Mobile CRM: What Is It and Why You Need It?

A mobile device is not just a portable communication gadget. For many company owners and managers here in Singapore, it is practically part of their daily necessities to survive. Smartphones always go with us—it sits with us on the table, keep us company in the bathroom and sleeps beside us in bed.

With the ever evolving needs of human, technology has got to adopt. The mobile features of technology have quenched the thirst of business-minded people for better processes and productivity. But has your business CRM system received the memo? Despite the countless benefits of mobile CRM and the tight competition in the industry, many companies and organizations in Singapore are still stuck on non-mobile solutions. To convince you to finally make the big leap, here’s a few of the many reasons why a mobile CRM software is beneficial for your growing company.

1. Mobile CRM is flexible
Depending on the industry, it is unlikely that your entire sales team stays seated in the office the whole day. In fact, some sales staffs only see their desks in the office several times a month. Regardless where your team members are, whether just down the office hall or in Europe, you can be sure that they have their phones with them always.

Mobile CRM software lets every person in the team access essential information and get the work done while on the go. They do not need to go back to the office or look for a PC to get the job done.

2. Mobile CRM can streamline your sales process
Ideally, sales workforce should focus on getting more sales and new customers. However, administrative tasks get in the way and easily eat up significant amount of their time. If your CRM system does not have mobile features that allow automatic update of contact information, assigning tasks to every team member and logging of new leads, all of these things will have to wait until your staffs get back at their office table.

3. Mobile CRM lets you answer anytime, anywhere
Utilizing a CRM software from Singapore for your sales management and customer relationship management already is a plus to your business operations; adding in a mobile feature on brings much more benefits to your overall productivity. Combining cloud CRM and mobility will give your workforce a whole new dimension of customer relationship management capabilities. Not only will your patrons be able to contact you whichever way they prefer, but you can respond and manage every case the best way possible with the help of your CRM.

4. Mobile CRM provides real-time responses
For sales agents, every minute counts. Even a short five-minute delay to business processes can cost them a major sales opportunity. So, try to figure out how many deals your sales reps would miss of they are not equipped with mobile CRM.

With mobile CRM, every sales agent can send and receive responses from their clients, prospects, co-agents and team leaders even when they are in the field. Mobile CRM allows you to quickly respond to your prospects’ queries while you’re on your way to meeting another one.

5. Mobile CRM is ideal for collaborative works
In today’s age of business and marketing, collaboration is the key. There are times you will need to do collaborative works with your teammates to come up with the best solution to a customer or prospect client’s concern.

Mobile CRM can help by providing you a detailed history of recent activities and other important data to engage with clients and leads. In addition, you can share opportunities in real-time with member of your marketing, sales and/or customer service reps.

6. Mobile CRM enhances your customer service
Whether through phone call or personal meeting, when clients and prospects speak with you, they expect you to know everything about your products and services and to understand their needs. Consumers can be demanding and want fast solutions and responses.

Mobile CRM lets you access all customer data anytime. This way, you can eliminate back-and-forth calls and focus more on providing choices for solutions according to the needs of your client. As a result, you will impress your clients and more likely to close deals with prospects.

Mobile CRM—Selling While On the Move
Integration of mobile CRM to your business operations can provide significant improvement to your sales management. Everyone in your team can update information and synchronize all records while on the move and share data in real-time through cloud CRM. Your staff can do their duties without being dependent on PC units and be able to conveniently perform everyday tasks, such as the following:

• Join meetings from remote locations through online calling
• Plan everyday tasks through calendar integration
• Manage sales effectively through sales reports and analytics
• Access and update lead and customer information
• Share files with the rest of the team

Today’s CRM platforms can provide so much more elements. Add cloud-based feature and you are no longer saving your files in a local network—you’re saving it live and where everyone can access it from whichever device they choose. Every team member has the complete analytics and data right at their fingertips for better customer relationship management. The entire team can access all sorts of data, from sales reports to customer information, wherever and whenever they need and want.

Disclaimer: This list is compiled in no particular order.

How Freight Forwarder Can Benefit Your Business

Freight forwarding industry in Singapore has become more evident over the years. This growth is attributed to the increase in number of manufacturing, e-commerce and retail sectors. Under such scenario, what is the relevance of freight forwarding companies?

A freight forwarding company is a logistics company that transports goods from one place to another and does all the arrangements necessary for the transport of goods. Whether your shipments are for local freight or international freight, import or export, the freight forwarder will facilitate the transportation and all the paper works and legalities that come along with it.

