Who is Salesforce.com and What is CRM

 

3 Things you haven’t heard from Salesforce.com

If you are in the CRM business, you’ve probably heard tons of clients and non-clients complaining about their CRM – those that are not user friendly, those that are just too complicated, and those that are, for lack of a better word, altogether unhelpful. Businesses are always looking out for a Customer Relationship Management system.

For sure, there are genuine complaints among them, but the truth is that CRMs today have matured so far beyond what you could access a few years ago. Most CRMs in the market now offer excellent service, whether you choose the high end ones like SAP, Oracle or Salesforce.com and its Salesforce ANT migration tool, or the middle range Sage CRM, MS Dynamics CRM and GoldMine, or even lower end types like Highrise, Nimble, Insight.ly or Zoho.

There are hundreds more out there, and most have a robust framework that is easy to use and well designed. Some are on-premise while others are in-cloud, with features for marketing, sales, email, opportunity management and calendaring. You can integrate with other systems, access social media directly, merge with and access from phones and other portable devices and a lot more.

The problem isn’t with the CRM system; it’s with the management of the CRM system. If you’ve been facing CRM challenges, it’s time to stop complaining and take action. Here are three things to get you going:

  1. Concentrate on the reports

The most important aspect of any CRM is that it’s a database, no matter where it’s placed. And databases generate reports, without which any CRM system has no value. You must make sure your system is set to generate the key reports you need to track your sales and marketing endeavors; any other aspect in the CRM is a plus.

These reports should be configured to be delivered to your inbox on a fixed schedule – daily, weekly monthly etc., since they are what managers will use to manage their teams. Your teams should feed in necessary data on schedule to make sure that the reports are generated on schedule. If you’re not doing this, you know half the reason your CRM is giving you hell.

  1. Get a CRM administrator

Every company needs one of these. Someone who owns the system and knows it from end to end. Someone who is responsible for all data help in the system and who knows the answer to every past, present and future question about it. And this is the best part – it’s doesn’t need to be and actually shouldn’t be an IT guy either.

CRMs today are pretty easy to learn, so all you need is a smart employee in administration who can be trained in the nooks and crannies of CRM, and then authorized to manage the system and all staff remotely involved in it. A strong administrator is an investment no organization can do without if the CRM will succeed in its role.

  1. Embrace your CRM or go

As a manager, you’ve got to get your team on the love-the-CRM-or-go bandwagon. Most employees are resistant to change, but it you’re firm as a manager, eventually they will understand that they have no choice but to work with it. If you let employees get away with sabotaging the CRM by doing things ‘like they’ve always been done’ you’re setting the organization up for failure.

Pay attention to what every employee is doing, and make sure it’s being done correctly, no matter what CRM it is. Ensure your staff have been adequately trained and prepared, and then require them to apply themselves to make the system succeed, in every part of the organization.

What is CRM

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a term that refers to practices, strategies and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers

Author Bio

Sujain Thomas is a competent CRM expert and Salesforce products distributor. For more information on Salesforce ANT migration tool and to get assistance using other Salesforce products, visit her website.

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Dr. Joe Johnson of Welfont – Serial Entrepreneur And Venture Capitalist Gets Another Homerun!

 

Fastest Growing Real Estate Brokerage in America

Winning the prestigious INC 5000 award for the Fastest Growing Real Estate Brokerage in America over a three year period is no small accomplishment, but for Dr. Joe Johnson, growing up a missionary kid in Brazil, it’s truly a dream come true.

Johnson, a competitive swimmer in college and captain of his swim team seems to run his business with a heads down and swim for the finish line manner. So, when Johnson saw in year three, that his startup venture, (Welfont) stood a very real chance of placing high in the INC 5000 standings, he and his team put their heads down and in 2017 went all out to finish strong and by year end amassed an astonishing 11,359 percent three-year growth rate. To understand how Welfont got to where they are today, it helps to better understand the journey of Johnson’s life. He started his first business, a landscaping company, while still in high school. He had a truck and earth moving equipment but wasn’t old enough to get a driver’s license. But obstacles like these were just minor inconveniences to him. The solution was simple. Improvise. He just hired kids a little older than him who had their drivers license and he was in business.

Early Bankruptcy

Armed with more enthusiasm than business sense, by age 21 his vision and sales far outpaced his financial and staff resources as well as his operational processes. As he is quick to admit, “Out of pure incompetence, by the time I turned 21 years old, I went bankrupt.”

