Frequently I’m asked, “what’s a CRM?” I can answer that later but what should be asked is “what can a CRM do for me?” A CRM can and should, improve productivity, strengthen relationships and increase profitability.
As a hypothetical, let’s say you attend events and market on social media to create interest in your products. As a result of your marketing efforts, a potential customer emails you with questions. You had a conversation with this person before and want to review your notes before responding. Since your notes are spread across multiple tools and notebooks, you don’t know exactly where they are, so you spend most of the morning searching for your notes to send a simple email. Although you know this is a huge time suck, it’s not a priority. Increasing sales is the focus and once you reach your sales goals, organizing your business will be next.
You’ve become savvy with working around your disorganization and on overlook the magnitude of your hot mess. It’s a BIGGER problem than you realize.
Since you don’t have the right tools or know how to fully optimize the tools you have, you buy more tools. Now you spend time strategizing how to use all your tools because you paid good money for your tech and want to use them all.
Instead of your tools helping you to organize, they’re actually making your problem worse as you continue to spread vital information across even more tools.
You’ve complicated a simple task and now you spent most of your morning searching for a notes. Frustration consumes your energy as you search through your tools and you move out of intention to get a quick communication out to a potential customer. When you finally send the email but it’s flat because you didn’t have the time to finesse it. You’ve spent too much time playing in your tech toolbox and now you second guess the email you sent.
What a waste of time, energy, and MONEY!!!
Playing with your tech tools for half the day is not bringing home the bacon and if you continue down this path, you’ll experience one missed opportunity after another, crippling your cash flow.
But what if you could make one power move to eliminate your hot mess, save time and show up like the prepared professional in all of your communications?
What is a CRM?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is software that helps you manage your business relationships. CRM software consist of several features or applications that allows you to perform various tasks. This allows you to streamline and monitor conversations, develop appropriate relationships, and standardize your follow-up process.
Every CRM has 4 standard features to manage your contacts. The four features are contact management, calendar/alerts, task management, and basic reporting. Of course, most CRMs include several additional features such as sales pipeline, integration and segmentation, but with just the four basic features mentioned, you can drastically improve your follow up process saving time and increasing sales.
Now let’s take a look at how CRM can enhance your business.
CRM store notes, organize contacts and create reminders so when responding to a potential client, you could pull up the notes from your last conversation. For instance, let’s say a potential client reaches out with questions. You could review the email, access notes, respond to the email and set a reminder to follow up for a specific date and time. Your system could also notify you when the potential client opened your email!
You could create steps or check lists for each relationship stage, which comes in handy when there are multiple steps in your sales and on-boarding process.
But just like the ShamWoW info commercial, that’s not all!
There’s also reporting features to analyze your business activities. This gives you the capability to review how many meetings you had, how many deals you won, who converted when, etc. So no more guessing what’s working and what’s not. You can make better business decisions based on data.
Sounds like a dream, right?
What’s the catch?
I know the system I described sounds too good to be true, but it isn’t. I’ve helped several small business owners find the right CRM for their business.
But here’s the rub, there are thousands of CRMs on the market and they’re all different. Systems vary in applications, features, price, etc. There’s no one size fits all so due diligence is key in finding the appropriate CRM for you. In short, either you hire someone to do the research or you put in the time.
Another key factor in selecting the appropriate CRM is the set-up. You cannot expect any system you buy to work how you need it to without customizing it. Which, again takes time to do. This step is just as crucial as the selection process so trust me, doing a mediocre job will severely limit the ROI on your system.
Although the hours and investment may seem like a turn off, it’s resources well spent when it’s done right. If you’re serious about business growth and are spinning your wheels using your current tech tools, Investing in CRM is the way to go.