We use a CRM, in fact in all the businesses I've worked in for the last 10 years I've used a CRM. In the interests of openness I have worked for a consultancy implementing Salesforce CRM systems in the past so my advocacy of all things CRM isn't surprising.
A well implemented CRM brings massive gains in efficiency and effectiveness in how you store and use all types of data, as well as how you work, alone or part of a team. It can also help you establish processes to streamline your business, no matter what size it is.
I believe all businesses should have a CRM, but in case you doubt my wisdom, here are 5 indications that a CRM could really help you:
1. You cannot quickly and easily get a full list of clients.
Your current clients are a very important group of individuals. They've already bought into you and your business, so marketing to this group is a must. Getting business from new clients is five times more costly than retaining existing clients (check out this great infographic for more of these stats), so approaching existing clients is an easier, more cost effective approach for revenue generation.
If you know who your existing clients are you can start to add value and build relationships with those clients, to build an even closer connection. You can use your knowledge of these individuals to provide more personalised support, through personalised emails whilst also to upselling or cross-selling your other products or services.
You can also ask these clients to provide all important testimonials and online reviews as well as ask if they would be willing to refer on your services or even introduce you directly to their connections.
Having this data collated in a CRM allows you to keep track of your interactions with these customers, provide personalised approaches by reaching out to them at key moments like anniversaries and easily ensure they are kept informed of your business and all its products and services.
2. You don't know who your prospects/leads are
In a similar vein as above with clients, if you don't know who you are prospects or leads are, how can you effectively market to them.
I see a lot of businesses with a website contact form, that goes nowhere but sits in their email. Integrating this form into a CRM allows you to capture the data of those interested in your business product or service in a central place.
You can then keep track of all the interactions you have with them keeping them fully informed of all your products and services, subject to complying with relevant data protection requirements, which in fact is the next reason for you to use a CRM.
3. You're not sure if you are storing your data correctly
Under the new General Data Protection Regulations there are very specific rules regarding how you store and what you can do with personal data - and personal data stretches to name and contact - exactly what you need to build relationships.
By capturing this data into a well regarded CRM you can ensure that the data is being held securely, which is a must under GDPR. You can also track what data was captured and when in most systems and importantly whether the contact consented to receive further contact from your business. Even if consent isn't given, there may be a legitimate interest for you to get in touch with a contact, if you feel there is information you can provide. Most reputable CRMs are now compliant for GDPR so they actively help you ensure compliance, as well as provide the ability to audit the information you hold.
4. You are unable to provide a personalised approach to clients.
Providing a personalised approach to the people you are in contact with, gives them a better experience of your business. People also expect a more tailored approach as it makes them feel more valued, but you can only do this if you are capturing and storing the relevant data in the first place.
When providing helpful and supportive information to your website visitors, ask for data in return - these days its expected. Capture the data in a CRM and use it send more specific emails to your contacts. Whilst ROI on email marketing has always been high, by just using a name in a subject line can increase open rates by 29% and you can also expect transaction rates to increase too - stats reference.
Busy people don't want to look at information not relevant to them, so start by capturing the right data from your website, in the right way via a CRM.
5. You aren't following any business processes
A CRM enables you to easily create and follow business processes, be that how you consistently respond to a website query to how your sales processes works.
Most CRM systems enable the ability to set up template or workflows to determine how processes should be implemented. For example, a website query comes in - the visitor gets an onscreen confirmation their message is sent and an alert is sent to the business that a query has been received and needs to be dealt with. Reminders can be added so that the message isn't forgotten and a templated email can be sent in response depending on the nature of the query with all the interaction stored automatically. These simple processes make sure that a timely, accurate and consistent response is delivered and allows anyone in the business to understand what is happening.
In addition with sales, rather than missing a follow up, a CRM can enable tasks to remind you to follow up and even send automated responses or supporting information as part of the lead nurturing process,
Using a CRM to implement business processes helps increase efficiency and helps minimize lost opportunities.
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