One of the main benefits of a CRM system is that it can help you maintain contact with your customers and prospects.
We all know we need to be in touch with our customers on a regular basis but it is often a task that gets put on the back-burner, especially when we are busy. But it is very important if you want to uncover the goldmine hiding in your database, and turn your prospects into customers.
One way to ensure that you actually achieve your communications objectives is to put together a plan for 12-months ahead. It can be as simple as detailing the communication to be sent out and the contacts to be made, such as personal phone calling. Decide how you are going to communicate with your clients – phone, email, newsletter etc – and determine how often. (Read our guest blog below for more on this.)
When planning your communications, think about the resources you have at your disposal and what you will need to buy in. For example, do you believe you can competently write, design and deliver a newsletter using MailChimp? If not, you will need help. Factor the time and the cost of what you are doing into your planning.
Creating a plan is a key task at the beginning of each year so you have a clear outline of what you will be doing to contact and keep in touch with your network of clients and potential clients.
You may not realise it but within your business lies an untapped goldmine. This goldmine is your database. Are you exploiting it to its full potential?
Most businesses do not and that means they are leaving money on the table. Money that is likely going to their competitors.
Don’t let that be you!
While your database may be one of your biggest assets, in order to turn the static information it contains into a goldmine, you need a customer relationship management system or CRM.
Think of it is like this: your database is a record of your past transactions while a customer relationship management system is a tool to develop your future business.
A CRM will help you grow your business by building in-depth relationships with your customers. It is a system of tools, technologies and procedures – available as a software program – for managing, improving or facilitating sales and other interactions with customers, prospects and business partners.
Many businesses have a database of their past transactions but do not look toward the future by putting in place a customer relationship or contact management system.
So, a good plan for this month, especially this time of year, is to spend time developing a CRM.
There are many software systems available but before you sign up for one it is very important to first identify what you need your system to do. Only then should you research the different options to find the right one that meets your highest number of needs.
To find the right one, ask your business contacts what they use and do some online research. Check out the negative reviews as well as the positive ones so you can find out what the pitfalls are before you commit.