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The CRM of the Crop

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CRM (Customer Relationship Management): sounds a bit dry and dull, doesn't it. We all know the importance of maintaining good customer relations. But how best to manage them?

It's great when a tasty contract/job lands on your table. You can get stuck into it in good style in the certain knowledge that you can put out an invoice at the end of it. But, hang on, how do you land that contract in the first place? What are the steps you need to take to get the trust of that potential customer so that they will feel confident enough to give you the work?

This is (at least partly) where CRM software can come in. You often need to collect a lot of leads before managing to secure a few contracts but businesses can be poor at logging all their leads. This can be because the lead doesn't look hopeful enough to bother with, or because there is no quick and efficient way to log them. A good CRM package makes this really easy. You can then rank all your leads depending on how 'warm' they are and then decide which are priority. You can set up budgeted marketing campaigns in your software and target particular groups of leads or existing customers. You can keep everyone else in you 'marketing group' up to speed on the progress of the campaign.

Once you have secured the contract you have to maintain the relationship with the customer/client (while still being able to deal with all the other leads you need to pursue). That 'maintenance' will require the quick and efficient provision of quotes; tracking of project tasks; bug/issue tracking and resolution; lots of communication and various financial interactions such as invoicing. With all this going on it's easy to see why teams can get confused and make costly mistakes. So, spending some money on a good CRM package can be a wise investment. It is, of course, important to bear in mind that staff will require the correct training (and sometimes more than a little cajoling) to start using the software in an efficient manner - so you need to budget for that too.

CRM software can be installed in the traditional way on your PC/Mac. But it really comes into its own when used as a web-based application. That way your sales people will be able to get leads onto the system immediately and admin staff can start to take action (e.g. on quotes) perhaps even before the salesperson is back in the office. There are also many other obvious benefits to this setup. It's all about good communication, speed and efficiency. And that's what impresses potential customers. Doesn't seem so dry and dull after all.

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We can work with you to find the CRM package that's right for your business. One that will deliver the efficiency you need without costing a packet. Contact us