What is a CRM and How Can It Help Your Business?

CRM is a centralized repository of leads and contacts. It’s about being able to systematically follow up with them and deliver a great customer experience. As your business grows and you get more opportunities, a CRM will become essential so you don’t drop the ball even on small things.

At some point, carrying a journal or relying on Excel isn’t going to cut it anymore. With over 600 CRMs in the market, it’s important to understand what kind of information you need to capture and to find the best ways to simplify your processes.

According to Sara Kappler, the only person I trust to implement my CRMs, and a study by Rolustech, there is a wide range of applications for any CRM. Let’s look at each of them:

Everyday Activities

Data Management is the operative phrase. Through CRMs, you can communicate with your staff and clients in a centralized platform such as Slack.

You can update client contact information, set up events and meetings with them as well as ensure that all data is backed up online where all your employees can access information when they need to. My personal favorites for my client repositories are Dubsado and Freedcamp. With Freedcamp, clients can even view the status of their ongoing projects with you.

You can also set up a streamlined way to assign daily tasks and ensure that accountability and responsibility are observed even when you’re not around. For this, I would recommend Monday.com

Do note that I am not an affiliate of any of these products and I am suggesting simply from experience.

Sales & Marketing

I could never imagine where I would be today without the beauty of automation offered by CRMs. I schedule my email campaigns and social media posts strategically so I don’t have to worry about them everyday. What should normally be daily tasks are now transformed into a few clicks.

I’m still in the process of exploring, but so far I’m liking Mailchimp and Active Campaign for my emails, and Hootsuite for my social media content.

Customer Service and Business Intelligence

Having every bit of data at your fingertips means you can identify your client’s behaviors — what they like and don’t like, when they are most likely to interact with you, etc.

You can also ensure that you are always able to meet their requirements because there is absolutely no way in hell you are going to miss a message or interaction because everything is accessible to you now.

And the same is true for you and your employees. I use Gusto for my payroll to guarantee that everyone gets paid on time every time, and to make sure by books are all in order.

(Disclaimer: I am a Gusto affiliate and as my referral, you get a $200 Amazon gift card as soon you run your first payroll. It’s worth it!)

As you progress, you will also understand how to integrate your CRMs and make them work for you faster and easier. I use Zapier to zap different software notifications into one place so I don’t have to be looking in different places.

It could be just the nerd in me, but I love me my CRMs!

Advice From The Experts

As your team grows, your needs change as well. Sarah converses with business managers and makes the assessment on what the perfect CRMs for them are.

But if you prefer to DIY the entire CRM selection process, then here is Sarah’s top advice:

Free trials are your friend. Try it before you buy it so you can get a feel of the product before putting your money into it. You can also try asking for an extension of the trial. Sometimes providers will agree to this to keep you interested.

You can also take Sara’s “Does your business need a CRM?” Quiz to find out how CRMs can help your business grow!

As a self-certified geek and lover of CRM systems, I am always bursting with enthusiasm to share my thoughts and also share my success stories on some tried and tested tools.

What CRM are you currently using? And what do you hope to achieve with your business that a CRM can provide? Let’s gather round and talk about it in the Client Experience Revolution Facebook Group.

See you there!

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