As you might expect from the words, it involves managing relationships with your customers. But when people refer to "CRM", what they usually mean is a software system designed specifically to help you manage those customer relationships. This includes everything about your customers: how they became a customer, past purchases, current orders, any problems that pop up, and prospects for future business.
Scientific studies have shown that the average human brain can only reliably recall lists of up to seven items. If you have more than seven customers—which hopefully you do or soon will—you will need some sort of tool to assist you in tracking all of the history for each of your customers.
Imagine a spreadsheet that collected all of this information for you. You'd be able to track all of the relevant information for each customer in one central place. Any time the customer contacted your business, whoever received the customer contact could bring up the spreadsheet and immediately access the full customer history. All of the customer's contacts with your organization would be tracked, so you could get a complete picture of how best to address their needs and encourage future business.
Although CRM does stand for Customer Relationship Management, the relationship referred to is the business relationship between a business and their customers, as opposed to a romantic relationship. It is generally not advised to try to date all of your customers, because it makes it very difficult to scale your business.
CRM is, by the letters, 60% of the Wu-Tang Clan's hit single "C.R.E.A.M." Admittedly, the Wu-Tang Clan spent very little time rapping about Customer Relationship Management. However, many business professionals do end up coming to the conclusion that "Cash Rules Everything Around Me."
This simple CRM template is the perfect tool for managing business relationships. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) lets you keep track of your contacts, who they work for, and what you need to do for them. Because satisfied customers are the best way to get repeat customers. Repeat customers. Repeat customers.
You can also use this free CRM template to track open opportunities in your deal pipeline. If you play your cards right, today's opportunity is tomorrow's lucrative contract. Also if you play your cards right, you'd totally play the Ace right now.
This CRM spreadsheet is a complete repository of all the information you need about your customers and potential customers. Obviously, spreadsheets can be customized to track everything that you want and nothing you don't. But let's take a minute to go over the four worksheets in this simple CRM:
This is a place for you to keep track of potential business opportunities when you're trying to sell a customer on a project. Each opportunity shows which customer account it's associated with, how much revenue it would bring in, what stage negotiations are at and when that will close, who on your team is handling the account, and how likely you are to land the deal. You can also attach relevant files to each opportunity to have them on-hand for any team member handling a contact from the prospect, track how the prospect found your business, and whether they've worked with you before.
A simple listing of your current customer accounts. Seeing the vital stats of your customer's business at a glance will give your team a sense of the client's size—both in terms of number of employees and revenue. Tracking the last update and a "heat rating" will also give you a sense of where the most opportunity lies—as will a column for any current opportunities you have to do more business with that account.
The human beings you talk to for each account. Did you know that other businesses and accounts are also run by humans? They appreciate it when you know their name and can recognize them and treat them like a person rather than an irrelevant interchangeable functionary whose only purpose is to pay you money.
Log all of your calls with each prospect to ensure that you're making the outgoing sales calls you should be, and tracking the incoming calls so your whole team is up to speed on what has been discussed.
In short, because your business is taking in customer data all the time, and without CRM, you're just throwing this data away. Or at best, this data will be spread out and hard to find, because Bob's notes ended up on the floor of his front seat, Tammy's post-its are somewhere on her desk, and Chris just said he would remember it all. None of that is accessible by your whole team.
Having a centralized CRM means that you have all the data you need at your fingertips. You can see which customers have run into issues that require immediate attention. You can see which prospects you've already called recently, and which are most likely to generate new business if you follow up this week. You, or anyone on your team, can immediately call up a customer's history and some basic stats on the account, so they can court your prospects with the confidence that comes from having all the relevant information on-hand.
Whether you're courting new customers, angling for repeat customers, or ensuring your current customers are satisfied, CRM is the best way to make it happen.
* Sales Teams
* Customer-focused businesses
* Businesses that send invoices
* Pretty much any business that's serious about being a success.