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Sam Bookler is the Director of Online Marketing at eLocal USA, an Internet advertising company that connects consumers with local businesses. eLocal owns and operates some of the nation’s top online directories as well as OnlineCityGuide.com (“OLCG”), one of the oldest online city guides. eLocal’s directories help consumers find businesses in their local neighborhood (from roofers to plumbers and lawyers to dentists).
We have a team of business development specialists who manage a lot of different professional contacts. When we started, we were using Excel
spreadsheets. However, as time went on and we started dealing with more and more partners, it became difficult to cross check and update our database. We found a few of our specialists attempting to work with the same prospective partner! It was becoming unmanageable, so we needed to find a system that would allow for easy input and cross referencing.
We focus on developing quality partnerships, where we can develop long-term relationships. To do this, our Business Development Specialists perform extensive research to find online organizations that are a good fit. We use BuzzStream’s Link Buzzmarker to tag all our contacts and get them into the database. BuzzStream then cross references all the contacts among our business development team to make sure no two people are working with the same organization at the same time. We manage all of our communications in BuzzStream, which allows us to effectively manage both present and prospective partners. We’ve found that adding Buzzstream to our process has substantially cut down on time we used to spend updating excel sheets and cross-referencing contacts internally.
Why we Chose BuzzStream
We follow a lot of leading SEO, social media, and business development blogs and websites. BuzzStream kept popping up across these sources, so we reached out during the site’s launch and became members of its private Beta release. We conceptually liked the service BuzzStream was offering, and we particularly liked how its team was very responsive and professional. However, at the time we didn’t have a large team of business development specialists, so we didn’t become full-fledged members. As eLocal’s business development team grew, it became more cumbersome to manually manage all our partner contacts. At this point, we knew BuzzStream was the right fit for our needs.
Our Favorite BuzzStream Features
Our experience with BuzzStream has been great. Not only is the system top notch, but the BuzzStream team has also always valued our input and works to regularly add new features and functionality. We love how Buzzstream is a very easy, reliable system to use for managing the contact information and relationship stage of potential web partners. It cross checks all members of our business development team to make sure no one is working on the same partner, which is really important. Also, in the cases where we receive links from partners and would like to track them, BuzzStream notifies us when there are changes, removing the need for any manual reviews. This makes our workflow more efficient.
Lastly, we’re impressed with how reliable the BuzzStream staff is. If you have a problem, they respond promptly and do everything in their power to fix it. You can’t say that about every business, and it is something we’ve grown to love about BuzzStream.
What We’d Like Added to BuzzStream
We always love more data and so we’d like to see additional SEOmoz metrics, such as page authority, added to each link’s details. Being able to get the data on all live links on a domain would be helpful, rather than needing to visit each specific page a live link is on. Lastly, as far as data, we’d like to be able to export all the “Notes” we keep on our contacts. We back up our information frequently, but notice it doesn’t export all the notes if you have more than one. This is an important feature for us, so being able to save that would be very valuable to us.
From an organizational standpoint, we’d also like to have the ability to flag a date directly in the column interface, which could then be sorted by date. This would provide us with a great way to monitor upcoming meetings directly from the dashboard view.