How often do we hear that organisation is the key to productivity? And then again, how often do our best intentions to maintain that diary fall down after just a few weeks, or worse, a few days?
There are many books and talks out there that your business could set about memorising, but what if there were a system that meant the opposite, no memorising…
Behold the Client Relationship Management system (CRM). The CRM is a system that allows businesses to maintain an organised method of communication with clients, both current and future. However, this is only one of the benefits, as the system also offers the capability to retain vast amounts of data and produces beneficial statistics to indicate strengths and weaknesses.
While these systems have been on the digital market for what seems like forever, it is surprising how little some businesses make use of them. Read on for a crash course on the ways and means that a CRM system could be just what you are looking for, whether you know it or not.
Your Memory, or Lack Thereof, Won’t Recall Everything
The human mind is capable of some incredible things, no doubt. However, when running a business, it can prove incredibly taxing, trying to remember everything from meeting times and annual reports to clients’ requests and queries.
Together with the mental strain that this can impose, it can also limit your business in terms of the information that is retained (potentially inaccurately) in your head.
While you may be able to retain 20 clients’ information, a CRM will allow you to retain hundreds of clients, without you needing to concern your memory with the task. Use the system to your advantage and allow it to back your business’ success.
Emails. Emails. Emails
Folders for this, inboxes for that, and unmanageable amounts of storage requirements lead to a permanent state of disarray when it comes to chasing down that thread to confirm what price you offered client X.
Of course, the option is always there to CC or BCC other employees in, but when forgotten, it can prove increasingly difficult to keep tabs on lost communications, and your clients will be the ones to lose out.
A CRM offers the space to keep all the necessary information on a client in one place, with easy accessibility for all your employees, in a central location that offers simplicity when updating, and permissions for security.
With everything in one place, nothing is forgotten, and nothing is lost; a catalogue of events and correspondence to maintain those loyal clients.
Statistics Are The Golden Ticket
How busy were you this time last year? Which of your clients has been the most active? Who is this month’s top sales person?
These are the sorts of questions and statistics that a CRM system can provide you with, allowing you to address both strengths and weaknesses in your business, as well as plan for the future. Yes, a spreadsheet with formulas will enable you to work out various costings and percentages, but this begs the question – is your time best spent with data entry…
Being aware of your potential clients’ ‘temperature’ is vitally important to maintaining a steady flow of income and interest. Most of us would like to say that we are fully aware of where our customers are at, and that their needs are being tended to adequately. However, being aware of the status of each prospect, in detail, would improve your customer awareness indefinitely.
For example, being in the know about who needs a callback, who was avidly interested and who was only lukewarm will help in managing your resource and gaining the best business from what you already have. Yes, you guessed it – all these statuses can be tracked on the CRM system, which will allow you to keep an eye on exactly what is going on.
History Shouldn’t Just Live In The Past
Getting a call from a familiar voice and not quite being able to place where you knew them from, or what kind of requests they previously made, can be a real sore point in retaining customers. Even keeping records on paper or in various files on your desktop doesn’t quite offer a superior solution for grabbing info while on the phone and stalling for time.
A CRM system allows all data to be in one place, with a simple and formatted access route that makes those phone calls a far easier ordeal, and ensures nothing is left unaccounted for. It offers a clear view of not only your clients’ progress with your brand, but also a detailed take on how your employees are managing and corresponding with enquiries.
Predict Your Own Future
Unfortunately, a CRM won’t offer you a crystal ball but it can help in the future planning of your business. Being able to look at how things have progressed (or not) over the last month, six months or few years can prove to be invaluable when looking at your next strategy.
Being blind within any business will almost certainly prove to be detrimental to any growth. With the backing of past stats and the ability to analyse strengths and weaknesses, going forward with your business can be done with the utmost planning and vision, therefore, empowering you to control, to the best of your ability, your future assets and growth.
Of course, this list isn’t extensive. If it was, we would probably be here for quite some time. However, it does offer some insight into the benefits of a CRM and how it can streamline businesses.
Regardless of your level of organisation, cutting down on the time spent inputting data and then trying to dig it out again, as well as the lengthy efforts that are required with Excel spreadsheets, can’t be a bad thing, right? Right.
Well that brings our praises of a CRM system to an end.