A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system has been an essential sales and marketing enabler for many years at a corporate level. But if you’re a coach or a consultant you might consider a CRM unnecessary. You may be concerned that the return doesn’t justify the investment. I’m going to help you see this in a different way by sharing the top reasons why ambitious coaches and consultants need a CRM.
- To keep all your contacts in one place
Firstly, today’s CRMs are fully customisable.
This means you can keep all your contacts in one place. Currently, you might have a client list in one spreadsheet, suppliers in another, and maybe some contacts in Outlook or Google. And what about that stack of business cards on your desk, collected while networking, still waiting to be input? Sound familiar?
- Turn your 2-dimensional spreadsheet into 3-dimensional data.
I love spreadsheets but they don’t work for keeping in touch with people and you end up with too many versions, stored in different places. A CRM is purpose built for interaction. They change a two-dimensional list into a three-dimensional, tool, which can be played with like a Rubik’s Cube, allowing you to slice and dice your data any way you want. Perfect when you’re looking for a certain type of customer or people that you’ve worked with in a particular way.
What’s more, a cloud-based CRM will enable you to record a contact’s details, automatically with an app, and create a follow-up task, email them directly from the system and log phone conversations.
- To reduce feast and famine
With the best will in the world, you simply cannot be in two places at once. When you are delivering your productised service, you can’t be generating interest, keeping on top of your pipeline or doing any back-office jobs that keep your business not only ticking along but growing.
- Efficiency breeds success
The right CRM will prompt you to do things in a predetermined sequence; you’ll be nudged to action tasks so that you don’t forget them. The right CRM will not only help you manage your contacts, but will move opportunities through your pipeline, your existing clients along your product staircase, and manage your deliverables – so the tasks that it reminds you to do can be across 100% of your business. If you set up a CRM correctly (ie in a bespoke way for your business), you will save time, money and lost opportunities.
- There’s a limit to how many things you can remember at any one time
It’s been shown that we can only hold around 7 things in our head at any one time – George Miller, a cognitive psychologist at the Harvard University Department of Psychology identified this way back in 1956; it’s now known as Millers Law – so don’t worry when you forget things, or your head feels like it’s going to explode. It’s not just you! Let’s face it: running a business means all the jobs fall to you, even the ones that aren’t making you money.
A CRM will help you run your coaching or consulting business in a more efficient, organised way. As a result, you will free up head space, be able to grow your business more effectively and still deliver the quality of service your clients need.
Make life easy for yourself and get some CRM help. Here are some examples of how this can work:
- keep a note of a conversation with a contact and set up a task to make a follow up call
- set up best-practice processes for converting opportunities to sales and for delivery of services
- remove emotion from business transactions by establishing processes beforehand (your CRM will then prompt you to undertake the next task)
- save yourself from re-inventing the wheel and stop being unproductive.
- To set up your business for growth
Until you are ready to take on some dedicated help (be that an employee or a VA), you will need to stretch yourself as far as you can, and that will be a lot further with a bespoke CRM system .
A good CRM will integrate with an email delivery system and your accounts package, thus automating a lot of your business processes while you are with your clients. Not only that, relationships with any associates or suppliers can also be managed, keeping them in the loop on joint projects, which is vital when you are growing your coaching or consulting business.
And, when you are ready to ramp up a gear and grow your team, the whole thing will take less time and energy because all your processes and systems already exist. They can simply pick up for you with the CRM to guide them.
- To adopt best sales practices and keep an eye on the pipeline
So many coaches and consultants don’t have a pipeline, but how can you truly run, let alone grow, a business unless you do? Understanding where opportunities are in the sales process helps you plan and manage forecasts – and keep the boat afloat. Understanding what actions need to be taken to convert the lead into a sale, and being reminded of those actions, will give you the best chance of winning the deal. A good CRM will enable you to see the total value of your opportunities in one place and understand what needs to be done to realise that value.
- To adopt best service delivery practices
Your clients come to you because they have been referred or searched for you. They are bought in to what you offer, they want or need your services, and they deserve the best, which is a tried and tested, consistent service.
With a CRM you can set up a series of tasks which enables you to deliver best practice consistently. A good system will prompt you to carry out actions when you need to, so you are able to help more clients.
- To get a 360˚ view of your client and still communicate 1:1
A good CRM will give you the ability to have a 360˚ client view and offer 1:1 communication as it will integrate with your email delivery system and your accounts package.
GDPR comes into play here too – make sure you use the correct lawful reason for processing for the correct group of contacts.
- To encourage your clients along your product staircase
The easiest source of new business is most likely from your existing clients – they already trust you, so if you’re not helping them along your product staircase, you’re not doing them any favours and your business will be missing out too.
- To find more sales opportunities among existing leads and accounts
By understanding who your ideal client is, you also understand the problems they face and how best to contact them.
Having your leads and prospects in a CRM means that you can use the data to ensure you send communications containing messages which resonate with them, so increasing the chances of them wanting to work with you..
- Save you money and time
This is by far the most important reason to have a good CRM. It will save you money and time. It will enable you to increase revenue and decrease costs, meaning you increase net profit.
Most of all, a good CRM enables coaches and consultants to be out in their business, doing more of what they want to do and less of what they don’t (but need to). Whilst you are out there helping your clients, your CRM is capturing any new enquiries and getting ready to remind you to undertake actions when you are back at your desk (or on the go – the mobile apps are very good too 😉 )
As a coach or consultant, you need a CRM as much as an enterprise does, but not the same CRM. Instead, you should look for a CRM that has been designed with the small to medium business in mind. You need one that is flexible and created to be a bespoke tool reflecting your ideal client avatar, business model and goals.
Just make sure you invest the time in thinking about how your processes work, who your ideal client is and what you offer them, then populate it with your clean and enhanced data. And learn how to use it, so it becomes part of your day-to-day business life.
If you are unsure why you need to know who your ideal client is, or how to create your own Ideal Client Avatar you might like to check out my free eBook which will help you.
You never know, it may just be a life-changing experience for you and your growing business.
How I can support you
My goal is to help you, as a business owner, to grow your business by getting the most value out of your three most valuable assets:
Your processes and systems
When you make the most of your contacts/data you are in the best place possible to increase your revenue. When you have efficient, repeatable processes in your business, you reduce the cost of sales. Both these things give the you more headspace to focus on growing your business. The overall result is an increase in net profit.
I’m always happy to have a chat – you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org I have been working with CapsuleCRM for over 9 years and helped many clients like you increase revenue, reduce costs, make the most of their contacts, manage their pipeline and deliver great customer service.
I do this by designing and installing Capsule to meet your needs, offering a bespoke CRM to suit your business requirements. Capsule really is a great solution for coaches and consultants and when it is integrated with Mailchimp and Xero you have really solid foundations in place to grow your business.
To find out more or arrange a time to discuss how I can help you, please contact me. Thank you.