Client relationship management can be a daunting task for service providers and business owners. Typically, you might spend anywhere between a few hours to even a few days facilitating client-related or client-facing tasks.
That’s why many businesses and firms today rely on CRM tools for their client management and communications. But what are CRM tools and why are they crucial nowadays? We discuss that and more in this article.
What is a Client Relationship Management (CRM) Tool?
Client relationship management tools are software that can help you with various client-facing activities. These include tasks like client outreach, inquiry management, discovery calls, contract management, invoicing, and so on.
There are several types of CRM programs that can help you out in your business. But all of them have one goal - to help you simplify client relationships so you can delight them more and grow your business in the process.
One example of a great CRM tool is SalesForce, which businesses use all the time to manage client relationships. If you want more options, here are some alternatives to SalesForce and CRM tool examples:
- And more.
Who Can Use CRM Tools?
Virtually anyone can benefit from a CRM software, but these are some professions and businesses that can benefit the most.
Consultants in marketing, operations, finance, sales, or any other field can use CRM software to manage inbound and outbound lead outreach. That way, consultants can spend more of their time providing advice, counsel, and strategies for their existing clients.
There’s no denying that consultants can become very busy people, covering all aspects of business operations. Marketing consultants, for example, need to find clients, serve existing ones, create marketing plans, and sometimes even oversee execution. With CRM tools, they can automate the tasks that don’t require their direct touch so they can serve more clients and spend considerable time looking for new ones.
A CRM for coaches will also streamline sales and client relationship management the same way it would for consultants. Many times, life coaches or fitness coaches are solopreneurs, meaning they’re often doing everything, from backend work to client-related tasks. CRM tools provide them with automations that can help them save time and focus on top-level work.
Lawyers often have paralegals to help them administratively, but they’re often overwhelmed with client-related details like invoices, cases, documents, and more. CRM tools give lawyers and their staff a digital platform to manage all this information.
There are some CRM tools specific for legal case management that can integrate your cases with legal resources that help them build more compelling cases. You can even store legal documents and files like contracts, forms, affidavits, and more so you can access them easily online anytime and anywhere.
Interior designers are often dealing with endless details for every client, including design requests, revisions, material orders, and so on. A CRM can help them control all these as well as manage the whole suite of clientele in their network.
Financial Service Firms
If you’re an accountant, wealth manager, or any other finance professional, you can benefit from using a CRM tool to manage your clients too. You can use it to log calls, schedule updates, and store files and financial information securely.
6 Reasons to Rely on a CRM Tool
There are several reasons why relying on a CRM tool is a good idea if you belong to any of the industries above or other related ones. Here are seven of the most compelling ones.
1. Deal Management
One of the most important use cases of CRM software is to use it for deal management. This involves tasks like managing contracts, qualifying prospects, scheduling discovery and client calls, sending automated upsell emails, and so on.
When using a client relationship management tool, you can put all your existing and incoming clients in a pipeline. This makes it easier to categorize your clients based on their stage in the buying journey, what programs or services they’re interested in, and the value of their transactions.
2. Better Sales Conversions
Because you have a more visual and streamlined way of managing your leads and prospects, you can improve your sales conversions. A CRM tool helps you achieve this with several capabilities and features. For one, you can use CRM automations to send out personalized responses automatically so they hear back from you sooner. Many times, potential clients move with the provider that responds the fastest.
Secondly, you’re able to follow up on leads who might have contacted you in the past. Up to 48% of salespeople fail to make even one follow-up attempt. A CRM tool’s sales pipeline ensures you stay ahead and follow up in a timely manner through automations and notifications.
3. Customer Support
The Best CRM tools will not only help you solidify not just your sales but even your after sales efforts. Many service-based companies and firms use a CRM to manage client concerns, requests, preferences, and goals so you can personalize your services and build more delight amongst your existing clients.
A CRM tool also integrates seamlessly with email and chat platforms so you’re notified when a client or customer comes forward with a crucial or urgent concern. You can then use the platform to respond and even create templated responses to frequently asked questions and concerns.
4. Increase Customer Lifetime Value
Customer lifetime value (CLV) measures how much your business makes over the entire course of a client relationship. Too often, coaches, firms, and professionals don’t maximize their clients’ customer lifetime value by continuing a conversation with them.
CRM tools help you do that by creating regular cadences and catch-ups with your previous clients. For example, you can set a notification on your CRM dashboard to remind you if an inactive client might need.
5. Get Referrals
CRM tools allow you to track your interactions with customers which can be invaluable in helping you understand which customers are most likely to refer you to others. They can also help you identify customers who are most satisfied with your products or services.
Several CRM tools also let you automate a referral request process. For example, you can set up a trigger to send an email asking for referrals to other clients after your project with them has ended or even after they leave a positive review.
6. Save Time and Resources
Client relationship management can be a grueling endeavor, especially if you do it all manually. With the capabilities and automations available in CRM software, you’re able to save a significant amount of time spent on repetitive administrative tasks.
Moreover, these automations can do what an admin would do manually, reducing the need for extra manpower to take care of tasks that a program can do for you. CRM tools can help you with tasks like email management, appointment setting, response management, deal setting, invoice reminders, and so on.
Client Relationship in the Digital World
Some people have expressed concern about how automations and artificial intelligence are making it harder for people to build meaningful connections. The belief is that these tools remove any form of human touch to the process, making business robotic and lifeless.
On its own, business automations cannot keep a business personalized. But when executives, coaches, and consultants delegate repetitive and dry tasks to technology, they’re able to use time and energy saved to focus on more high-level and high-touch tasks like networking, client delight, and so on.