You moved from paper mail to email. From the Yellow Pages to search marketing. Now it’s time to move from spreadsheets to CRM software.
Customer Relationship Management software, or CRM, is the most useful business tool you’ve never tried. It’s not as fun as Facebook, not as sexy as your new website design, but it may be the most practical tool you’ll try this year.
For once we have an accurate acronym: the CRM manages your customer relationships. If you’ve ever lost a lead because of disorganization on your side, then you know the main benefit of this software. When your business effectively uses a CRM, your lead and customer contacts are organized and efficient.
Below is a breakdown of the 8 most important reasons you should try a CRM today.
#1 Free CRM Trial
The first one should get you past any hesitation. Marketing 360® let’s you try our CRM free. Get used to the software with a no-obligation trial period and discover how it can save you time, convert more leads, and organize contacts.
#2 Create a Contact Nerve Center
Overall, a CRM is the nerve center for your business contacts. A CRM is a database of contacts with organized, carefully structured information that includes every way you deal with the contact.
The biggest advantage is that you can share information across individuals and teams within your own business who make contact with the same customer. This helps you avoid duplicate efforts and let’s everyone see the history of communication for the client.
Today, leads and customers expect everyone in your organization to be talking to each other about their account. If a project manager asks a lead to repeat what was already discussed with a salesperson, you’re on your way to losing the deal.
Likewise, if there is miscommunication or disagreement, your CRM will contain a history of what was actually discussed. A great tool for keeping the record straight.
#3 Never Drop the Ball With New Leads
If you’re a service business that does lead generation, a CRM is a must.
You know why. You had a hot lead – and the call went well. The lead’s interested, but blocked you with the old “I need to think about this, can you call be back next week” excuse.
Three weeks later you go through your sticky notes and realize you missed the call. You finally get a hold of the lead only to find out she went with your competition. If only you’d called back when you said you would…ouch.
With a CRM, you can schedule tasks and integrate them right into your calendar. You’ll have a history of the first conversation to reference. You’ll call on time and be ready to get the lead moving towards a close.
Today, the business that forgets to follow through with every viable lead is on the endangered species list.
Use the CRM to make sure you never lose a lead again because you dropped the ball.
#4 Keep a Complete History
As we alluded to, CRM software is the ultimate customer record keeper. You can track every call, email, deal, task or meeting with every client.
Say you have an account manager that suddenly quits. All their background with clients is not lost. It’s fully documented in your CRM. A new account manager can take the wheel with a good feel for the client.
In the unfortunate event you have conflict with a client, your CRM history lets you verify communication, offers, projects, and any other points of contention. There is no better way to counter an unfair criticism of your work than to be able to pull an exact record of what was actually said and done.
#5 Work In the Cloud
It’s a safe bet that you carry around a mobile phone where ever you go. It’s equally safe that you don’t carry around sticky notes or access spreadsheets.
CRM software is accessible via the cloud, meaning that all that customer data is available to everyone in your company anywhere they go.
This is a revelation for the outside sales professional, who can contact and update leads when they’re in the field. It also means greater mobile productivity for everyone making contacts, scheduling meetings, and assigning tasks.
#6 Record and Track Phone Call Leads
A feature of the Marketing 360® CRM is that it integrates with your phone system and automatically records, racks, and stacks all incoming phone calls from clients in the system.
The client or lead calls in and the phone call is recorded, time-stamped and automatically put into the customer account. Marketing 360® software also records all outbound calls that you elect, so you can have record of calls for quality control and reference.
#7 Track Deals, Projects, and Tasks
A complete CRM breaks up data into your most useful, necessary categories. The sales team can track leads to point of RFP and close, maintaining lead status and scheduling appropriate times for the next touch. Email touches are also recorded and time stamped.
PM’s can create project proposals with bids, resources, and timelines. Tasks can then be assigned across the team and scheduled on an integrated calendar.
The life a client, including deals, projects, and tasks, are all kept in the CRM.
#8 Integrate With Your Marketing Software
Today’s best CRM platforms are part of the larger whole of your marketing, advertising, and sales campaigns. It’s of huge value to be able to tie lead-generation to certain marketing channels, then look at the history of individual leads within your organization. You can analyze the entire lifetime of lead/customer, and look for trends that are the most profitable. As you discover strategies and behaviors that are getting customers with a high lifetime value, you can apply them to all your customer interactions.
The Marketing 360® CRM is the most complete tool for understanding how your gain, communicate with, service, and retain customers ever developed for small to medium size businesses.
You have a lot to gain – and nothing to lose – when you take advantage of our free CRM trial.
This is how technology is supposed to work. Save time, get better organized, and make both your staff and your customers happy they work with you. It’s the biggest win in modern, digitally-based business.