What is CRM, and how can it make my business more money?
If you haven’t heard of CRM by now, then this post might be for you. What is it? CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, and it is a growing industry that businesses of all sizes are using to build their clientele and get more income. Basically, they can be a one-stop-shop for any business that needs to make a database of their customers, manage their relationships with those customers, and/or manage how customers get their products or information, make payments, send questions, etc. CRM’s come in various forms, depending on your goals, and there are TONS out there. So you have to decide which one will get what you need accomplished and still fit in your budget. Smaller businesses can start with basic versions, then always upgrade to higher-end ones later. But how do they make your business more money? Let’s look at a few ways:
- They can take payments for products, and generate receipts upon payment. If you have an online store, most CRM’s have some way to integrate with a way to get you paid. Whether it is through 1ShoppingCart, Paypal, Shopify, or any other payment option, research your CRM options to see which ones will work seamlessly with your payment option. This is perhaps the most obvious way they help you make money – by having a way to pay you online, there is no need for you to spend time going to pick up a payment, waiting for a payment to come in the mail, or having to go to your clients to pitch a sale.
- Your online “store” is open 24 hours. Think about it – if you have physical products you are selling online, your business is now open 24 hours. So people who can’t make it to your physical location during your business hours can purchase inventory whenever they have a chance. By being available to them 24-7, your profit will increase and your business can grow.
- Automation saves you time. And we’ve all heard the phrase “time is money”. Well, it’s true – you are being paid for the time it takes you to respond to orders, ship something out, process the payment for that order, and follow-up on that order if it is needed. A lot of CRM’s will have some way to automate part or all of the process for you; whether it is delivering your eBook, enrolling a client in an online course that needs to have set delivery dates, or getting payment information for a product. If you can automate some of these processes, it frees up your time to grow your business in other ways. Again, the CRM you choose will depend on your specific goals, so keep those in mind as you do your research.
- A free version/trail might be available to try it out. This money-saver can be short-term, but you “make” money by not spending it on a subscription during the free trial or free version you are using. Any marketing you can do, sales you can generate, clients you can get on board – all these are free income during this trail period (or free version of the program) so you are making money. I recommend only opting for free versions or trail for programs you have researched and are serious about signing up for. The time you spend setting up and creating your automated series, product deliveries, etc. are a time investment (which will pay off once you get them rolling!), so you will want to keep them in a CRM you plan on using so you won’t have to waste time recreating them somewhere else (saving you time, and therefore money, down the road!). Sometimes you just gotta think long-term, too 😉
As I mentioned before, there are TONS of CRMS out there, so do your research to figure out which one meets your needs and fits your budget the best. Think long-term, too: if you invest in one now because of the features you want/need, will the ROI be there later?