A CRM is a great tool, and it WILL help you organize and grow your business. However, there are some steps you will need to take right away to ensure your CRM Success.
It is often the case where a small business owner will sign up for a CRM and then just let it sit there. Oh yeah, then she will complain that “it didn’t work for her” or “that CRM sucks!”.
Your shiny new CRM needs a little nudge to help it get started. Specifically, you need to do the following 2 things right away.
Step 1: Get your contacts in.
The CRM will not feel like yours or feel useful, until it has YOUR contacts in it. Whether that is you sitting down and entering your contacts in, one by one, or you importing your contacts in from another system.
Importing your contacts is a 2 step process. First you will need to export your contacts from wherever there are now. They may be in an old CRM, or in spreadsheets, or Outlook, or Gmail or other software tools.
Go into your old system and look for an export function. Select the CSV format and an export file will be created.
Then the next step will be to go into your new CRM, look for the import function and follow the instructions. To learn more about how to export and import contacts, watch this tutorial.
But what if your contacts are not in another electronic system? What if they are in paper notebooks, in filing cabinets or on sticky notes? No problem, that means you are just going to have to do some manual work to enter them in: one by one.
Better yet, hire your kid to do the data entry! But either way, don’t skip this important first step.
Step 2: Start using it.
This may seem obvious, but this is the step that is often missed and the biggest reason for CRM failure. Afterall, you are accustomed to going to the filing cabinet to look up client information. You now have to retrain yourself to use your CRM.
Your CRM can do lots of things for you, but what we are trying to accomplish here is to get you started. So now that you have your contacts in, just start using the CRM to look up your contacts phone or address or email. You can get fancy later.
Believe it or not, if you just do these 2 steps you will be miles ahead of most small business owners. You have all your prospective clients, current clients and past clients, all in one place – and you have started to use your CRM!