Tag Archives: crm

Client Relationship Management CRM Systems for Small Business

Contact management systems / CRM to keep track of all your customers (and prospects!)
Having one central place to store all of your customer and prospect information is absolutely critical to managing your business.
But with so many options to choose from how, can you find a client relationship management system that is ideally suited to meet your specific needs?
There are a number of key considerations to factor into your decision-making process such as:
Do you want a free service or are you willing to pay for a high-end solution (ex. Salesforce.com) and if so what is your budget?
Can you get by with a generic universal solution (ex. Zoho), or would you prefer a system that is tailored to your specific industry (ex. Buyfolio for real estate?)
How many people in your organization will be using it, and who is allowed to enter the contact information into your CRM?
How much access to the information will you permit each user to have?
Do you want a cloud-based solution, or one that resides on one (or a few) computers? At a minimum following are the types of relevant information that you will need to keep track of:
How will your people be accessing the information, i.e. from a central office or from the field and will they be using it through laptops, tablets, cell phones, scanners, or computers?
Salutation: Mr, Mrs, Ms, Dr.
Name: Use separate fields for their first and last names, as well as any nicknames or middle names.
Title: the position they hold within the organization. Be sure to include any relevant credentials such as MBA, MA, MSW, or JD.
Organization: The organization name.
Street Address: Primary street address.
2nd Address: Floor #, suite #.
Zip code: 5-digit plus trailing 4-digit if available.
Telephone #: the main number and direct extension.
Cell phone
Email address: A primary work and alternate secondary, if available.
Organization Website
Previous employers: It is a good habit to get into to enter the names of their past employers as a potential conversation piece or for possible prospecting assuming they have kept in touch with their old employers.
Include the following personal details for each contact on an as-appropriate basis:
The contact’s birthday, work anniversary, personal anniversary, holidays they celebrate, spouse & children’s names, their interests/hobbies, favorite vacations, community/volunteer engagements, favorite sports franchises, types of music, professional affiliations & memberships, etc.
Their social media accounts:
* Twitter
* Facebook
* LinkedIn
* Pinterest
* Instagram
* Tumblr
* Other?
Lead source: How did you find out about them? Which marketing promotion led them to contact you? This is absolutely critical for you to be able to gauge the efficacy of your marketing efforts.
Source/category code: Are they a Client, Prospect, Supplier, Vendor, Media, Partner contact? Whatever categories you use, you MUST be able to query by each group when you are conducting mass communications.
Account Activity: Every sales call, meeting, and conversation you have with them needs to be tracked by date and the outcome/result of that activity which is typically a sales contact.
Sales: Separate from your activity, these are the transactions as reflected in purchases, trials, special offers they took advantage of by Date AND Dollar amount of each transaction.
Referral Source: Who did they refer to you and/or who referred them to you.
Communication: Will you be able to create messages (letters, emails, invoices, surveys) within the system then send out those communications targeted to specific contacts or lists of contacts within your CRM.
Website integration: When someone goes to your website and completes a form such as Contact Us then submits the form, will it automatically be populated into your CRM as a new lead?
There is some basic functionality that you absolutely MUST have in order to effectively search your CRM. Here are some examples of the things you will need to be able to search your contact management system for:
* All clients that have bought from me in the last 30 days.
* clients that haven’t bought from me in at least 3 months.
* clients I haven’t spoken with in 6 months or longer.
* clients that had a trial offer but I haven’t spoken with since then.
* clients with birthdays coming up in a week.
* clients whose annual contracts are set to expire this month.
* Clients who are beyond 60 days in making payment.
* Who are my most profitable accounts? This is perhaps the single most instructive piece of information often buried in your rolodex of customer account information. The Pareto principle dictates 20% of your clients generate 80% of your sales, contribute 80% of your sales. How can you sort your client list in order of customer lifetime value?
* For information on cloud-based CRM solutions:
* Goldmine, Salesforce.com, Act!, Zoho
* Destination CRM
* 5 CRM Services for Small Business
* Most awesome list of social media CRM tools & resources & blogs!
Here’s to your successful 2013. May it be the start of an entirely new path for you!
Ethan Chazin, The Compassionate Coach