It can be quite daunting trying to juggle lots of tasks whilst also remembering everything you need to do when you’re busy in your business…it’s hard enough when things are quiet. I have to be super-organised as I juggle my business with my day job—sometimes, it’s like a military operation!
One application you can employ, to help you become more organised, is a CRM system—or, to use its full title: a ‘Customer Relationship Management’ tool.
When I worked in a bank, they implemented a CRM system that was specifically designed for them. This obviously cost them a lot of money, but you can get your own CRM system far more cheaply; there are many ready-made ones out there on the market.
The advantages of using a CRM system include creating records relating to potential prospects, existing customers and the services you’ve sold to those customers. If you acquire a lead, you can input this into the system and track it. This helps your conversion rate, as you’ll be able to see at a glance what you have in the pipeline. This is of particular use if you have staff, as they will be able to monitor this, too. You can also track the quality and quantity of your leads and, if used correctly, you should see an average increase in your sales and productivity.
If you receive a complaint, anyone in your team can deal with it, as there will be a record of what the complaint is about that can be viewed by anyone with access to the system. The data can then be used to monitor customer service, best-selling products, etc.
The important thing to ensure is that your system supports your business across multiple channels. An example of this would be creating a prospect record and allocating where it came from, i.e. networking, an online enquiry or via a telephone call. It also needs to capture all your data.
The CRM system of the bank I worked for allowed staff in the call centre to see records of any meetings and calls made with/to customers by the business team. The system was only as good as the information put into it, however; the more information captured, the more useful it became.
So, if you’re thinking about implementing a CRM system, make sure it’s suitable for your business. If you don’t think you’ll be able to use one, there’s no point setting one up. You must take full advantage of the help and support available to your business through its use; like most business tools and applications, it’s designed to help, not hinder.
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