What is a CRM Tool and Why Do I Need One

If your business serves customers, following up with them without a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool can be difficult. Without a formal process to track your customers, you are working harder, not smarter. Let’s dive into what is a CRM tool and why you need one.

Processes have become easier over the years thanks to technology and automation. We no longer depend on pen and paper for many of the daily tasks in our businesses. Can you imagine keeping track of your customers with pen and paper? That’s so yesterday. Today, you can purchase and download templates and software or even use a Google sheet to help you keep track of important and often critical customer information.

What is a CRM tool?

A CRM tool is any type of program or platform you use to keep track of customer information. Any CRM tool can come in different forms, depending on what you need for your business. From basic small-scale tools to large, deeply embedded tools, there is one for every size of business.

For smaller businesses, this can look like a simple Google sheet or Excel file where you capture details from customer orders, interactions, conversations, or personal information. For larger businesses, CRM tools can capture buying habits, product specifics, and more to help you identify sales opportunities. Many customer relationship management tools are low-cost to no cost depending on the platform and capabilities. But whatever you choose, make sure you invest in a secure and reliable option to keep the information you need about your customers at your fingertips.

Why do you need one

Capture leads

Have you ever messaged a prospect to follow up on a previous conversation and forget essential details, like she’s not available on Saturdays because she’s at her kids’ sports games? We’ve all done it. This is a perfect example of where a CRM tool would have come in handy. Not only does it track your customer conversations and buy preferences/habits, but a CRM tool also allows you to capture lead and prospect information so you can follow up EFFECTIVELY instead of flying by the seat of your pants.

Think of how much time you could be saving by logging all of your lead and prospect details! Plus, tracking these leads helps you keep a list of warm customers available so you have someone to check in with at month’s end. That’s low-hanging fruit in the sales world!

Record important customer details

Your most dedicated and loyal customers are the bread and butter of your business. Recording important details about them and their buying preferences is critical in your quest for effective follow-up. Order details, shipping information, contact information, and product preferences all help you to create a unique customer experience that only you can offer. Imagine being able to cater to every touchpoint with your customer by tailoring your conversation to their past purchases or their likes/dislikes. This shows your customers that you’re taking the time to listen and that what they share with you matters.

Effective follow-up

Picture it: it’s the end of the month and you’re $100 short on your monthly goal. You NEED this month’s sales for that incentive trip to the Bahamas and this is the last opportunity to earn the points. How easy would it be to have a list of customers in your CRM tool to reach out to as warm leads? Customers who are ripe to buy because you’ve nurtured the relationship for months are waiting for that follow-up call.

Statistics show it takes at least 5 follow-ups before someone will say yes to something because you’ve spent weeks, months, and some even years getting to know them and what they like and don’t like. Having an effective CRM process helps you as a business owner save time and make more money doing what you do best; taking care of your customers.

Managing return on investment

Have you ever wondered how much money you make from activities and tasks you do daily in your business? This is your return on investment or ROI for short. Every activity or task you do in your business should have some sort of tie to ROI, otherwise, you should be asking yourself why you’re doing it. That’s another post for another day, but let’s talk about ROI on a CRM tool.

A CRM tool can provide you tangible evidence of your effectiveness with customer follow-up. You can see the products your customers buy as a result of your follow-up (or lack of). Tracking every purchase a customer makes and what they purchased is valuable information and can often provide subtle motivation and let you know you’re making progress, especially when you’re looking for that $100 at the end of a month.

There are direct sellers out there that focus mainly on following up with customers and still hit their monthly goals. Build a pipeline and keep adding leads, then turn those leads into buyers, and then follow up some more.

Keeps you organized

Organization is one of the biggest challenges for a business owner. If it doesn’t come naturally to you, getting and staying organized can be a real problem. Setting up a CRM tool early on will set you up right away to stay organized as it relates to your customers. Think of your customer base as your book of business and think of it as holding value. Every customer you have on your list has the potential to create income for you, so it’s critical to get and stay organized.

Are you convinced you need one?

Are you ready to get organized and start making more money in your business? We’ve got you covered with this Airtable CRM Tool template that is ready to use and ready for you to start realizing the potential of your effective customer follow-up process!

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