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  • Kaihan Krippendorff is a leading business strategy keynote speaker, founder of Outthinker, former McKinsey consultant, and author of four business strategy books. Kaihan Krippendorff has over a decade studying corporate conflict. Blending Eastern philosophy, military theory, and modern business strategy, helping ambitious companies outthink their competition.

    What is the number one mistake (other than having no strategy at all) that companies make when doing strategic planning?

    KK: My favorite quote on strategy is “vision without action is a daydream, but action without vision is a nightmare.” To avoid the dream and the nightmare each reach strategic clarity: knowing where you want to go and being confident you have a strategy to get there. The problem is that most strategic planning processes are not designed to create strategy. They are designed to create consistency and predictability. They were developed in the 1950s when businesses evolved into larger multi-business corporations and leaders like the Rockefellers needed to better coordinate unwieldy organizations. So, the biggest mistake in strategic planning in my view is that we confuse the active coordinating our actions and priorities of design and innovative, differentiating strategy.

  • The halfway point of the year can be a bit of a shock. The stark reality that a full half of your year is gone can be painful, especially if you're working toward big goals and aren't sure of your progress.
    Don't Avoid Honesty
    Sometimes you'd rather shuffle those grand plans under the rug than face up to failure. But don't give in to the temptation to avoid a close look at the progress you're making or not making.

    Ignoring your goals, and the work you've done or haven't yet done, is dangerous. Even if you're way behind, it's much more productive--and, ultimately, much more satisfying-- to take an honest look at where you are, evaluate your options, and make some decisions about how you will proceed.

  • Customer service is an essential part of business, not a back-up plan. Everyone on your team, no matter what their role, can benefit from developing their customer skills. You'll get more satisfied customers, fewer complaints, and happier, more productive employees.
    Employee Satisfaction Leads to Customer Satisfaction
    To start improving customer service, first try to improve your employees' experience. What do your team members want? Are they happy, challenged, and engaged? Research shows us that engaged employees are the key to successful businesses, in almost every area.

    When it comes to customer service, all interactions are person-to-person interactions. A team member who is passionate about the business, interested in its growth, proactive, and self-motivated is going to share that energy, expertise, and professionalism with each customer. And customers will respond positively.

  • MAKE Interactive, Bitrix Gold Partner, Netherlands.

    Unique features of this implementation include:
    • High-level scheduling tool (task and absence chart modules)
    • Flexible interface for logging time into multiple tasks
    • Workgroups and their tasks strongly linked with CRM Deals
    • Dynamic filter in CRM report relating workgroups and Deals
    • Large number of custom CRM reports.
    The task at hand was to integrate the CRM and project groups such that tasks could be easily assigned, tracked, and billed while maintaining smooth organization and assignment of tasks. This sounds perfectly easy given Bitrix24’s standard equipment, except that the scope of work performed for each client in this case is dizzyingly large and the number of tasks can reach into the hundreds. Thus, the work for each client is distributed among several workgroups, bespoke interface components for scheduling and time reporting are provided, hard limits on budgeting are implemented, and a couple dozen highly customized reports were created.

    In the end, all of the activity related to a single client needs to be gathered up in one place and reported on. That one place is customized CRM reports which themselves are granular at the workgroup level.

    The customized interface features (timesheets, reporting in the CRM, and the scheduling tool) allow dynamic selection of Client > Workgroup > Task via pull-down lists.

  • Online reviews have become a major factor in how consumers make purchase decisions. If you've been ignoring them, now is the time to start getting proactive. Gathering and promoting online reviews can help you gain customers, build brand awareness, and increase sales.

    How Much Do Online Reviews Matter?
    In 2010, Forrester Research found that approximately half of consumers use online reviews to research local entertainment options and big purchases (such as cars and household appliances).

    Just three years later, a BrightLocal survey found that 85% of consumers check online reviews to research local businesses. According to the BrightLocal Survey summary, "Consulting reviews is now a logical step in the purchasing cycle for all types of products and services." The good news is that "the path from reading online reviews to purchasing from a business is short."

  • Mailigen Mailer Integration With Bitrix24

    Yana Prokopets 18 June 2015 166
    One more way to manage your CRM email campaigns - via Mailigen Mailer app for Bitrix24. If you don't have a Mailigen account yet, you can create free one at


    Tags: Bitrix24app, marketplace
  • Merging The Bitrix24 CRM And The Helpdesk

    Yana Prokopets 16 June 2015 668
    MAKE Interactive, Bitrix Gold Partner, Netherlands.

    IMPORTANT. This integration is currently available for self-hosted Bitrix24 only.

