Monthly Archives: October 2015

3 Signs you need a CRM System

3 Signs You Need a CRM System

Customer relationship management, more commonly referred to as CRM, is a system that tracks interactions with clients and prospects. It stores their contact information as well as any other identifying information you choose to track. A CRM system can also group multiple contacts at a company under one account, which can be very helpful for salespeople. Additionally, it can keep track of reps’ touchpoints with their clients and prospects, including emails, phone calls, voicemails, and meetings.

If you aren’t currently using a CRM system, you would be surprised by how much easier it will make life for you and your employees. Here are the three critical signs you need a CRM system:

1) You have no centralized place for storing important data.

In sales, it’s important to be efficient and effective. You shouldn’t waste time searching through your inbox or call history to get a prospect’s number or recall when you last spoke. Also, you could forget something and risk sending the same email multiple times and annoying a prospect.


2) You often experience miscommunication across your company.

In addition to making life easier for individual reps, CRM systems also improve communication at the organizational level. What if a rep is reaching out to a lead that their colleague spoke to two years ago? If that colleague knew, he would likely have some important intel the rep could benefit from. Or say a new rep takes over someone’s territory – it would be helpful to have detailed information on those prospects.

With CRM, reps can immediately assess what’s already been done with a given prospect and what’s next. Your reps don’t need to reach out to their colleagues to get interaction history, because the information they need is already in the system.

3) While your current system gets the job done, you worry how it will work as you continue to grow.

You might be asking yourself, “Can’t I just do this all in an Excel spreadsheet and call it a day?”

If you only have a handful of clients and prospects, manually tracking everything shouldn’t be too difficult. But think ahead a few years and you’ll likely be struggling to keep up, assuming you plan on growing your business over the years.

Whether or not a CRM system is right for you really comes down to one question: Do you want to grow your business? Your ability to grow depends on your customer service. And you can’t provide great service without CRM.

Ready to see what CRM can do for you? A complete CRM system is an integral part of SAGE Online, SAGE Mobile and SAGE Web, all of which are included with a SAGE Total Access subscription. Click here to learn more.


5 out of the box Promotional Products we Love… And your clients will too!

5 Out Of The Box Promotional Products We Love… And Your Clients Will Too!

I’ve never been the kind of person that is creative on a whim. I need inspiration. And coffee. But mostly inspiration. So, I thought I would send a little love your way this week and provide that extra cup of creativity!

So, like most of you, I attend A LOT of tradeshows which means unless a promotional giveaway is fun, really exciting or something I’ve never seen, it doesn’t catch my eye. But, the alternative to that is when I do find something new and unique I grab it.

That being said, here are five products that I am all about, and I think you will be too:

1. The FriXion® Ball Clicker Pen by Pilot Pen (SAGE #53144 / Item #IFXC)


A pen’s a pen right?  Not this one.  This is quite possibly the coolest pen I have ever seen. It has erasable gel ink. Really erasable, not like the ones you had when you were a kid.  The gel is thermo-sensitive and disappears with the friction caused by the erasing motion. That also means that when you expose that paper to freezing temps, it comes back!

2. The Dual USB Solar Powered Charger by Smart Go Logo (SAGE #69342 / Item #SGLPB16)


How many times have you been somewhere without an outlet and your smartphone is about to die? I know power banks are fairly common these days and while those are great, the one downfall is that unless you’ve previously remembered to charge your power bank, when you go to use it, you end up really disappointed and powerless. With this solar powered charger, all you have to do is put it in the sun! This is such a great gift or giveaway for the outdoorsy type, the on-the-go business professional, or just anyone who uses their phone constantly and can’t seem to remember to charge their power bank.

3. The Mini USB 4 Port Hub by Prime Line (SAGE #53170 / Item #PL-2434)

USB Port

Speaking of tech items, which are always a hit in my book, this mini USB hub has 4 ports instead of one. Genius! This is such a great tradeshow giveaway because 74% of consumers have at least one promotional product in their workspace and in general, consumers hang on to promotional products for over six months, longer if it is deemed useful. You can never have too many USB’s obviously, but when you are traveling with your laptop and you have 5 different things to plug in, this little guy is going to be your new best friend.

4. The Leatherman® Style® CS Multi Tool by Mag-Lite (SAGE #50128 / Item #LM36)


Full confession, I own 4 of these. Some given to me at shows, and some I have acquired on my own. I have one in my kitchen, tool box, backpack and car. Here’s why. This tiny tool has scissors, a file, a knife, tweezers, a bottle opener and a mini-screwdriver. I cannot tell you how many times I have used any one of those tools and I cannot express to you enough how much you need one of these in your life. Your clients will thank you.

5. The Sharpie Gel Highlighter from Sanford Business To Business (SAGE #57690 / Item #SGHL)


Again with the writing instruments? Yes, because much like the aforementioned pen, this is no ordinary highlighter! This is actually made from a fluorescent gel that doesn’t smear or bleed. We had several of these in the office and they were quickly confiscated by myself and a few of my marketing department colleagues because they are so awesome! They are fun to color with in addition to their intended use. In fact, I have given some of these to non-industry folks and have recently been asked for more. So, there’s you proof for that one.

