Do I need a CRM?

Oh, so love getting questions about running your business more “efficiently” (although I happen to prefer “Legally Lazee!)”

Do I need a CRM for my business?Do do you NEED a CRM for your business?

The answer is my usual “it depends!”


Because it does!

A definition

Per the lovely Wikipedia, “Customer relationship management (CRM) is a model for managing a company’s interactions with current and future customers. It involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support.”

Now, without all the fancy schmancy terms:

A CRM is a tool that helps you keep track of all the flotsam and jetsam that goes along with a sale with phases, steps and a bunch of stuff to remember so someone becomes a Client instead of a “Contact” you met somewhere, some time ago.

When is a CRM a good thing?

A CRM is a great way to close more sales when you have steps, phases, proposals and a bunch of other stuff that goes into the process of taking someone from “Who the hell are you?” to “OMG, I so want your product of service!” If you’re in the business of “transactions” where the buyer either says “yup” or “nope” and they whip out their credit card (or, gasp, cash) and say “sure, I want me one of these,” then a CRM is probably overkill and could end up being a big waste of time, without much ROI (return on investment). If, however, you have steps  like:

  • Meet the contact (whether at an event, online or from a referral)
  • Send a note telling the contact “hey, nice to meet you”
  • Get a note back saying “gee, I want to know more about what you do”
  • “Oh, gee, I’d better schedule a presentation.”
  • Schoomze a bit, remembering that chocolate is their favored drug of choice.
  • Send some chocolate.
  • “Oh, you liked that presentation and want to know more? Have some questions.”
  • Oh wow, they want a contract or proposal, I’m in!!!!!!!!!
  • Send the proposal.
  • Get some money.
  • Rinse and repeat.

In other words, you’re building a relationship and doing a “consultative sale” which may involve a bunch of steps, back-and-forth, maybe other people in your company or on your outsourcing team.

The more complex the sale, or the more steps or people involved, the sweeter it becomes when you have a CRM to help you keep track of where you are and what needs doing, especially if you have multiple things going at the same time.

(Now did I send Mary that information? Crap, I can’t remember. Call Mary, find out you promised the info weeks ago and she got tired of waiting and went with someone else!).

Unless you prefer to trust your memory…which I most certainly don’t because the older I’ve gotten, the less reliable it is!

Not sure how to pick one for YOU? Let’s pop on the phone (or Skype) for a few mins and get you started in the right direction. Heck, a simple spreadsheet may do the trick for now. Who knows, eh?

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