CRM software system have come such a long way in the last 5 years. If your career looks anything like mine then your familiarity with CRM software systems can go back 15 years. Back then it was exclusively something for very large firms because of the high cost to purchase them. They were mostly custom developed and took months if not years to make. A fortune 500 company that I was a manager at spent over 100 million dollars and 4 years to fully implement a new CRM solution and get working right. That first year of implementation was incredible hard. The great news is that those days are long gone. There are amazing solutions available for as low as $100/year!
Now before I get too far ahead of myself and explain why and how every small business can benefit from a CRM software system, let me first explain what one is. I speak with business owners all the time that still will ask me the simple questions: What is a CRM? Or What does CRM stand for? Now in many ways these questions are that simple, but often I can infer a deeper question wrapped in the more simple one. Why should I even care?
First, a Customer Relations Management software system is meant to organize your database of clients and prospects alike. Organize and store as much about you client as you can, from simple things like phone, address, location etc. To the more meaningful like; what the buy, how much they paid, what service level are they at, and many other aspects. Most CRM software systems have long ago started connecting with your payment and accounting systems; think Quickbooks. That has been what the core of a CFM has really been.
When that was all they did, it was a pretty good solution. Thankfully software engineers didn’t stop there. They also now have work flow, project management, sales pipelines, leads scoring, email marketing, SMS communication, social media integration, website integration, and many more functions. This combination is truly powerful when properly implemented in a business.
Let us take a look at how a scenario could play out.
Imagine if you were running a couple of discount this month; one for new clients and one on a particular product. You create a few different social media posts to schedule for the month, create an email to be sent one a couple times as well. In both situations you have a particular page you want them to visit in order to find out more or redeem the offer. Through integrated web tools, when they visit that page, even if they do not call or fill out a form, you can try to capture them with a pop up before they leave. If that does not work, you could have set up an automated follow up email to those who clicked through reminding them of the offer or enhancing the offer. But do not stop there, why not set up a further SMS days before the sale ends. Or a tweet directly to them. All of which would be recorded in their individual contacts so you know and understand the interest levels of your contacts. This very common and simple promotion can of course be expanded. But sadly is usually not handled in an organized manner without actually knowing who was interested. I understand why. Trying to do this without analytics and the proper automation is laborious, so many just do not do it.
Do you believe having the ability to preset and analyse your marketing and even purchases through an integrated system, would help or hurt your sales? Do you believe managing client relationships through automation across email and social media, would help or hurt your client relationships?
If you don’t have a CRM system you should strongly consider one. Three I would have you consider are:
Each one of the above have numerous integration and can be bought for less than $300 per year. If you need help evaluating and implementing a digital marketing strategy that would include a CRM, XO Digital Marketing would love to help you do so. Contact us to set up a consultation.