Ian’s Geek Gift Guide 2016

I normally keep it businessy around here, but with the holidays upon us I thought I’d share some of the products that have brought me joy this year.

If you’re stuck on what to get some people in your life (or on what to ask for yourself!) maybe this will help.

Duck money clip ($39)

Money clip

The best money clip there is. Holds everything securely and regains it’s shape after you’ve stuffed it full. I’ve used this for years and it’s never let me down. Ditch that fat wallet for the duck.

Buy it.

Canon 50mm 1.4 USM (~$300)

Canon 1.4 50mm

Photo by Jonas Rask ~ review

I’m a Fuji X system photographer and those lenses are fantastic, but when I want to shoot something really contrasty and unique I reach for my Canon 50mm 1.4 USM. This was a lens built in the 50’s and 60’s.

They just don’t make glass like this anymore. It’s a real gem. I recommend taking a look at the review linked above by Jonas Rask if you want to see some great example shots.

As far as camera gear goes this is a real steal, usually available for around $300 in near mint condition on ebay.

One note, you’ll probably need a cheap plastic mount (available on Amazon) to connect this to a modern camera. It’s only a few dollars and works great.

Buy it.

Pure Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier ($49)

humidifier

I’ve tried all the humidifiers. All of them. Pretty much all of them are horrible. Either they don’t work or they require a ton of maintenance.

If like me you’re mostly bothered by the humidity level at night when you’re sleeping the Pure is fantastic.

It’s design really only supports humidifying the zone of one persons sleep area. If you have a very small bedroom I suppose it may work for two people, but I find it’s best when it’s dumping that humidity right on your head 🙂

I never sleep without it.

Buy it.

Audible – The Lord of The Rings (~$15/month for Audible)

lot of the rings audio book

Give the gift of Tolkien for the holidays. This is the VERY BEST version of The Lord of The Rings.

Better than the movies? Yes.

Better than reading the books? Yes!

The voice acting in this version (note the cover, this exact version) is simply stunning. If you’ve never heard this version you’re in for a treat.

Buy It.

Bean’s Sweater Fleece Full-Zip Jacket

best fleece

This is my favorite fleece. I have it in multiple colors. It’s perfect for layering and works both dressed up a bit and down.

If you’re tall like me, it also comes in tall sizes.

Buy it.

Uniform Wares ($400-$1200)

uniform wares

If you’re into really minimal watches Uniform Wares are great. Not too expensive (for a fancy-ish watch) and they really stand out.

They have nice designs for both guy and girl geeks.

Buy It.

Sieko Orange Monster (~$200 if you can find it)

Orange Monster

This is the one item on this list I don’t actually own.

It’s on here though because I really really want to 🙂

Very much the opposite of the Uniform Wares watch, Sieko dive watches are big chunky practical tools. There are many varieties of Sieko dive watches and many of them are really great. The Orange Monster is a bit unique and currently in demand.

They’re hard to find online outside of ebay and frankly I’m always a bit nervous about buying something like a watch off ebay.

However, if you’re not or you can find the Orange Monster locally grab it up.

Tao Te Ching ($9)

Tao

America got you down?

Checkout a little eastern philosophy.

This is my favorite version of the Tao Te Ching. It’s a small pocketable version perfect for reading on the go or to keep on the nightstand.

I find it remarkably soothing.

Buy it.

Ciao.

Shady Tactics, Round 2

After my post yesterday about shady tactics in Bootstrapper circles people have been sending me other stuff they’ve seen that irks them.

In the other post I didn’t call out specific people because I’ve seen these same tactics so many times that who it was that I saw most recently isn’t even relevant.

This time though, I want to share one that’s just so horrible I can’t feel bad about sharing it. This is the kind of thing we must fight against. It’s simply not acceptable and as I mentioned in the other article it may even be illegal.

Below is a video of what happens on the Quicksprout site when you provide them a URL to your website. In theory, it should analyze your site and tell you what’s wrong with it. This isn’t a new idea and while it’s always a lead gen tool, other tools ACTUALLY DO ANALYZE YOUR SITE. See Website Grader by Hubspot for an example.

You know where this is going, but see for yourself. Oh, and stay until the end for some fake urgency as well.

These tactics hurt those of us trying to run real small businesses. They hurt the reputation hard earned by those of us grinding away on our businesses for the last decade. All of these people are smart enough to play the game straight and still win. They’re better than this.