    An IT consulting and services company using Bitrix24’s CRM and Helpdesk in combination to organize their fee-based maintenance services. A large number of incoming tickets are handled daily, and the need to have the full record of tickets (helpdesk) and interactions (CRM) in a single location is imperative.

    Here at Bitrix, we have had more than a handful of inquiries concerning getting the CRM and helpdesk to work together. We’re pleased to post this blog from one of our top partners.
    Unique features of this implementation include:
    • Smooth operations flowing among CRM, Tickets, Tasks, and Workgroups (and the Activity Stream)
    • Display of tickets in CRM
    • Ticket fields linking to CRM objects
    • Dynamic filter in CRM report relating workgroups and Deals

    The client found it highly desirable merge the functionality of the CRM and the Helpdesk so that client support requests could be handled with the proper tool, but visible in the CRM. The end user is an IT services agency. Without the history of support requests, the CRM record of the client would not present a full view of the relationship and status of the client.

    Tags: CRM, helpdesk
  • Xero Integration For Bitrix24 Is Available

    Dmitry Davydov 15 June 2015 485
    If you are using Xero accounting software, we have great news - you can now purchase a connector for Xero from our NZ partners

    Services: Cloud & Self-hosted Versions
    Location: Auckland, New Zealand
    Phone: +64 212 836 660

    Here are highlights of the app's current features:
    • Invoice statuses in Bitrix24 & invoice statuses in Xero
      • Users can create a custom ma ping between invoice statuses in Bitrix24 and Xero, i.e. users can specify what invoice status in Bitrix24 maps to what invoice status in Xero.
      • This allows users to use any custom invoice statuses they may have added in Bitrix24.
      • This mapping is done during the initial setup only, and not every time the app is used.
    • Create / Edit invoices in Xero
      • Invoice(s) from Bitrix24 can be created or updated in Xero by pressing the “Create / Edit on Xero” button.
      • If the invoice is already present in Xero, it is updated with all information from the invoice in Bitrix24.
      • If this invoice is not present, the app generates it in Xero and assigns it to the relevant contact.
      • All Products on the invoice in Bitrix24 are added as line items on the invoice in Xero.
      • If the invoice is created for a contact that does not exist in Xero, this contact is created automatically in Xero and marked as a customer.
    • Status updates from Xero
      • When the “update from Xero” button is pressed, all invoice s with their statuses are looked up from Xero .
      • If any invoice status has changed, for e.g. if an invoice is marked as Paid, the new status is applied to the invoice is Bitrix24.
    • Add Product tab
      • The “Add Product” tab creates a new Product in Bitrix24 and also adds it as an Item in Xero at the same time.
      • The added Product is available for use with invoices immediately.
      • This feature helps reduce human error & effort since information is only needed to be entered once for both Bitrix24 and Xero.
    • User access permissions
      • The app respects user access permissions for viewing / editing invoices .
      • Users will only be able to see invoices that they have privileges for.
      • Users can use any login with Xero to use the app.
      • The login to Xero is kept alive for 30 mins and the user is logged out automatically after.
    • Responsive design, pagination and dynamic display
      • The app is built with using responsive design features and thus will render on any device — desktop, mobile or tablet.
      • Results are also paginated for better user experience.
      • Users can sel ect the number of results shown per page.
    • More features coming!
      • Additional features will soon be added to the app — these include:
      • [COMPLETED] Date range filter for invoices - This will allow users to filter their invoices by a date range and sync relevant invoices from Bitrix24.
      • Mass upload of Products from csv - This feature will be added to the "Add Product" tab.
      • New tab for "Contacts / Companies sync" - This tab will allow users to import Contacts from Xero as either Contacts or Companies in Bitrix24.
      • Payment amounts updates from Xero - This feature will update all payment amounts fr om Xero and apply it to the invoice in Bitrix24. This will update the "Amount paid" field. on the invoice in Bitrix24.

  • Web Design Business Tips From Michelle Martello

    Yana Prokopets 10 June 2015 178
    Michelle Martello has over 15 years of experience helping individuals, businesses, and government agencies succeed by creating dynamic, memorable and functional websites, online exhibits and interactive e-learning products.


    What’s a number one mistake that people make when deciding to open their web design business?

    M.M.: The biggest mistake I see many designers make is thinking that the work “will just come to them” as soon as they put up a web site. It takes time to get known in an industry. Brand awareness requires ongoing networking and marketing. Spend time cultivating relationships with potential clients and vendors - these are the people that will support your business for the long term.

