It’s that time of year again. The tree buds are blooming and the birds are singing. The air is fresh and days are getting longer. Everyone catches a small fever which carries with it the overwhelming urge to start tidying – it’s spring cleaning time.
Just like your bedroom closet or your kitchen pantry, your customer data could use some attention. Implementing a customer relationship manager (CRM) application is the perfect way to kick off your spring cleaning.
Put Those Rubber Gloves On
Want to increase sales by up to 29%? How about increasing sales productivity by up to 34%? Recent studies show that CRMs can help. Similar to how a hanging shoe rack organizes your tennies, CRM software consolidates and manages critical customer information. It tracks all customer interactions, whether they're via email, phone, or other even LinkedIn messages, in one single database.
74% of CRM users said their CRM system offered improved access to customer data.
Source: Software Advice
Without a CRM, you are likely accumulating a lot of file cabinets, and going through massive amounts of paper. A CRM is a surefire way to save yourself from some major headaches – and papercuts.
How We Became CRM Advocates
Media Junction became a HubSpot partner in 2011 and was in the 2014 beta test of the HubSpot CRM. Prior to this, we didn’t use a CRM, instead managing everything manually. Kim Wilcox, Media Junction’s Vice President, recalls what it was like as the one doing that work manually:
“In 2014 I was a sales department of one – I was managing leads without a CRM and used a very paper driven, manual system. I thought CRMs were for big companies with large sales teams. That summer I reached a point where it was becoming increasingly difficult to manage my leads and was contemplating the addition of a CRM. Timing could not have been more perfect because I was approached by HubSpot to be a beta tester for their new CRM platform. I began utilizing it right away, and it could not have been a better decision. The CRM not only provides a central location to organize our contacts, but also provides valuable insights that help close deals!”
There is a reason why CRMs are the enterprise software with the largest projected growth. As Kim said, CRMs help close deals.
What Do the Experts Have to Say about CRMs?
The advantages of implementing a CRM solution will vary based on an organization’s size and industry, but it’s fair to say there are sizeable gains to be had. A recent HubSpot infographic highlighted 9 benefits of CRM software, including:
- CRMs are centralized databases – All your “stuff” in one handy-dandy location.
- CRMs automate data entry – Your fingers deserve a break from all that typing.
- CRMs include full interaction history – Pick right up where you left off with a customer. Haven’t closed a customer? Be sure to follow up. Timing is everything.
- CRMs facilitate effective team communication – Team members share the same information, so everyone is on the same page at all times.
- CRMs save you time – No more digging for old emails. No more searching company sites for contact information either. Spend more time doing what makes you profitable.
The Houston Chronicle shares how implementing a CRM can better your customer service:
“CRM systems give businesses the ability to personalize and customize relationships with their customers, regardless of which employee deals directly with them at any given time. CRM systems maintain a repository of customer profiles, giving employees the ability to treat each client individually. As a result, each employee is better informed about each customer's specific needs. This improved customer service leads to increased customer loyalty and correspondingly decreases customer dissatisfaction.”
It’s safe to say that the benefits are there, but what about cost? What if implementing a CRM cost zero dollars?
Did You Say “Free CRM?” Holy ROI!
It’s true, there are plenty of CRM solutions that are absolutely free (I’ve provided a handful of them at the bottom of this blog), yet less than half of all companies have CRM software. Between the benefits of customer management and more effective selling and potentially no out of pocket cost, it’s a pretty baffling statistic.
As you can see, a CRM is a pretty incredible return on investment. One may rebut (there’s always that person) that “time” is an investment. That's certainly true, but in actuality, it takes little to no time to get up and running with a CRM. And with super flexible, easy-to-use features, you’ll be on your way to a freshly organized dreamland in a flash.
Spring Cleaning: It’s Refreshing
Feel like you’re up for a clean start with how you manage your customer relationships? Here are a number of free CRMs to help you get started:
The following CRMs cost money, but are relatively economical depending on the number of users your company needs:
As you may have already been able to tell, I’m pro-CRM – whether it’s the HubSpot CRM or another from the list above, I want your business to be successful!
Have questions on Media Junction’s experience with the HubSpot CRM or just want to discuss the CRMs further?