1 Business Success Blueprints Choosing and using a CRM YOUR BLUEPRINT TO SUPER SUCCESS The definitive Entrepreneurs Circle Guide to managing your customer data.
3 Choosing and Using a CRM Still trying to keep in touch with your customer base with one account, a diary and a few plastic wallets? It s time you got a CRM. A Customer Relationship Management system is the most efficient way to communicate with your prospects and customers. It s the easiest way to stay in touch with leads and remind customers to buy your product or service, and the most effective way to build trust and add value. In short, if you aren t using a CRM, then you re making life a whole lot more difficult for yourself. So what s so good about it? Well First of all, it s going to save you a heck of a lot of time. You can schedule and automate your communication with your customers. This means that s are sent, customers get confirmations straight after purchases, and autoresponder sequences are set off - without you having to be there! A good CRM will also make you a thousand times better at marketing. You ll be able to track who s clicked what and when; which s recieved good open and response rates, which customers are ready to buy, and which ones seem to be slipping away. In short, you ll be able to create much more targeted, tailored and effective marketing. But perhaps where a CRM will have the biggest impact is on your overall relationship with your customers. You ll speak to them more, you ll provide a more personal service, and you ll be on hand to deal with any issues. In essence, your customer service is about to get a serious injection of energy and passion. This Blueprint will take you through the Who, What, How, Where, When and Why of the CRM world, helping you to understand how they work, which one/s you should get and how you can use them to transform the way in which you do business. Let s get started! The Marketeers
4 Customer Relationship Management A CRM system helps businesses to manage relationships and communications with their customers. If you don t have a CRM system in place, you re missing out on deep, rewarding means of communication and sales management, that has the potential to boost sales, enhance communication, drive up efficiency, and help refine your marketing strategy! Benefits of a CRM Having a solid database is a top priority for any business with a desire to grow and achieve great things - but that database isn t worth much if you don t have an effective way of interacting and engaging with the contacts in it. Time Management Using a CRM allows all data to be stored in one place, so that you don t have to spend hours trying to find the correct contact details. It also means that you can select multiple customers to contact with the same , rather than ing them all individually. In fact, lots of marketing, sales and communication activities can be performed through one system, meaning you can increase your marketing activities and find more time to work on your business. The ability to create instant, personalised, mass communications, and monitor the results as they develop, is invaluable to a business. But thankfully, it s pretty simple to put into practice. CRMs are usually web-based software where you can input all your customer data and information, so that you can communicate with your customers effectively, analyse your marketing, monitor your sales and so on. Thousands of small businesses are using CRM systems to effectively grow and expand by nurturing potential leads, generating new ones and maintaining existing relationships. How can a CRM help YOUR business? Well, here are just a few examples... More Efficient Marketing Having the ability to produce and send direct marketing s quickly and efficiently will free up time and allow for a more targeted approach to marketing activities. Most CRM systems will allow you to create marketing campaigns, and then monitor the reaction meaning that not only is it easier to send your sales marketing, but it s easier to analyse the results and see exactly what s working and what s not. Measuring & Tracking Your Leads After you ve completed your marketing you ll be able to see how many sales or leads you ve generated. Depending on which CRM you use, you can track all aspects of your campaigns and see what s working for your business and what s not. Using analytics from the CRM system lets you gather the contacts which would benefit from other forms of communication in order to build a relationship and make a sale.
