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Comin' in hot with CRM
If you’re just starting your business or planning to launch your business in the near future, then you should already be thinking about a CRM platform. I know it sounds strange to implement a CRM when you don’t even have clients yet BUT you have to think ahead—beyond the next curve.
Something many entrepreneurs and small business owners forget to think about while mapping out their business plan is the marketing that should be done before the business even takes off. In such a fast-paced business environment, you need to create hype and excitement around what is to come—what the future holds. That is exactly why you should be making valuable connections and marketing your ‘idea’ well in advance—using a CRM to track all of that, of course.
So, what’s the point of all this effort before your business is actually in business? Put simply, you want a long line of eager customers at your door the day you open. The best way to attract those eager customers from the start is to develop relationships beforehand. Just like the construction of a building requires floor plans, a blue print, and extensive preparation, so does a business. Because customers are the drivers of your business, what better way to begin than engaging with potential customers?
Here is why you need a CRM from the start:
I believe this is the most important benefit of a CRM. The data you can collect about each potential client is vital for marketing and sales. If you already have data about lead interactions and behaviors, then you will be better able to understand your buyers. A complete contact profile helps you identify and establish your buyer personas from an early stage. This can be incredibly beneficial to your teams in the long run.
It’s much easier to integrate your team when just starting out. An integrated CRM system encourages transparency between teams, which improves collaboration and their ability to strategize. Once a strategy is in place, marketing, sales, and operations will be speaking the same language and working together to develop consistent messaging and branding.
CRM allows marketing to create content and develop buyer personas to effectively move leads down the sales funnel. And, yes, you should be thinking about closing before you are actually selling! When you feed the right content to the right person at the right time, the more likely you are to move them to the point of sale. Your CRM automatically schedules follow-ups and workflows, so your sales people don’t have to spend time filtering through leads anxiously trying to follow-up.
Do you know Warren Buffet’s saying, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it?” Well, I agree with him—to an extent. Technology has provided businesses the ability to develop and maintain their reputations that was previously not possible. Implementing a CRM allows you to track all your interactions with each one of your clients from the moment they come in contact with your brand. This is where social CRM becomes a critical component to your strategy. Social CRM enables you to monitor what people are saying about your brand, allowing you to respond and engage with your leads and customers. Further, CRM allows sales people to gather information from clients, which they can pass on to support and marketing, to improve the product and create content surrounding the issue, complaint, or question.
Your business is your baby. Give it the nurturing it needs to be successful. Think about these points and your current venture or future business. Fill your sales pipeline before you cut the end of that funnel. Be proactive, not reactive.