Here are my favorite apps.
While you’ll need to read the entire Snowball System book to understand the context to use these, this page will put them all on one place.
Client Relationship Management (CRM) System
I firmly believe the process of business development is the most important thing to focus on, not technology. I’ve seen lots of people waste dozens of hours tricking out their CRM system to make it “perfect” before actually contacting potential clients and getting any tangible momentum. Pick up the phone. Write an email. Be helpful. That’s what gets results.
That said, a CRM can be a huge help. It gets all your client data in one place: client information, prioritized relationships, capturing where you’re at in opportunities, documenting the “right next step” to dos, logging notes, and much more.
At BIG, we get involved in CRM design when we roll out our BD system to larger organizations. Nearly all larger organizations have a CRM—we just help them take what they have and align it to our methods.
There are easy ways to add fields and reports that automate The Snowball System. Doing so aligns your CRM and reporting with the behaviors you’d like you and your team to have. A lot of our clients tell us their seller-experts don’t get into their CRM enough before we work with them. Once they align and track leading indicators (not just lagging) in their CRM, people log in. Once there, they stay there.
Much more on this in Chapter 9.
The big systems I see for larger organizations are:
- Microsoft Dynamics
- LexisNexis InterAction (built from the ground up for professional services)
I’ve also had some of my clients say they use and like these tools for all or some components of their CRM system:
There are dozens of dozens of CRMs. Google CRMs and your industry and you’ll find lots of options. Just remember—we’ve seen incredibly successful rainmakers use pen and paper combined with a simple address book.
Focus on your own behaviors first, then worry about getting fancy with a CRM.
Other apps I use for business:
Storing interesting things that can be Assets: Pocket
- I use pocket for storing Assets I can share with others. It’s seamless, easy and I especially like the shortcuts I have built into my browser and phone to save links. Whatever you do for storing Assets, choose something that has handy ways to save the things you like. Much much more on this in Chapter 2.
Journaling to learn and be more successful: Day One
- I use Day One for journaling my Annual, Quarterly and Weekly reviews. I have a specific format I copy over for each and never miss a review. I view this as my most important tracking and planning time.
- I track all my leading and lagging indicators in Day One, then on a quarterly basis, I put them in a Numbers spreadsheet. (Google Docs and Excel would be fine too). I’ve found it’s important for me to enter the data and do the reviews myself—I get deeper insights and remember the learnings better.
- I also use Day One for personal things, using a system of tags to separate various kinds of entries. My current tags are: Annual Review, Quarterly Review, Weekly Summary, Fitness (where I create monthly entry to track all my workouts), Business Learnings (which can be anything and sometimes stems from reviewing financials, reading a book, having an insight on a run, whatever), Inspiring (where I copy in inspiring emails or scans of thank you cards people send me), and Fun (for funny stories about things that happen with our family, pictures of ).
- Click here for a great overview of how to use Day One
Keeping all my important metrics and financials in one place: Numbers.
- I like the style of Numbers a little more than Excel or Google Docs and use it to document about anything with, well, numbers in it. The key process I’ve found helpful is creating one spreadsheet for everything important.
- I’ve kept it going since the mid 1990s and now it has tabs for about everything I measure or that’s important in my life.
- There are annual tabs for leading indicators I track, financial reviews and forecasts, important insurance information (insurance amounts, phone numbers to call, premiums, etc) and about anything else important.
- I like having one resource for all these things and how easily it syncs between my desktop and phone.
For fun, here are some home apps I use to automate things at home:
Storing and sharing our best recipes: Paprika
- Amazing app to store all my recipes. I’m always on the lookout for great outdoor recipes made on our Primo Grill or over the fire. Paprika lets me store them all in one place, make edits as I learn and share them with others.
Storing and sharing our best mixed drinks: Highball
- I use highball for storing mixed drinks I like. It’s like Paprika, but for mixed drinks.
Tracking and acting on to dos: Things
- I’m a huge fan of Things. It’s the best to do list I’ve ever used. I’ve chosen to use the task manger in our CRM for business things because it integrates and relates all my tasks with the rest of the data in CRM, but boy, is it clunky compared to Things. So, I happily use Things for the personal to dos in my life.
- I didn’t expect this, but keeping two separate to do lists helps me not think about work as much during down times too, since I’m not looking at my work to do list at the same time as my personal one.
- Also, click here for Shawn Blanc’s course on how to use Things.
- We have a music set up at home that integrates things in a way I can play music I want anywhere. Again, I’ve found process makes things easy. The hack that’s worked great for me is creating a Bunnell Best ____ (insert year) playlist that has our family’s favorite songs each year.
- Whenever we hear a song we love, we throw it in that year’s Bunnell Best playlist. This makes getting ready for parties and family get togethers easy—and creates great memories for future years.
- Of course, we use Control4 and Apple Music for other things too, but it’s around the house that I enjoy this set up the most.
- I create a family movie each year and love the creative process. I filter through all the video footage we have of the year, delete the boring stuff, and put the rest to music, creating a 2 hour or so movie of our greatest hits that year.
- The process: I try to get it done on New Year’s Day night each year to preview with the family. That deadline pushes me to actually get it done. Once finished, I put each movie in Dropbox so we can access them from anywhere, anytime.
- I’m so glad I did this when the kids were young. We already have almost 20 years of family movies, and they get more fun to watch every year. The older the better.
- Click here for an article I wrote on the subject.