Conrin Economic Development CRM infrastructure

The Role of Infrastructure in Economic Development

Infrastructure and Michigan’s Pothole Hotline


Conrin Economic Development CRM infrastructure

Potholes are part of everyday life in Michigan. It’s so bad that the Michigan Department of Transportation created the “Report a Pothole Hotline.”

It’s a given. We need to improve our roads, bridges, and transportation networks. The proposed infrastructure bill provides the financial investment needed to address all of these. In the twenty-first century, we have another important infrastructure need: High-speed internet.

In the 1800s, railroad easements were used for installing telegraph and telephone networks across the country. The same concept should be considered today: Install fiber networks simultaneously with highway infrastructure improvements. This will allow for a cost-effective network buildout.  The construction teams and equipment will be there anyway. Employees, employers, and the environment will all benefit from this strategy.

As work from home becomes more popular, cloud-based technologies such as Salesforce and Zoom are must-haves for companies and workers.

Company Benefits:

  • Greatly expanded access to workforce talent.
  • Reduced operating expenses such as office space and internal IT support.
  • Talent retention based on improved employee job satisfaction.

Workforce Benefits:

  • More flexible schedules improve work-life balance.
  • Reduced commuting time and associated expenses.
  • Continue to reside in their area of choice instead of uprooting their family and moving to company headquarters.

Environmental Benefits:

  • Reduced carbon emissions associated with transportation (per the EPA, 28 percent of emissions are associated with transportation)
  • Improved local air quality.
  • Potential to minimize the overall number of cars per family.
  • Less highway maintenance required over time.


Improvement in infrastructure is on the way. As always in economic development, multiplier effects must be considered within the decision-making process. Broadband must be an important part of the discussion. It’s just as important to us today as telegraph lines were in the 1800s.Implementing and managing CRM is an important investment that can quickly provide significant dividends. Real-time information capture delivers a framework for data-based decision-making.  Selecting the appropriate implementation partner is critical for an on-time, efficient rollout.

Conrin has implemented for economic development since 2003, with clients in 27 states and provinces. Our industry knowledge allows us to hit the ground running, while simultaneously sharing best practices. We also understand the importance of EDO-specific metrics.

  • Company and Contact Management
  • Projects
  • Incentives
  • Business Expansion and Retention
  • Workforce Development
  • Investor Management

While the initial implementation provides the foundation for a successful CRM program, it is not the end of the process. End-user and system administrator training is necessary for long-term success. Regular “health checks” ensure feature use is maximized. Conrin partners with its clients for the long haul, long after the initial rollout has been completed. We are there for you today and in the future.

Please contact us today and let us show you see how we can help! for Economic Development.  It’s All We Do!

Conrin Inc Salesforce EDO Data security

Salesforce Data Security Webinar

Data security.

What happens if……..

  • Your password and username are stolen and your online banking accounts are compromised?
  • Your password and username are stolen and your credit cards are maxed with fraudulent charges?
  • Your password and username are stolen and the your company’s data is held hostage, pending payment of a “ransom”

Data security needs to be part of any company’s business continuity plan.

How many of us use one or two passwords for all of our accounts?  It can be hard to remember 75, 50, even 10 passwords. But when we use the same password over and over, we leave ourselves open to hackers.

We’ve seen identity thieves take advantage of people in all kinds of ways. In the last couple years, I’ve had to deal with fraudulent international flights, credit card purchases, and tax returns. It is no wonder why so many companies are offering identity theft insurance.

EDOs need to make sure they’re protecting their data and not leaving themselves open to serious security issues.


A great way to learn more about this is at Salesforce’s multi-factor authentication (MFA) webinar on March 9 at 12:00 EST.  Here’s the agenda:

  • Introduction to MFA
  • Your Enablement Journey
  • Demo: Setting Up MFA
  • Demo: How to Monitor User Adoption
  • Resources
  • Q&A

To register for this event click here.

Data security is something your organization needs in order to stay safe online. It’s time to stop using Password123 for all of your accounts.

EDO Salesforce CRM Metrics

It’s All About Metrics

Conrin Adds Email Marketing Services

Conrin is pleased to announce that it is offering email marketing services that are completely integrated with  Conrin’s clients can now obtain implementation and management services and email marketing support from a single vendor.

Conrin’s email marketing offer includes:

  •  Development of effective messaging and graphics
  • Implementation of proven white list strategies that allow your campaigns to reach more of your contacts
  • Back-end analytics designed to track successes and calculate ROI

Best of all, these services are completely integrated into the platform.  This allows a single point of access while supporting organization-wide communication of email marketing activities.  Sales teams will now know exactly which campaigns an individual has received before contacting the prospect.

For more information on how Conrin can help your organization take advantage of integrated email marketing fill out our contact form or give us a call at 616-897-4325.

Economic Development CRM Salesforce

Economic Development Relationships

People, Technology, Progress..

At Conrin, we believe effective Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, strategies require more than a costly software initiative.

Go on a Field Trip to Find Custom Field Usage Information

BA-Qandor_Field Trip App banner

Field Trip App allows you to run reports on standard and custom field usage.

Salesforce fields must be populated in order to have data which calculates trends and ensures intellectual capital isn’t lost, should someone leave an organization. Over extended periods of time, also can become cluttered with fields that are no longer used – making the system more difficult to navigate.

