Getting full value from your business control and sales systems

IMG_3310_lgRecent years have seen many improvements and developments in the market place for MRP, ERP, sales tracking and CRM systems, but a new system still represents a substantial investment. Deciding which system will be best and getting full value from it remains a complex and sometimes daunting task.

Over the next couple of months you will see help and advice here to help your business select, implement, and succeed with business, manufacturing control and sales systems.

Choosing the correct software and having a proven process for creating value and getting sales and profitable business is critical for a successful project. A structured approach will help to protect your investment and get good returns on it.

If you are about to embark on a new system or wanting more value from an existing one, there are a few things to consider on this Preparation Checklist before you start:

Preparation check list:

• Do you have the right level of board commitment to the project?
• Is the project in line with your corporate growth strategy?
• Is there enough funding in place?
• What other initiatives are already underway?
• Do you have the right skills level available internally to support the project?
• Is the business resistant to, or supportive of, change?
• Once the system is built, how will it help you get more business or control time and costs?
• Is your head of sales supportive. Do you have a mobile interface and buy in from the sales team?

Nett Sales believes your business and sales needs should be the absolute priority when choosing a new ERP, MRP, CRM or sales system for your business. And if you’d like an independent review of your business systems and help to realise their full potential, email us on or call  01672 505050

4 step process to turn your contacts into customers

goalDo you struggle to turn contacts in to customers? Nett Sales specialises in providing hot leads for businesses through distribution channels.

Here is our 4 step process to help you turn your contacts into customers:

  1. Decide who your whole market is: There are lots of businesses you COULD send to but who SHOULD you be sending it to?
  2. Send a series of emails to this contact list: It is important to build trust with your contacts; this can be done by sending bits of your knowledge and your experience. The aim is to build your credibility over a period of months.
  3. Qualify: Just because contacts have shown interest doesn’t mean they want to buy from you. There are a few reasons that people click, they are generally interested in what you have to offer or just nosey and bored. Telemarketing is an important part of the process. This allows you to remove all the just being nosey and board contacts so you can get to the ones who are interested whether it is today or at some point in the future.
  4. Repeat: Once the contacts that are ready to buy are passed to your sales team, it’s important to repeat this process. This allows you to build trust over a period of time with contacts until they are ready to be fed to your sales team.

In the past we have helped many businesses like yours to boost their sales process. You can see some examples here.

What does a typical campaign schedule look like?

We plan client campaigns 3 months ahead in detail and 6 months forward in outline.  This requires a structure and careful control to make sure that nothing gets lost.  This is a typical schedule we may use:

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Month 1 Knowledge share email sent Follow up email sent to contacts that engage with email in week 1 Telephone follow up with best engaged contacts from both campaigns
Month 2 Knowledge share email sent

Call back contacts from last month

Telephone follow up from last week’s email Direct, single issue email sent to all contacts

Telephone follow up 20 minutes after contact clicks on key link

Month 3 Knowledge share email sent Follow up email sent to contacts that engage with email in week 1 Telephone follow up with best engaged contacts from both campaigns
Month 4 Knowledge share email sent

Telephone follow up 20 minutes after contact clicks on key link

Follow up email sent to all contacts engaged to date Telephone call backs for all previously called contacts
Month 5 Knowledge share email sent Telephone follow up with lapsed leads Direct, single issue email sent to all contacts

Telephone follow up 20 minutes after contact clicks on key link

Month 6 Knowledge share email sent Qualification email to non-respondents Telephone follow up with best engaged contacts to date

As you will see from this schedule, each month has key activities with a different focus depending on the month in question.  In this case, the client identified external events in their market to reference in the campaign that would make contacts more likely to engage at that point, so the campaign and phone activity in those months was skewed accordingly.

Should the DMA know better?

We’re all human and make mistakes, but if you set yourself up as the arbiter of correct behaviour in a market, should you not live up to some sort of minimum standard?  Or am I just being a grumpy git? 🙂

Got this email from the Direct Marketing Association today:


So it looks pretty reasonable without images loaded, although I do think that they could use a wider template.  I suspect they are trying a “one size fits all” to work on mobile devices as well as email clients – responsive design guys??


So the primary link is clearly the blue URL right at the top of the email.  That’s what they want me to click on as it’s at the top of the email – right?  erm no…  This is where the link takes me:


Ok so they’ve put in a bad link.  I’ve done the same (more than once) so can forgive them that.  But the story looks interesting so I read on and click the link in the body of the email and it works – I get to the DMA’s website.

Excited to read the content, I’m frustrated to find I now have to register with the site to view the content.  Oh well, I’m sure I’ve registered before, so I eventually have to register again as I can’t find the login.  I get sent an email that needs me to click on a link (yes, double opt-in, good practice in action).  So now to view the content I’ve tried so hard to get to…


What!!  I’ve just registered.  Now I’m told that the registration I was offered was not enough to give me the content I was offered in the email they sent me.  I give up…

However there is an important message here.  If you have content to share with a segment of your newsletter audience, create a segmented list and only send articles that the recipients can access to them – or risk royally upsetting them.