After Johnson went bankrupt at age 21 (on his lawyers’ recommendation), he worked other jobs and eventually earned enough money to pay off the creditors that he was no longer obligated by law, to pay. Somewhere along the way, Johnson had come to learn that a good name is more important than wealth.

 

First Turnaround

Upon graduating from college, Johnson mailed out 2000 resumes applying for the position of CFO. He received four requests for an interview and exactly one job offer from a failing $12 million tech company which he quickly turned around and was sold for a handsome profit. Doing things on a big scale became the hallmark of his storied career, including earning his doctorate at age 41, in Entrepreneurial Leadership from Regent University.

More Turnarounds

Johnson took over the reins and re-launched the struggling SUCCESS Magazine with a new team, which won “Best Design Launch of the Year Award” and gained over 500,000 in print circulation and was subsequently sold for millions of dollars. It was this type of success that fueled his desire to become a venture capitalist and enjoy more of the fruits of his labor.

That opportunity came in 2011 when he bought an insolvent real estate training company, making it wildly successful, earning a seven figure profit in just the first quarter.

Get Motivated Seminars

But fast forward to 2012, when the opportunity came to buy his former employers flagship company, Get Motivated Seminars, Johnson leveraged his previous success and went “all in”. Unfortunately, the previous owners were in a bitter divorce, greatly complicating the transfer of ownership. By year end, it was over, and the doors closed for good.

Down, But Not Out

Johnson’s love of real estate had become deeply ingrained into his psyche. In 2014, he began a consultancy helping nonprofits utilize the tax laws in Section 170 of the IRS code to acquire underutilized commercial real estate assets. It was the beginning of what became known as the Welfont Group of Companies. It soon became apparent that he could help a lot more folks and build a solid business by adding commercial real estate brokerage to the services his company could provide. Within 36 months, transaction volume grew to hundreds of millions of dollars, becoming the fastest growing real estate brokerage in the history of the Inc 5000.

Success is a Journey

Over the years Johnson, now 43, has created hundreds of jobs through various start-ups and turnarounds while earning his MBA and PhD, personally funded over 15,000 microloans in over 80 countries for underprivileged entrepreneurs, saved one of America’s oldest and best loved business magazines from bankruptcy, acquired over 10 million square feet of real estate nationwide and most recently not only ranked in the INC 5000 as the Fastest Growing Real Estate Brokerage in the country, but also ranked #16 in the top 20 fastest growing companies of all types.

 

 

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The Top 5 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch Out For

From the ever-evolving world of mobile to the rapid development in artificial intelligence; digital marketing is in a constant state of flux. It is a real challenge for digital marketers to keep up with the latest trends and stay in the loop, with cutting-edge technologies and strategies. Here are 5 digital marketing trends that will reshape the industry this year.

 

1) Marketing through live video using Instagram, Periscope and Snapchat

Instagram, Periscope and Snapchat are allowing businesses to connect with their target audience in real-time. Live video has become an essential component of social strategy as it helps to humanize a brand.

Periscope is a live-streaming app owned by Twitter and it allows broadcasts to be auto-published on Twitter accounts, as well. Followers can engage in real-time communication and the broadcasts can be viewed for 24 hours on mobile devices, as well as, desktops.

Snapchat is a semi-live streaming app, which removes the pressure of watching a video right here, right now. But, once the video is viewed, it disappears. Also, this app has a feature called ‘story’ allowing a user to create a collection of video to be viewed for 24 hours. It even allows viewers to save the video and upload it to other channels.

Instagram, on the other hand, combines the best elements of Periscope and Snapchat. On Instagram Live, followers can watch a video while it is being broadcasted and remove access, once the broadcast is completed.

2) Personalized Marketing via Big Data Analytics

Big Data Analytics is playing a major role in moulding digital marketing campaign and enhancing sales effectiveness. A full service digital marketing company can help you collect data, such as customer information, demographics, interests, behaviors and other relevant business information. The data collected will help you identify shopping & demographic trends and income levels while helping to customize your marketing strategy for meeting specific customer expectations. Big Data will help you in identifying the propensity to convert different behavioral patterns and characteristics of the consumers.