Shady Tactics in our Midst

Bootstrappers. I’ve been seeing a lot of shady tactics in our midst lately and I’m calling them out. These aren’t good for you or your business long-term.

Some of these have already entered the zone of “conventional wisdom” but we need to push back on that. It really is possible to run a successful online business without stooping to these tactics.

Selling something that doesn’t exist

I recently signed up for a course that was $500. It has a great landing page on a topic that I was searching for details on.

More than just a landing page, it was a list of the exact course elements with all calls to action clearly marking it as available right now. Buy this and have your grubby hands on it in 2 minutes.

I purchased. When I got access, there was only 2 videos that already were given out for free on the landing page. That’s it. No other information, not even a notice directly presented that the course wasn’t actually done yet.

After emailing the owner I found out that they were going to work on it over the next year.

That’s great, but I have a problem today.

Being your lab rat isn’t fun for the customer. It’s not going to make the customer think highly of your product or service.

Yes, I know this is a popular technique to prove out the value of an idea.

But you know what, I think it fucking sucks.

Imagine for a second going into Wal-Mart. On your way down the cereal aisle you spot this great looking new box of Super Gummy Wheaties. You realize you’re dying for some Super Gummy Wheaties and snap it up.

You wait in line, pay your $2.89 and drive home.

When you get home you get out a bowl. Get out the milk. Wash your favorite spoon.

Sit down and open the box.

Inside is…. Nothing. Fucking nothing. No plastic bag. No cereal loose in there. Nothing.

You know what you’d do? You’d freak the hell out. You’d be on Twitter cursing up the Wheaties people and Wal-Mart for running this scam of a marketing trial on you.

When you went back to Wal-Mart you’d demand a refund.

It wouldn’t end there though. You’d tell everyone you know about it. “Can you believe there was NO FUCKING CEREAL IN THE BOX!!!”

And not just for a few weeks. Oh, you’d tell the story a lot in those first days, but this story would come up over and over.

Years from now, “Hey Jill, tell them about the time you got that cereal box at Wal-Mart and there was no fucking cereal in it”.

All this over a $2.89 box of cereal. If customers don’t like it with cereal, if YOU wouldn’t like it with cereal, how is this acceptable for a $500 product online? Why do we accept this because it’s easy to trick people like this online?

I say it’s not fucking acceptable. Don’t do it. If you are doing it, stop doing it. Find some other way to validate your damn product. Stop tricking customers, hurting your brand, and in general being a bad internet citizen.

And I’ll throw one more thing at you since some of you won’t give a hoot about being a good internet citizen. That is that this practice is almost certainly ILLEGAL.

Yes, you. You reading this. YOU ARE PROBABLY BREAKING THE LAW IF YOU DO THIS.

Don’t ask me, ask Jacoby and Meyers (you can trust them, we’ve all seen the ads on TV!).

False advertising is any published claim that is deceptive or untruthful. Misleading advertising is any published claim that gives a consumer an incorrect understanding of the product they are interested in purchasing or using. The false and misleading advertising by companies of any product may result in the consumer suffering a financial loss, or another form of damage to the consumer.

You see when you told me there would be cereal in this box and I purchased it thinking there was cereal in this box, I have the right to have purchased said cereal. Not just participate in some stupid fucking experiment.

This applies just as much to your SaaS app, your “content”, or your “productized services” as it does to anything else.

Alright? Alright.

Fake urgency

Oh I know you’re not going to like me picking on this one. You’re already mad from the last one! Well I’m killing all the sacred cows.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love creating urgency. Urgency is a powerful sales technique. But your fake urgency is rude.

Recently I signed up for a SaaS app and on the sign up page I was offered the chance to jump the queue by sharing a link about the app. That’s cool, I didn’t share it and moved on.

I then start getting emails about how the queue is super long, but share it and I’ll jump right to the top. I still don’t share.

Then, maybe 24 hours since sign up I get yet another email urging me to share. I don’t.

A few hours after that I get an email saying “Thanks for sharing” and I can now get into the beta.

FUCK THAT.

I didn’t share your app. I’m not going to use your stupid app. I don’t want to share it and your email sequence has exposed you as a complete fraud who didn’t even bother to build or buy the system to reward the people who actually shared and instead you just send everyone the thanks for sharing email a few days after sign up.

That sucks for the people who did share and actually received none of the extra value that they were promised. Nobody wants to be treated like that.

