10 Reasons why you need a CRM

10 Reasons why you need a CRM

Yes, it’s another 10 reasons why you need a CRM.  This time I wanted to focus on pain points that you are probably experiencing in your business today.  As we grow our businesses we’ll find that we are constantly trying to plug the leaks as they spring left, right and center.  We’re big believers in CRM but why exactly what you need one?  Here are some key indicators that it’s time to implement a CRM in your business.

Before we start with 10 reasons why you need a CRM, If you have any other “reasons”, we would love to hear them.  Feel free to email us, tweet us or post a message below.

And here we go!

1. Your teams can’t remember everything, your CRM can

Are you finding that your marketing, sales and service teams just can’t keep track of everything?  I could imagine that you’ve seen some sales reps loaded with sticky notes across their workstations.  They may even have piles of paper lined up inside of their car as they go from appointment to appointment.  The CRM is designed to remember everything about the companies and individuals that you work with.  With your CRM you can track everything from notes, favorite baseball teams, favorite restaurants or the names of their kids.  The CRM is there to help you keep track of relevant information about your customers.

2. Your sales and service teams spend too much time searching for stuff

I’m sure we’ve all heard it.  You’ve asked your sales rep to let you know where things are at with ABC Company.  The sales rep quickly jumps over to Microsoft Outlook and starts searching for that last email he sent or maybe, the prospect sent to him.  He really doesn’t know without scouring his email.  This is the way many businesses do it without a proper CRM working for them.

What really should be happening is your sales rep should be opening up your CRM (hopefully SugarCRM!) and simply searching for ABC Company.  With the click of a button, your sales rep can be reading off the historical summary of all interactions with ABC Company.

Or better yet, you could simply look it up too.

3) You have no way to measure success

We live in a world of numbers and metrics.  Any successful business owner can tell you how important metrics are in their businesses.  Your CRM can become your hub of metrics and key performance indicators based on the data within your CRM.  Your CRM is your ultimate hub of information where you can tie in the data that your marketing, sales and services teams can input into.

4) You have no way to predict or forecast sales

Are you crossing your fingers that you will make enough revenue for the company in the coming quarter?  Your CRM can help you forecast out and project what your sales numbers could ultimately look like.  If you’re finding that things are a bit slow then maybe it’s time to run a campaign to boost numbers.

5) Your sales process is broken or non-existent

Do you have a sales process in your business?  What are you doing to track each stage of the sales cycle with your prospects?  Every customer goes through a detailed customer journey.
Developing these stages and identifying them as part of the sales cycle is critical to ensure that you get the right messaging and information to your prospects in a timely manner.

6) Your salespeople are using sticky notes

When we talk about data import, many of our customers like to tease us about all of the sticky notes that their people have accumulated over time.  Unfortunately, we don’t do data import for sticky notes.  You could hire someone to do the data entry and that can do the trick.  If you’re finding your sales staff using sticky notes to stay on top of things then this is an obvious reason for needing a CRM.

7) Your sales reps rely on their Contacts App instead of Mobile CRM

Your sales reps are using the contacts app instead of Sugar Mobile.  This is another one of the 10 reasons why you need a CRM is so critical.  Your sales reps should be using the mobile app of your CRM to capture information while taking phone calls.  It’s also likely that the CRM is more than up to date than the Contacts App simply because everyone in the organization is updating the CRM.

8) You have no way to find out how many and what type of customers you have

Your CRM is not only a collection of tasks and sales tracking.  Your CRM should allow you to develop a comprehensive profile of your customers so that you can categorize and organize them in a way that you run metrics and reports to find out who your customers are.

9) You have no way to organize customers by account manager (unless it’s just a spreadsheet or more sticky notes)

Your CRM allows you to organize your accounts by account managers.  This allows you to develop specific accountabilities for each person on your team.

10) There’s no single source of information

Last and but not least for 10 reasons why you need a CRM, there’s no single source of information.  With a CRM, you’re bringing everybody together to share information in one location.  Many of the organizations that we work with find that their greatest challenge before getting a CRM is that they have no way of keeping tabs on the multiple CRM’s that have sprung up between sales reps.

