online Community, we wanted to say we truly appreciated your time today and your professional responses to user questions. Community members, while our session with Brent has now concluded, please feel free to discuss today's session and the questions answered.

        Thanks again,
        The SBOC Team

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