Thankfully, if you are a Salesforce Enterprise Edition subscriber, you have access to a free application on the AppExchage – Field Trip. The app allows you to analyze the fields of any object, including what percentage of the records have that field populated.

This app performs the three following functions:

  • Find out how often fields are being used
  • Run Reports on fields
  • Analyze all or a subset of your records

To use Field Trip, install the app and click the “Field Trip” tab. From there, create a new Field Trip Record and name it, select an object (such as, Accounts), and then add a filter if you do not want to process all records in that data base.

Next, using the “Analyze” button, you will see the “Field Analyses” related list on your Field Trip. This will be populated with records that represent every field on that object. You can then run and export reports on the fields for that object – including a column that tells you how many records have that populated, and what percentage of the records that is.

The app has 4.4/ stars. One user, Mike Gerholdt, reviewed the app, stating. “I’ll be honest- I have been an admin for four years and during that time I have lost track of the fields I have created for users. But more importantly I had lost track of how much those fields are being populated. As Salesforce adoption has increased throughout our company I needed to report back and gain insight into how fields were being used. Field Trip did exactly that for me.”

Does this tool sound like it could benefit your organization? If you aren’t sure, contact Conrin for all your Salesforce needs.

Stay up to date on Conrin news, tips and articles by connecting with us on LinkedIn and liking us on Facebook.

Differentiate Your Company Or Else…

If you have kept up with any of the popular business books such as The World is Flat or A Whole New Mind, you will have heard about how technology has made more and more services susceptible to outsourcing. The ability to communicate and share information with people in real time, regardless of their location, leverages cost advantages and makes the world more competitive every day.  Outside of certain services that require a physical presence, such as plumbing or auto repair, more and more work will be sourced on a global basis.  For example, some large law firms are now outsourcing legal research for American clients to India.  As technology improves, global competition will continue to increase.

How to Compete

There are ways to compete, however.  For one, people still like to do business with people they know and like.  While a good customer relationship might not allow you to overcome a 75% price differential, it could be enough to allow you to charge a 25% premium.  To do this, you must be in regular contact with your customers and prospects.  Each interaction should provide a value-added benefit.  It is important to note, however, that benefits are not always related to the “bottom line.”  It is important to take time to nurture relationships, including simply getting to know somebody.  You should not always be in a hurry to get to business, assuming your contact has time to talk.  Be sure to tell them something about yourself that you might have in common.  And definitely look for opportunities to open conversations based on cues your customer is giving you.  You will be amazed at how far building a foundation will take you

Another thing you will need to focus on is the product or service you are offering.  With high-paying technical jobs that were plentiful in the 1990s and early 2000s being outsourced in greater numbers, you will need to think about keeping your offering out of the commodity category.  There is not enough time in a day to build profitable, great relationships in commodity markets.  You would simply starve to death.  To be successful you will need to continually look for ways to make your service unique.  In his book A Whole New Mind, Daniel Pink talks about lawyers who are going to be successful.  They are not the attorneys doing basic research (that is shipped to India).  The successful lawyers will be the ones who can close the deal or empathize with a client.

You, too, should look for ways to provide a product or service that will not soon be commoditized.  As technology improves, tax policies change, and globalization becomes more commonplace, consumers are going to look for every advantage they can get.  It will be up to you to search for more and newer ways to differentiate your product or service and build intellectual capital.  In the meantime, keeping as close as possible to your customer is something you can do to buy some time.

What is Cloud Computing?

Conrin was recently invited to deliver a presentation on the benefits of cloud computing and how it can provide cost effective, scalable IT infrastructure for any business, regardless of its size.  Several requests were received for the presentation so we decided to make it available here.

The following slide show was created to provide a high-level overview of the basics of cloud computing.  Please feel free to contact us for more detailed information or if we can be of assistance in any way.

mailchimp for salesforce screenshot

MailChimp for Salesforce – Conrin Review

We recently integrated MailChimp for Salesforce for better email campaign management. This integration, which can be found in AppExchange, allows us to execute a MailChimp Campaign, and then monitor the data as activity history in Salesforce.

Benefits of MailChimp for Salesforce

Once the integration setup is complete, Salesforce users can conveniently design, send, and track a branded email- right inside of Salesforce. Instead mailchimp for salesforce screenshotof manually exporting email lists from Salesforce, contacts can be automatically imported through the integration. Then, segments can be created by using the Query Builder which adds existing Salesforce contacts and leads into groups. The Query Builder also allows users to strategically filter contacts, leads, and campaign members based off of certain fields.  If you have a specific group of contacts you wish to send a campaign to, set up a simple filter to include or exclude a certain contact field. Another benefit of the Query Builder is setting a schedule to run a query daily, so lists are always up to date.

Campaign Builder

The Campaign Builder, found under the MC Campaigns tab in Salesforce application, is what allows you to design and send off your email. Designing these emails in Salesforce eliminates the drag and drop templates that MailChimp offers, but it does allow you use classic and custom-coded templates saved in a MailChimp account.

MailChimp offers both a free version and paid packages that allow for more customization tools and more campaigns. This MailChimp for Salesforce integration has allowed us to easily transfer data between the two applications.  We can see complete subscriber details and their MailChimp activity. A large benefit that we see is generating new leads and creating customized subscribers lists based off of Salesforce fields. Syncing the two allows us to obtain and report data from campaigns in an organized and effective manner.