7 Ways A CRM Tool Will Help You To Improve Your Business

July 18, 2012

by Justine Parsons

CRM is a relatively broad term that describes how companies can organise and arrange their client and customer communication, and organise new sales prospects using specialist software.  It is a tool and should be thought of as such, the main objective here is to get to know your contacts (be they clients, prospects or connections).

7 Ways A CRM Tool Will Help You To Improve Your Business

When looking for a CRM tool to suit your needs, compare price with ease of use, functionality such as accessibility and integration with social media, your email client and possibly your accounting package.

I have researched, used and like both Zoho CRM and Capsule.

7 ways a CRM tool will help you to improve your business:

  1. Track your ideal customer profile: Using a CRM system to capture demographic traits can help gain a better understanding of your ideal customers and prospects, aiding the creation of multiple profiles. Reviewing customer data can alert us to changes in our business that you may not notice otherwise.
  2. Make your email campaigns more relevant: Email marketing is alive and well.  Generic email blasts are not!    The information captured in your CRM can be used to send targeted, relevant information to suit the needs and interests of your specific mailing lists.  These lists could match profiles created using point #1.
  3. Provide a personal touch: Sometimes, the little things can make all the difference. Use your CRM system to “remember” things like food and beverage preferences, important dates, preferred method of communication and personal information that often falls through the cracks.  Make your customers and prospects feel special and most importantly, recording preferences will ensure you don’t annoy with the wrong message.  For example, I record which version of Microsoft Office my clients use.  This way I can be sure that the documents they receive are able to be opened, viewed and used easily.
  4. Automate a process: Marketing is all about setting expectations and it is important to make sure those expectations are met when a prospect or customer interacts with your business. One way to make expectations are met is to have processes that are consistently followed by everyone in your company. Most CRM systems allow you create action item sequences that can be assigned to the relevant person at the appropriate time. Take advantage of this feature to create a consistent, high quality experience for everyone who interacts with your business.  This is particularly useful if you work with a virtual team.
  5. Be a better referral source: Having a searchable database that allows to quickly identify members of your network by expertise and other traits will help you be a more valuable resource to your customers and your referral network.
  6. Stay in touch with referral partners: Speaking of referrals (you know it’s a hot topic of mine!), one of the keys to nurturing a strong referral partner network is to keep in touch with them on a regular basis. Combine the items listed above to stay in touch and build a vibrant referral network.
  7. Track marketing measurements: Who clicked through which links on your last email campaign?  Who shared your Facebook update and who consistently comments on certain LinkedIn discussions?  Your CRM system should capture your social media and marketing measurements in order for you to make necessary changes and know which campaigns or content interests which demographic … and more importantly, which individual.

Do you use or have you been thinking about using a CRM system?  I’d love to hear different ways a CRM system will or has helped you in business.

Image Credit: DYI Marketers

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