This episode is about CRMs or Customer Relationship Management. Most of our customers that do have websites are under-utilizing CRMs. We’re going to use Frequently Asked Questions from business owners, to dive into this topic, and get to know why it is important for marketing and scaling businesses.
What’s a CRM? [00:58]
It’s a tool that allows you to track your inbound leads.
Let’s say you operate a website. If you’re a local business owner, maybe you operate a windows and doors business, and you have customers that are browsing windows and doors on your website.
If someone’s browsing your website and they want to get a quote from you, they’ll do one of two things. One, they’ll call your business to get a quote from you, or two, they’ll use a contact form on the contact page or maybe on the homepage.
A visitor that wants to get a quote will become a sales lead, an unqualified person that is inquiring about the service. And it’s up to you to decide how to qualify them. So a CRM will track that person and their information. It’ll allow you to keep the prospect’s information: who they are, their first name, their last name, their email, and their phone number.
And you’ll be able to see whether you spoke to them previously or how they called you in the past to get a quote, and where that went.
So this is a great way to kind of track everyone’s information. You can also track various emails. You can track phone calls. And as you’re growing and you have different sales reps or SDRs (Sales Development Representatives) that are working with your business, it’s a great way to track all those conversations in one place, as well as your sales playbook.
As a prospect visits your website or calls you on the phone, you want to be able to track that lead. And track it as they convert into a customer, and then as they convert into a referral, or maybe a recommendation to other customers, through word of mouth.
What does a CRM do? [02:53]
It acts as your little sales playbook. A CRM acts as a database of all your customers, all your contacts, and all your leads. So if you are in the business of generating leads, then you may want to use the CRM tool to track which of those are unqualified people that you want to do business with. And which of them are actual contacts that you do business with?
So in most cases, if you’re a really small solo entrepreneur, you may not actually need one of these until you grow a little bit bigger. You might actually be using spreadsheets. So that might be your CRM tool. But what a CRM really does, what it’s supposed to do is track those conversations.
So whether you’re having a phone call conversation or an email conversation, or maybe you have messaging via chatbot – you want that CRM tool to integrate directly with your online store and your offline business. So you can see exactly what it does. It allows us to automate various workflows, using different kinds of AI automation processes.
So for instance, in your CRM tool, you can track things like tasks, calendars, and alerts. You can give managers the ability to track the performance of some of their other salespeople. So it’s a great holistic tool as you’re growing and scaling your home-based business or your agency or your small business. As you want to grow, you want to track the performance of your Sales Development Reps, your Account Executives, and everyone, and how they manage conversations. So that way you find out and track the analytics to know how your business is doing.
How are you tracking the commissions that the salespeople are getting, how are you tracking incentives? A CRM is a good starting point. It’s like the command console that you can use to keep all that information in one spot.
Why do CRMs benefit business owners? [05:10]
In most cases, if the business is too small, it may not even use a CRM. They’ll use an Excel spreadsheet where they can have a contact list of all their unqualified leads or contacts that they do business with.
And in some cases, you might have a million-dollar company that does a hundred thousand a month, with only four or five employees and they don’t have a CRM. They don’t need it. They’re too small.
Then on the flip side, you might have an agency or a media or small business with 15 employees that do have one, because they need to track all the different kinds of products and services.
It tracks what every sales rep does, the conversations they had, as well as the analytics: how many calls, are being made, how many videos are being sent out; that progress. And this is a very helpful tool in a slightly larger small business because it allows you to track the kinds of projects or the kinds of inquiries that are coming in.
Let’s say you’re a plumber and you might have 10 sales reps out there arranging different kinds of plumbing jobs around the city with different condos, different commercial buildings, and whatnot.
So as new quotes come in through your sales reps, they want to be able to qualify those people. They’ll do that over the phone, find out if they’re a real person or a robot. And then once they qualify them, the CRM will actually help the business owner. The entire pipeline and all the deals are available inside the tool.
So you’ll be able to see which prospects are ready to become customers. What the average time is to close the deal? You’ll be able to find out and get the analytics reporting structures. And this will help you scale your company because you’ll see what is in the pipeline.
Are the sales reps doing their jobs? Are you getting enough? Are you able to scale? Are there deals coming in and are they being closed accordingly by the Account Executive or by the SDR directly, depending on your business? So the CRMs can really benefit business owners by creating this structure, whereby you’re much more organized.
It’s an automation tool that allows you to create a more sophisticated database where your sales reps and the business owner can communicate in one spot and share information about prospects as well as customers, which can then help the project manager do his or her job a lot better because they can see a full view of where that person came in from.
So if you’re operating a windows and doors business, the prospect might come into the salesperson and then go to the project manager, who then controls that conversation using the CRM because that person can go in there, take a look at all the previous conversations, the calls, the notes that were made as well as the deal size, and then find out how to go and deliver the next steps.
