Fiitfu Puts Follow-Up Front and Center
"Sales is all about the follow-up -- and that is especially true for a small operation," said Fiitfu founder Mary-Jane Mehlenbacher. "When you create a client relationship, it is important to let them know you are thinking about them, and not just when it comes time to send an invoice or bill."
When Mary-Jane Mehlenbacher left the corporate world to have her daughter, she didn't realize she would be leaving behind network marketing software that worked. Mehlenbacher had decided to form her own home-based network marketing company but couldn't find an appropriate CRM software application that fit her needs and single-proprietor company size. So she decided to build her own application and sell that instead.
Thus Fiitfu (Fortune Is In the Follow Up) CRM was born.
Along the way, as the Web-based product was being developed, it became customizable enough to be used by any SMB seeking an affordable CRM application, Mehlenbacher told CRM Buyer.
One year out of the gate, the majority of the users are small-sized network marketers, but that is changing, according to Mehlenbacher, as word of mouth and the company's marketing initiatives give the product more traction.
"Fiitfu CRM can fit any small business owner," she said. Entrepreneurs, in particular, like it, "because it is so intuitive and user-friendly."
Leave No Client Behind
The system was developed with one goal in mind -- so that no user's client would ever fall through the cracks. It ensures that the user is reminded about client issues in a number of different ways, Mehlenbacher explained.
In the beginning, when the user creates a new client account, there is also a customizable schedule to be used to populate the Fiitfu calendar. That way, important dates and reminders can be entered immediately -- while the client's needs are in the forefront -- to be served up at appropriate intervals.
The system also has a feature that "drips" client contacts and possible leads into the calendar for follow-up. This feature is aimed at encouraging cold calls, as well as staying in touch, Mehlenbacher said.
"For example, I could program it for the upcoming week to give me 10 people to contact on Monday, three on Tuesday, four on Wednesday and so on, depending on my schedule." The system is set up so that all of the contacts eventually will cycle through this feature.
Another feature that Mehlenbacher dubs "what's next," prompts the user to set a follow-up task whenever a field is filled or task completed.
Finally, the system has a feature that will send out a specific reminder if there has not been any activity on a particular client for six months.
"Sales is all about the follow-up -- and that is especially true for a small operation," Mehlenbacher said. "When you create a client relationship, it is important to let them know you are thinking about them, and not just when it comes time to send an invoice or bill."
The rest of the system's features are based on that mode of thinking, she noted. "You can use Fiitfu to create quick reference notes, for example, to track things like gifts or samples you have distributed to clients."
The same MO is extended on the client facing side, added Mehlenbacher. For example, the system allows customers to create orders online, and then the system emails the invoice to them. Based on that order, Fiitfu will also remind clients when it is time to place a new order if it is appropriate. "Our real goal is making sure that small businesses stay in business and we help people do that by keeping on top of their clients."
Small Business Universe
Fiitfu CRM falls into a growing class of applications that can be dubbed "microverticals," Nucleus Research Vice President Rebecca Wettemann told CRM Buyer.
Many are being built on Salesforce.com or the Sugar CRM platform or Microsoft, she noted, while others are home-grown entities.