It’s time consuming to setup. It’s expensive to get started. And nobody really wants to do it. But the perils of not spending the time and money on a CRM (Customer relationship management) system can be more devastating than the initial pain.
What may be your motives for taking on this fruitful challenge?
You don’t want to navigate blindly
Can you get accurate forecasts by sticking your finger in the wind? If so, kudos to you! But for the rest of us, seeing what is coming through the pipeline (numbers and dollars) is essential for accurate planning.
You want to reduce potential mistakes
Did you accidentally throw out the post-it note with important client data? Oops! Now there is discrepancy in the information. Maybe you can remember everything and re-write the post-it. Or, you can save the information as you get it to your CRM and it’s there forever!
You want accurate and quality data
Using a CRM forces the sales team to input structured data. This data can then easily be put into reports and dashboards. Creating a sales dashboard from post-it notes doesn’t seem too fun.
You want to accurately inform customer support
Once your business grows and you have a customer support team, they will be talking to your customers and will need information about the customer accounts. Ideally, you will choose a support system that pulls information from your CRM for support agents. Nothing is worse than talking to customer support and they have no idea what products you’ve purchased or that you are the one paying the bills.
If someone quits this afternoon, you want to know the status of their accounts.
It happens all the time. People leave, people get sick, people change roles. I doubt you’ll get many volunteers to go through all the emails to figure out where the accounts stand. You might as well start over. Your CRM should have enough information so that anyone can look up the account and know exactly what is going on with the customer.
I know, who would want to know all this info from the CRM?! I’m crazy!
No wait – I’m just evangelizing for efficiency.