3) Marketing via Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality may be a craze among gamers, but it also has huge potentials in marketing. This technology has fundamentally altered the way businesses interact, with their target audience and market their products. While augmented reality (AR) uses 3D model to augment the real, physical world; virtual reality (VR) creates an environment,which is completely different from the one that you are in standing in.

In 2016, OnePlus utilized the VR marketing strategy to launch its flagship phone, OnePlus 3. OnePlus teamed up with AntVR, the VR specialists, to create 30,000 Loop VR headsets that were gone just as soon as they hit the markets. The chinese smartphone manufacturer showcased the launch of it’s flagship phone with the help of VR.

This marketing strategy went down well with the consumers and the comfortable VR headsets created all the buzz necessary around OnePlus.

4) Marketing using Wearables

The use of marketing via wearables is one of the emerging digital marketing trends, due to its wide demographic appeal and the ability to be integrated, with smartphones. It allows marketers to tap into the market by interacting and sharing relevant information to consumers through a personal channel. The market for wearable technology is estimated at a whopping 31.27 billion USD by 2020. With its presence on social media, wearables are a huge push to the healthcare and the marketing industry.

 

5) Marketing using Artificial Intelligence Bots

Artificial intelligence (AI) and digital marketing bots may not be able to replace humans, but can be utilized to supplement human knowledge and experience. Marketers, via AI, can unlock deeper insights into consumer base and communicate with prospective customers more effectively. It can help eliminate impersonal and monotonous aspects of a marketer’s job.

Bots can replace humans in places, such as online customer interaction and answering queries. From virtual shopping assistants to personalized content suggestions, AI is making great strides into the digital marketing industry. For instance, Facebook is making the use of artificial intelligence bots for helping users book a flight, providing answers to health-related questions, providing latest financial news, and so on.

The above-mentioned are the top 5 digital marketing trends in 2017 that you need to incorporate, right now, in your digital marketing campaign.

 

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The Top Products Chinese People Want

Chinese People Love Great Products

China is one of the most attractive export markets for products and services from different parts of the world. Its huge population and workforce, fast-growing middle class, accelerating consumption, as well as willingness to import are some of the factors that make China an attractive export destination.

To tap the might of consumers in the populous East Asian country, however, sellers and manufacturers first have to identify what the market wants. In light of this, we have compiled a list of the top products Chinese people desire to lighten your load along the way.

Clothing and Footwear

China’s large population makes it an attractive market for garments. An HKTDC Research article reveals that clothing market demand in China is high and keeps growing year after year. Experts predict that the industry, which was worth around RMB1,457.8 billion in 2017, would reach an estimated RMB1,592 by 2019.

The demand for clothing in China is so vast that shoppers are fast turning to online marketplaces to buy garments directly from overseas retailers and brands. Around 24% of consumers in China are expected to buy across borders this year alone, per figures released by eMarketers.

Similarly, there’s massive demand for footwear in China, with sneakers being one of the most demanded. Footwear sales figures for 2017 in mainland China was put at RMB381.9 billion. Of this, data show that women shoes brought in the most revenue, fetching around RMB184 (48%). Men’s shoes generated the second highest revenue at RMB144.2 billion (38%), while children’s shoes brought an estimated RMB53.2 billion (14%).

It is predicted that the footwear market in mainland China will be worth a whopping RMB487.4 billion by 2021.

Beauty and Personal Care

Driven by rising incomes and awareness, China’s beauty and personal care cosmetics market is one of the most attractive. The industry has been growing fast thanks to an increasing number of affluent consumers who are willing to splurge on quality beauty and personal care products that make them look younger and attractive.

The industry made an estimated RMB251.4 billion in domestic sales in 2017 alone. The world’s most populous nation is projected to become the largest market for personal care and cosmetic products in the next 5-10 years.

Vitamins and Supplements

As lifestyle gets busier, Chinese shoppers are becoming more and more health-conscious. Along with the demand for running shoes, there’s been a surge in the market for vitamins and supplements. For China, being one of the world’s fastest-growing economies came at a cost in the form of an overcrowded transportation system, gridlock traffic, severe air pollution, etc., all of which make the environment less healthy.

This, coupled with higher disposable incomes, caused Chinese consumers to turn to health and wellness products. In fact, consumers in the world’s fourth-largest have become so focused on health and fitness that the demand for vitamin and minerals outpaces GDP growth, according to a New Hope article.

