I love my CRM!

Posted on by Jeanne Burns

I am constantly surprised at the number of small business owners who do not use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. And I think I know the answer why.

You start by building out your prospects in your contacts and mailing list. The initial response rate is small. You respond as needed. As you grow however it begins to get unwieldy. The conversations get harder to remember. Someone suggests that you get a CRM. You start to do your homework. Ugg! So many choices and most are costly. Your head hurts. You have to figure out what it is, how to use it and which one to use. You procrastinate. You convince yourself you do not need a CRM. iStock_000007716967XSmall

But know this:

A good CRM will:

1.     Not Be Expensive

2.     Assist you with Building Deep Long Lasting Client Relationships 

3.     Help You Track, Manage and Close more Leads with Ease

Every business should use a CRM. EVERY BUSINESS!!! So let’s say for example that you are a Consultant. You are building a business from the ground up. You are likely doing another job as well. The only way you can do this successfully is to be very very organized. A good CRM is critical to your future success. Most are on Software as A Service “on the cloud” which means you can access them anywhere. This means you can now make use of small bits of time to keep up these records so at your lunch hour, in between calls, while you are waiting to pick up your kids from wherever.

When I say any business I do mean any business! That means B2C as well. Do you own a Florist Shop, Massage Business, Catering Service or Hair Salon? What better way to keep track of specific preferences after each visit? Wouldn’t it be nice to track your clients preferences, birthdays and entice them to buy more?

And you can use it to stay in touch perhaps once a month and write with a personal and specific message. For example:

“Hey Ivana, I noticed you haven’t been in for a massage in the last six months. Everything OK? I miss you! I’d like to offer you a coupon to get you back with us.”

As you get more comfortable with the CRM you can create personalized messages. You can offer them links to photo on your Facebook, Pinterest etc.. to get them more fully engaged as a customer.

The point here is that it is called a Customer Relationship Management Tool for a very good reason. Few people fall in love at first sight, most people don’t ask someone to be their best friend… it just happens, over time, and share experiences. The same goes for your customers. You should want to create a feeling that you as the service provider are someone who respects them, who is there to improve their lives, provide great service and perhaps offer joy and laughter. Sure you can do it each time they walk in the door but you can do more faster and build a much stronger relationship in the long run by using a CRM.

Many small business start-ups do not use CRMs. They rely on their contact and mailing lists. They transfer information into their calendars (if they remember to do this.) Over time this can get confusing and difficult to organize. You not only lose time. You lose sales.

Stop procrastinating. You are leaving dollars on the table. Hate to sell? A good CRM is a natural relationship builder. It lends itself to a softer, friendlier, more natural approach to relationship selling. You use your CRM to capture prospect interests and interactions over time. You will have gathered all contact information (website, Twitter, email, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest).

Selling Power magazine said that 81 percent of sales calls close after the fifth sales call. So if face-to-face sales calls take that amount of time, getting a prospect to speak with you could also take that long or longer. It can take up to a year of calls and emails to make a sale over the phone. Record keeping is critical. This is why a CRM is essential to your success. It is hands down the best way to track interactions.

Now you are not forced to push product. You have gathered and recorded enough information in conversations and by checking their social media to have more pointed conversation. “ I liked your comment on Twitter last week about…” “I see that you use FB to market your business. Can you tell me…?” “Happy Birthday.” You can do this because you will be capturing all of this information in your CRM. You are calling on routine basis because each time you call you note in your CRM the date of your next call and place a reminder on the calendar to track that and ping you.

Remember … most people do not buy until you have spoken to them at least five times. Most salespeople never even make a second call. That is the number one reason that sales people fail! A good CRM will help you organize your work, make calls with a doable routine, gather information on prospects that allow you to build a relationship instead of pushing product.

Name: Jeanne Burns

Email: jwb328@gmail.com

Website:

About: Jeanne Burns is a sales pro with a BA in English. She writes successful presentations, contracts and proposals primarily in the Tech Field. She also ghost blogs, writes copy and product reviews. Jeanne's past clients include Intuit, Verizon, Morgan Lewis, the State of New York and University of Pittsburgh. She possesses the strategic ability to solve client problems and increase sales. Jeanne produces results with her concise compelling content.

  • Andrew

    Hi Jeanne. What do you think of this CRM suite? http://www.MyCommunicationSuite.com. Please review it. I’d live to know what you think about an integrated system that can overcome a lot of the issues you addressed. -Andrew Barden

  • Andrew

    Hi Jeanne. What do you think of this CRM suite? http://www.MyCommunicationSuite.com. Please review it. I’d live to know what you think about an integrated system that can overcome a lot of the issues you addressed. -Andrew Barden

    • jeanne burns

       Hi Andrew, yes an integrated system can work well. There are a wide variety available. Your choice would depend upon the complexity of the work you do. I am not familiar with MyCommunicationSuite. I would be happy to review it. Could you please first provide some background on the product. Are you using it? Are you involved with the company? If you use it could you let me know why , what you like about it, what is distinctive about it and what type of clients it works best for. Thanks Andrew!

  • http://www.wizardtechconsulting.com/ WizardTech

    Great post Jeanne! I definitely agree. EVERY small business or any business for that matter should invest in a good CRM tool. This is not only investing on the tool itself but it is investing on something that will be beneficial both for you and your clients. Good customer service is a MUST and we can do this a lot better with the help of a CRM tool that will help us organize comments and feedback from our clients or customers and at the same time it will help comment exchange between us and our clients a lot easier.

    • jeanne burns

       I agree WizardTech! … and if you tie the CRM to your calendar, you can create a system where you regularly touch base with clients ( say once a month) and over time , in brief conversations you can gather quite a bit of information and gradually, naturally develop the relationship over time. Are you currently using a CRM?

      • http://www.wizardtechconsulting.com/ WizardTech

        Yes, we’re using Infusionsoft. This is one of those CRMs built for small businesses. It has almost everything a small business needs for its growth built in one system — from CRM, social media, and email marketing. So far, it’s been really beneficial to our company.

  • Tanya

    Great article Jeanne! You are absolutely correct, the choices are overwhelming. Would you provide a couple of CRM’s that you are familiar with and have found to be a good fit? Thanks.

  • Mia Anstine

    Jeanne,

    I am in complete agreement with your post. I know I NEED a CRM. The tricky part is trying to figure out which one. Any tips?

  • http://twitter.com/pdijkema Peter Dijkema

    Hi Jeanne,
    Great post! I thought I would put in my 2 cents worth.
    Most people know they need a CRM but are procrastinating because they don’t know which CRM to choose. I would say do some research, ask your friends and peers and find someone who can help you if you need any help implementing a CRM system. Not knowing what to choose is not a valid excuse! You know you need to put your tax in on time if you don’t know how to do it yourself you find a tax agent. If you don’t know a good one, you do some research, you ask your friends and business associates who run similar businesses who they use.

    Do the same with a CRM system, but make sure you review a couple before you jump in. Choose one that you find easy to use on a daily basis. Don’t necessarily go for the cheapest one. And don’t try to do too much from the start and start simple.
    When it is working well for you expand your use.
    Peter