5 Narrowing Your Target Audience Marketing campaigns can be targeted towards a specific audience within your database. This means you can choose to send s to those you know are interested in what you have to offer. You can also separate your database to highlight people with certain characteristics. For instance: if you only want to people from a certain location or industry, you can create a list or a tag that allows you to search for them quickly. Personalising Your Marketing A CRM system will increase the volume of your marketing output, but also offers a more nuanced approach. There is less fishing with nets to catch the masses, and more creating the perfect lure to hit specific targets. Sending out personalised marketing has worked well for us, and with a CRM you can personalise a mass by changing the customer fields. That way, you don t have to spend time changing and sending out hundreds of individual s to make it personal. Social Media Most CRMs can connect your social media profiles to your database, allowing you to merge all your online contacts. They can also search for potential leads from your social media data, saving you time and money. Departmental Co-ordination If you have multiple people controlling different sections of your business, one central CRM system will make life easier for everyone. Communications between departments will improve overnight. Everything customer based will be accessible via the CRM, and they can quickly log in and see what s what. Let s take Mr E. Circle for example. Any conversations, communications with staff members, purchases, related appointments, etc. are kept in one place and available for all to see. This is a much better system than trying to recover an old from an old hard drive of an ex-employee, we re sure you ll agree! Remote Working Capabilities Most CRMs are based online and can therefore be accessed through multiple devices with an internet connection. If your business is based in Leeds, but you re at a meeting in Manchester, you can access all your customer details easily and efficiently with a tablet, laptop or even a smartphone. Everyone has been caught short of a phone number before so why risk it? Customer Service This is probably the most important point on this list as good customer service can make or break your business. If you have all of a customer s details in one place, along with evidence of any communication, employees can see what s already been sent to them. For instance, if your finance team have spoken to a customer about an issue with their payment, another staff member can see that this issue has been dealt with, so they don t need to make contact regarding the same issue. That way, staff members don t cross wires when it comes to communicating with your customers and you won t look incompetent.
6 Which CRM Should You Use? So we ve covered a few of the many perks of a good CRM, but which one should you use? There are plenty of options out there including Infusionsoft, Nimble, and MailChimp. Do your research before you commit to any software; some offer free trials, take advantage! CRM systems are not all the same, some offer extras (and are compatible with additional feature add-ons). Others are quite simply for database storage, so you need to choose one according to your business needs. Infusionsoft is the main CRM that we use here at the EC, and for good reason - it s pretty great. Whether it s right for YOUR business is another matter. Here are some reasons why we use Infusionsoft: 1. Very easy to track Infusionsoft allows you to easily track everything that your customers and prospects do, meaning that you ll quickly get to know a lot more about their likes and interests. You can then tailor your marketing to appeal more to those interests. 2. Smarter marketing Infusionsoft allows you to vamp up your communications with your customers in a very sophisticated way. Rather than just setting up an autoresponder campaign and hoping for the best; Infusionsoft allows you to react to your customers depending on what they do. For example: if your customer clicks a specific link, they ll get a specific Tailor your funnel Pros Every business that s serious about marketing should have a marketing funnel in place. Whether it s a direct mail piece, followed by an , followed by a sales call, or whether it s a PPC campaign direct to a sales page; every business should be thinking about the journey someone takes from prospect to customer. Infusionsoft allows you to map out your funnel, with processes every step of the way. 4. Works well with WordPress 20% of all content on the internet comes via WordPress. With that in mind, it s a good idea that any CRM system you use works well with it. Infusionsoft does, with a specific plugin that can just slot straight onto your site. We re not going to leave you in the dark, Infusionsoft might NOT be the right CRM for you. So you ve got both sides of the story, here s some Infusionsoft cons: 1. It s not cheap Cons If you re thinking that you can get all of these great features for pennies, then think again. There are definitely cheaper CRMs out there; so if money s an issue, then you might want to think extra carefully about whether Infusion is for you. For what it s worth, Infusionsoft repays OUR investment very well. 2. It s not pick up and play With a simpler CRM like MailChimp, the features have been stripped back quite a lot and this makes it easier for a novice to pick up. Infusionsoft isn t like this. There are so many features that it ll take you a while to get used to the system. 3. There s probably quite a lot you won t use One of the issues with using software with loads of features is that there s a good chance you won t use them all. If you re getting significant value from the stuff that you re using then it s worth it, but if you only use a limited amount of features, you might be better using a simpler CRM. 4. You might need to pay for add-ons Depending on how you want to use Infusionsoft, you may need some additional tools to help you make the most of it. Quite often these will incur an additional cost so before you buy, make sure you re going to use them!
