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Theresa Quintanilla
Houston, TX
Founder at SteadyCRM.com
Interests: CRM, customer relationship management, marketing, loyalty, innovation, business books, houston's image, blogging, new york, marketing trends
Recent Activity
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When I worked at the Houston office of the Ogilvy ad adgency, we had a full-time proofreader. It was an amazing experience, but they don't fit into most business models. Usually, proofreading is something employees do for one another. For small business owners like myself, proofreading is something my customers and prospects do! Painful but true. Have pity. Moz: Google-leaked Dos and Don'ts, 2014-Dec-5 by Josh Bachynski You want to make sure that the spelling and grammar has been checked, that all the pages have been checked for errors, that there are no miscellaneous 500 errors, there are no naked... Continue reading
Reblogged 4 days ago at QViews
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Some people use their creativity to rationalize dishonesty. Some people feel their creativity justifies immoral behavior. And some people discover that being creative requires them to break the rules. The Conversation: The dark side of creativity, 2014-Dec-11 by Lynne Vincent while individuals who self-identify as creative may feel more entitled, it’s possible that this entitlement will cause them to take creative risks Continue reading
Reblogged 6 days ago at QViews
Thanks for the gifts of poetry and humor. via abbie.blogspot.com hey hey hey hey hey hey not much to say today except hey hey hey yeah Today i builte a New fort it is called FOrt Abbie Number 2 I Have come tot he conclusion that maybe fort number 1 fell down because thats' the way things are sometimes as much as the ohter cat has sworn she had nothing to do withit and was only making a room for her buried treasures so when it happens I gues you just build a new fort and make it better and... Continue reading
Reblogged Nov 28, 2014 at QViews
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Lately I've been questioning what it is that I do. Where do I contribute? I know that my passion is in helping businesses build stronger relationships. Too many businesses look for transactions. But transactions, whether of love or commerce, arise because people think they can do something better with you than without you. David Brooks expressed it beautifully when recently talking about the movie Interstellar. NY Times Opinion Pages: Love and Gravity, 2014-Nov-20 by David Brooks Nolan introduces the concept of quantum entanglement. That’s when two particles that have interacted with each other behave as one even though they might... Continue reading
Reblogged Nov 27, 2014 at QViews
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When we treat social media as if they are publicity tools, we undermine ourselves. Our posts ought to direct people how to participate in a dialogue that leads to co-operative action. Over at The Bloggess, Jenny is founding a new religion, Blogessianism, as part of her ongoing effort to get everyone to take the world lightly. Extra gravy for all. Remember, "You may decline on the gravy, or give your gravy as a charitable contribution to those less gravied." Now make your own title and spread the word. Medium: Innovation Lessons from Taylor Swift, 2014-Nov-9 by Saul Kaplan ...social isn’t... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2014 at QViews
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L.L. Bean has always been a leader in using customer data. When following, the challenge is to figure out what you can afford to imitate. They've been doing it since 1912, when the business was launched using a list of people with hunting licenses. Not just a group of hunters, but a list of men holding nonresident Maine hunting licenses. That's a very targeted list of people with cold, wet feet, and little preparation on how to avoid the discomfort. The first lesson, I think, is that having a lot of data is less important than having strategic data you... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2014 at QViews
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The more we interact with a company, the more we expect them to remember us and to recognize our context. As 'always on' technology increases, we can experience surprising benefits. In thinking about our own customers, we have to plan ways to track them for their benefit. Acquia: Champions of Context, 2014-Nov-4 by David Mennie These trends add up to a new capability -- a requirement really -- to engage with a customer in context -- delivering relevant context when and where he or she wants it. You can start this process from the very first, anonymous, interactions. You can... Continue reading
Reblogged Nov 17, 2014 at QViews
The pressure for all organizations to adopt CRM software is not going away because our customers derive substantial benefits. Once they've worked with a firm that uses CRM data appropriately, they enjoy receiving more relevant updates, knowing that everyone at their supplier can understand their status, and being able to specify how they will be contacted. CRM software is an vital lever for improving customer experience and competing effectively for today's savvy consumers. And it can be used to drive down operating costs. It's never going away. Econsultancy: Seven reasons for the unstoppable rise of CRM, 2014-Nov-4 by Ben Davis... Continue reading
