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A new year is here, and it’s an ideal time to review your business practices in addition to your personal goals. The retail industry has seen many changes in the last decade, and whether you’re running a brick and mortar store or an online shop, there are always a few key areas to keep an eye on.

New small businesses face unique financial management challenges because they don’t share the same advantages that larger corporations do in the marketplace. Cash flow is a primary concern. Even with a promising product or service that is performing well, and deals being made that will pay out in the future, there is still a limited amount of cash on hand to pay for current expenses. Owners may not receive a steady income for an uncomfortable length of time because paying employees and the bills come first.

The end of the year is in sight but it’s not time to slow down. The final months of a year is a great time to reflect on successes, consider areas that need improvement, and continue ongoing brainstorming for new initiatives and plans. There’s always room for growth; key areas to work on are market research, social outreach, and resource management and planning. IWI Consulting Group offers IT and Sage consulting services for enterprises who are looking to improve their efficiency and growth, plus transition from traditional practices to the digital realm. With over 100 plus years of combined expertise in various industries and with combined technological knowledge, we can help your business implement Enterprise Resource Planning and Customer Relationship Management solutions for a competitive advantage. Below are three areas that are important to not only keep an eye on but to make pillars of your company’s entire growth strategy. Include Trend-watching in Growth Marketing Your market research already includes competencies in areas like targeting your demo, testing and feedback, sales, advertising, pricing, distribution, and more. It’s important to add trend-watching to this list to help bolster the others. Before developing or launching anything new, take the time to study […]

Sage Summit Tour 2017 Toronto, June 27-28 at Beanfield Centre Hours: 9 am – 5 pm   IWI Consulting Group is a Silver Sponsor of the Sage Summit Tour and we hope to see you there. Registration for the most personalized, interactive, and experiential business event of the year is now open. Get the inside story on new innovations Connect, network, and learn with like-minded professionals and peers, locally Learn from visionary speakers and thought-leaders Experience a personalized, interactive, experiential place to learn You will also have the chance to see Rick Mercer, host of CBC’s “The Rick Mercer Report”  who is a keynote speaker at the Sage Summit. Don’t miss this incredible event! Register now for just $99 with this special link just for IWI Consulting Group customers. For more information on keynote speakers and the event agenda for this incredible Sage event you don’t want to miss, click here. If you are outgrowing your current system or need to make some changes to your business model, IWI Consulting Group can help you take the next steps. Please contact us with any questions you may have.        

Sage CRM offers many positive benefits, but one that’s guaranteed to make a sales and marketing manager smile is its ability to provide a seamless multi-channel customer experience. No matter where a customer chooses to connect with your company, be it through phone, email, or social media, they receive the same response and service, period. Many legacy systems offer only one inbound channel. Most companies use inbound call centers to handle customer service. Yet customers today expect more. When your competitors offer instant chat or responses to Facebook queries, it sets a whole new standard for your company too. You can ignore it only at your own peril. Now with Sage CRM, it’s actually easier than ever to embrace multichannel CRM. How Much Is CRM Worth to Your Company? Forrester Research offers assistance to help your company evaluate the potential value of a CRM system to your business. Look at the following metrics as you evaluate Sage CRM and other CRM systems: Revenue: What opportunities does Sage CRM offer to increase revenues? With add-on sales, special communications, and targeted marketing, you can evaluate the impact of your CRM system on revenues by assessing the many ways in which it can […]

It is time to refresh and renew your Sage CRM system? If it’s been more than a year since the implementation of your CRM system, it may be time to take a new look at your entire CRM program. Like any project, assessing goals and objectives annually in your CRM program ensures that you’re not doing the same thing repeatedly just because it’s always been done that way. It can help you pinpoint your goals and tailor CRM projects to achieve those goals. Common CRM Objectives Good CRM objectives align with your company’s core goals. CRM is a philosophy of conducting business, not just a software. Good CRM objectives infuse that philosophy throughout your organization. Most CRM systems have at their core three sales and marketing objectives: Acquisition: Quantify, monitor, and acquire new customers. Retention: Retain or keep customers. How long you keep a customer may be determined by your industry average. Satisfaction: Satisfaction can also be called loyalty. As an offshoot of retention, it’s a mark of a company that is building long-term customer relationships. Align CRM Objectives to Corporate Goals Your Sage CRM goals should be aligned to corporate goals. Most companies evaluate and update their goals annually. […]

