In this episode, Carrie and Heather talk about Contact Relationship Management (CRMs) and how that applies to a freelancer or small agency. The discussion covers when you get that customer in the door and launch the project all the way establishing a retainer agreement with them.
Establishing a CRM Project:
- Use a Contact Relationship Management (CRM) tool to manage all the interactions and information around the people interacting with your business.
- A CRM allows one central location for your team and business.
- Information that is collected in the CRM begins at the very basic level of information. (Ex: Name, phone number, type of contact – customer, vendor or lead).
- A CRM tool should allow you to update the customized fields over time to fit your business needs.
- Most CRM tools in the market today should integrate with your current tools to help with automation.
Growing your business with a CRM:
- As your business grows as a freelancer or small agency, the CRM system will help you manage your leads with automatic reminders and integrations to other tools.
- A CRM system is a good investment to manage your clients.
- You can only grow so far as a single owner. A CRM is a great investment for logging all your customer information in a single place.
- Properly adding contacts to your CRM will help you set up and manage your business accounts.
- CRM tools range from basic to robust so choose the system you need based on the features you need along with your budget.
- The CRM can take up a lot of time. You need to eventually “get out there” and win the business.
Choosing a CRM:
- Create a feature list of your customer relation needs before choosing a tool.
- Determine your budget.
- Have a plan before you start importing data.
- Choose a CRM that manages different types of contacts and allows you to sort them for email campaigns, sales follow-ups, etc.
- Select a system that allows you to customize your own fields.
- Choose a system that easily allows you to extract your contacts.
- Look for a system that has the type of interface that you like to work with.
- Determine if reporting is important to you immediately.
- Choose a tool that will automate your workflow and help you manage your customer pipeline.
- Decide on your integration points upfront (Ex: email, eCommerce, automated Drip Campaigns)
- You can purchase a very robust CRM system that will allow you to follow a customer on your site to alert you when a specific action is reached. This action allows the business owner to be very proactive.
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About Heather Steele
Heather Steele is the owner and CMO at Blue Steele Solutions located in Denton, Texas. Heather’s been converting coffee to code since 1997 and now makes the code output cash for her customers. Heather has over a decade of marketing experience in a corporate setting and shares her knowledge with Carrie Dils about CRMs.