Maternity and Baby Products

China’s relaxed family planning policy has increased demand for baby products such as infant formula. There’s been a boom in demand for maternity and baby products following the implementation of the new legislation which now allows a second child in the family.

A piece reveals that the Chinese baby product has grown more than 250% in five years, accounting for around $75 billion. With the plan now fully in place, the maternity and baby products sector is expected to surpass RMB3 trillion in 2018.

Food

Demand for food products like soybeans is high in China. The country is projected to become the largest food importer by 2018, importing around $79 billion worth of food items each year.

Other top products Chinese people want include jewelry, electronics, gadgets, and wine.

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Statistics for Video Views in Marketing, on Websites, and Social Media

Video as a Marketing Tool

Video is a potent online marketing tool if you know how to use it. It is a cost-effective way to extend your reach, enhance your brand, and grow your business. The use of videos is perhaps more important today than ever as consumers are increasingly faced with an abundance of platforms that have become a staple of their daily lives.

Today’s consumers are more sophisticated than ever. They are increasingly interacting more and more with on-screen graphics and videos through virtual communities such as YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, Vimeo, Instagram, and even Twitter.

With this in mind, we have identified some of the most exciting statistics for video views to help marketers and individuals understand the power of video as a marketing tool.

  1. 97% of marketers say videos help consumers understand products (Hubspot)

Technology has revolutionized the means through which customers find product information. The advent of the internet and growing awareness among the mass public means that customers now use the internet to understand a product in detail from every perspective instead of waiting to be sold to.

Consequently, marketers are advised to use explainer videos that make complicated things simple by explaining their product features in a way that costumers understand to boost engagement.

  1. Globally, consumer internet video traffic will be 80% of all internet consumer traffic by 2019 (Tubularinsights)

Consumer internet video traffic will dominate other types of traffic, accounting for 80% share of the global market by 2019.

  1. 81 percent of businesses now use video for marketing (Hubspot)

Due to its ability to boost engagement, conversation, and sales, 81 percent of companies now use video as a marketing tool.

  1. 78 percent of businesses revealed videos provide a good return on investment (ROI) (Wyzowl)
  2. 82% of companies intend to spend more on video marketing in 2018 (Wyzowl)
  3. 76% of marketers admit video help their organization increase sales (Wyzowl)
  4. YouTube is the most visited site after search engine, Google (Alexa)
  5. 99 percent of businesses who already use video say they will continue to do so in 2018 (Hubspot)
  6. 72 percent of consumers would instead use video to learn about a product than other types of content (Hubspot)
  7. 83 percent of audience would consider sharing a video they like with others (Hubspot)
  8. Using a video on a landing page can boost conversions by 80 percent (Invisia)
  9. Your website is 53 times more likely to jump to the top of Google search results you embed a video in your site (Yumyumvideos)
  10. Snapchat users watch 10 billion videos each week (Adweek)
  11. 82 percent of Twitter users view video content on the site (Twitter)
  12. Instagram is the only site where photos receive more engagement than videos (Sprout Social)
  13. Social video generates 1200 percent more shares than image and text content combined (Wordstream)

 

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Top New Gadgets 2018 – Wall Street

 

Advancing Technology

From fancy watches to bookshelf speakers, rapidly advancing technology continues to spawn new uses and sophisticated gadgets that are being brought to the market on a constant basis. Such is the reality of our world today that you could spend a whole day nosing your way through shops that sell tech gadgets that could turn your home into a smart house.

Here are the top new gadgets that will put you on the cutting edge of tech and make your life a little nicer:

  1. FITBIT ALTA HR

The Fitbit Alta HR is a reliable fitness tracker that comes with enough battery juice to last you up to one week. It monitors your steps, periods of sleep, the number of calories burned, and heart rate. The wristband features an OLED display and syncs wirelessly to computers.

  1. NINTENDO NES CLASSIC EDITION

This Nintendo mini console takes you back to the old days by adding a classic taste to modern tech. It packs 30 classic 8-bit games, supports two-player games, and allows nostalgic gamers to connect to any TV via HDMI.

  1. SHINOLA BOOKSHELF SPEAKERS

The new Shinola Bookshelf Speakers are the result of a collaboration between Shinola and studio monitor specialists Barefoot Sound. The self-powered two-way speakers not only bring sound but also add color to your living room thanks to their neatly done hand-stained oak cabinets. They have been equipped with Bluetooth, AUX, and USB input to provide you with an array of options.