Simple Lead Management Process

Simple Lead Management Process

Building a lead management process can either be a very complex process or a simple process.  If you’re a small business, I would venture to guess that you likely have not even considered building a lead process at this point.  I’ve heard from a number of people how they have “a lot of leads” and they’re not even sure where they are supposed to start.  I recently spoke about this during a workshop and this diagram that I am sharing is the document I reviewed.

I like this document because it’s dead simple.  It’s high level but it also helps us build a foundation around how a lead management process should work.  Let’s take a look at the sample lead management process that I’ve put together.

Sample Lead Process

Sample Lead Process

This diagram is meant to be silly and straight forward.  I don’t think diagrams should be over complicated when it comes to describing how a small should define their systems.  This is a perfect example of that.  Each area has a certain focus and I’m going to describe each a bit more in detail. (more…)

How is your competition using marketing automation?

How is your competition using marketing automation?

One of the things that I find my customers love talking about is possibilities.  The possibilities that CRM and marketing can achieve for them.

If you’re not thinking about marketing automation, you should be.  Small businesses especially need to think about this more and more.  As technology continues to evolve you need to know that your competitors are flocking to the web.  The money spent on yellow pages in the past is being shifted to new ways of marketing.

Don’t get left behind.

But the question is where do you start?  There are so many things you could do but what should be the focus.

The quick hits are going to be email marketing and social media.  I’ve heard time and time again that it takes about 10 – 15 touches to a prospect before they will be engaged with you in service.

What is a touch?

A touch is anything from a phone call, to an email to a connection on LinkedIn.  Some companies will track every touch and run metrics against these to determine how long it takes to get a lead converted into an opportunity.  I don’t advise getting too crazy with this out of the gate but it is something that you should strive for.


Act-On’s New Advanced Social Media Module

Act-On’s New Advanced Social Media Module

Act-On Social

Our favourite Marketing Automation tool just got better!  Act-On recently announced the release of their new Advanced Social Media Module.  Now you will be able to publish, listen and report on all of your social media posts directly within the Act-On platform.

Act-On has always been our go-to marketing automation tool.  The Inbound and Outbound marketing features, along with their detailed analytics makes it one of the best marketing platforms on the market.  Now with the advanced social media module you can tie in buyer’s social behaviour scores in order to create a more personalized experience for your customers.

With the advanced social media module you can create, curate and schedule content, track your social campaign performance on an easy analytics dashboard, and automate your content sharing based on past performance.

Get in touch with us to learn more about Act-On’s marketing software and its advanced capabilities.

Marketing Automation and Canada’s Anti-Spam Law

Marketing Automation and Canada’s Anti-Spam Law

If you’re a Canadian based company or if you market to Canadian residents, then you should already be aware of Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL).  The law came into force 2 years ago and still many marketers are trying to re-define their marketing strategies to be CASL compliant.

In a nutshell, Canada’s Anti-Spam Law prohibits you to send commercial electronic messages to recipients that have not given consent on receiving them.  If you are sending commercial electronic messages you need to obtain consent, provide your identification information, and provide a way for recipients to unsubscribe from the messages.

The CASL affects marketers in many ways, especially ones who have spent years building their marketing prospect list without an opt-in option.  It makes it difficult to go back to your subscribers and require them fill out a CASL compliant form in order to continue receiving messages.  In a recent article posted by Act-On, they touched base one Canada’s Anti-Spam Law and shared three main ways to leverage marketing automation beyond traditional email marketing by building brand awareness, driving demand and expanding customer relationships.  Read the full article here.

Source:  Rethink Marketing Automation – for the CASL- Compliant Marketer

Forrester Wave Report Names Top Four Social Listening Tools

Forrester Wave Report Names Top Four Social Listening Tools

Research firm points out that with new features continually being added, social listening platforms are evolving into “social relationship” ones.

The four top social listening tools according to Forrester is: Synthesio, Netbase, Sprinklr and Brandwatch.  There are a lot of great tools out there and keep in mind, Forrester is focused on the enterprise for the most part so a lot of these tools might not resonate with small and medium sized businesses as much as others.

Source: Forrester Wave Report Names Top Four Social Listening Tools