If your business is not currently using a customer relationship management (CRM) system, you’re leaving money on the table. Likely a lot of money. Inevitably, as you network, build business relationships, receive referrals, make referrals and serve clients, you collect business cards and contact information, move leads through your sales cycle, commit to following up with people and much more.
It’s simply not possible to keep track of all of this information in your head without things falling through the cracks. A CRM system houses all of these details and more, creating a repository for contact information, storing task lists and reminding you to complete tasks, providing valuable reporting and integrating with other technological systems (calendar, accounting software, email provider, etc.) to streamline your business efforts.
People do business with people they trust, and doing what you say you are going to do is the best way to build trust. Here are five scenarios that demonstrate why a CRM system is a time saver and money maximizer. If you can relate to any of these, implementing a CRM system is the solution.
Scenario 1: You have a great meeting with a business connection whom you agree to introduce to a colleague of yours. You also promise to speak with one of your clients because you think the connection’s services may be valuable to him/her. You need to remember to complete both of these tasks and also to follow-up and see how both connections worked out.
Scenario 2: You receive a referral for a potential client. You reach out to discuss their situation and see if your services are a fit for them and they are interested, however are tied up with other projects for a few weeks and then are going on vacation. They ask you to follow up. You need to remind yourself to follow up when they requested and also to ask them about their vacation.
Scenario 3: You’re on the road and desperately need the contact information of someone you met at a networking event last year. At the time you didn’t have a need for their services, but now you do. You need to find their information in less than a minute on your phone or tablet.
Scenario 4: You want to analyze your sales pipeline to determine who your strongest referral partners are, at what stage deals tend to fall apart, what common elements successful deals share, which deals have been open for more than 6 months, etc. You need to pull that data quickly and easily.
Scenario 5: You want to launch a marketing effort to past clients, people you’ve networked with or leads with whom you’ve lost deals. You need to aggregate this contact information and export it to your email provider or marketing vendor.
With a reliable CRM system that you use religiously, brain space, energy and time are freed up. You consistently follow through on what you promise, and stop leaving revenue on the table. CRM tools vary by industry, features, complexity, integrations with other technological systems, number of users and cost. All systems require an initial investment of time for set-up and customization to make the system work for you.
To determine the system that’s right for you and have it customized for your needs, contact Simpler Surroundings.