You’re just using a trick you read about on the internet. Does it work sometimes? Sure. That doesn’t mean it’s right to do or that it has no consequences if/when it goes wrong.

Oh, and I suspect this is also illegal in some implementations under the false advertising laws discussed above.

Injecting your company into other companies twitter “conversations”

We run a job board over at LaraJobs. When someone posts a job we tweet out the details with some hash tags of the tech used in this job.

Recently, a job board in the Angular space started tweeting about the companies who posted on our board. Even including us in the tweets under some shady guise and making it confusing for the customers who then thought they were associated with us.

Don’t do this.

Don’t freaking do this!

If you were at the Apple store and you were talking to one of the blue shirts how would you like it if a Samsung rep just jumped in front of you and started talking? Just out of nowhere, boom Samsung rep?

It’d be completely unacceptable. Not something Samsung or any company would ever do in person. We don’t have to do this online either.

Must you sacrifice your own morals and common decency to run a successful online business? As someone who’s avoided them for 12 years I can assure you the answer is NO.

“Follow up” emails

Hey, I’ve sent emails that probably have irked people. They haven’t heard from me or my company in a while and bam, there’s an email.

I get it. I really do. It’s a very fine line here.

What’s not a fine line?

Emails that you constantly send to your potential customers with subjects that reference fake emails or calls.

Emails that have fake reply headers in them from a previous fake conversation.

Anything that says “sorry I missed you” in the subject.

We all know these. We all hate these.

Yes, you might catch some people in this net but point me to the company that made their business on these techniques?

Do you personally get a lot of these from Basecamp or Fog Creek or Slack or Twitter or Apple or Amazon or Google or Microsoft or Typeform or Github or Moz or Rackspace or Linode or Dominoes or Tesla or Honda or Spotify or Stripe or Discourse or Pixel & Tonic or Ellis Lab or Facebook?

No you don’t. This technique might help a sales person pad their quota. Maybe get you a few more bucks in your pocket. But it’s NOT WORTH YOUR SOUL.

Oh yeah, it probably goes without saying at this point but these emails are probably also illegal. Not that anyone cares about illegal emails….


We’re all focused on selling more.

Don’t forget WHY you’re doing that. Is it to take care of yourself, your family, and you’re employees? Of course. But it all starts with the customer. Your business is done in service of your customer first. Without them you don’t have a business and you can’t help anyone.

Help your customers succeed. Don’t let money blind you to why you started your business. Don’t sacrifice your personal or business reputation for what is unlikely to amount to more than a few extra bucks on the bottom line.

Are You Letting Today Distract You From Tomorrow?

What is on your plate today?

My guess is that you are busy. You are running around with a To Do list one mile-long with things that need to get done, right now, no exceptions. There are meetings, and project status reports, and deliverables all requiring your immediate attention. If this sounds like you, you are in good company. Good company too focused on today, instead of future-proofing your business for tomorrow.

That was harsh. I’ll back up.

There is a quote attributed to Bill Gates that I really like. You might be familiar with it:

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”

Think about that, and how it may apply to your business.

Modern software companies (heck, most modern businesses) are too focused on the right now and how an idea impacts today. The effect is that anything that may take more time to unfold (two years, five years, ten years, etc.) is seen as too risky or something the business simply can’t afford. We don’t even consider it; it’s just struck from the conversation. We make laundry lists of everything that has to get done today, tomorrow and next week, but beyond that, crickets.

I wonder if Bill is right that we underestimate what we can accomplish in a decade or if we’re too distracted with today to even think about it.

The trouble with this is obvious – how do you build a future-facing business when you’re rushing to achieve today’s inbox zero?

You can’t.

However, by flipping your thinking, weighing decisions on the value they’ll offer long-term, two big things immediately change.

You Prioritize Time Differently

Go back to that mile-long To Do list. It’s overwhelming, isn’t it? Take a step back and analyze the items on it. Ask yourself:

  • Is there a connection between what’s on the list and where you see your business 10 years out?
  • Is that side project you are working on adding long-term value, or is it a distraction?
  • Are you moving your product to where the market it is today, or where it will be in a decade?
  • Are you busy, or are you being productive?

These are hard questions because many of us won’t like the answers. Being busy fulfills our ego, the guilt and the silence of our day. But being busy isn’t how you’ll grow a business.

