What Is A CRM System?
When I say the words ‘What is a CRM system’, what do you think of?
Most people think of tools. Keap, ActiveCampaign and Ontraport all count as CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems. At a higher level, so does Microsoft Dynamics, Pardot (by Salesforce) and Hubspot.
This focus on tools isn’t always helpful. The follow-on question is, ‘which should I use?’ Or worse, ‘which one is best?’
Which CRM System Is Best?
It’s more helpful to think of your CRM system as a tool in your customer follow-up strategy. Your tool and strategy should fit together like a glove, ideally without too many add-ons, customisations or API work. If you’re bending the tool to fit the strategy, it probably isn’t the right tool!
Most people jump into a particular system without first identifying what their follow-up strategy actually is. Many business owners seem to think the tool is a strategy!
(Yay we bought Keap! Now… what did Frank Kern say we were we supposed to do with it?)
I can tell you from first hand experience that clients like this don’t usually see a great ROI when they buy Infusionsoft. Some do, but usually those are succeeding in spite of themselves.
Your CRM system is first and foremost the memory of your business. Your CRM system should automatically remember the details of all customer-facing interactions.
This includes but goes beyond email. You should be able to look at a contact record and see a consolidated view of everything they’ve engaged with, asked you or bought. The system should look for markers of activity and trigger appropriate automation.
Next, you must have a clearly established marketing follow-up strategy. Regardless of any tool considerations, how are you going to follow-up with people?
My ideal client is somebody who sells from online events (such as webinars), and follows-up with high value prospects across multiple channels. Often they sell people into a membership program.
They may already be doing this, they might be planning on this; it doesn’t matter. That’s the strategy. That’s what they would do with or without me; with or without Keap.
Keap, StealthSeminar, Memberium and so on are tools they might hire to implement the strategy. But they aren’t the starting point in determining the strategy.
As I write these words it seems I should be stating the obvious in saying this. But I don’t think I am, because it isn't how most people invest in software.
There are no magic solutions. You have to do the thinking up front. No mental shortcuts.
Remember: you hire the tool to implement the strategy.
Need help determining that strategy? Book a quick call now.