3 CRM Software Essentials – The Pipeline to Success
CRM Software ... let's talk about the 3 essentials!
Most people refer to the acronym CRM as Customer Relations Management. However, to be perfectly clear, a CRM is for more than managing CUSTOMER relations.
It's a power-tool for Sales and Marketing; for converting Suspects and Prospects into Customers. Therefore, a more apt description for CRM is, CONTACT Relations Management.
Common knowledge proclaims, Sales and Marketing is the TOP priority for a business. For this reason, many say “nothing happens without sales.” In other words, without sales, there’s NO money for employees, healthcare benefits, vacations, donations to non-profits, re-tooling, and government taxes, etc.
Since Sales is so crucial to a business' existence, it is puzzling why so many small businesses do not use CRM — Contact Relations Management Software. Furthermore, those that HAVE a CRM, do not use it effectively; nor is the CRM usually controlled by the owner of the business. Owner control is important when someone decides to WALK OUT THE DOOR.
Sales Personalities Disguised as Sales Professionals
I’ve met many “sales personalities” working in small businesses that don’t use a CRM; rather, they use old manual paper methods. To illustrate this absurdity, it is like opting for oil lamps versus using light bulbs. The reason I used the word “sales personalities” for some salespeople is, many are NOT really professionals, NOT serious about sales, and have NO system for selling, which would include using a CRM. Therefore, they play a “role” called, “salesperson.” Sadly, some take advantage of SMALL BUSINESS OWNER'S FEARS!
Don’t Let the Green Grass Fool You
I must warn you that there is CRM software that touts their ability to do some amazing feats, i.e. “cook your breakfast.” However, please be aware that the “green grass” can turn into tall weeds, and small business professionals can end up lost and confused. Many get hung-up and sold on the bells and whistles, but in the end, there’s still a colossal failure to implement.
The essentials we list here are all you need for sales success!
The "Not-So-Secret Sauce" for Sales
I’ve written a blog called "Why Lean Fails 98% of the Time” — whereby, I explain and give the reason for Lean Management implementation failure. In like manner, most salespeople entering the sales profession also FAIL for the same reason Lean fails. In fact, the reason most business systems fail is due to the same reason. Here it is...
There is NO FOLLOW-UP SYSTEM in place!
Without a system for selling, you are “shooting-from-the-hip” and playing “Russian roulette” with results.
The main ingredient in a Sales Systems is C-R-M. A good CRM software, set up correctly, assures on-time, every-time “follow-ups” of Contacts. In addition, you have at your fingertips, ALL necessary information concerning the Contact, in order to continue the follow-up process. An information pipeline can turn Prospects into Customers, systematically.
"Sales" is a process easily understood by anyone who wants to understand it. More importantly, the process easily replicated, reproduced, and repeated, time after time. Therefore, building sales, one STEP at a time, one CONTACT at a time, with the aid of CRM software, is a sure-fire way to success.
The 3 Essentials for CRM Software for Best Management
Having explained the need’s, whys, and don’ts of Contact Relationship Management, here are the essentials components needed in CRM software, for success:
- Tracking Customer’s/Contact’s Information. All CRM’s have data fields for imputing Names, Addresses, Phone Numbers, Email Addresses, Website URLs, etc. However, a CRM should have the ability to add Custom Fields to track unique information, which will help the user turn a Prospect into a Client. In other words, by inputting information to REMEMBER a contact and their uniqueness, the result will be better management of the relationship.
- Follow-up System. CRM software needs to support linking a contact to a Calendar Event that automatically notifies you when the scheduled time arrives to interact/follow-up with the Prospect or Customer, via a meeting, a To-Do, or Webinar, etc.
- Information Log Area. This is a location of all communication, i.e. emails, phone call notes, Webinar notes, appointment notes, meetings, etc. Also, a location for documents i.e. contracts, agreements, work orders, etc., located in same vicinity.
All Systems Under One Roof
The good news about some CRM software is, it integrates into all areas of a company, i.e. HR Systems, QA Systems, PM Systems, and DR Systems. In other words, a BPM — Business Process Management and/or ERP — Enterprise Resource Management and the CRM combined into ONE SOFTWARE. With this type of integration, a business has the tools to organize, grow and scale systematically.
Did I mention? Great system work!
Philip Beyer, founder/president of Ebiz Products LLC and founder of Beyer Printing Inc. in Nashville Tenn., is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant. Author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business" and recipient of an InterTech Technology Award for the design and development of System100 business process management software. Beyer speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses. Contact him at (615) 425-2652.