Focus on CRM, Part 1
Whether your goal is lining up one new customer a day or one a month, having a strategy to manage customer leads will save you time and energy. This is the first of a four-part series on CRM, customer relations management.
Not every referral will turn into a sale — turning a lead into a customer takes patience and constant contact. CRM, or customer relations management, software can streamline the process, keeping track of who contacted your lead and what transpired during that conversation.
Let’s start by talking about leads, and how to make the most of one. Every customer starts out as a lead, a person who either found your business or whom you found. This prospect might have filled out an online form, or you might have been handed this person’s business card by a friend, colleague or client. He or she might be within your target demographic and might need your service, but this hasn’t been verified.
When you get a lead, consider how viable this lead is. Some considerations:
- Does this person fit your demographic?
- Is this lead located in your service area?
- Was this lead given to you by someone trustworthy?
- What is this lead’s business reputation?
- How great a need does this lead have for your service?
After verifying the information and deciding that this lead can realistically turn into a client, it’s time to make contact. For most people, it’s easier and more effective to pick up the phone and make your pitch. In today’s business work, however, it might be more effective to use softer marketing techniques, such as sending the person an email with information about your service. You might add this person to your mailing list to keep them aware of your services and offers. Show this potential customer that you’re active in your business and that your business is worth investing in.
The CRM feature of the Service Proz Solution was built for service-based businesses to organize leads. The software allows managers to import leads and then assign leads to staff. Each time you contact your lead can be cataloged in the system. We call contact with a lead a “touch”. When this lead turns into a client, the system moves the contact information over to the customer section, keeping this record with it.
What do you do with your leads? Tell us in the comments section.