  1. DELL XPS 13 (2018)

Sleek. Impressive. Powerful. Enduring. This 13-inch laptop packs sufficient punch to conveniently handle anything you throw at it. The XPS 13 has a smaller body than nearly all laptops in its category with an almost bezel-less screen.

  1. SAMSUNG GALAXY S9+

If you need a device that offers something beyond existing standards and defines good quality, then you shouldn’t look past the Samsung Galaxy S9+. It may not seem that different from the S8+, but this smartphone is a class leader in its own right.

Being Samsung’s latest offering, the S9+ features a 6.22-inch infinity display with a revolutionary 2x zoom back camera that captures lifelike images. Its 3500mAh battery gives you up to 15 hours of internet use on Wi-Fi and 4G connections.

  1. APPLE TV 4K

Apple TV 4K is arguably the best streamer you will find on the market today. The gadget lets you watch your favorite shows in 4K HDR and offers remote and Siri voice options for a premium experience.

  1. SONOS PLAY:5

Wireless multi-room speakers don’t come greater than the Play:5. Sonos’ new offering not only fills your room with rich sounds but also links you to more than 80 streaming services worldwide.

You can connect the gadget to Amazon Echo or Dot. There’s a 3.5mm audio socket designed to enable you to connect a non-streaming audio device.

 

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Social media marketing: Six trends to keep your eyes on

Social Media is Marketing the Future

Social media marketing is a powerful way for businesses of all sizes to reach prospects and customers. Your customers are already interacting with brands through social media, and if you are not speaking directly to your audience through social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, you’re missing out! Great marketing on social media can bring remarkable success to your business, creating devoted brand advocates and even driving leads and sales.

Social media marketing, or SMM, is a form of internet marketing that involves creating and sharing content on social media networks to achieve your marketing and branding goals. Social media marketing includes activities like posting text and image updates, videos, and other content that drives audience’s engagement. Social media marketing can help with many goals, such as increasing website traffic, building conversions, raising brand awareness, creating a brand identity and positive brand association and improving communication and interaction with key audiences. As social media marketing plays a vital role, following are the six trends to keep your eyes on:

 

Instagram has over 700 million monthly active users, less competition and a more engaged audience than other social media giants like Facebook or Twitter. This presents businesses with an opportunity to market their products to a more targeted and interested audience without spending an enormous amount of money on paid advertising. Instagram stories have a slideshow format and are only live for 24-hours. Instagram stories offer social marketers a great opportunity to reach a higher number of people by taking advantage of one of the fastest-growing social networks.

 

With over 313 million monthly active users and a young demographic to boot, Twitter is a great platform for most marketers. Starting up a Twitter page for your company is easy. Anyone can come up with a Twitter handle, upload their profile photo, fill out their bio and send out their first Tweet. However, growing your Twitter account and turning it into an actual tool that generates leads and builds up your brand is not that simple. Some of the main ways, businesses use Twitter include sharing information and content, driving engagement for promotional activities, interacting with consumers, networking, branding and reputation management.

 

A Chatbot is a program that mimics human interaction. It automatically chats with internet users and gives a series of pre-prepared answers according to what they ask. It is an interactive FAQ tool that becomes more and more useful as you add more and more questions and answers to it. User engagement drives conversions. Chatbots can lead users on an Easter egg hunt or chat about the sports team they hate. The limit is up to our imagination.

 

Live chat is a must-have tool for your business. The biggest live chat benefits include the increase in sales, efficiency, and improvement in customer service and loyalty, customer convenience, proactive outreach; reduce expenses, faster solution to problems, competitive advantages, and reports and analytics.

 

They got to make themselves known by a wide public, bringing about a confrontation that led to a better definition of their roles. While VR has proven to be the evolution of gaming, AR has found its way in communication and marketing. With the new AR features on the iPhone X (and 8), you can expect a lot more AR related content being generated, and consumed, in 2018.

 

Voice search queries will push SEOs to focus on even longer long-tail keywords and create content specific to the needs of spoken searches.

To know more about the brand marketing, click here. I hope it helps. Stay safe!

 

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6 Tips for Business Success

Marketing is an Investment

  • In order for your business venture to thrive, people need to know about it. Marketing is an essential component of business success. If you do not put in the time and resources that are required for marketing, it will be difficult for you to sustain a business.
  • Online resources are available for everyone to cost effectively market their businesses. Although there are numerous opportunities to market your business for free online, you still need to consider investing money through other affordable options to accommodate your growing business needs.
  • With gradual business growth, you will have access to more funding that you can use to market your business effectively. Businesses that are successful invest significantly in marketing.

