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Among the infinite number of acronyms in the marketing world, “CRM” or Customer Relationship Management software solutions is one you should definitely get to know.
As much as we'd all like our brains to be able to retain information about all the people we meet, all the interactions we have with them — be them in person or online — it's just not feasible. Combine that with the fact that we all work with people, be them as employees on our team or subcontractors, and they all have interactions with our clients, prospects and are integral to the completion of projects as well. That's a lot of information to retain!
Knowing this, some people keep detailed written notebooks, while others turn to their tried and true Microsoft products such as Excel. While these work, they aren’t the most efficient. Why? Because they require manual input and limit your ability to quickly find the information you need at your fingertips and share that information with your fellow collaborators. They also can get cumbersome, in that you want to include detailed notes about your prospects and customers, and log all of your interactions, and you can only carry around so many notebooks or have so many Excel fields before it becomes unwieldy.
The solution? Invest in a CRM to give your business the boost it deserves:
- A CRM will help you identify prospect for up-or cross-sell, and convert existing customers to new products or services
- A CRM will help support your marketing efforts, as many integrate your email marketing and social media
- A CRM will help you track invoices and collect more quickly and efficiently
- A CRM will improve your team's collaboration and productivity
- A CRM will help you heighten customer satisfaction
To get started, make a wish list of information you'd ideally like to capture about your prospect and customers, and how you'd like to add, edit, filter, export, share or print that information. Then research the different CRM solutions that are most applicable to your industry. We recommend watching the product demos or even taking the CRM up on their 30 day free trial to see how you like it. To give you a head start, we've included a link to a recent PC Magazine review of the Best CRM Software, but it's always best to consult with an advisor who has expertise in this arena, so you make the right decision based on the technology you currently have, your budget, and the goals you need to accomplish.
Looking for a business New Year's resolution? Put adding a CRM to your business operations at the top of your list.