Ask anyone in sales if they’ve heard about CRM and they’ll invariably either groan or give you a Kool-Aid grin. Why does customer relationship management elicit such diverse reactions? Simple. CRM done right can make your business take off like Richard Branson’s into outer space. CRM done wrong can make your life, well, not worth living.
Ok, maybe you’re not a salesperson and this acronym hasn’t made it into your lexicon. That’s ok. Simply put, CRM stands for customer relationship management and refers to a platform that allows you to keep track of your business’ client and prospect contacts and conversations, and track where you are in your sales funnel. A good CRM platform will allow you to build out a sales pipeline that you can seamlessly move your prospects and clients through.
Some people may argue that start-ups don’t need a CRM tool because they don’t have customers yet. These folks don’t realize that before you have customers, you have prospects. And, if you don’t have prospects, your start-up is in trouble.
When your startup is ready to go to market, you are going to want to have a pretty significant list of targets – those people or companies that you believe will benefit from your product or service. These are your prospects and you want them to be organized and centrally available to your team. Why? Because you:
Don’t want to sound like a total rookie when your prospect calls back and have no idea who they are. Don’t want to call the same person twice because you didn’t realize that Tom already called them 10 minutes ago. Want to know who has talked to the prospect and what was said so you can build on that conversation. Want to know whether they have opened that email you sent three days ago. Want to know if they’ve visited your website, how long they stayed there and what pages interested them the most.
In short, a good CRM tool will make your start-up look good, while gathering and organizing the critical data you need to build your business.
If you’re just starting out and you’ve done your homework, you’re probably using productivity apps like Trello, Slack, Evernote and countless other apps. You may think you’re got it covered when it comes to organization and collaboration and may be asking if CRM is just going to add more administrative duties. If this were 2001, we’d have to say “yes.” Back in the day, CRM platforms required extensive data entry, often taking 5-times longer to input than any actual interaction with the prospect or client. Groan!
As Bob Dylan wrote, “The times, they are a changin’.” Today’s CRM platforms are able to automate the most time-consuming tasks and let you focus on the more important things in life and business. For example, the SalesFlare CRM platform will automatically:
import your contacts, including social media profiles log your sales meetings and phone calls by integrating with your calendar and mobile phone organize documents exchanged with clients and prospects track the things your clients and prospects are saying about you on social media alert you when actions need to be taken
This particular platform will even integrate with your Trello and Slack apps, for increased efficiency. It’s like having an intelligent digital assistant sitting on your shoulder all day.
A great CRM platform is vital to the success of a start-up, making you look good and keeping opportunities from slipping through the cracks. If you’re not sure where to start, check out SalesFlare and take advantage of their Buy 1 Get 2 Free offer!