Create a Marketing Plan

  • Business and marketing plans are equally important. Your business cannot go far without consumers who buy your products or use your services.
  • When you market your business effectively you attract more prospects and customers. This enables you to make sales and profits that are necessary for you to cover your costs. Marketing plans require research and compel you to come up with business strategies that are aimed at growth and development.
  • Your marketing plan is a vital reference point that you can use to guide your marketing efforts. There should always be some time set aside each day for marketing.

Market Consistently

The business word is competitive and staying ahead involves constantly spreading awareness about the products and services you offer. Business owners who make an effort to market consistently are able to generate new opportunities and gain prospective customers.

Create a Niche

A niche market will enable you to focus and prevent you from doing too many things at the same time. The advantage of focusing on a single niche is that it allows you to use your skills accordingly and work more efficiently.

As time goes on, you can include additional activities when you are ready to take on more challenges. Creating a niche for your business is a good way to achieve sustainability and stand out from the rest of the competition.

Networking

Be ready to work hard and prepare for the responsibility of being your boss. Having your own business is a rewarding experience but you it requires dedication and discipline. Whenever you start a business, it is important to network. Networking helps to promote sales and keep you on track.

Effective networking involves being responsive, reaching out to people in the industry, attending networking events and being accessible.

Maintain Contact with your Customers

Remaining in contact with your customers is essential for retaining customer loyalty. Keeping in touch with customers shows that they are valued. Keep records of their contact details so that you can inform them about new products or promotional offers. The customers that you already have are just as important as the new ones that you want to attract. Read more about debt review here.

All entrepreneurs want to be successful and watch their business concepts turn into reality. Operating a business requires time and effort as well as determination. There are various things that you can do to reach your goals and keep your business running. Check this chart below.

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Is the Effect of Political Risk Becoming Overrated on Wall Street

Traditionally, political uncertainty is one of the biggest market movers with effects on the equities, Forex, and commodities market. Political commentators and Wall Street analysts have drawn up interesting inferences on the effects of political uncertainty on the markets after significant political events such as elections and referendums. For instance, the prevailing thesis on the effects of political uncertainty on the market is that Americans tend to vote for the same candidate or party if the economy is robust and they tend to vote for the opposition if the economy is weak.

Sam Stovall, managing director at S&P Capital IQ observes that the results of presidential elections shows that voters tend to give the state of the economy a high weighting in choosing the next president. In his words, “In 82 percent of the times that markets have climbed during August and October, the incumbent party has won. In 86 percent of the times the market has been down, the replacement party has won.”

It is already cliché that the markets hate uncertainty and you can trust Wall Street to have a bullish performance in years when the election results are predictable than in years when the election can swing either way. The market doesn’t usually record much volatility ahead of election in which the incumbent is contesting reelection because the incumbent will most likely win and there won’t be much of a change in economic policies.

However, in the last U.S. presidential election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the risks of change in economic and foreign policy was high because both candidates had widely different plans. Trump was easily the wild card because his proposed economic and foreign policy plans were ‘unconventional’ and Wall Street analysts were quick to opine that a Trump presidency will bring in a unprecedented level of uncertainty to the markets.

The effect of unexpected political events is muted on the markets

However, the chart above shows how U.S. equities and the volatility index have fared since Trump won the election. You’ll observe that U.S. stocks have booked gains since Trump won the election on Nov. 8 2016. The S&P 500 is up 10.70%, the NASDAQ Composite is up 12.33%, the Dow Jones Industrials is up 14.14%, and the Russell 2000 (small caps) is up an incredible 15.04%. Conversely, the fear gauge in the market has recorded a massive drop with the VIX index declining by 38.9% in the same period.

Steve Williamson, an analyst at Lionexo binary options observes that “the performance stocks in relation to the volatility index shows that U.S. equities have not been plagued by the expected volatility that should have resulted in a change in government.” In essence, it appears that political risk is starting to have a lesser effect on the markets.