You grow your business by weighing every action and every decision against the value it will bring. Not today’s value, but long-term value. If it won’t add value in 10 years, it is not valuable today. It’s busywork.

You can never know, of course, if what you’re doing today will really payoff in 10 years (we’re still waiting for that time machine…) or if your visions for 10 years from now are even the right ones, but the thought exercise alone is revealing when you take it seriously.

You View ‘Big’ Projects Differently

Judging today’s actions by tomorrow’s metrics has the power to change your perspective, especially for larger projects. This is something that has been very important to us recently. There are some large scale projects that we have been putting off because they just seemed too big to take on. These are projects that will take at least one year to complete, maybe even two years.

Two years.

In software, that seems like a long time. It seems like forever, actually, especially for a small company.

But let’s turn the tables on that thought process. Instead of thinking about how long it will take to accomplish the task (the initial two years), think about the value you will create for the business for eight years after that by having done that work.

Two years of work in = Eight years of value out

That equation helps add important context to our decision-making, focusing on the benefit, not just the time investment.

Spending two years to achieve eight years of value is smart investment.

Spending two years and NOT achieving eight years of value is NOT a smart investment.

That’s easy to see and to understand, right? This is how we have begun to make business decisions at HelpSpot– weighing the investment against the value. Again, you won’t always be right, but just thinking about it has the power to really impact your business.

Try this out in practice today – take a look at your To Do list and really consider the tasks making up your day. Will accomplishing these things move your business forward and continue to provide value 10 years from now, or are they distractions keeping you from what you could be tomorrow? If they are distractions, consider which tasks you can weed out to make room for the work that really matters. You can achieve a lot in 10 years, but only if you start today.

Should You Sell To Enterprise Customers?

Money. The more the better, right?

Customers. The bigger the better… right?

When you’re a bootstrapped start-up, you quickly realize that neither of those assumptions are correct. Of course you want more income. You’re trying to keep the lights on, after all. And of course you want customers who are going to be stable, loyal and paying enough to be worth your investment of time and resources.

But an interesting conversation begins here, as the dilemma of whether or not to sell to enterprise customers arises. Could a high-paying, prominent customer’s demands lead you make decisions you’d have otherwise avoided in order keep them happy? Maybe.

Should you have a hard and fast rule that you avoid enterprise customers? Some would say so, but I’d argue absolutely not. These customers can be good for your business, in moderation. It’s all in how you handle your sales process and your client relationships. It’s in how you decide to serve the enterprise customer, and who at the enterprise you serve.

The Argument Against the Enterprise Customer

Jason Fried made a great case for why a handful of high-paying customers can spell disaster on a small company in its early days. From “Don’t let anyone overpay you:”

We’d much rather have hundreds of thousands of companies paying us a small monthly payment than a few huge accounts covering that same amount. A diverse customer base helps insulate you; a few large accounts can leave you vulnerable to their whims.

He’s right on a number of points. True enterprise sales can be highly distracting to a team that is still trying to define its own products and place in the market.

It’s no small feat to land and keep that enterprise customer.

  • The networking alone can require fancy suits, steak dinners, travel and extensive negotiations.
  • Once the paperwork is signed, extensive software customizations, custom implementations, custom training, solution architecture and more may be required – all taking time and resources from the development you intended to focus on for your larger customer base.
  • Large companies—brand names you want to say you work with in your marketing and sales initiatives—can be tempting to bend over backwards for to keep happy, leading to extra client relations time spent managing the account.

And once you’ve spent all that time on the one or two big enterprise names you land, you risk finding yourself in the position of having these two companies dominate the majority of your revenue. What if one client decided to walk?

It’d be a bad day. Probably a horrible one that taxes your small group of employees tremendously.

And that’s why certain protections have to be made when you engage with such a powerful client.

Don’t Abandon the Enterprise

As a small bootstrapped company, you can sell to enterprises without these negatives, if you structure your mindset and your offering correctly.

Selling only to customers paying you $25, $50 or $75 per month can be extremely hard, especially as you’re building your business. You need an incredible volume of customers to be sustainable at those rates. Meanwhile, having a few higher revenue customers can give you more flexibility in these early growth stages.

So, how do you embrace the enterprise? Selectively! Find a few special cases that not only provide you with profit, but that also allow you to scale for them with limited hurdles and customizations. Find the enterprise cases whose needs and intentions best match where you’re already headed. By doing so, you can sell very profitable, large contracts without most of the extra work and expense required with typical enterprise customers.

