Customer relationship management, or CRM has been big business since the late 1980’s. Sure these days everyone is very aware of Salesforce the cloud based CRM solution, but before there were clouds, the internet, mobile devices and salesforce there was ACT. ACT was the standard in CRM solutions starting in 1987. There are thousands of companies that still use ACT today.
While the backbone of any CRM software is a robust database, by name and by virtue CRM software is designed to help manage relationships. How do you know somebody, what do you know about somebody, how is one person related to another. These are all things that effective sales people, marketers, managers, and entrepreneurs count on to help reach the bottom line.
Mike Muhney is one of the cofounders of the original ACT software and over the past year he’s been taking over 25 years of experience in customer relationship management and pouring it into VIPOrbit, barnone the best mobile CRM solution out there.
We first met Muhney last year at Chicago TechWeek where he was introducing the world to VIP Orbit. We spent a lot of time with him during techweek and learned so much about not just VIP Orbit but about effectively managing relationships. Stuff that hundreds of books have been written on since the introduction of ACT.
I remember in earlier parts of my worklife reading about CRM and using ACT. ACT and by proxy now, VIPOrbit, allow you to manage the littlest details that can result in so much more when applying that information down the road.
For instance back in the 90’s during my radio career as a Music Director and Program Director I had the chance to use ACT at various stations. I would keep my ACT up to date with little information about record reps that would call on me, what we could get from them, who they could help us out with and even kids names and birthdays. They would keep a lot of the same information on the radio people they called on. It would insure great birthday cards but in one instance I vaguely remember one rep that was courting me on a record who knew I loved Jerry’s Subs and Pizza from Washington DC. I had moved on to a station in North Carolina but that rep brought me down a steak and cheese on a visit. I asked him how he remembered and he said he put it in his ACT.
The same holds true today for me and my VIPOrbit database. It’s easy for me to keep track of who knows who in the startup world and where I met them. I even have notes about various gate keepers. You can charm your way past a gate keeper if you know the right information.
While the application is phenomenal, what Muhney can teach people about relationships and how to apply it them in the entrepreneurial world will really help in the long run. The amount of data you can find on the internet and then apply to your CRM solution can give anyone the cutting edge.
VIPOrbit will be set up in booth 8-9121 near the Bar TechWeek area during the conference. There you’ll be able to find out all about VIPOrtbit and how it can really help you manage your relationships. You can test drive the iPad and iPhone apps. You can also pick up a copy of Muhney’s book, “Who’s In Your Orbit, Beyond Facebook, Creating Relationships That Matter”.
More importantly Muhney is one of 23 top shelf speakers who will be speaking during TechWeek. His talk “The Business of Meaningful Relationships: Perils & Opportunities” will be presented at 10:30 am on Saturday June 29th. I highly suggest if you’re attending TechWeek you don’t miss it.
Some of the other great speakers include: Matthew Bellows ,founder & CEO of Yesware; Robin Chase, founder and CEO of Zipcar and now Buzzcar; Tony Conrad, founder of About.me; serial entrepreneur Adam Goldenberg; PJ Hyett founder of Github; Matt Jacobson VP at Battery Ventures, and many more.
You can still register for Chicago Techweek happening June 27-29th at the Merchandise Mart. Follow this link to registration.