Someone at Sainsburys pressed the send button early!

Ouch!  We all know the feeling – you hit the send button them instantly regret it.  But what if you are sending on behalf of one of the UKs largest retailers?  Double ouch!

So I get a message from Alchemy Worx this morning and open it expecting it to be their regular newsletter.  It’s got an odd subject line, but maybe they are trying something different.  What I saw in my email is this:


But when I open the email I get this:



  1. The yellow highlighting is me.  But the rest is very much down to Sainsburys and their email sender.
  2. The subject line must be an internal reference.
  3. The sending email address is the default one for Alchemy Worx, who I assume are the sending agent for Sainsburys.
  4. The second worst bit for me is the mailmerge failure in salutation.

The worst bit took some hard work to capture for you, but see if you can see what is wrong with the email if you finally get to the bottom…


Bit too long maybe???

Just to add insult to… well, more insult, I replied to the email saying maybe they had let a test loose into the wild – gone feral 🙂  but the email bounced straight back to me.  wonder how the conversation with the Alchemy Worx account manager and the Sainsburys Marketing Director will go…!


Two MS Dynamics CRM books worth a look

We’ve been using Microsoft Dynamics CRM for 3 years now as the backbone to our business.  It stores all the contacts for our email marketing campaigns, integrates to our email sending system and provides the system by which we do all our telephone follow up.  So to say it’s an important part of our business is an understatement!

We therefore need a good “expert user” competence in MS CRM in order to be able to meet various client requirements of our systems and to be able to drive our business forward.  Two books that I have found useful recently are:

cookbookMicrosoft Dynamics CRM 2011: Dashboards Cookbook

Dashboards are a growing feature of MS CRM.  They allow data from all over the system to be pulled together into one place.  We’ve seen various examples of dashboards before and thought “that would be good” and using this book, we now know how to build our own elegant dashboards.

Unusually, this book is written in the form of “recipies” that you can dip into and out of as you wish, taking the particular bit of knowledge you were looking for.

Chapter 3 took us through the whole process of creating a dashboard from start to finish with great results.  We now know what we are doing with dashboards!

Great book, well worth it if you want to know how to use dashboards in MS CRM.




scriptingMicrosoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Scripting Cookbook

Now, I’m not a programmer of any variety, so the idea of me writing JavaScript is not a comfortable thought!  However… this book take you through the basis of JavaScript and how to use it within MS CRM so that even I feel like it is possible!

I’ve tried a few of the more basic “recipies” within the book and had good results.  So this is something that I am starting to feel comfortable with and definitely will be doing more JavaScript for our CRM in the future.

However I can see that that if you are a CRM developer, this book would be invaluable.

Who’s reading your email?

ThiefWithLaptopThere has been a major shift over the last few years away from local ISP based email towards the likes of Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.  These services give easy access to your email wherever you are, on your phone, at work and at home.

We certainly notice with our email marketing campaigns that there are lots more email addresses ending, etc…

And there are many companies taking advantage of Googlemail’s ability to assign their own domain name to a group of gmail accounts and effectively use googlemail as their corporate email server.

So, what’s the problem?

Well, since the NSA came clean about Prism last week, it’s now clear that the US Government and possibly the UK Government too has been snooping on email from all these main Internet Service Providers with pretty much unfettered access to our email.

I don’t know how you feel, but I’d prefer that my business email remains unread by anyone but the recipient and myself.  As soon as open access is offered, it inevitably gets abused way beyond the initial remit.  In this case the fight against global terrorism.

So, what to do?  For a business, either set up your own email server, or far better use a specialist email hosting provider based in the UK and using a UK data centre, although you can find other hosting options online, at sites as Armchair Empire that give you the best options for hosting your websites.  For an individual, find a UK based ISP and use their email – are pretty good, but others work well too.

Recent article from the Institute of Sales & Marketing Managers (ISMM)

ISMM article featuring Carl Wheatley

6-8 Smarter Selling

Why the RAC failed in this email

I receive a well laid out, well written email from The RAC today.  So why is it a total fail?

There are two problems:

1) The RAC don’t have my permission to email me on my personal email account.  So this is not only SPAM, but it’s also against the law!  Oops…

2) There is also a requirement for the Unsubscribe function to work.  So, even if they did have my permission to send me this email, it would still not be compliant with UK email law as the unsubscribe link highlighted in yellow above simply takes me to a landing page on their website that tries to sell me RAC breakdown.  Nice 🙂

Looks like the RAC have had a breakdown!








How not to do your Happy Christmas email

Amazing!!  I receive an email from someone who has added me to their marketing list and feels they know me well enough to send me Christmas Greetings… But what do they send?  a big blue box!

I wonder how that has developed my relationship with this business?