A couple of months ago, I was wondering if there was a way I could get a better handle on my small business. In other words, I wanted to find out what were the things that I was doing that were actually producing results (new business) and what was becoming a waste of my time. Now, as a photographer and graphic designer, I figured that a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution was a little overkill for me. However, the more I researched and looked into the features offered, the more I realized that with a little customization I could get all the things that I was looking for. Whether you are a creative or a sales person chasing after the next big commission, using a CRM can definitely improve the way you do business today and here are a few reasons why:
Is your contact information spread over several different sources? It might seem trivial, but keeping email addresses in your email client, phone numbers in your smartphone and physical addresses in your invoicing software just adds on to the amount of time you have to spend looking for any piece of information on any given customer. Keep all your customer info in one place (and back it up!), so whenever you are talking to that customer you won”t sound like a disorganized individual.
Do you keep track of your marketing efforts? If you are using Google AdWords, email marketing, or paying for banners on an industry-specific website, how are you keeping track of the leads coming in from those sources? Google Analytics is really good at keeping track of the number of visits associated to those campaigns and to a certain extent measuring the ROI for each one. However, the process seems to be more straightforward for eCommerce sites than someone providing a service. A CRM solution allows you to tie names (leads) to campaigns and see how they develop through the sales cycle, which in turn helps you to determine what”s working and what isn’t.