7 Pros Nimble is a CRM with a real focus on multiple social networks, so if you re a B2C business, then it could be the one for you. Here are some reasons to choose Nimble: 1. It s social The reality is that a load of your prospects are spending a whole lot of time on social media. It makes sense to leverage this fact. That s where Nimble comes into its own. So if social media is a big part of what you do, Nimble will probably be the one that meets your needs. 2. It s intuitive The dashboard on Nimble has just five main tabs - Activities, Contacts, Deals, Messages and Social. This makes it really easy to pick up and use. 3. It s affordable As it s more of a stripped back CRM, Nimble is more of affordable price. If you ve never used a CRM and you re not sure that your turnover can justify a more expensive one, then maybe Nimble could be the one for you. 4. Reliable support If you ve had a CRM for any length of time and haven t needed to ring support, you ve been very lucky! You ll need help at some point, and knowing you can rely on your provider for support is important. Cons Nimble could be the social solution to your CRM-shaped problem, but it s always important to hear the full story. Here are some cons you need to know about: 1. It s social, but it s not all-encompassing Something like Infusionsoft gives you access to a whole host of features; Nimble doesn t. If social media is your main focus, then Nimble will be perfect. If it s not, then it won t. 2. Importing isn t easy When you import all of your contacts into Nimble, you re likely to end up with a bit of a mess, which will need organising. If you ve got the time to do it, and Nimble ticks all your other boxes, then it s probably worth it. 3. Not for big businesses Nimble is very much a stripped back CRM, and it looks it too. The interface is very simple, and in this case, it s okay to judge a book by its cover - the CRM as a whole is too simplistic for businesses that want to measure, track and tailor everything. Pros We re going to talk about MailChimp in more detail on the next page, but here s why it could work for you: 1. Point and click This CRM s incredibly easy to use. No coding required, point, click, type, send. 2. Great templates As you d expect, is MailChimp s bread and butter and they re good at it. The dashboard gives you access to lots of great templates, so if s your thing, MailChimp might be too. 3. Free for small databases If you ve got a database of 2000 or less, you ll be able to work on MailChimp for free. Obviously you might want to upgrade for more features. 4. User Friendly MailChimp know that their customers aren t CRM experts, so they don t treat them as experts. Everything is explained and everything is easy. Cons But, as always, MailChimp might not be right for everyone. So here are a list of cons that you ll also need to bear in mind: 1. Strict on spam If you send out a campaign that gets a load of unsubscribes or spam complaints, your account can be suspended or even cancelled. 2. Basic subscription forms While the templates are great, the subscription form ones aren t, so if you want something a little more sophisticated, you may want to consider a different system. 3. You can only send to one list at a time Other CRM systems allow you to send to several lists (or tags) at a time. MailChimp doesn t. This means that you want to send out an to more than one specific list it ll be a time consuming process.
8 Try a CRM for size: MailChimp As it s probably the easiest to get started on, we re going to give you a short intro to Mailchimp and show you how to add subscribers to your contact list, set up a marketing campaign, and create an automatic response system. Subscribers On the main dashboard of the MailChimp homepage there is a section called lists, this is where you keep your lists of contacts and their information. There is a button in the top right corner which prompts you to create a list either by importing from another source or inputting manually. You give the list a name, enter an address, and set up notifications for subscribers. Once saved, you come to a page that allows you to manage contacts, add subscribers, view the list statistics and generate a sign up form. If you would like to get people to sign up via your website you can integrate a sign up form with either a HTML embed code, or by creating a custom button for WordPress. Creating a Marketing Campaign Follow the campaigns button on the main dashboard and then press the button in the top right corner labelled create campaign. There are plenty of options to choose from when you reach this point, available for different types of campaign. For the purpose of this exercise we re just using Regular ol Campaign.
9 After choosing your type of campaign, you re taken to a page where you enter some simple information, such as a title for your campaign, if you would like the s personalised, how you d like to track the campaign, and if you d like to link it to your social media pages. All of these options are what can take your marketing campaign to the next level, in terms of customer service and the analytics you ll receive at the end. Once you ve finished inputting the information, MailChimp displays a range of templates you can use for your campaign. There are basic ones and more sophisticated drag and drop designs. Sophisticated does not however mean complicated; as the name suggests, you just drag and drop text and images over the template. That s it! We ve only just scratched the surface of what a CRM can do for your business, and Mailchimp (as we mentioned) is just one of the options available to you. You ll learn lots when you start playing around with your own CRM, but if you re struggling, give us a call on The end result of your introduction to CRM systems should be that you get one, clean up your database, and start seeing your business reach the marketing, sales, and reputation potential that you always knew it had! Need some help? If you re in need of any help then give us a call on , and your Member Success team will be happy to answer any questions you may have!
12 Business Success Blueprints