Choosing the Right CRM
for your Developments
CRM: It’s a term that’s thrown around a lot, but what is it and do you really need it?
CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, refers to strategies, systems and software that are used to manage and analyse customer interactions throughout their lifecycle.
A spreadsheet with customer names, addresses, and the date you last spoke is technically a CRM system. But these days, when people talk about a CRM, they’re talking about specific software or a cloud-based product that’s built, sold, and managed by a 3rd party company.
Most CRM systems offer a lot more than a spreadsheet, such as the ability to follow customer behaviour, track overall sales, analyse patterns, and manage communications across multiple channels. A good CRM will help your sales, marketing and customer service teams keep their eyes on the customer in everything they do.
One of the main challenges will be in balancing the ability to personalise messages while keeping your marketing efforts efficient so they reach enough customers. The best way is to use automated marketing tools that allow you to segment your audience and to get the right message to the right person at the right time.
Do I Need to Invest in a CRM?
If I can get by with a spreadsheet, why do I need to buy a CRM?
The answer is that you don’t, necessarily. If you only have a handful of clients, aren’t looking to grow, and don’t have data to track, then why bother? But how many developers can say this?
If you want to expand your customer base, build brand awareness, or grow your company in any way, then you’ll need to invest in a system.
Consider the time you’d spend maintaining just a handful of contacts, analytics, customer communications, and data with one spreadsheet. Now imagine you have 50 potential customers. Then 500. You get the drift. You’d have a hard time creating a sales plan to look after this many without a good CRM in place.
What are your CRM goals?
How a CRM can help your business depends on what features the system offers and how you use them. Sales features will be vital so look for systems that:
• Make building strong proposals easier
• Keep track of and easily access customer histories and communications
• Manage your customer funnel, from initial contact through to purchase
• Manage leads and contacts from anywhere
• Streamline your marketing
Ready to make a purchase?
Before buying one, make sure you understand what’s covered by the price tag and any additional costs that come with a new system. Get an idea of the learning curve your team will face by talking to other CRM users. Keep in mind there may be installation costs, consultant fees and down time.
– Define what you need your CRM system to do
– Check whether you already have software that is capable of achieving this
– Choose a CRM system to go with, commit to it, and then…
– Invest your time to set up the system correctly in order to get the most from it for your business and property strategy.
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