Reblogged Nov 13, 2014 at QViews
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Most professionals are confused about CRM. They see it as a piece of software that helps them collect information about customers and remind them what to do next. Actually, customer relationship management is a mature business practice, similar to financial accounting. In fact, you could think of your company's CRM as the way you track your marketing and sales results. Recently I was shocked when talking to a CRM consultant about working with this team. I asked him who his top customers were, and he fumbled around, pulling up his accounting software to see the customers table. If we believe... Continue reading
Reblogged Nov 12, 2014 at QViews
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Quinn Norton has written an amazing article about navigating social relationships for people who lack social awareness or empathy. For those of us who have been more successful in our relationships, it opens an amazing view into what we could be missing... how the world might look if we were blind to expressions and social norms. Even more importantly, she makes explicit what many of us take for granted. If you believe, as I do, that good relationships are the rock-solid foundation of a sustainable business, then we will find it's good to review the basics every now and then.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2014 at QViews
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I have been reading every long, deeply-researched article about Amazon recently, trying to find some renewed respect for them, with no luck. Turning off my Kindle, spending more on cat food, wondering what I left behind on my wish list... all these actions have been wrenching for me. My loyalty to Amazon was based on the amazing convenience they supplied. I have worried that their prices are "too low" to be healthy. Now there's evidence piling up that they are willing to exploit everyone else to maintain their control of the market. Sam Walton was a great guy with a... Continue reading
Reblogged Nov 7, 2014 at QViews
Wonderful interview with Troy Carter about all the different views and habits he has that allows him to survive big career setbacks... Well, he doesn't view them as setbacks, and that's one of his secrets. Fast Company: Troy Carter's Hard-Won Tips for Handling Career Road Bumps, 2014-Oct-30 Luckily for Carter, his relationships were built on "years of nurturing" and saw him through his biggest career setback. "I got a lot of phone calls that gave me confidence that things were going to be all right. People took my phone calls." Continue reading
Reblogged Nov 5, 2014 at QViews
Does your CRM system have a mechanism for capturing exceptional acts of loyalty? A customer who picks up the phone and argues for your value with a referral? An ex-customer who publishes an article about their positive experience with your company? Someone who skips a big discount to stay with you? Sometimes we can't even know an act of loyalty has happened. So we have to handle our customer records as if they represent real people we know. We have to give them ratings and rankings and make notes. We make those records accessible to everyone in the company so... Continue reading
Reblogged Nov 4, 2014 at QViews
Having a lot of data in your CRM system can give you a false sense of security. Unfortunately, on every day that goes by, some contact records are going out of date. The only way to maintain the data is to use it. Any record that hasn't been touched in a month ought to be verified before it's used. Wayne O'Neill & Associates: Why CRM Doesn't Work, 2014-Oct-13 by Wayne O'Neill So you have a huge CRM database. Pat yourself on the back because you have a lot of data about your clients – but are you really connecting with... Continue reading
Reblogged Nov 3, 2014 at QViews
We've been using a very unfortunate metaphor for years: the sales funnel. Supposedly, leads are dropped into the top and slide out the bottom as customers. Yuck. Actually, we are guiding contacts on a journey, and we need to think about the next step they have to take because we can't take it for them. CMS Wire: Customer Journeys Trump the Traditional Sales Cycle, 2014-Sep-15 by Julie Hunt To connect authentically to what customers need and want, customer journeys trump the traditional sales cycle. The sales cycle has been an inside-out process, tied primarily to sales goals and operations. Learn... Continue reading
Reblogged Oct 30, 2014 at QViews
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Most businesses plung into a loyalty program with their most frequent or biggest customers. Although it's not a mistake, there are pitfalls in this approach. We may discover that our biggest customer is only accidentally our customer--a big cause for concern on many levels. Before we invest in in a loyalty program, we check our most important customers to find out WHY they are using our services. In the first place, we'll discover whether or not it's sustainable. Then we enter a loyalty program with our eyes open as to the real long-term opportunities. Hub Magazine: Sweet Spot (Excerpt from... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2014 at QViews
I was in Zabar's again a couple of weeks ago. There's really no good reason for me ever to go back. Their food makes me fat. I actually dislike their bagels and coffee! I usually have to go out of my way to be there when it's open. There's nothing important nearby. And yet every year I trek back. They continuously update it, but Zabar's always feels the same. Like the first year of my happy marriage when my husband and I were starting out in New York. My loyalty to Zabar's is irrational. It's not based on any shared... Continue reading
