Listen to the podcast or read the edited, short transcript below:
In the last week alone, I’ve spoken with two businesses that either aren’t using a CRM in their business – or aren’t using a CRM effectively.
Both of these situations aren’t ideal, as both leave potential revenue on the table – one because they’re paying for a system they aren’t utilising effectively and the other that could save both time, money and resources by having this princess mapped out more efficiently.
For these two businesses, simply grasping the core principles of a CRM and opting for a customised system can significantly transform their business functions, spanning marketing, sales, service, and operations.
So today – let’s look at what role a CRM plays in your business, and also, we’ll uncover our exact CRM process here at Done By Nine so that you can see and better understand where your CRM could take you.
Hold on, What Exactly is a CRM?
A CRM is a software solution to streamline and organise businesses’ management of customer relationships.
It’s a central home where companies can capture, store, and dissect customer-related data, making it possible to monitor interactions.
An exceptional CRM should transcend data collation and enable a deeper understanding of your customers.
It’s a tool that essentially consolidates everything you need to manage your customers in one place, eliminating the outdated, door-to-door survey approach.
Why is a CRM so important in an overall marketing strategy?
So you may be thinking, hold on – aren’t you a strategic marketing company? What does marketing even have to do with building and implementing a CRM?
A CRM system is the cornerstone of any well-rounded marketing strategy, as it acts as a powerhouse for your customer’s insights.
When used as part of a strategic marketing strategy, it is the key to holding and collecting vital data about customer behaviour, preferences, and interaction history.
It gives marketers the tools to customise their tactics to better suit the customer’s needs.
A CRM’s capacity for segmentation also enhances marketing efforts, enabling the delivery of precisely targeted campaigns, which could lead to higher conversion rates and customer satisfaction, as the content you’re sharing is directly relevant to your customer segments.
How does Done By Nine use a CRM?
At Done By Nine, we use Hubspot as our central CRM – so instead of just listing off some of the advantages of a CRM, I wanted to share how we use a CRM in our business to help attract and retain customers while also helping to automate some mundane tasks – which makes the overall customer experience even better.
Here are some main pain points that using a CRM solves for us (and what it could do for you as well):
- We use the CRM to create a seamless experience between our teams and team members.
- Our CRM is connected to all our inboxes, which means all data is captured with daily customer interactions.
- Our CRM tracks our sales process. Once someone submits a form on our website, they enter a set of ‘deal stages’, which helps us track where customers are in their buying process.
- We use workflows and email snippets, which help us create a smoother process for client communications and remove the need to recreate the playbook every time a new prospective client comes to us.
- We connect all our marketing activity, from our social media schedule to our Facebook, Linkedin and Google Ad campaigns to the CRM, so we can get an overall look at what marketing activities are helping us find new contacts and what’s contributing to our overall revenue.
- Our email marketing uses the lists and customer segments we built in Hubspot. Emails are then managed and sent directly from the platform.
- The CRM allows us to connect our calendars and easily book clients into our workflow.
How Done By Nine built our CRM process (Walkthrough)
Let’s take a closer look at some of those critical points I’ve mentioned above about how we (as a business-to-business service provider) use and implement a CRM.
Remember that this process fits with our strategy – and may not be the exact playbook you want to use in your business; however, this should give you an idea of how to implement something similar for you and your business.
Step One: Have a well-rounded strategy.
This one goes without saying and is something I mention weekly on the podcast.
Any recommendation provided here is just that – a recommendation. You want to ensure that you are working towards an overall marketing and business strategy that requires using a CRM to track and improve your process.
Your strategy must clarify key points to ensure the CRM will be valuable:
- Your ideal client persona or personas. Knowing this information helps when segmenting your lists so that you can communicate key messages to your audience that are relevant to them.
- Your key KPIs and Goals – you’ll need to know where you are heading.
- Your brand tone, style and communication style – this one is overlooked often; if you aren’t clear on HOW you communicate with your audience across multiple platforms, your CRM will simply add to how disjointed they can feel.
Once this clear strategy is mapped out, it will make setting up a CRM much easier.
Step two: implement and encourage tool usage – across the whole business.
A well-implemented CRM can then be useful in ensuring that the entire team understands your key clients, your communications and the sales process.
A CRM like Hubspot can be attached to your team inboxes, which means that the entire team has visibility over previous communications, proposals and ex[ectations of that customer or client.
This means that if a team member is away or leaves the business, you’ll still have an up-to-date record of how that client was managed.
Step three: track your sales process and automate what you can.
The true power of a CRM regarding your sales and marketing strategy is also how it clears up both headspace for your sales process, using deal pipelines and automation.
With Done By Nine, we’ve built our CRM in a way that allows us to keep track of our client and prospect pipeline and our client onboarding process.
Here’s that system broken down for you:
- It all starts when a user fills in one of the forms on our website (namely our ‘Get Started’ form).
- When a form is completed, an automatic response is sent to the client, acknowledging receipt.