So, why you do you think your business needs a freight forwarding company? What are the benefits you can get if you hire one?

1. Hassle-Free Transport of Products
An international freight forwarder is well-acquainted of the logistics requirements of different countries. Hiring a reputable shipping company will allow you to enjoy these benefits, as well as give you the privilege to take advantage of their established relationships with various overseas carriers for both air freight and sea freight. Part of a shipping company’s freight forwarding services are taking care of custom clearance, storage and delivery of goods, negotiating freight charges, booking cargo space, arranging carriers for goods and all documentary requirements needed for the transportation of items.

2. Consolidation
Consolidation of delivery is one of the top reasons why transportation of goods through a freight forwarder in Singapore is significantly cheaper. Consolidation is the act of combining multiple small deliveries to make one large shipment. The greater the size of your goods, the lesser amount you will have to pay for the transport fee.

3. Cost Savings
Freight forwarding companies are master negotiators in the world of trade. With their years of extensive experience and established relationships with carriers for air freight and sea freight, they can always get the best rates that will save your company huge chunk of money. Freight forwarders can always collect high volumes of goods from different shippers in one shipment, considerably reducing transportation costs.

4. Insurance
A good logistics services company provides insurance for the shipment of your goods. Having an insurance policy is the most secure way to ensure the safety of your items. An insurance will protect your shipments from damage, loss or theft while being shipped.

5. Shipment Tracking
It can be worrying when you have large volumes of goods in transit, especially if you’re still a start-up business. As the shipper and company owner, it will give you peace of mind if you know the status of your shipment and when they will reach the destination. Freight forwarders are able to track your shipments and tell you exactly the current location of goods, when they will arrive and even give you a timeline of when they will reach the destination.

6. Route Optimization
Reputable logistics companies in Singapore are members of international trade networks, which make them capable of choosing the best route for shipment of goods. When a logistics company book a cargo space for a shipment, they can advise on the best route selection and transport schedules depending on client requirements.

7. Versatility
A freight forwarder provides versatility of services, which comes handy when aiming to meet strict deadlines and, especially, when dealing with unforeseen circumstances. An experienced logistics company has the right resources to handle these kinds of situations, which usually require rerouting of shipments in order to minimize delay. Imagine shipping goods from Singapore to US, Europe and China, but one of the shipments being diverted to another destination because of extremely bad weather. How prepared are you if you choose to ship your goods your way? Working with a freight forwarder will save you from headaches caused by such unexpected surprises.

8. Safe Product Management
Freight forwarding services will do the packaging, storage, handling and distribution of your goods if you choose to work with them. Most logistics services companies are equipped with site warehouses not only for storage of items but also for packaging, handling and sorting of deliveries.

Do You Need a Freight Forwarding Company?
Any type and size of business that transports goods internationally, or even locally, can benefit from freight forwarding services. If you are a medium- or large-sized firm that’s active in multiple locations overseas and are shipping large volumes of goods on a regular basis, the more you need the services of a seasoned freight forwarding company. Shipping companies are experts in global trade that they can cut costs significantly and take care of last-minute shipping problems smoothly.

Some of the many instances a freight forwarding company are of great help for businesses are these two:

Blind Shipment. This means that one or both parties involved in the delivery of goods is unaware of the other’s identity. Business firms can request for this type of shipment if they want the supplier to ship directly the items to the buyer. To maintain the anonymity, freight forwarding is your best option. They are well-knowledgeable on the complexities that come along with blind shipments and will make sure that the involved parties remain anonymous.

Credit Terms. When shipping large deliveries internationally, the shipper is expected to pay for the freight costs. For many small and medium enterprises, that’s quite a lot to take at a time. After establishing a relationship with a shipping company, they can offer you credit terms that allow you to ship more quantity of goods by freeing up some cash flow.

In general, freight forwarding companies offer a wide range of benefits to businesses of all sizes. Although not all freight forwarders are the same, you will surely find one that will provide the most benefit for your business’ productivity.

Protecting Your Brand Through Trademark Registration

Trademarks are often overlooked by many businesses. This unfortunate fact has led to legal repercussions and lawsuits, with companies battling for intellectual property rights in court. Business owners often forget that trademark registration is as crucial as proper budgeting and allocation of resources. Having a registered mark can pave assurance and security for your organization in the long run.