    Tags: webdev, expert, tips
  • Bitrix24 And External Drives: Box Integration

    Yana Prokopets 10 June 2015 117
    Cloud storage solutions appear to be most comfortable and cost-effective both for teams and individuals, so it is not surprising that online drives have become so popular. To support the trend we have added one more integration - & Bitrix24.

    Now your team can download & share files from 5 different external drives: Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Yandex.Disk:


    In My Drive or Company Drive users can now upload files from any of these 5 drives integrated. Make your team members communicate on files right in the Bitrix24 Activity Stream by the most convenient way - sharing files from external drives: click "download from external drive" to access the options:

  • How to Create a Value-Added Business

    Dmitry Davydov 10 June 2015 95
    Adding value as a sales strategy doesn't rely, like discounting or price matching, on the consumer getting more for less. Instead, with value-added sales, the consumer gets more for the same price or even for an increased price. The key is to add value significant enough that customers feel the cost is well-worth the value received.

    You can expand the value-added strategy and apply it to your entire business; by doing so, you're creating a business that systematically provides so much value to customers that they're happy to pay what you ask, and even feel privileged to do so.
    The Three Questions to Help You Add Value

    To add value to a product or service, ask these three questions:
    1. What's the minimum acceptable offering for this item?
    You want to establish a baseline of acceptability. Look at your competitors and see what they're offering. Are there gradients or levels? What's the industry standard? What will customers accept?
    2. What's our acceptable level?
    Are you currently offering this item at a level above or below the minimum? If below, you may be dipping into price matching as a sales strategy, which can be very dangerous. If you're already offering more than the minimum acceptable offer, how much more? Why? Is it sustainable? Do customers seem to notice or care about your 'extra'?
    3. How can we dramatically increase the value our customers receive with this item?
    This is the key question. You need to think about what customers will value and what you can afford to offer. Find out where those two requirements intersect, and use your options there to add value.

  • Lydia Ramsey is an international business etiquette expert, professional speaker and author. She is the president and founder of Manners That Sell, a firm based in Savannah, Georgia, offering seminars, keynote speeches and executive coaching to corporations, associations, colleges and universities. She began her career as an etiquette consultant over thirty years ago. Lydia firmly believes that etiquette in business is not about the rules; it’s about the relationships.

    You wrote an entire book on the subject of business etiquette and it was very well received, judging by Amazon reviewers. So what are the most common mistakes that you see people make regularly and what was the motivation behind writing the book?

    L.R.: This looks like a two-part question to me so let me answer the second one first: why did I write the book, Manners That Sell? I wrote Manners That Sell – Adding the Polish That Builds Profits because I saw the need for people to have an easy reference book when they were not sure of the proper etiquette and protocol in business situations. I learned early on in this business that what seems second nature to some is often confusing to others. The book has twelve chapters which address the most common areas of business etiquette that challenge professional people.
    Tags: BusinessEtiquette, communication, expert, tips
  • Plans are useful maps to follow in pursuit of a goal. But plans are never perfect, and these five common mistakes could turn the greatest plan into a disaster. Check them out so you'll know what not to do next time you're creating a plan.
    Pitfall 1: Planning Too Soon
    Plans are tied to opportunity and action; the timing matters. If you plan too soon, you'll end up forecasting trends without up-to-date information. When you do get the data you need, you'll have to remake your plan. Who wants to do the same planning twice?

    Avoid this pitfall by first making a list of the information or resources you need in order to do your planning accurately. Don't start planning until you have what you need.

    Tags: planning, time management, tips
  • Implementing business processes in your own company can be a challenging experience, we have tried to provide you with a “ready to go” solution – 5 preset workflow templates:

    Here are several types of actions that can be automated with the help of new Bitrix24 workflows:

    Tags: business processes, workflows
  • How to add private app to Bitrix24 marketplace

    Dmitry Davydov 26 May 2015 232
    If you haven’t been to Bitrix24 marketplace yet, you should visit it how. It contains a number of applications that integrate other online services with Bitrix24 (Mailchimp for example), help you migrate your data from other CRM or project management platforms, or add features that Bitrix24 doesn’t come with (web forms, sticky notes and so on). These apps were developed by Bitrix24 partners and until recently this was a requirement in order to create an app.


    Now you can create your own private app, without getting a partner status first. Private app will only be available inside your own account. They don’t undergo moderation process and aren’t listed publically in the marketplace. API and all documentation necessary for developing an app are available here. You can also hire Bitrix24 partner to develop an app for you.

    To add an app, simply go to Applications menu that's on your left hand side when you are logged in and click 'Add application'.
    Tags: markeplace, apps
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