Customer Relationship Management systems (CRM) are nothing new; they predate the Internet and computers, going all the way back to handwritten ledgers (remember Rolodex?) But today, CRM systems are being touted as the end-all to increasing sales. The fact is, they aren’t.
Don’t get me wrong, you absolutely must have a CRM system to compete in today’s market. Prospects need timely, relevant follow-up today more than ever. The problem is that with more leads coming from online sources, the relationship simply isn’t there, so there’s nothing to manage. And even when you do get prospects to engage with you, salespeople still struggle with ‘call reluctance’ and follow-up failure.
So, whereas the CRM being the super-salesperson is a myth, unless you do business on a very low scale, you are wasting precious time and missing sales opportunities if you’re not putting a CRM system to work for you. Here are 5 reasons why you need an effective CRM in your business:
If your customers find you online (and 97% of them do*) they expect you to do business at the speed of the web, i.e. instantaneously. An effective CRM system should capture leads from online sources, send an automated response to new inquiries instantly and automatically, and alert you or your sales team that there’s a new lead that needs to be contacted NOW!
You Can’t Rely On Your Memory
“The weakest ink is better than the strongest memory.” Without a single, organized place to record all client data, you will end up forgetting appointments, misplacing prospect information, and ultimately losing sales. If you’ve ever grabbed whatever piece of paper is handy to record notes from an incoming phone call, just to then throw away that paper as trash, then you know why you need a better system.
Fast Follow Up & Relevant Response
Nothing says “you’re not important; I don’t care,” like failing to respond to a prospect’s question or failing to follow up with them in a personal way. An effective CRM system keeps all that information where it is instantly accessible by computer, tablet, or smartphone, and alerts you when you have appointments, incoming emails, or when it’s time to follow up with a phone call.
Because your CRM program allows you to schedule appointments, tasks, and alerts, you’ll be able to keep up with service calls or punch lists quickly, without ever worrying that an important call will fall through the cracks. Do you do annual maintenance or renewals? Schedule these in your CRM, with alerts 30-days prior to the scheduled date to send notifications to customers and/or service agents. And Marketing Automation CRMs will automate these notifications and communications so you won’t have to.
Earn Referrals – Customer Loyalty Program
It should be the goal of every sales group to increase referral sales. A good goal is 30%-40% of total sales. How do you reach that? By keeping in touch, servicing, and nurturing existing customers or tenants. Every effective Customer Loyalty or retention program is powered by a CRM system that will allow you to automate the process so that everything takes place seamlessly and without staff time and energy.
So, there you have 5 good reasons to stop using that old, outdated spreadsheet or restrictive paper system and step up to an Automated CRM system that will save you time, streamline your sales and marketing processes, convert more leads and make your team more effective in closing more new and referral sales.