I hope some of these (not paid for placement) items really spark your interest and help you think a little more outside of the box when it comes to the promo products you are sourcing for your clients. Sometimes all it takes is to change your frame of mind… what do you think is cool? Chances are, someone else will think so too!


16 ways Color Affects your Branding & Marketing

16 Ways Color Affects Your Branding & Marketing

Substantial research shows why color matters in branding and how it plays an important role in how we experience marketing. These 16 facts give you a glimpse into how you can use color to your advantage in branding and marketing your company.

1.  Up to 90% of judgement of a brand can be based on color alone

2.  It is estimated that brand recognition increases by 80% with color

3.  30% of the brands on the Forbes list of the 100 most valuable brands use red

4.  35% of the 100 most valuable brands use blue

5.  23% of the 100 most valuable brands use black and white or have no set color scheme

6.  20% of the 100 most valuable brands use yellow or gold

7.  51% of the 100 most valuable brands use one color only

8.  27% of the 100 most valuable brands use two colors

9.  Only one of the 100 most valuable brands uses purple

10.  Studies have shown that ads in color are read 42% more than the same ads in black and white

11.  Our brains are programmed to respond to color; we stop at red traffic lights and signs, yield at yellow and go for green

12.  Research reveals people make a subconscious judgment about a product within 90 seconds of initial viewing and that between 62% and 90% of that assessment is based on color alone

13.  Women list purple as a top tier color while men do not

14.  Blue is popular among both men and women

15.  85% of shoppers place color as a primary reason for why they buy a particular product

16.  Each color has its own energy:

  • Yellow – Optimistic and youthful, often used to grab attention of window shoppers
  • Red – Energy, increases heart rate, creates urgency, often seen in clearance sales
  • Blue – Creates the sensation of trust and security, often seen with banks and businesses
  • Green – Associated with wealth and nature, the easiest color for the eyes to process, used in stores to relax
  • Orange – Aggressive, creates a call to action
  • Pink – Romantic and feminine, used to market products to women and young girls
  • Black – Powerful and sleek, used to market luxury products
  • Purple – Used to soothe and calm, often seen in beauty and anti-aging products

We’re certainly feeling energetic! What is the reasoning behind your brand’s color scheme? Do you think it matches up with the energy listed above? Let us know in the comments below!



Branding 101: Let’s Talk Logos

Branding 101: Let’s Talk Logos

A logo is often a company’s first impression and it can impact a customer’s perception, purchase decisions and overall attitude toward your company. A logo is a symbol or graphic element that represents your business. Your logo should tell a story about your company and portray your brand’s personality.  Not sure what your brand’s personality is? Take this free online quiz to determine yours.

Some companies may think they’re not big enough to need a logo, or that their customers know who they are just by their company name, but every company needs a logo.  Having a logo makes your company seem bigger and more established, helps attract more business, conveys that you’re a reputable business, and gives your clients a sense of stability and confidence in doing business with you.

So what makes a good logo?

A good logo is unique. The belief, “imitation is the best form of flattery,” doesn’t apply to branding.  In fact, it’s illegal.  Make sure your logo is thoughtful and unique to your company.  Having an original and cleverly designed logo will help you stand out among the masses. (Notice the arrow between the E and x in the FedEx logo?)


A good logo is simple.  You want your logo to be interesting, but you don’t want people to have to sit and stare to understand it.



A good logo is memorable.  Your audience should see a glimpse of your logo and instantly recognize your brand.


A good logo is timeless.  Focus less on current trends and more on ensuring your logo is the embodiment of your brand’s personality.


A good logo is relevant.  Your logo should stay true to what your company represents and it should be relevant to the industry.  The promotional products industry is fun, there’s no reason your logo can’t be, too. Take this Toys”R”Us logo for example, it appeals to it’s target demographics – kids.


Color is key. Color plays a huge role in how your brand is perceived.  Here are the personalities specific colors portray.

  • Red: energetic, sexy, bold
  • Orange: creative, friendly, youthful
  • Yellow: sunny, inventive, optimism
  • Green: growth, organic, instructional
  • Blue: professional, medical, tranquil, trustworthy
  • Purple: spiritual, wise, evocative
  • Black: credible and powerful
  • White: simple, clean, pure
  • Pink: fun and flirty
  • Brown: rural, historical, steady


What makes a bad logo?

If you can’t tell what a logo is or what it says, then it is ineffective.

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Color madness

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Raster vs. vector


Looks just like…

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Need help with your logo? Whether you need a custom logo designed from scratch or just want a few adjustments made to your existing logo, the professional graphic designers at SAGE ArtworkZone are prepared to amaze you (without breaking the bank, I might add). Click here to learn more about the services ArtworkZone provides.