We love SaaS. We heart clouds. We are all about going paper-free and using apps and software to make our lives easier, our business costs cheaper, and our sales processes more seamless. A few weeks ago, we co-hosted a free webinar on how to automate the entire client lifecycle. Since then, we’ve been breaking down the sales techniques that go into generating and qualifying leads. Today we are uniting the two themes by teaching you how to use a client relationship management system (CRM) and other SaaS to sew together your varied client interactions in order to save you time and money.
But do we really need a CRM?
First off, if you haven’t decided to use a CRM to organize your leads, we offer you a few questions to ask yourself:
- Are your clients getting the service they deserve?
- How do you I.D. new leads?
- Are you following up with your leads efficiently? (Without nagging!)
- Are you able to easily get your message and important information off to clients?
- Do you feel you are truly communicating with your clients and they are with you?
- Are your clients aware of all of your offers and opportunities?
- How good is your internal communication? Does your sales team overlap? Contact the same client twice (or thrice) and then neglect another?
If you don’t know the answer to these questions, your company would certainly benefit from a CRM. Your CRM is your marketing, sales, customer support and other client-related services all wrapped up in one online present. It makes your business more customer-focused and less product-focused (more about them, less about you.) And it saves you time. (And, well, if you’re saving time, you’re saving money as well, aren’t you?)
Get to know your clients better
First, let’s start by asking ourselves, what are the tangible pieces of a client:
- Contact info
- Lead generation
- Level of qualification of lead
- Who is the client’s contact on your side?
- Web-based sales campaigns and their return on investment
- Contracts, business proposals
- Billing, invoicing, etc
- Maybe more?
Your CRM allows you to create a 360-degree view of your client. It allows you to create and update your entire sales process along with all this info above. It also keeps record of your contact and sales notes, in case you need to refer back to something that comes up. Your notes can be the intangible bits too, including if your client likes to talk about their dogs (or maybe is afraid of dogs, violently allergic to peanuts) and, most importantly, what their needs are and the open-ended questions they answered.
CRMs also allow you to capture an overall screenshot of your clients. They allow you to use information to cater to the industries you end up serving. For example, with us at Quote Roller, we’ve always known that our bread and butter include website and graphic designers, however, by using a CRM, as well as by following as many clients as we can on Twitter, we realized we also have a lot of motivational speakers. Because of that, we’ve created a proposal template for keynote and motivational speakers, making us better able to serve that previously undiscovered client base and to attract new ones with it. Similarly, our CRM let us know that, after English, the second language spoken by our paid subscribers is actually Dutch. This allowed us to focus our first full site translation on Dutch, not one of the more common translation languages. It allowed us to do something just for our clients.
K.I.T. Keep in Touch
We all get so enthralled in sales and growing our company or are all so focused on current projects that we lose track of people — previous clients, solid leads we forgot about. Monthly newsletters and social media are great ways to passively keep in touch with these folks. CRMs can help you manage that, adding the little extra, but meaningful touch of addressing your clients at the start of the e-newsletters.
However, sometimes you need to offer a sort of call to action (CTA,) maybe make it a little personal. Within your newsletters and other correspondence, try to schedule a meeting with a client, hold a contest, offer them a survey or special deal. Big companies do this all the time through ad campaigns. BMW placed ads online and in luxury magazines that included secret codes in place of prices — interested (pre-qualified) drivers had to go to the website and plug in the code to see the cost revealed. Bloomingdale’s used QR codes placed in magazine ads to build a contact base for their CRM and to offer a special loyalty program. Even us, the not-as-fancy Quote Rollers, did quirky photo contests last month that offered Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest followers a month free, if they guessed our clues. Try to do something memorable.
It’s all about engaging your clients, and CRMs make it easier. Then, if your current clients, previous clients or potential leads reply, you’ve got yourself a qualified lead. Respond with an offer that can result in a bigger CTA — we find great success in offering prospectives a two-week trial of Quote Roller because, more often than not, once they try it, they’re hooked. (We humbly admit.)
Then don’t be afraid to ask for the sale! It can really happen that clients are interested in your product and what you have to say, but that no one’s actually asked them if they want to buy! I once saw Jack Canfield (of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series) at a motivational sales talk. This is what you call a “win-nothing situation,” and how Jack approached dating. If he asked a girl out and she said No, he had lost nothing; but if she said yes, he gained something. If he never asked, he never got the chance. Sometimes we forget that we’re in this to win this — when the time is right, we just need to (politely) ask for what we want.
And want to know the best part?
Quote Roller easily integrates with a lot of CRMs. This means that you plug all your client info in one place, then it automatically flows through to the rest, so you can easily log your clients’ contact info and communication, send them business proposals to sign, track their responses, and bill them, all in one place. Remember, while two heads are better than one, one click is better than 12. Which CRMs do Quote Roller click with?
CRMs come first, then us, the delightfully dressed middle man that closes the sale for you, and then, finally, you have the part that makes everything else run — the money. We also integrate with the world’s top accounting SaaS to make you bill and invoice easily and do what you got to do more quickly so then you can do what you want to do. We integrate with the following systems:
- Freshbooks — automatically generate invoices from signed QR proposals
- Xero — automatically generate invoices from signed QR proposals
- Sage One — for all your sales and accounting
- Harvest — convert proposals into invoices, push contact info back and forth
- FreeAgent — SMB accounting
So what’s stopping you from organizing your sales from start to finish?! Which CRM do you use? And how do you use it?