Meetup #47 - Selecting your first CRM

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Eventbrite - Silicon Halton Meetup #47: Your First CRM

September 10, 2013. 7pm | the new Burington HiVE, Burlington | Meetup #47

In today’s busy world, keeping track of your clients’ and prospects can be a daunting task. Without a CRM, to remain in the decision maker’s mind. you’re reliant on your wetware and its interface to handwritten notes, physical file folders, business cards, calendar reminders, email, Twitter and LinkedIn. How many potential new sales or new clients are falling through the cracks because of your inability to centrally, efficiently and timely track and remain timely engaged with them?

We’ve assembled a panel who will share why they adopted a CRM for the first time.

The panelists are users of open or modestly priced CRMs.

Learn why a startup, solopreneur, consultant, or small technology business should consider employing a CRM.

Get answers to everything you wanted to know about launching a CRM but were afraid to ask.


50 membes were introduced to Burlington's new co-working space, the Burlington Hive.  All were impressed. Read more about "The Hive" here.

A wealth of knowledge was shared about CRM. Here is some of it:


  • “If your sole sales person leaves, do you know what is going on?”
  • One CRM does not fit all.
  • “We have a CRM for prospecting and use another CRM for customer management”
  • “Contact Management is a good first step towards adopting a CRM”
  • “We tried to write our own CRM twice, and failed both times.”
  • Challenge: Adoption within the company. Adoption of the CRM was cited as the largest challenge.
  • Someone needs to own the CRM. If everyone owns it, then no one does in reality.
  • “Have your leads go directly into a CRM. This will encourage adoption.”
  • Cloud CRMs are for the masses. Custom CRM is the future
  • “Startups are not trained to be sales people. We need a CRM to train us.”


  • “A percentage of your contacts matter. A CRM will remind you that they matter.”
  • “A CRM can make you efficient”
  • “A CRM makes sales reps follow a process.”
  • “A CRM will become an information client database.”

Getting started

  • “What business process are you trying to automate?”
  • Need to document your sales process or a CRM is of little, if any, value
  • “If you automate a broken process, you’ll just make mistakes faster with a CRM”
  • Start with Excel and learn your sales process. ”I started with Excel, then a Contact Manager, then a CRM”
  • “Start with a CRM that has a generous free period, and one that will allow you to extract your data (should you choose to us it)”
  • Use a social CRM if your prospects/clients are using social media

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Prezi about the Burlington HiVE

Here's the slide deck


Bonus Feature: Get A Better Profile Photo

steve-jobs-high-schoolIf you missed it last time, Cameron Hubbs (@cameronhubbs) will be back to help support your personal brand building by offering to take a professional photo of you that can be used on your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Blog, [insert your own social media/article/forum/site/business card/etc.]

For a low price of only $50 the ROI is certainly worth more as your profile views sky rocket thanks to a great looking photo. So make use of that nice outfit, comb your hair, and let's have some fun getting in front of the camera. The Internet will thank you. :)


Geoff Hogan is the President of Osnium Software Inc.

Robert Duvall is the President of RDC Networks. He specializes in: Windows Server technologies; Exchange Server; Cisco Unified Communications; and Blackberry Enterprise Server. Robert currently holds several certifications including Small Business Specialist, Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist and CCNA.

Philip Neukom is the President of Profit Analytics Inc., a firm that advises entrepreneurs on how to raising funds and provides interim executives for growing tech and manufacturing companies. Philip has worked for 25 years in growth stage to Fortune 500 companies as a senior executive, management consultant, board member and venture capital investor. Philip has been using CRM since the early 90s when he started his first business. The CRM vendor went bankrupt in 2010 and a system update disabled the software trapping his data in a proprietary database. Vowing that his data will never be held hostage again, he now uses open source SugarCRM running on an open database (MySQL)

Chris Herbert, a co-founder of Silicon Halton and CMO of the MI6 Agency, is known for creating networks, communities and markets that grow relationships, reputations and revenue. Chris has been using CRM systems since the early 90s where he developed a custom application for racquet sports enthusiasts. Today, he uses social CRM tools to help Mi6 and his clients to develop networks and customers. @b2bspecialist

Jim Barnet of PROMYS Inc. During Jim's 15 year Sales career he has used almost every CRM in the market and as VP Sales has trained over 40 reps in how to use CRM's effectively. Today Jim's company sells business software for IT solutions providers called PROMYS which includes CRM.

Rick Stomphorst is the President of, providing services to technology companies to identify and acquire high-value technology staff. Rick is moderating the Q&A. @StompR


Event Snapshot for Your Calendar

Topic: Meetup #47 - Your First CRM
Target Audience: Technology entrepreneurs, business owners, professionals, educators and students
Meetup Track: Technology Innovation: Product and Services Innovation 
Date & Time: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 @ 7pm
Location:  BurlingtonHive, Burlington. [map] [recent blog]
How much it costs: Nothing but your time.
Pre-Event Q&A Silicon Halton members can participate in a pre-event conversation with the organizers and facilitator in our private Linkedin group. Help them make this meetup relevant to you.

Post-Event Q&A

Silicon Halton members can participate in a post-event conversation with the presenters in our private Linkedin group. Help them make this meetup relevant to you.


How To Register

Meetups are open to anyone, whether you are a Silicon Halton member or not. Registering helps us with forecasting headcount when we work with the venue.




Silicon Halton is a grassroots high tech community focused on Technology, Community, and Growth