How do I use CRMs? (For Owners and Marketers) [08:51]
Let’s answer the first part. So how do I use a CRM in my small business as a solo entrepreneur, as a business owner? As a business owner, if you are looking to scale the business. You want to be able to use this tool in the most efficient way possible by tracking the first name, last name, phone number, email address, address, or location, depending on how you do business.
Maybe you have multiple sources of prospects coming into your business: you have a Facebook campaign or an email list, or you also have your website that has a website’s forms submission, and you also have a phone number where people call you to do business with you.
What do you use to track all that information? That’s where you want to use a CRM and you don’t necessarily need to buy a sophisticated one. Some of the top names out there are Salesforce, HubSpot, and Zoho, and I’m not promoting any of these ones in particular, but these are some of the bigger runs out there.
You can just as easily build your own CRM tool in an Excel spreadsheet by identifying all the main columns at the very top, and using that until you outgrow that. And then of course you can make the investment and purchase something like a HubSpot tool. This is a good segue into the marketing part now because, for marketers, a CRM is critical.
If your business is at a point where you can run a sales funnel – maybe you’ve built a course as a solo entrepreneur, and you’re selling courses online as a marketer, you want to be able to track all the different places where your leads are coming in. So you might have leads coming in to get a quote. Let’s say you’re running an e-course and you have this big masterclass that you’ve promoted for your business.
And you’ve got leads coming in from Instagram, TikTok, and your website, maybe you’re running a couple of different landing pages. So for marketers, you want to be able to track all those different data points and where people are coming in.
So as soon as it goes into your CRM, you can create automation. Now, of course, you can’t quite do this in an Excel spreadsheet or Google sheets. You would have to use something like a HubSpot tool where as soon as it comes in, you can automate it and let it go to the first available sales rep.
In the marketing world, CRM is best used by marketers. You can create these automation workflows and within that workflow, you can specify what happens when you get an email or when you get a name in an email that has signed up for lead magnet. As soon as it came into the CRM tool, there could be a process where there’s a drip campaign that gets sent out.
This is an email campaign with, email numbers 1, 2, and 3 that says, ‘Hey, thank you so much for downloading a lead magnet.’ And then another one and another one. And you can specify how long and what is the period of days to wait before the next email comes out. So for marketers, it’s a great sales tool.
All marketers are salespeople. It’s a great sales tool where we want people to enter the funnel and then we want to market to them. So for business owners, the CRM is important because it allows you to stay organized and know where all your traffic is coming from. For marketers, it’s the same thing.
You want to know where everyone is coming in from. We also want to make sure that we can track, we can measure, and can improve all the data about all these new visitors, and all these new prospects that could one day make a purchase of our service or our product.
How do I know it’s time to use a CRM tool? [13:32]
If you get too big or if you’re at a point where you feel that you need to organize yourself or organize your sales team, that’s a great time to jump into the CRM tool.
I could also be wrong about this. I know the first time that we started using a CRM tool was when I felt slightly disorganized. When we hired our project manager, we realized that we could have done a lot of things earlier in a Google spreadsheet and I was already using it.
But we went from getting 2000 leads to 16,000 leads. So it was a massive jump. And so at that time, I realized that as we were hiring more SDRs or Sales Development Reps, I knew it was time to expand and grow. So, you know, we started using a CRM tool called Keep CRM, which is an infusion software.
That was great for a lot of small business owners like us. And as we grew as an agency, we scaled from that to Salesforce. And then we got into inbound marketing and lead generations. So we moved into HubSpot. And that’s our story. As a business owner, you have to decide when is the best time for you.
The best time would be as you’re growing and scaling. If you have high hopes for creating a larger operation and you’re going to be building your own sales playbook. And within that book, you’re going to have someone out there to generate leads.
It could be a person or a website or two within that realm. You want to then define how big your sales playbook is. So if you’re going to have someone generating leads or a website generating them, you’re going to have a Sales Development Rep to qualify people. You’re going to have an account executive do your demos, and then you’re going to have the business owner chime in there and follow up and see how all the analytics are doing. Are we closing enough deals? Are we getting enough? Is the pipeline big enough? Are the deals big enough? Are we able to scale or grow? And that’s where you need a tool, a CRM tool to give you those insights. So you can forecast and grow the business, because as a business owner, what you want to be focused on is growing the business strategy.
Now you don’t want to work in the business. You want to work on the business, and a CRM tool allows you to work on the business strategically. You’ll be able to focus on all your employees and all the people working with you to grow the business and scale it out. So you’ll be able to forecast: how can you grow?
Sales is the lifeblood of all businesses. So if you don’t have a great CRM tool and you’re thinking about getting one, contact us here at MK Way, and we can give you more advice.