By Jill Eggen
As a fully actualized Virgo, I enjoy people and, most of all, organization. As a mother managing a household of three great kids with active agendas and busy lives, it can be a bit of a logistical juggling act to make sure everything gets done, people get fed healthy meals and everyone is where they need to be when they need to be there. To complicate matters, I can tell you the family doesn’t always share my passion for organization, which can be more than a bit stressful. Running a business can feel a bit the same way. Lots to do, many people to keep track of and trying to stay on top of it all with only so many hours in the day.
Many companies have adopted digital tools, one being a “C-R-M” which is a fancy acronym for customer relationship management that basically unites and manages your customers and the activities and information associated with them. As a mom and someone who enjoys cooking, I like to think of CRM in terms of a meal.
C: Customer. Think of this as the main course and the substance you need to survive. A CRM will give you something like a fancy contact folder which inventories who your customers are and all the pertinent information such as contact, leads, notes, history. Think of this as a simple inventory.
R: Relationship. The diet and prep of your meal. You need good ingredients and proper prep to enjoy a healthy diet. The relationship part is what sets a CRM apart from a spreadsheet. You can use the status to track where a customer is in your sales process similar to measuring how ripe the fruit is or how old the milk is. Keep it fresh!
M: Management. This is the execution part of the meal. You need it to maintain order and run things smoothly. Just like making a great meal takes prep and a certain process, a CRM helps by designating tasks for staff, creating reminders, creating templates, developing workflows, automating communications and so much more. The process may be the biggest challenge that you need to figure out.
So, go do some research on different CRM’s, but first take the time to write down some a simple list of things you want to track about your customers and what you see as the process to making a great meal. Make sure that the customer keeps moving down your path. Invite others to help define the process and you’ll find that it’s like teaching others the recipe that they can repeat over and over. It’s time to work smarter and faster and wake up each day with the confidence and knowledge that all your peeps and customers will be on the same page and moving forward together.
Jill Eggen is the Head of Implementation for Excelerate America, the ultimate resource for entrepreneurs. She'd love to chat about how you relate to customers. Email Jill at email@example.com.
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