Establishing your trademark or brand is not the end of it. You might have registered a trendy, professional company name – but you must also work hard to uphold the organization’s reputation. Accordingly, it is only pivotal to protect your brand if you want your business endeavor to achieve success. Consumers would want to patronize a brand that they can wholeheartedly trust.

Trademark Registration

Before you register trademark, you must first have a firm understanding of trademarks itself. A dictionary definition would tell you that a trademark is: any unique word, phrases, symbol, or name that distinguishes (or identifies) the products of a seller from the rest. A classic example is Nike’s swoosh/check logo, which is now recognized across the globe.

Trademarks enable the seller to protect what’s being trademarked (goods/services) from use or misuse by other competitors. Establishing a brand also develops patronage and loyalty among avid customers.

Additionally, trademarks that are registered with register trademark in Singapore also prevent confusion and manipulation of consumers who associate certain attributes with a brand. This is particularly true among people who seek the highest quality in the products they buy. For instance, people associate bags from signature brands with class, elegance, and the best quality. Designer brands then necessarily have to register TM if they want to protect their name and their brand.

Is it Unique?

In deciding which logo or trademark to use for your company’s trademark, ask yourself this question first: Is it unique? A unique brand name is important to create an impact among potential consumers.

A logo is considerably unique when combined with the appropriate symbol/s, along with the company name, proper spatial relationship, and effective coloring. The more unique your brand is, the better it’d be in distinguishing your brand among the many other brands in Singapore and across the globe.

Generic Terms

When it comes to trademark registration, brand names and assets can only be legally trademarked if they meet certain qualifications. These assets include logos and taglines, as well as packaging. A commonly used phrase cannot be trademarked, nor is a name that is already used/connected with another commercial product or service.

With that, generic terms such as “smart phone” and “computer” cannot be legally trademarked – but unique names such as Apple’s “iPhone” and “iMac Pro” can be.

Advertising

If your business is aiming to advertise directly to customers, it is encouraged to register trademark beforehand. It is a pivotal move in connecting your company’s name to its brand and other attributes, especially when you’re using your business name in direct communication among customers.
You must prioritize trademark registration if your brand name is a large part of your marketing. So, before you use your business name on fliers, website posts, or press releases – ensure that it’s trademarked. Doing so will protect you from being liable in any copyright infringement lawsuits.

Registration Process

1. Creating a distinctive trademark – As was previously mentioned in this article, design a distinctive brand name which is non-generic and not currently in use by other companies. Also, don’t mislead the public about the goods and services that you offer. An effective trademark must encapsulate what you’re offering so that at first glance, consumers or customers will already have an idea if they need what you’re offering.

2. Identification of Applicable Class of Goods and Services – Singapore follows the International Classification of Goods and Services in classifying trademarks, which means that we recognize 34 classes of goods and 11 classes of services. To determine the applicable classes on your business, consider the current business you are in and any other business endeavors you are likely to venture into in the future.

3. Filing an application – Minimum requirements include:

    a. A statement of request for registration

    b. Owner’s name and address

    c. List of goods and services you are registering (classified accordingly with the International Classification of Goods and Services’ list)

    d. Clear graphical representation of your trademark (any 3D packaging or shape must have clear line drawings showing the dimensions of the mark)

    e. Declaration of your proposed use of the trademark

4. Review by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) – The office will then review your application thoroughly to ensure that it meets the minimum filing requirements. Should there be any missing details or inappropriately filled sections, your application may be sent back to you. Once you’ve passed this stage, a date of filing will be accorded and a trademark number will be issued to you. This information will be given through an official acknowledgement letter.

5. Screening for conflicts with existing trademarks – After officially acknowledging your trademark, the registrar will then conduct a formal search and screening for conflicting marks and conformance to the International Classification of Goods and Services. Your application will be in the spotlight once again, confirming if the mark is in accordance with Singaporean Trademark laws.

6. Public advertisement – If the application is successfully processed, it will be published and made available for public viewing for public scrutiny. This means that any third party may be able to oppose the mark’s registration within two months of the publication period. You will be notified and prompted to respond urgently if your application receives any opposition. After hearing both parties, a decision on the application will be concluded.

7. Official registration – If there is no opposition to your application, or if the opposition hearing is in favor of your trademark’s registration, you will be issued an official Certificate of Registration. Your trademark will also be rightfully protected for ten years.

Are There Disadvantages in Using the VoIP system?

