Guest post by Dave Lawrence, Head of Growth at Follow Up Boss
How do you manage an army of experts?
No, we don’t mean scientists. We’re talking about customers.
Businesses are fast learning that today’s customer is internet savvy, information hungry, and willing to do the research.
As a consequence, relationship selling is dead. Thanks to the internet, customers don’t need suppliers or reactive problem-solvers anymore. But, what the internet doesn’t offer is market insights and tailored problem-solving solutions, the type of which only professional sales rockstars can provide.
If you want to stay ahead of the game, win long-term customers, provide value for money and keep revenue streams healthy — you need to be super organized, consistent, authentic and committed.
CRM software is your answer.
What is CRM?
CRM stands for ‘Customer Relationship Management’.
According to Zapier, “Customer relationship management software are tools to organize your contact info and manage your relationship with current and prospective customers, clients, and other contacts. They’re address books on steroids—the modern version of old-fashioned Rolodex.”
But more than a glorified Rolodex that’s undergone a digital makeover, CRM software has evolved into a tech companion that no sales professional can live without.
It can reach every corner of your business from lead tracking, sending personalized emails, uploading contracts, making appointments, and even preparing complex forecast reports (to name a few!).
CRM software exists in every sub-niche imaginable, from real estate CRM software like Follow Up Boss, to Healthcare CRM like Pega. The goal is the same – manage your relationships and make your business more efficient.
Without a CRM, 79% of leads fail to convert. Competition is getting tighter and tighter. At the end of the day, if you want your business to stand out, you can’t afford NOT to use a CRM.
How does it work?
These days, customer information is gold. Don’t waste it.
Your prospect intel must be organized properly, and a static spreadsheet won’t cut it. According to a study from Forrester Research, organizations who use lead nurturing can generate 50% more sale-ready leads, at 33% less cost. Here’s how a CRM does what a spreadsheet can’t.
Imagine you get a message from Jane Doe who is browsing new enterprise software.
Once you plug into your CRM, you’ll have instant access to a range of data that can tell you:
- If she’s already a customer
- What her needs are
- How to solve her problems
- How to turn her into a lifelong customer
An integrated CRM system can improve everything from sales productivity to brand reputation. It can even change how you operate your business, helping you automate and systematize your operations and free up more time to woo your prospects.
Here are 9 brilliant ways a CRM can help.
- Take your leads to go
This is a real game changer. Mobile CRM systems are nimbler and boast way more cost-effective features. In fact, 65% of companies that used a mobile CRM solution met or exceeded their sales quotas.
- Know your hottest markets
A smart CRM will help you qualify leads and identify the leads that are most likely to buy. CRMs that come with visualization and analytics features can give you a bird’s-eye-view of what works so you can invest resources into the most lucrative lead gen and follow up activities.
- Get golden business insights
CRM systems help you operate more strategically and efficiently. For instance, you can monitor data to identify new areas of revenue, problem solve issues in the sales funnel and analyze business performance data. The most profitable sales strategies are rooted in systems, not techniques. Your CRM helps you optimize your system to make the most of every call or email.
- Market like you mean it
CRM software can help you understand the type of content your ideal prospects love. Building a clearer picture of what your prospects really want (not what you think they want) can help you craft value-driven marketing plans, specifically aimed at your various prospect groups.
- Accurate resource planning
A CRM can help you understand when and why targets are (or aren’t) being reached and give optimal insight into which activities your sales teams may need additional training and support for. Planning your sales approach based on clear data is always better than engaging in a costly guessing game.
- Faster follow up
A stellar CRM will alert you to lead activity in real-time so you can quickly respond to prospects. These days, it’s hard to close deals overnight, but the person who is the most responsive over time will win.
- Boost lead ROI
Let’s not forget that sales is still a numbers game. If you want to boost your company’s profitability index you need to generate and manage your leads more effectively. CRM software will keep you on top and make sure you don’t miss a single opportunity.
- Keep your customers
Shiny object syndrome is a real problem in sales. But in order to maintain a secure revenue stream, businesses need to invest in long-term clients. In fact, 80% of a company’s future revenue often will come from just 20% of its existing customers. A great CRM enables you to create follow up and nurture sequences for everyone in your digital Rolodex, even those who have already become clients.
- More credibility = more sales
Consistency builds trust. Give your customers what they want, every time, without issue and the sales will follow. The more credible your approach, the stronger your brand identity, and the more customers you’ll attract in the future. A CRM helps you stay consistent and credible in the eyes of every lead on your list.
A great CRM brings you closer to your customer
At its heart, CRM is about helping you know your customer better. And we all know loyal customers are central to helping any business thrive. In fact, companies that are customer-centric are 60% more profitable than organizations who aren’t as customer focused.
Give your customer the love and time they deserve, and you’ll be the first one they think of when they’re ready to make a move.
About the Author
Dave Lawrence is the Head of Growth at Follow Up Boss, a CRM for real estate teams. In his role he spends his time ‘under the hood’ of many of the top performing real estate sales teams in North America, helping them leverage technology and process to become more effective at delivering value and service to their clients. You can follow him and Follow Up Boss on Twitter: @FollowUpBoss or visit www.followupboss.com