Sage software can help your manufacturing company build a better sales department. Sure, you’ve hired terrific sales people who are good at what they do. They may have all the talent, skills, and experience needed to do their jobs well … but if they lack the tools to do the job, what then? They can’t be as efficient and productive as they could be. That’s where Sage software comes into the picture. Solutions like Sage CRM and other Sage software products connect real-time data with mobile access that puts information at your sales team’s fingertips, no matter where they are. They may be traveling to customer sites or on the road between appointments, but if a question arises about customer shipments or inventory, they can answer it quickly. Let’s take a look at three ways in which your manufacturing business can build a better sales department through Sage software and other enterprise resource planning and business intelligence systems: Mobile Access Sales teams don’t sit still for very long. They’re visiting manufacturing plants and warehouses, checking on customer orders, and visiting customer locations to ensure that their accounts are happy and receiving what they need. A static, location-specific tool doesn’t give […]

Increased productivity is just one of the many benefits derived from ERP systems, according to a new white paper. The paper, entitled Conducting a Cost-Benefit Analysis for ERP, outlines numerous benefits to companies who implement enterprise systems. Building the Economic Case for ERP Systems If you plan to propose an ERP system for your company, it’s important to build a solid economic case for its implementation. Conducting a cost-benefit analysis can help you easily articulate the financial benefits to your company in return for their investment. The first step in the process is to gather the costs of implementation. Obvious costs include acquiring the system, customizing it, testing it, training the staff to use it and upgrading it as necessary. Cost should be calculated on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis for comparison. Next, assess the economic returns. The paper suggests that the returns on investment include: Streamlined procedures Greater intelligence Increased productivity Greater reliability Improved reporting One way to build your case is to focus on any one of these issues that may be exceptionally germane to your company. For example, if your current system lacks a robust business intelligence reporting system, emphasizing the benefits to your company of […]

Sage Summit is the premier annual conference that Sage hosts for its customers and business partners. This year’s conference will be held at McCormick Place in Chicago from July 25th – 28th. With expected attendance of nearly 20,000, Sage Summit 2016 is being touted as the world’s largest gathering of entrepreneurs and small to mid-sized businesses.  There are more than 300 planned sessions and this summit is open to everyone, not just Sage partners. Don’t miss your chance to network and learn; you can even get certified right there at the summit! Register to design and personalize your Sage Summit 2016 experience. The current line-up of speakers for Sage Summit 2016 is exciting and impressive: Stephen Kelly – Sage Chief Executive Officer Sir Richard Branson – Founder of Virgin Group Zooey Deschanel – Actress, singer-songwriter, and cofounder of HelloGiggles Gwyneth Paltrow – Oscar®-winning actress, founder and chief creative officer of goop Robert Herjavec – Founder and CEO of Herjavec Group and investor on ABC’s Emmy Award-winning hit show “Shark Tank” Daymond John – Founder and CEO of FUBU, star of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” and CEO of Shark Branding Ashton Kutcher – Actor, entrepreneur, tech investor, and producer. Yancey Strickler – Cofounder and CEO of Kickstarter. Evan Carmichael – Entrepreneurial expert Todd […]

Over the past month we have been discussing the benefits of using client relationship management (CRM) software to improve client relationships and streamline sales, marketing, and customer service processes. From accurate sales forecasting to providing companies with a complete sales order history, CRM software adds value to the organization in practically every area. As we discussed last week, even ERP software is strengthened by an effective client relationship management solution! Earlier this year, Sage Software released the latest version of Sage CRM, Version 7.3. This new edition features several new features and enhancements, including a new suite of business accelerators for sales, email marketing integration, and mobile options. This upgrade extends the capabilities of Sage CRM, allowing businesses to further improve their client relationships and more effectively meet sales goals. By addressing the key business challenges busy sales departments face every day, Sage has created a client relationship management system built to last. Take a look at some of the most noteworthy enhancements: Client Relationship Management with a New, Contemporary Look Sage has improved user experience by giving Sage CRM a modern facelift. New navigation options and the new UI theme make navigating the software more intuitive and easier than […]