I consulted with the local Chamber of Commerce this evening to discuss Membership renewals. The Chamber is a fantastic organization, but is a great example of a service where renewals are the heart beat of the organization. I'm fairly certain that the Chamber probably loses money on folks that join in the first year. However, after that year, their profitability increases – and the value to the Chamber Member never goes down.
Tonight I spoke with a colleague, Darrin Gray, on how we could easily put up a collaborative site where members assisting with renewals could track their contact with new members or members who might be at risk. We spoke through developing a website – something that would require a few thousand dollars and a few weeks to complete. Darrin pushed for a better solution and finally said it… “I wish we could simply throw a spreadsheet up somewhere where the folks could just update their information.”
Voila! Google Spreadheets. A friend of mine, Dale, shared a spreadsheet with me a few weeks ago and I remembered him telling me to check it out. It took until tonight, but I did and it's great. After you save your spreadsheet, you have the opportunity to invite folks to edit or view the spreadsheet.
I did add a suggestion for Google for version control (to hang the nitwit that deletes all the rows by accident), as well as Sheet-level permissions. In this case, we could build a sheet for each assisting member to track their assigned members at risk.
What a great tool, though! I think it will work. Darrin and I have been helping the Chamber to analyze their businesses for some predictive prospecting analysis the last two years. Last year, I developed a proprietary Z-Score based on SIC, Years in Business, Number of Employees, and Total Sales Volume. This allowed us to review and pull 1/10th the prospects for their sales teams to contact. The results of the campaigning have been above average, but we're modifying the model to improve the results this year.