Here is a great blog article by CJ McClanahan that pretty much sums it up!
“Do you remember good old days when we stored all of our contact information in a “little black book” or rolodex? Yeah, me either. (Am I showing my age here?)
It was the place to keep track of all of your clients and how to get ahold of them. My friends, if you are still using these outdated, may-as-well-be-in-a-museum pieces of archaic ways of doing business, then you need to join the 21st century.
These days, we’ve progressed to all things digital, and the good ‘ol rolodex is no different. For those of you who may not be familiar with these amazing inventions, allow me to introduce you to a CRM, which stands for Customer Relationship Management. It’s the future (er…replacement for) your outdated little black book and rolodex.
What is a CRM?
Before I dive into why you absolutely need a CRM, let’s first take a step back and look at what they are. Quite simply, a CRM allows you to manage business relationships and all the data and information associated with them. It’s where you store customer prospect contact information, accounts, leads, and sales opportunities all in one location. A CRM is built around relationships, which is why it’s super valuable to a business.
Why you need one
Now that you know what a CRM is, let me tell you why you need one (other than because I said so). You need the information for all of your important contacts in 1 central location. This includes but is not limited to address, phone numbers, email addresses, spouse name, etc. No matter what you tell yourself, you can’t keep track of all of this easily in MS Outlook, and there’s no possible way you can remember it all on your own.
Keeping track of leads
You revenue is built on a very simple equation which is leads x conversion rate = number of customers x average dollar sale = revenue. Without a CRM, you will never do an accurate job of keeping track of your leads. As a result, opportunities will fall through the cracks. How many times have you seen someone out at lunch and remember “I was supposed to follow up with him for a sales opportunity?” (Oops.) Relying on your memory to keep track of your pipeline is insanity.
If you don’t track this info, you will never know who said yes and who said no. There are 2 reasons this is bad. Not only will you will let opportunities get cold (Remember: time kills all deals), you’ll never be able to measure your conversion rate, which means that you’ll never know how many leads you need to push through your pipeline in order to hit your revenue targets.
11 years of doing business and hundreds of clients later, I can guarantee you that as soon as you begin accurately tracking your information, your revenue will go up. It happens every single time because what you focus on improves.
As your industry (and mine and everyone else’s) becomes more and more commoditized, the company that gets the most out of its data wins. In other words, there’s no use in going out and meeting a bunch of people/prospects if you don’t take the time to work the opportunities.
Measuring sales efforts
If you have a sales team (or are going to hire one in the future), then the only way to hold them accountable is to measure their efforts using a CRM. If you don’t, then you will rely on your “gut” telling you if them seem “busy” enough. Trust me, your gut doesn’t know squat. Trust the data.
If I were to boil this post down to one big idea, it’s this: If you don’t use a CRM, I guarantee you 1 of the following 2 statements are true for your business. Either you are leaving tons of revenue on the table or this is a hobby that will eventually fail. Period. If you’re not utilizing this technology, you’re working too hard. You already work too hard already as a small business owner, right? Do yourself a favor and invest in a CRM. You’ll absolutely make more money, and it will transform your entire sales process. If you don’t consider this, you might think about another profession because this IS a business necessity.
Ready to implement a CRM but not sure where to start? Give me a shout, and I’ll share with you some of my recommendations.”
Of course, we recommend www.myyapster.com for your CRM needs!