Is Your Business In Need Of A CRM?

Image by Laetitia ANJUBAULT from Pixabay

When you’re first starting you can use a simple Excel spreadsheet to keep track of your contacts or customers. 

This is an economical option and, in the beginning, before you have a large client base you can easily manage them in a spreadsheet. I started with a simple sheet that included their name, email address, physical address (in case I wanted to send them a card), and the date I contacted them. I kept notes to jog my memory about where and when I met them, so I didn’t have to rely on my memory alone.
I set a goal to reach out to 2 people each day, Monday through Friday. I limited it to two, so I wouldn’t get bombarded by too many emails and be unable to respond to anyone who responded. I kept track of the dates and when I got to the end of the list, I would start over again.
As time went on, I wanted to add more information and some automation. When contacts turned into leads and clients, it became more time-consuming and labor-intensive to continue using the spreadsheet. 
When does a CRM become necessary?
CRMs (Customer Relationship Management) can be beneficial when you have a larger group of clients or have other people working with you. They can help you streamline your communications and keep the details from falling through the cracks. It’s easier to set things up early on when you have a smaller client base because it will take less time and effort and you can work out the kinks in your systems before your base grows larger.
In one of my previous jobs, my boss and I started out using Excel spreadsheets to keep track of large construction projects. It wasn’t long before we realized the error of our ways.

The issues began when I did a large amount of work on one of the spreadsheets and my boss didn’t receive the updated sheet. We had a large argument about it and I almost left my position over the misunderstanding. That’s when I first learned the value of having the right software for you and your business.
Even though this story isn’t about CRM software, it does illustrate one of the downfalls of using spreadsheets when you have multiple people working with you. Things can get confusing and murky quickly which costs you time and money.
How can a CRM help you?
It can help you automate your onboarding process. – This might seem unnecessary in the beginning, but the time to streamline systems is when you aren’t overwhelmed with clients. If you have a system set up, it will help you or whoever you have helping you to keep the process smooth and professional.
It can help you stay on top of the details. – Things are always changing in your business and the lives of your clients. When you have all the information in one place, it’s easy to find and make changes so you can keep on top of the details. This helps set you apart from others in the field. 
It can streamline the process of bringing someone on board to help you with all the details as your business grows.When it’s time to add new people to your team it makes it easier to have a good system in place so the transition goes smoothly.

Finding the right CRM for your business and your budget is important and will take some time. 

Here are a few links to articles to help you find a CRM that fits you and your business.

There are some programs with free trials so you can take them out for a test drive and decide what will be the best fit for you and your team. With a  little time and patience, you should be able to find the right fit for your business.

Do you already have a CRM you’re in love with? Please let us know in the comments. 

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