Do you have a CRM system?
If your answer to that is “What the heck is a CRM system?” it’s safe to assume that you don’t.
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. In other words, it’s the system you use for tracking and managing your prospect and customer relationships, and it’s an important part of the sales funnel.
When you call your electric company, they look you up in their CRM. They may have had a program custom built for their own needs and maybe they refer to it as “the system” or “database,” but essentially, it’s all the same thing. Everyone from the guy that answers the phone when you call to report an outage to the lady who calls people who are late on payments collaborates in the same place. Customers often have indirect access as well – when you update your information or pay your bill online, it’s recorded in the CRM.
Depending on the product or service you offer and the number of clients you have, your CRM needs will differ. Most entrepreneurs use a premade CRM software program, but some prefer to make their own spreadsheets for this purpose. There are even a few old-school business owners out there that still put pen to paper and keep that information in a dusty old Rolodex.
IMPORTANT – if you’re unsure how many current clients and prospects you have or if you have ANY information in a dusty old Rolodex, ring me up so we can discuss how a virtual assistant will help you manage things more efficiently and securely.
Ahem. Now, let’s get back to business. Your CRM software allows you and your team to keep all of your client information in one database. As you generate leads, make sales, and interact with your prospects and clients again and again, that information gets updated. Having it all in one place saves time and makes things flow smoothly.
Here’s an example. You’re in line at Caribou and start chatting up your business with the person next to you. You exchange business cards and later add their information to your CRM with a note to follow up. In a few weeks, you give them a call and gained a new client. You input that information as well. After the sale is finished, you email to follow up and talk about your new service, and the cycle begins again. You’re providing excellent customer service, the customer is happy, he or she recommends your business to their friends/neighbors/associates, and you get more customers.
A good CRM system also gives you a better ability to look at the big picture, and you’ll see which areas of your business need improvement. For instance, if you consistently bring your leads right up to the sale but never quite make it to the money, you’ll be able to see where the ball is dropped and take action to fix it.
Well, this sounds great, Angie. But I don’t have any time to learn new software, and I definitely don’t have time to input all of that information from my spreadsheets and notebooks into it! It’s easier to leave it the way it is.
No, savvy solopreneur, it’s not.
By not effectively using a CRM, you’re leaving money on the table. Without customer relationships, you have no business. So while the task of setting it up and managing it might seem daunting, you guessed it! A virtual assistant can help you set up and manage a CRM system. We can make software recommendations as well as input all of the information from your spreadsheets, business cards, and even that dusty old Rolodex. All you have to do is hand off the information and we’ll get you all set up and running.
A virtual assistant can keep track of your referral partners, prospects, make follow-up calls to current and past customers, make notes on all interactions and conversations and let you know about small problems before they become big ones. They can let you know about opportunities too. Your lead list will be current, your customers will be happy, and your business will run more smoothly. Once you start using it, you will be able to track and see a lot of great information.
So, I ask you again, do you have a CRM system? If not, let’s get one in place and get you rockin.
As always, thanks for reading.
Until next time,