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What a CRM is and how it can make you money

What a CRM is and How It can make you money

We all have contacts.  People and organizations buy things from us and we buy things from others to make our businesses operate.  This is true for businesses and non-profits alike.

How do you keep track of the people, businesses, and the details that are important to you?  Some people use a spreadsheet or save contacts in their Outlook or Gmail address books.  But how do you ensure that this important information remains up to date, accurate, and is accessible to the people who need them?

Customer Relationship Managers or CRMs track this information and provide powerful tools to market, sell, track, and operate organizations of every type.  There are free versions that allow you to scale and pay for more powerful tools as your systems are tested and proven to be effective.  And most importantly, your information is stored in an easily accessible place for all of your team members.  They can update on their phones or from a remote work location.  Business cards can be uploaded right after a conference with a quick picture from your phone.

In some businesses the contact list is a huge measurement of value.  For others, the place where contact information is stored helps teams pickup where someone else left off in a conversation, connect on a more meaningful level, and keep track of engagements and participation.   I argue that organizations of all sizes can be more profitable by utilizing CRMs.

Some of the ways you can use your contacts in a CRM to become more profitable:

 

  • Metric tracking: Track engagements, conversions, participation that lets you know if you are on track to reach your goals or improve your operations.
  • Save employee time: Messy data files make it hard to find the information when you need it. Key conversations with contacts are recorded so team members don’t ask the same questions to the same contacts creating an embarrassing and unprofessional experience.
  • Communicate effectively: Increase how well your team communicates with contacts by having a place to make notes and better understand them. Connect on a deeper level by easily being able to reference personal details.
  • Create standards that convert: Use templates and sales cycle steps that are tried and true. By tracking, find what works best and what needs changed. Decrease the duplication for repetitive communications.

Want to chat about your current system and a strategy for the future?

Whether you use a CRM or your email inbox, the important part is to create the standard. Understand what information you need to operate and how you and your team collect and interact with it. Keep it in a centralized and easily accessible location. Don’t use more than one method. If it is a file, don’t create copies and email it back and forth or you may have to spend extra time merging updates!

We can help you to evaluate whether a free CRM, donor management tool, or fully customized solution will bring the most value for your time investment.  

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Want help brainstorming?  Testing and measuring metrics is an area I particularly love to geek out on!  It is what saved the business I was at during the recession and has helped countless others to redirect time and attention to increase profitability.
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