Many small business owners don’t understand what a CRM is, and many of those that do have not successfully implemented it in their business. If you fall into either of these categories then this blog is for you.
CRM is an acronym for customer relationship management, and today it is most commonly referred to as a cloud-based software tool that can help keep track of your customers. A CRM can work wonders for any type of business, whether it’s a retail or wholesale operation, a product or service based business, boutique or enterprise, and everything in between.
What makes a CRM different from my POS or Newsletter database?
Ok, so you have a customer list with your POS, newsletter, or something else. What makes this different?
Having the data is really only part of this. What do you do with the data once you collect it? What about all of those potential customers that your sales team talked to but never signed up for a newsletter or made a purchase from you?
- Are you emailing your customers the right, personalized message, at the right time? Are they going to make a purchase from you as a result of this? Are you measuring that?
- Are you calling customers when they show an interest in your products? Maybe they opened your newsletter and clicked on a service. Did you know that and know how to follow up?
- What about somebody your sales team spoke with six months ago that never got back to you. You probably wrote them off as a “No” a long time ago, but did you do anything to nurture that lead with automation and potentially turn them into a “Yes”?
- Do you know what your sales pipeline looks like and how much new business you need going in at the top of the funnel to generate the sales results you need?
With customer data, you can turn your good customers into great customers, and turn your great customers into advocates. You can identify trends, address problems with customer lapse, and understand your sales cycle.
There is one other wonderful feature of a CRM, and for some people this is the biggest opportunity for growth. You can track your suspects, prospects, and qualified leads. You can measure and understand your sales pipeline. With automation, you can nurture those leads that say “not today, but maybe later” or those customers that only buy seasonally from you.
Why doesn’t everybody use a CRM?
If this tool is so great, then why doesn’t everyone use it? The most common reason is lack of understanding. It’s one thing to say it can measure this stuff, but understand how to measure it is more complicated. The other reason is lack of commitment. A tool like this is only as good as your willingness to input the data, review the data, and act on the data. If you don’t use it, it does nothing. If you use it regularly, it will pay off in dividends. The time it takes to add this to your workday drastically reduces wasted time on non-contributing items to the sales process.
If you can’t measure it, it’s probably not working.
I often ask my clients where they get their business from, and most of them have a similar answer. “We get business from word of mouth, referrals, and sometimes just dumb luck.” Sound familiar? Others will say “We have tried advertising with ______ in the past and didn’t really see any results so we gave up on that.” If I ask them how they measured either of those, they look at me with a blank face. If you can’t measure it, it’s probably not working. If you’ve been successful and never implemented a sales process, including a CRM, then it’s probably a matter of time before you hit a dip in sales and then your business is scrambling as a result because your pipeline isn’t full of new opportunities.
Our goal at Mediaura is to use our knowledge and expertise to supplement and optimize your sales process. Using online marketing and advertising, we can help deliver a steady flow of leads, customers, or sales to your business. We can help you set up a CRM the right way to measure all of the above, and we can even get you started with marketing automation to help your sales and marketing team do more with fewer resources.