So, if we’re being completely honest, I used to be queen of notebooks and post-its. I wrote EVERYTHING down, I never missed a beat. But as my business, and the needs of my clients, has grown I’ve had to revamp how I do business. Selfishly, I love strategizing with clients, and that means the little tasks I must remember to do, slide. But that isn’t going to work, is it? I know that an effective business strategy required a system to track clients and leads, in a way that was visible and accessible across the organization, so everyone could get real time access to what everyone was doing, at any time. We needed a CRM.
I’ve worked with many clients over the years that have attempted to implement a CRM (customer relationship management) tool in their business, and its struggled to catch. The main faults I’ve found revolve around the same core challenges:
- There wasn’t buy-in across the company
- The team wasn’t properly educated on what info went in and how to maintain it
- There was no over-arching implementation strategy
- It didn’t do everything we needed
- There was no support in place to assist in implementation
And yet a good CRM is essential, because if you’re not using one I bet your competition is.
What is CRM?
I may be aging myself when I think about the rolodex of business contacts on my desk, with handwritten notes or reminders about them. Heck, I remember typing them up on a manual typewriter! But where are we now? A great CRM tool will not only store customer and prospect information, but will also track that prospect as they become a customer or client, and further track they’re buying behaviors and patterns. The goal is to improve your relationship with your customer by storing information that is cloud (not rolodex!) based, accessible from anywhere, and can be configured to remind you to reach out and follow up.
Where CRM implementation hits a bump in the road, is when all the data is imported, and your team hits a “now what” moment. We know that when we receive an email or call from a prospect, we should log it into the platform, but other than becoming a very overpriced notepad, how does this benefit business?
Well a great CRM will go further by building in automated tasks and emails into the data collection. This means that you’re not just storing contact information but segmenting and analyzing the content as well. The ability to drill down and identify trends, gives you insight that can guide program development and delivery in the future.
Further to this, is the ability to forecast sales based on their progression through your sales funnel. A great CRM can run reports that can identify leads at different stages – Infusionsoft is one. You can easily see what your revenue could be, and see where your new leads are coming from. From here you can anticipate based on the lead generation channels, where the prospects are likely to buy. For example, historically you’ve found that leads arising from a Facebook marketing campaign went on to buy virtual courses. By knowing where your lead came from, you’ll be able to better predict the buying pattern and adjust your supplementary marketing campaigns appropriately.
A CRM platform is not just about collection and analytics, it should also be robust enough to handle all your automation needs so you’re not left trying to patch systems together so they “talk” to each other. You want one system that can handle it all so no pieces fall through the cracks.
If you’re ready to make the leap into a CRM platform, and aren’t quite sure which one is the best fit for you, drop us a quick email. It’s what we do, and we love sharing what we’ve learned over the years!
Cheers to your growth and continued success!