In my 10 or more years in the IT/CRM space, I have come across many businesses from various industry verticals. However, all of them have the same business needs no matter which industry they are from. I have compiled the Top 10 needs of most businesses and will explain how a CRM strategy and implementation can fulfill this wishlist. Here is long awaited second part of this blog post.
6. “I want to be able to separate my contacts into different segments so I can target marketing promotions to the right people.”
It is invaluable for a business to be able to segment their customers to carry out targeted marketing and get the best outcome for their effort. Most CRM systems on the market have the ability to be customised very easily. They usually contain a field called “Contact Type” which is a drop down with values like: “Client”, “Partner”, “Supplier” etc. However, these dropdowns can be easily customised to add new values such as “Gold VIP”, “Silver VIP”, “Bronze VIP”. In this way you can categorise your clients and identify your high value customers.
7. “I want to have a sign up form on my website for a newsletter or free e-book which can capture leads and store them automatically in a database.”
This is a biggie and quite frankly, if you don’t have an opt in to get prospects on your “list” you are losing out on lots of potential sales. There are many email marketing tools like Mailchimp, Aweber etc which do a fantastic job of handling bulk emails. The great thing is that they usually can integrate with a CRM system so that you dont have to manually add the contacts into the CRM system. They are automatically synced! You have now saved many painful hours of your time. Bonus!
8. “I want to engage more with my clients through emails, videos, social media, etc. I want to know what they think of my products and service.”
We all know how important social media is in a company’s CRM strategy to build and nuture relationships. So it makes sense that many CRM systems can now be integrated with Facebook, Twitter, Linked In etc. So if your customer is praising your product, you can find out immediately, the information is stored in the CRM, and you can then go and thank them for the shout out and give them a free gift 🙂
9. “I would like to have sales and marketing reports at my fingertips so I can easily keep track of my business and potential sales pipeline.”
CRM systems have this amazing module often called “Opportunities” or “Potentials”. This module can keep track of your potential sales, tell you which company/individual it relates to, how much you can expect to receive if you close the sale, track sale stages , expected close dates, and also be linked to marketing campaigns – so you know which campaigns actually resulted in sales! Beats having to sift through multiple excel sheets from different sales staff any day!
10. “I want to sell my products/services online and automatically capture customer and purchase info in a database.”
How many of you have an ecommerce software like Shopify or Magento and have information on customers who bought through your online store but have no idea how many of these have bought stuff from you offline? Well CRM vendors have come to the rescue, where a lot of them have integrated with ecommerce software such as (Vtiger and Magento) so that you have a central database of customers, rather than having multiple databases all over the place. There are also third party integration tools like Zapier and OneSaas which can integrate pretty much any CRM with any other software. Aahh the wonders of technology!
So there you have it. The top 10 needs of most businesses and how they can be addressed by a simple little application called a CRM system. So come on, what are you waiting for? If you need any help on where to start, check out my post on some free CRM options to get you started.