What’s a CRM and Why Do I Need One?
A CRM is a Customer Relationship Management tool. It’s a bit of software where you manage business relationships and keep information on people of interest, like potential and current clients. The idea is to drive retention and also grow sales.
It hosts all of your contacts’ details including emails, phone numbers and any correspondence you have with them. From emails to tasks and even invoices and a sales pipeline, a CRM can be the centre of your sales world. What’s more, the whole team can access the data in real time and always be up-to-date.
Although a CRM is seen as a sales tool, if can also be an essential tool for keeping in contact with your current customer base and building deeper relationships with them. From remembering their birthdays to keeping a secure but important record of the conversations you have, a CRM can be the extra memory you’ve always wanted.
Here are some key features of a good CRM and why they’re important…
Cloud-based client management
A CRM gives you a cloud-based platform to monitor your prospects and clients – and gives your team the ability to record interactions with them too. Because it’s in the cloud you can access it wherever you are and work in real-time and from any device. Many CRMs will come with an app to help you work on clients on the go by enabling you to add in details from phone calls and those emails you make while you’re on the move.
Most CRM systems will have the option to invite team members and give them different access rights and assign them tasks related to certain people. This gives you control over the data that you share and the access you allow. A good CRM will help you manage people you meet and guide them from lead to conversion. You’ll also be able to get different people working on the same client and assign tasks for people in your team.
Each contact has their own profile or card and this allows you to store all the important information on your contacts. This data includes anything from emails and phone numbers to simple, more personal information like their favourite coffee and what you talked about last time you met.
Most CRMs give you a section to add content ‘about’ them and this can be really useful for starting or continuing conversations on the phone, email, or at meetings.
Each contact can have their information stored here too. From email and phone number to address, position in the company, and even their social media links. With a quick 30-second skim over these details before a sales call you’re in the perfect position to understand them better.
Look over their last tweet, read what you said to them last time or why you connected in the first place. It’s pretty important that you make the sales call about them and your CRM gives you all the info that you need to do that. They’ll appreciate the time and effort you’ve taken to ‘remember’ their dog was ill last time you spoke, if you ask how they’re doing now.
One of the key features of many CRM systems is the ability to apply tasks to any of the contacts and then assign the tasks to yourself or a member of your team. Tasks will keep you on track with your clients and leads and when managed well can become one of the daily tasks in your business (like checking email). Action them to build your business and keep your customers happy.
Tasks in a CRM also make working with a remote team really simple. In this ever-digital world, many outsourced agencies or assistants now work on projects through tools like a CRM to manage prospects and clients.
Whenever you contact someone you should get into the habit of adding the conversation to your CRM and setting a follow-up task to make sure that you don’t forget them. Typically this could be to send a quote or to check in with them in a few weeks’ time.
Adding this information also helps your team if they’re speaking to the contact, too. They’ll see what you spoke about and what’s going on, as what they need to do, too.
A clear overview of your sales process…
When you get past the basics of a CRM it starts to get really interesting. Many CRMs give you a sales pipeline which is a visual representation of the work you’ve won, lost, or are still to convert.
Adding in a task and then a potential invoice or quote into your sales pipeline gives you and your management team the ability to see an overview of your sales and the effectiveness of what you’re doing. Targets are essential for growth.
If you’re spending a lot on paid ads or maybe going networking or exhibiting then a visual pipeline could give you the bigger picture and give you the data in a nicely presented form for you to decide where to spend more of your marketing budget and where you need to improve your conversions and prospecting.
Why do you need one…?
We firmly believe that you don’t have a system in place without a CRM. If you’re managing more than 10 clients or customers and have a strong focus on marketing and networking or any plans to grow then you’ll need a CRM.
Networking, marketing, and sales all generate interest and the need to follow-up and without a system in place to help you and your team (if you have one) will maximise your chance of more business.
Forgetting to follow-up, invoice, call, email or arrange another meeting could well lose you sales and clients – especially if your competition has a system geared up to do it all.
Business is still very much about building relationships and if you’re in sales and marketing then you’ll know this all too well. If you have a team then you’ll also appreciate how powerful a CRM could be to your productivity and team relationships. Keeping the working conversations open and in a place that’s well organised could be the answer to your forgetful, mis-managed team or the bonus needed for your remote team members and even the welcome addition to managing internal processes and tasks.
The obvious advantage of a CRM is the sales aspect, but managing existing relationships is key too. Don’t forget to look after your current clients and team members too.
So here’s what your CRM can help with:
- Cloud-based client management – Access your client and sales data anywhere.
- Virtually manage your team – Assign tasks, manage clients virtually and stay on track.
- Customer profiles – A full customer profile with all the details you need in one place.
- Tasks and ‘To Do’s’ – Stay focused and never miss a call, quote, or follow up again.
- Sales pipeline – Get a visual representation of your sales and marketing that no spreadsheet can compete with.
We created SalesRadar to help small businesses and start-ups get online with a CRM. From simple tasks and team management to the SalesRadar that gives you assess to millions of business contacts to the visual sales pipeline – it’s the perfect partner for your SME and your growth in business.
If you’d like a chat about how SalesRadar could help you and your business – Contact us now and we’ll give you a call.