What Is CRM & Does Your Business Need It?

What is CRM & Does Your Business Need It? by Mark Bullock & Monika Wood

{3:30 minutes to read} Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is basically a hub where people organize, store and stay in touch with their customers or clients, whether for a service, product or company.

Unlike a standard contact list or email program designed for a single user, CRM is more functional and interactive. It allows you to host multiple users in one place, and makes keeping in contact by newsletter or email more streamlined.

Another strong value of CRM is creating activities, alarms, tasks to do – and on a scheduled or sequenced basis, which is where a CRM really starts to help out the marketing world.

We are using Insightly – a user-friendly CRM – with one of our clients. It allows us to create task lists which can be custom-rated, to set up templates, and to activate each client she wants to start communicating with. It also has email and/or task list reminders. The CRM allows our client to keep up with each of her contacts and not let them slip through the cracks, all in a streamlined manner.

To put all of her contacts through a spreadsheet or Microsoft Outlook, the contacts just sit there. Many of us have hundreds if not thousands of contacts in a database someplace, but what are we doing with them? What could we be doing with them?

To setup a client task in Microsoft Outlook, for example, is a manual process. Whereas if you’re launching a campaign with Insightly, as in the case of our client, it is based on the group of people they wanted to reach out to – the strong potential referral sources or strong centers of influence (COI).

Here are the few steps we took to assist our client:

  • First, we developed a process by which to contact those sources and COIs:

    • To connect with them on LinkedIn;

    • Or to call and/or email them.

  • A CRM allows you to build this activity set or series of tasks.

    • If someone responds to the first email, x happens; and

    • If they do not, y happens.

Another benefit of a CRM is having an accountability partner. You can jot down on a sticky note that you want to call John next week, but by having it as part of a system that alerts you to take action, you can more efficiently accelerate the building of, or maintenance of, an important relationship. Whether it is next week or 6 months down the road, you definitely want to stay in touch.

The CRM acts as a strong proponent to facilitate relationship building and making meaningful contact. What CRM services have you tried? How have they helped you strengthen your business relationships?


Mark Bullock
Telephone: (631) 754-0800
Email: Mark@phoneBlogger.net




Monika Wood
Email: Monika@practicemarketinginc.com


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