I’m talking a lot about CRM’s lately and it’s not a surprise. Your Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) is a vital piece of your growing business, but who wants to build a database?
Like it or not you need one. And ideally you setup your CRM when you’re just starting your business. But if you’re a few years into business and still haven’t done it, there’s no time like the present! Here are a few things to consider when setting up your CRM…
- Your contact list isn’t your CRM – You need a dedicated database that contains ONLY your contacts for your business. A spot where you can save notes related to the client, or prospect, and set reminders to follow up with them.
- Your newsletter program isn’t your CRM – I’m always surprised when people tell me that they have MailChimp setup and does that work as a CRM? It doesn’t. Technically you can make notes in MailChimp but that’s not it’s purpose. Setup a dedicated CRM that can integrate with MailChimp (I use Zoho CRM which does) so you can easily import contacts into your newsletter program.
- Figure out what contact info you want to track – You may decide that you want all sorts of contact info available in your CRM including admins and multiple phone numbers. When you’re building your CRM you can customize the data. When you upload your lists it’ll make your life easier if you clean up the data and organize it up front.
- Consider what kind of reminders and tagging you want to include – I make sure to reference how I met the contact – was it a client referral or a networking event? Did they come through my website or a speaking engagement? All of this should be tracked so you can follow up down the road when you have a new offering for that group.
- Setup Templates – Many CRM’s will allow you to setup templates so you can have a standard series of emails that go out. This is a feature that I’ll admit I don’t use, but I should. If your CRM has all the info you need, you can build a template that will even automate or plug in all sorts of details for you.
- Use it! This is the most important thing. If you go through the trouble of setting up a CRM to manage your contacts make sure you use it! The second item on my to do list each week is “Zoho” which is my reminder to check in with my CRM and make sure I do the follow up or check in with clients/prospects as promised.