Reblogged Oct 24, 2014 at QViews
At a recent workshop, Doug Bain of Growtheorem, a consultancy in sales management, stated that as far as he could see, getting in front of a prospect at a big company requires either (1) a personal introduction from someone the prospect already trusts, or (2) a major initiative in industry-leading content: articles in major publications, popular books or blogs which cause the prospect to contact us. Cold calling, trade shows, direct mail: all kaput. The contemporary business scene has so many contact spigots wide open that we are all overwhelmed with people trying to do business with us. Hardly anyone... Continue reading
Reblogged Oct 23, 2014 at QViews
One of the most important reasons to gather information about our customers is to plan the future of our company. Our competitive edge is the ability to use that information to better satisfy and anticipate customer needs. Searchblog: Living Systems and the Information First Company, 2014-Oct-11 by John Battelle Put another way, NewCos are "information first" companies. They map the flows of information in a market, and organize themselves so as to exploit or leverage those information flows, even if the flows are "potential information" - information used in a new way, a manner which may be more efficient, productive,... Continue reading
Reblogged Oct 22, 2014 at QViews
We can either educate our customers to succeed in their business or to succeed in our business. Why would we educate them to succeed in our business?? Well, that's what we do when we try to get them to excel at using our products and services. Instead, our products and services are only a means to the end goal of their success in their business. Our best customers may be inept and infrequent users of our products and services but that may be just fine. If there's one small but important thing they can only do with our help, and... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2014 at QViews
David Meerman Scott has a good slideshare explaining why we have to shift to using content to generate leads in the era of permission marketing. Since we can no longer interrupt people, we have to either develop or own content or constantly be on the lookout for good content to share with our prospects and customers. We usually need to do both. As David points out, that means that sales managers have to shift their measurements from volume of activity to how well a sales person uses content. For many companies, even if they have a few salespeople, this shift... Continue reading
Reblogged Oct 20, 2014 at QViews
To become a leader in our industry, we have to become known for providing valuable introductions. Unfortunately, it also means establishing new habits and skills. Michael Simmons has some very helpful tips. Inc.com: Stop Doing This One Thing in Email Introductions to Busy People, 2014-Oct-8 by Michael Simmons [Not] giving your contacts enough context on why an introduction is being made is the most common mistake that smart people make over and over.... Michaels's tips for making the introduction click: Point to the common problem or passion you see that will make these two people happy to connect. Explain them... Continue reading
Reblogged Oct 13, 2014 at QViews
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Although I've been blogging for over 10 years (exactly 10 years on the Typepad platform), I've never figured out how to get much traffic. Traffic for the things I care about, that is. Yet my commitment hasn't wavered. Blogging works for me. I like seeing my thoughts recorded here. Now I'm trying to get in the habit of blogging every day. And one point that Anil Dash makes, really resonates. "Always write for the moment you're in." I'm at a big transition point these days, trying to form new habits. Instead of planning the topics my customers care about, I... Continue reading
Reblogged Oct 3, 2014 at QViews
Analyzing our marketing data takes a very different skill than helpling customers or managing our sales force. When I want a break from difficult decisions and demanding co-workers, I drop down a relaxing data hole. Does sorting, editing and analyzing customer records NOT sound relaxing to you? Then you need to work with someone like me. MindEcology: You Don't Have to Be a Data Rock Star to Be In Our Show, 2014-Sep-25 Marketing research types like us are all kinds of crazy about data. But even though we’re unabashed data nerds, we know that not everyone’s idea of a good... Continue reading
Reblogged Oct 2, 2014 at QViews
Building a long-lasting relationship with our customers requires us to identify our values and acknowledge which of the customer's values are being served. Traditionally, advertising agencies buried those values in metaphors and stories. Now, more and more companies are just stating them outright, assuming the customers can make a quicker, more long-lasting connection. Internet Retailer: Don't call me 'daily': The Grommet drops the chronological element in its rebranding, 2014-May-13 by Thad Rueter TheGrommet.com now features what the retailer calls larger and “more attractive” product displays, customer reviews and “personal value icons for customers to align their beliefs with their purchases.”... Continue reading
Reblogged Oct 1, 2014 at QViews