You can work with the big customer, without losing sight of the big picture.

Truthfully, your enterprise work is best done if you start… small.

Define Your Target Enterprise Customer

“We want the enterprise customer.”

Correction. We want the customer at the enterprise.

When we say enterprise, we’re not talking about solutions that’ll cover the entire Fortune 500 company. Only in the rarest of cases will you be able to make those sales (and if you do, enjoy spending all of your attention on Company X’s Version Of Your Product, instead of developing Your Product).

We’re too small to manage the processes required to sell and manage the bit of software used by every employee in a 40,000-person company. In our earliest stages, with our 2, 4 or 8 employees, most of us are too small to provide such a substantial bit of software that’s at the core of that company’s functions, on top of all of our other customers’ needs.

But we can get our fill of the enterprise, by nibbling at the edges.

How?

At HelpSpot, we look at departments, groups or slices of functionality at large companies, and identify which sectors we can immediately impact.

We ask: What tasks can we assist with through smarter software solutions? How can we partner with them to make key processes within their part of the enterprise more efficient?

We then connect with a key decision maker within that space of the enterprise, and introduce our solution to them.

It’s not always an easy sell. That enterprise employee may not have immediate clearance to purchase your services, but you will have a much easier time implementing your service for 10 people, or even 40 people, than the 40,000 company-wide.

And that’s okay, because providing your service to 10 People Who Work At An Enterprise does not have to be dramatically different than providing your service to 10 People Working At Your Small Business Customer.”

Make Your Mark On The Enterprise

At HelpSpot, we’ve provided tickets management for individual retail location managers across a 500+ location customer, one by one. We’ve also worked with IT groups within enterprises, and directly supported internal maintenance groups. We’ve provided ecommerce support for a large record label where e-commerce was an important yet secondary revenue stream.

We work with groups within enterprise companies, without incurring the massive headaches and demands that come with the typical enterprise contracts. We provide value to them, while they also provide tremendous benefits to us.

By dipping our toes in the enterprise water, we learn quite a bit about our processes and our products. We learn whether we can sink or swim serving the big brands. We get stronger. We begin building better products, buoyed by the financial support of customers who can afford our top offerings. All the while, they offer us a bit of a flotation device to get us through our worst growing pains.

Enterprise customers don’t have to be the heroes or the enemies of bootstrapped companies. They can simply be customers that help drive your business forward, right along with all of the other companies you strive to work with day after day.

Q&A: What is the best free & open-source customer ticketing software? (“Zendesk clone”)

Disclosure, I’m founder of HelpSpot a help desk app!

I’ve had a bit of a hobby keeping up with open source help desk software apps since I started HelpSpot in 2005. I keep a list of them at Open Source Help Desk List (started that in 2006!).

Now, you’re not going to find any open source help desk systems that are anywhere close to Zendesk in terms of capability. That said, there are a few that are OK. Some of the better ones have become quasi commercial focusing on support and services around their open source apps. Very few of the “pure” open source options with no commercial support are going to be sufficient for all but the most basic of needs.

In no particular order here’s some that aren’t horrible 🙂

  • RT as you mentioned in your description has been around a very long time
  • OTRS – You almost can’t even find their free version on the site but it is there.
  • Helpy – This is a much newer one that’s Rails and has a more modern UI.
  • OS Ticket – Another quasi-commercial old time solution but it is actively maintained which is all you can really ask for in the wasteland of modern open source help desk software.

Honorable Mentions

These aren’t open source but they are free which unfortunately people often use interchangeably.

  • Spiceworks – Ad supported and does a bunch of other stuff besides help desk.
  • Bug trackers: Mantis, Bugzilla – A bug tracker has about 80% of the things a help desk needs (hence why many commercial bug trackers position themselves as help desks also). Many organizations can get buy using a bug tracker as a help desk if they must.

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Q&A: What type of software engineers are high in demand?

Cameron Moll recently had an article suggesting that tech hiring is down about 40%. We run a job board for primarily Laravel PHP Developers and we haven’t seen that same drop off, however, we’re in a more niche group that’s growing fast.

Still, regardless of the specifics I think that software engineering is still a great field with strong growth. I wouldn’t be worried so much about any specific area, it’s really more a choice of what’s right for you.

If you’re into getting a high level of education before starting (or re-starting) your career then Data Science or Machine Learning are probably great areas. As would be Logistics specializations or anything with a focus on serious math + programming really.

