Now is the time to upgrade your little black book of contacts for an automated and efficient CRM.
I shudder at the thought of Business Development Managers and sales leaders out there in the wild, armed with only a little black book of contacts.
For many years, this method of keeping track of your existing and potential customers worked well. In fact, it worked so well that there are people still out there relying on it in 2023. I know this is true, because I recently spoke with a Sales Director who admitted this was the method he was using.
After all, if it ain’t broke, right?
Wrong! Migrating your existing system into an online CRM software comes with huge advantages. This blog covers the four following benefits to using a CRM:
- A single source of truth for customer information
- Alignment between sales and marketing
- The ability to segment and target communications
- In-depth analytics and reporting
What is a CRM?
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is just that: an online tool which allows you to track and manage relationships with clients and prospects. It’s essentially a little black book, but with all the bells and whistles. It’s a spreadsheet without the headache.
P.S. Good news - if your contacts are currently living in a spreadsheet, you can easily import them into a CRM with the click of a button.
So why should you uproot all of your contacts and stick them into a software? Let’s review those benefits again.
The benefits of using a CRM
1. A CRM is a single source of information
Whether your current contact list is literally an address book scribbled with notes, a beast of a spreadsheet database - or worse, a mixture of the two - chances are, it’s not keeping up with the realities of the B2B market we work in.
People change roles and companies all the time, which means their contact details change with them. If a client is talking to more than one person in your team, how are you keeping each other updated of progress made in that relationship?
Editing spreadsheets en masse can be a major headache. It gets locked, out-of-sync, and messy. A notebook full of scribbles is just waiting to get left on a train.. By migrating this data into a cloud-based software, you can be rest assured that the change one person makes to a contact record is reflected in every location, for every user.
2. A CRM brings your sales and marketing teams together
Aligning your sales and marketing teams is essential for a business to be successful. They should be working as one unit.
With a CRM, the marketing team can easily log on and see how customers are responding to the content they’re creating, which gives them an indication of how to direct their strategy in the future.
The sales team can also use this information to progress leads through the sales lifecycle at the optimum time, as they will notice when a customer has visited certain web pages, or maybe downloaded a high-intent content piece.
3. The ability to segment and target communications
With a CRM, marketers can segment their contact list, and organise databases according to buyer personas. That means even more streamlined communications between your customers and your company.
You can easily tailor email marketing campaigns to specific audiences to optimise their performance, invite specific groups of people to events and webinars, or make sure your suppliers don’t get confused with customers.
4. A CRM has in-depth reporting capabilities
Have you got contacts in your database that are friends of so-and-so from the senior leadership team, or you’ve got an influx of contacts from a particular networking event?
In a CRM, you can keep track of the source of every contact created, which can help you decide where you spend your time and budget when it comes to lead generation.
Maybe there’s an event you go to every year and it simply isn’t bringing in the leads you want, but the PPC campaign you ran as an experiment last year had much better results. A CRM enables you to combine offline and online lead sources to give you a holistic view of where your business is coming from.
If you’re reading this and you’re working in a spreadsheet or from a contact book, where is the resistance to migrating to a CRM coming from?
My guess is one of, or a combination of, the following:
There are many CRM providers on the market, each with their own benefits. As a HubSpot partner, we’re slightly biased…
A HubSpot CRM, at the very basic level, allows you to store up to one million contacts for free. It’s an easy-to-use software with amazing customer support and training facilities, not to mention we can help with onboarding. Plus, if you maintain your original customer relationship management system, whether it’s a spreadsheet or a manual book, you can easily revert back if you don’t like it. If you are hesitant, at least try it - it has the potential to transform the efficiency of your marketing and sales teams!
If you want to learn more about how easy it is to migrate your spreadsheet to a CRM, book a call with Rob.