A lot of businesses and homes have long switched over to using a cloud VoIP system, primarily because of the rich features it has on only low operating costs. As a matter of fact, VoIP can help customers save around 60 percent of what they usually pay their standard telephone bill over the Public Switched Telephone Network or PSTN.

Adapting a VoIP system or a hosted pabx is also practical, in a sense that it allows you to add in a few additional features without having to pay an additional cost. Features upon which users can customize their systems include call forwarding, call transfers, call waiting, and voice mail. Usually, PSTN providers charge the users an extra fee for adding these same features.

However, despite the many advantages of VoIP, it is encouraged to take into account several disadvantages before making the switch to this internet-based system to cater your communication needs. The disadvantages attached to the system must be thoroughly considered to enable you in deciding if it outweighs the advantages or if it’s the other way around.

Some of the most common drawbacks of a cloud voip Singapore IP PBX phone system include bandwidth dependency, power dependency, poor voice quality, unable to make emergency calls, and a compromised security. These factors may or may not affect your decision at all, but it is better that you know where things can turn a different direction or if there are any restrictions attached in using the system so you can have a better communication experience.

Bandwidth Dependency

A VoIP phone system or a hosted pabx is heavily reliant on the internet. While it works over a dial-up connection, it is deemed too slow to cater to your VoIP communication needs hence bandwidth is often the term used in instances related to VoIP Singapore. For one, you are most likely required to have a broadband internet connection should you intend to avail the services of voip in SIngapore your bandwidth must then be enough to address your telephone and communication needs.

VoIP service users, like those who use an IP PBX telephone system, often experience a loss of VoIP phone line services when their connection goes down. It can be likened to a mathematical formula, then, if there is no internet connection then there’s also no phone lines. This can be bothersome at home, or even disastrous for your business needs.

Power Dependency

While PSTN services continue to work fine even when the power is out, using a VoIP service requires a backup system to continue forwarding and receiving calls. Generally, you can’t put to use your VoIP phone system in the event of black outs and brown outs especially when there are major thunderstorms happening near the area. Having a pbx phone system, for instance, needs a broadband connection to be fed through the same power lines other devices use as well.

A number of companies in Singapore opt to purchase a generator and other forms of backup battery systems to keep their VoIP phone lines working despite the event of a power outage. While this is no issue for businesses, homes and other residential customers may find these backup alternatives costly. Another backup solution to VoIP Singapore is the use of mobile phones, so long as they are properly charged and there is a reliable service provided at the location.

Poor Voice Quality

In the past years, the voice quality in VoIP services has improved tremendously. If your business hosts an IP PBX telephone system which is powered by VoIP, you might experience fewer issues and troubles now that high-speed internet connection becomes the norm. There is still a possibility of frequent voice quality problems though, such as delays, garbling, and dropped calls. Issues become more prominent if the VoIP system runs on a low bandwidth, or competes with other applications for resources especially if you are using a personal computer.

An increased internet bandwidth can help solve the issue more often than not. However, if you continuously experience issues and problems — it is better to consult with your VoIP service provider in Singapore to help pinpoint and fix the problem.

Unable to Make Emergency Calls

Hosted VoIP system providers are not required to offer emergency 911 calls, hence customers are not guaranteed that emergency service. Even if they are, the automatic location service is likely disabled, which is in contrast with your PSTN emergency services which can always trace any call to its location. Many businesses are putting in effort to compromise for emergency calls should an unlikely event is set to happen. But, the issue remains as one of the constraints against VoIP.

Singapore Regulations now urge VoIP service providers to resolve emergency service problems and concerns, however there are still issues existing every now and then. Before making the switch, then, it is imperative to discuss any difference from PSTN especially with regards to emergency services with your provider so you’ll gain knowledge on what issues may arise in the long run.

Compromised Security

Since VoIP is an internet-based technology, it poses a number of security problems that a PSTN telephone line doesn’t have. Common security challenges for a VoIP phone service includes phishing attacks, spam, call tampering, viruses and malware, as well as identity theft. If your business has a PBX phone system, which is powered by VoIP, chances are your service provider is taking steps to ensure the network is secure.

Regardless, businesses may still want to make additional security measures to limit service disruption caused by these security breaches.

VoIP indisputably has a lot of advantages to your home and business communication needs. However, the system also poses risks and drawbacks which you may experience in the long run. Before you make the switch from your traditional phone lines to VoIP Singapore, figure out if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages first. This is important to figure out if a VoIP system is the right fit for your telephone needs.