If you need a job now or are more interested in entrepreneurial endeavors a Full Stack focus (frontend + backend + some devops) is something we’ve seen a big surge for on LaraJobs. If you have some demonstrated ability in this area you won’t have any trouble finding work. Practically every business in the world now needs at least a few of these, plus you have startups, consultancies, and established software companies all heavily hiring these folks.

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Q&A: What are some tips for a new Tech Support Representative?

Much of what you have to know in a tech support job is dependent on what you’re supporting. There will be seemingly infinite details to learn about the products and/or systems you support.

That said, there’s a few elements that tend to cut across nearly everyone working in tech support. We actually built a help desk training course around them, but I’m happy to share the core elements here.

1) Focus on creating an easy experience for the customers you support. Especially when you’re just getting started, it’ll be hard to learn every system and know every detail. Focusing on doing tasks that help make the customers life easier is a great way to start. Something you can focus on which is often not tied to specific knowledge but rather in putting in extra effort, keeping in constant communication with the customer, and so on.

2) Really get to know your product. It’s kinda obvious, but you need to put in the time to get to understand it at a deep level. Here’s a few tips on that.

  1. Read the documentation (really!)
  2. Check out old support requests – There’s a treasure trove in there. Read through them as you can.
  3. Read “canned” responses – Other staff have taken the time to craft these replies. Reading through them lets you learn about the product as well as be aware of what replies exist for your own use.
  4. Browse your company’s blog – Especially if it’s an active blog. Even if it’s “just” marketing you can learn a lot there.

3) Brush up on email etiquette. – We go deeper on this in the course but a few things to watch out for:

  1. Pay attention to tone. It’s easy to end up sounding robotic in support emails.
  2. Apologize! Flat out saying your sorry about a messup is often highly disarming to customers (in a good way). Just when they’re ready to lay into you, your coming out and saying yeah we screwed up we’re really sorry humanizes you. It cuts through in a way trying to sidestep never does.
  3. Ask for clarification instead of assuming. Yes, this may cause you a few more back and forth emails, but if you’re unsure about anything on the customers end (a system configuration, what version of a product they’re using, etc) get clarification
  4. Read your email out loud. You’ll be surprised at how well this roots out unnaturally sounding phrases.

4) Keep your cool when things go wrong. Everything is going to go wrong! It happens. A lot.

  1. Don’t take a customer’s bad behavior personally.
  2. The customer is not your enemy. The enemy is the problem.
  3. Your job is to solve the problem.
  4. Make time to “move on”. After a rough case, take a walk. Grab a coffee. Chill out for a few before jumping back in if at all possible.

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Q&A: How does one go about raising seed investment for a tech startup?

If you have enough capital to launch you have all the capital you need for now. Get out in the marketplace and see if people actually want to buy what you’re selling. Is your marketing angle right? What features is the product missing? What are customers telling you sucks?

Get that stuff figured out.

Once that’s done, you can take a breath and see if raising capital is even important anymore. Are you break even or profitable? Great! Then you just got the best seed round ever from your customers.

Not profitable or are but see a HUGE OMG opportunity that truly requires large sums of cash today to beat competitors to the space. I’m going to say this is actually extremely unlikely. But, if you’re the special flower where it is the case then go ahead and start talking to angels or VCs at that point.

If you’ve got sales and a vision that’s OMG HUGE raising money won’t be a problem.

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Q&A: Entrepreneurs and Salespeople: What is missing from your current CRM? What would you change about it?

CRMs are a bit of a relic from a bygone era. In the “old days” you had a few channels for leads. The CRM simply had to be a place to track those leads.

Today, on the internet alone you have dozens, hundreds, maybe thousands of inbound lead sources. You also have all the traditional locations as well potentially (cold calls, etc).

Worse, you’d like to be able to track people through the complete funnel. Tracking is hard in B2B because the person who finds you may not be the ultimate buyer.

Worse still, the CRM isn’t the only software involved as it was back then. Now you’ll want that data into mailing list managers, help desk tools, report systems, the bug tracker, everywhere.

It’s a total freaking mess.

Huge CRM tools simply try to do everything and you get a complex nightmare. Lightweight tools don’t do nearly enough.

Personally, I think there probably needs to be a paradigm shift in the overall thinking on what needs to be tracked and how. Not a better mouse trap, but a new way to get mice to where you want them to be.

 

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