Interestingly, 2016 showed many signs indicating that political uncertainty has lesser influence on the markets. For instance, the markets recovered from the shocking Brexit vote in four days despite the fears that the Britain’s exits from the EU might trigger chaos in the Eurozone. The whiplash in U.S. stocks after Trump’s surprise victory didn’t last more than four hours. Italians rejected proposed constitutional changes from Matteo Renzi’s pro-EU government and the effect of the referendum was lost on the Italian market in about four minutes.

Pro-EU market watchers have started drawing inferences on how the results of the upcoming French elections could affect forex markets in the EU, U.S., and the rest of the world. One of the top candidates in the French presidential election, Marine Le Pen has indicated that she’ll drop the use Euro in France – a move that might be the prequel to France’s exit from the EU.

It still a little too early to know if the results of the French elections will have a drastic effect on the market or not. However, based on the recent performance of the markets, we can safely bet that the markets will see a swift correction that will erase any volatility irrespective of how the French vote in the next election.

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How to Manage Recurring Bills and Subscriptions

Subscriptions Almost Guarantee Repeat Business

Your business can learn (to earn) a lot from subscription services, such as Netflix and Tidal. These services are transforming the way companies earn money and ensuring that consumers receive their products and services in perpetuity. More businesses are choosing this method of billing and shipping because it almost guarantees repeat business and it’s completely automated, which saves money on staffing costs and more.

Managing Subscriptions and Recurring Bills

Subscriptions work like this: basically, customers sign up for goods or service deliveries online via your website. This can also be done over the phone, but that requires a greater financial investment because you’ll need to hire a dedicated salesforce. Keep in mind, anything can be sold on a recurring basis, not just television and music streaming services. Goods, such as groceries and clothing items, can also be sold on a recurring basis. Customers finalize their order by entering their billing information, and they’re automatically billed on a regular basis (weekly, monthly, yearly, etc.).

This process isn’t complicated when you take advantage of subscription billing software, which operates on the cloud and is nearly infallible. The software requires little IT knowledge to set up and creates a self-service sales portal on your website. It even comes with all those small idiosyncrasies that drive sales, such as free plans, free trials, cancellation buttons and more. Fulfillment software simplifies the process for you and the consumer, which means any business can harness the money-making power of recurring billing without too much technical experience.

Step One: Determine Your Pricing Plan

There isn’t a single pricing plan that’s guaranteed to drive sales. You’ll need to do your best to create a pricing plan that’s profitable to you, but also fair to your customers. You’ll need to consider your costs, the value to your customer, and your customer’s needs. It may take some trial-and-error before you find a pricing plan that works.

Here are some ideas to help you get sign-ups fast, so you can build revenue quickly:

  • Offer a free plan or a free trial
  • Offer a coupon or incentive for upgrading
  • Considering offering different pricing plans for different levels of service
  • Guarantee that payments are secure and offer a few methods for paying (credit card, Paypal, etc.)

Step Two: Make it Easy to Cancel

Customers don’t want to feel scammed or cheated, but that’s exactly how they will feel if you’re lacking a return policy or easy cancellation. Those customers will report you to the Better Business Bureau and leave negative reviews about your business, which has the potential to ruin your reputation. The last thing you need is negative reviews showing up in search results for your company, so keep a strong commitment to customer service.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attempt to retain customers who are considering cancellation, but you shouldn’t thwart them either. You are welcome to offer customers incentives to retain them, but if they choose to cancel that’s their prerogative and you must honor that. You can show you’re committed to customer satisfaction by making it easy to cancel or return products.

Step Three: Engage with Customers to Increase Satisfaction

According to a 2011 American Express survey, 78 percent of consumers have abandoned a transaction or canceled an intended purchase due to poor customer service. This unhappy customer’s negative experience can have a negative impact on your business. In fact, Ruby Newell-Legner, author of Understanding Customers, reports that “It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience.”

Good customer service goes a long way in retaining customers and soliciting positive reviews. A negative review isn’t the end of the world, but it is more impactful than a positive review; therefore, it’s essential to provide quality customer service to ensure the good reviews outnumber the bad ones. Here’s some tips for providing quality customer service:

  • Show empathy
  • Be adaptable
  • Communicate clearly
  • Train your staff to be knowledgeable
  • And, remember: the customer is always right

Recurring billing can be extremely profitable, and it only requires a few steps to get off the ground. The most important thing is that you understand your target market, and do your best to provide them with exemplary service. According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, “On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase.” The only way to ensure loyalty is to give loyalty right back.

 

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