CRM’s are somewhat of a mystery to most people. They hear something on the news about SalesForce or HubSpot – they see advertisements for Constant Contact on TV -and then they are bombarded with Facebook Ads trying to get them to sign up for a new CRM.
Many small businesses understand the need for more sales and marketing help and have signed up for one of these CRM platforms. But then reality sets in:
The advertisement said this CRM system could do anything. They said the system was simple to learn and they even provided an easy way to get help and support.
“That’s all great – especially the fact that I can call technical support for help. But where do I start? What would I even say to the person on the support desk?”
What happens next is the sad part of this story. The business owner logs in and pokes around here and there trying to imagine how this great tool can help THEM. However, they have so many questions that they don’t even know where, or how, to start. Even when the software tells them: “START HERE!”, that still doesn’t help because every business is different.
So the brave business owner tries to get in there a few times over the next few months, but unfortunately can not find the benefits for his business. So he gives up .The next time he hears “CRM”, he thinks to himself:
“I have tried CRM’s – and they don’t work for me.”
Our poor small business owner was so close to the gold, but could not see it.
Here’s how to take the mystery out of CRMs…
Forget everything you think you know about CRM’s.
Open up the file folder in your brain labeled “CRM”. Now toss that folder in the trash. Forget about all of your past experiences with CRM’s and forget all the things you have heard from friends, colleagues and advertisements.
Great! Now we have a clean slate to work with. Now we can start thinking about a CRM in much simpler, and more useful terms.
Imagine a CRM having only one purpose…
Getting YOU organized.
If you are like most small business owners, you are probably great at what you do (ie. Real Estate, Chiropractic, Auto Repair, etc…). But you might not be so great when it comes to using technology to get and stay organized.
Most entrepreneurs have information about their past clients, current clients and prospective clients in filing cabinets, spreadsheets, email, and sticky notes. Oh, and that’s just half of their clients – the other half? Well they keep those in their memory!
Not having a single place to put all of your client info is a disaster waiting to happen. Or that disaster may have already happened. Have you ever forgotten about a past client and then later learned they took their business to your competitor? OUCH!
Now let’s see how a CRM can help here. Think about a CRM as just a fancy Rolodex. Imagine if you had a single place where you could find all of your contact’s names, addresses, phone numbers and your notes about them. That would be valuable to you in so many ways.
Here is how you get there:
- Get yourself a CRM – any CRM will do, as long as it is easy for YOU to understand.
- Then take all of your contacts info from all of the nooks and crannies where you have that information stored, and enter it into your new CRM. If the data is in a spreadsheet, in your old CRM, or in some other electronic format, you can transfer that data electronically. If not, then getting it into your new CRM will be a manual process.
- The next time you have client data in front of you – put it in your CRM! You will never again have your contacts haphazardly spread all over your office.
Your CRM is the one place you put all of your client information. PERIOD.
Now isn’t that easy to understand? We have just taken all the mystery and confusion out of CRM’s.
You: “But Jeff! Can’t a CRM do much more than just act as a glorified Rolodex?”
Me: “Yes! But that is for another blog post.”