- In the background, this client and their details are entered into our CRM as both a contact and a company. The details they used to fill out the form help populate this data.
- When a contact is created, their details are automatically piped into our Xero account for future billing purposes and set up and sent to my mobile as a Google contact – meaning that my phone contact records are also up to date. If a contact exists, the CRM will simply update their details as required.
- The client is also entered into our Sales Pipeline as a ‘New Enquiry’; the contact details are either entered (or updated) to a ‘New Lead.
- We then qualify all our leads – and have two ‘Snippets’ created in Hubspot for leads we believe we’re the right fit for and one of the leads that don’t fit our ideal client profile. These snippets are loaded in the CRM, and if you’ve followed the steps above and connected the CRM to your email inbox, you can insert these snippets into your emails to craft swift responses to your customer enquires. If a lead is unqualified, we move the deal to our ‘Closed – Not Suitable’ stage. All other clients move to our ‘Qualified’ deal stage.
- Qualified leads are then sent an introduction email about how we are and who Done By Nine is suitable for. We must communicate that we focus on strategy first, giving the client an opportunity to qualify themselves. For example, if a client is looking for quick wins – they aren’t ideal.
- In the last email, we include a link to ‘Book a Discovery’ call link. Using the CRM calendar feature, the client selects an available time that fits us and them – without going back and forth on emails. Once a call is booked, they move to a new deal stage.
Hopefully, you can see already that the CRM automation has already saved a lot of the manual process – while also keeping us up to speed on where a client is sitting in our pipeline.
- The client then moves down different ‘deal stages’ from the proposal stage to the contract stage, and once the contract is signed – they move to ‘Deal Won’
- When a client hits ‘Deal Won’ – our system then changes the lead status to ‘Client’ (so that we can send them more targeted email communications in future). It automatically creates a space in our task management system (ClickUp) and a folder on our Google Drive. All without touching a button. All we’ve had to do was move a client’s deal stage to ‘Won’.
- We then use the CRM to assist with our onboarding process – so new clients are invited to start with a 30-minute pre-strategy survey that we use to get further in-depth details about their business and download their brain so that we can jump into our first strategy call with all the pre-work completed, which means we can start generating their strategy, faster.
Again, this is our process and fits our strategy and marketing goals. Your’s may differ, but hopefully, that process gives you some ideas on the capability of the power of a well-rounded CRM.
Step four: plug your marketing tactics in.
You’ve got a clear strategy, your team are all plugged in, and you have the sales pipeline and automation mapped out – where we also find CRM’s help is then plugging in our marketing tactics.
Clients that work with Done By Nine go through a 3 Phase process: Marketing strategy, Marketing Blend and IMplementation.
The Marketing Blend is where we blend the marketing strategy and the tactics identified to move us closer to hitting our KPIs and goals.
These tactics are pulled into your CRM – and for us, we track and report on our social media campaigns, paid advertising tactics and email marketing.
Here’s a look at how we do it:
- Firstly, using a CRM like Hubspot, you can plug your social media accounts into the platform, which helps with both scheduling the content that you are promoting but also reporting on and seeing what content is resonating best with your audience. This allows you to adjust your schedule, track your content and see how it’s performing.
- All our paid campaigns are integrated within our CRM. This allows us to track (and create) campaigns and track how the campaigns are performing alongside your marketing goals. The system can also track users that come through from your campaigns (and the pages that they viewed on your website) which then helps you report on the ROI of your campaigns. For example, what campaigns generated a lead or, even better, a new client? Having these details within the same platform allows us to understand what campaigns are performing and what needs to be adjusted.
- Email marketing is a powerful tool for keeping your existing customers engaged with your brand and helping to nurture new leads and prospects. As described above, all our new clients and leads are added automatically to different lists in our CRM, which allow us to send targeted emails to our database. However, using lists, we can reframe some of the content based on where they are in our system. For example, a new prospect may get a different introduction to the email alongside a call to action – as opposed to a current client, who may get an offer to add to their existing package or look at new ideas to assist in their business.
What impact has a CRM had on Done By Nine?
At the heart of your marketing strategy should be a system that helps you and your team attract, engage and delight your audience – both in the prospect stage and when they become customers.
By leveraging CRM data and processes into our business here, it’s provided more personalised experiences for clients; it’s helping to streamline our processes and provide a better all-around experience for clients and our team.
And more importantly, as the business owner, it creates more headspace. There can be much going on in the day-to-day running of your business, so having a CRM track your client’s communications, the stage they’re at in your onboarding or sales process and the ease of reporting on your marketing strategy is a game changer.
Our approach isn’t perfect – but it works for us – and the tools and ideas I’ve shared today are just the tipping point about what a (well-executed) CRM can do for your business.
If you’re wondering the best time to use a CRM, the answer is as soon as possible.
Adopting CRM software anywhere in your business journey offers invaluable insights and helps cultivate deeper customer relationships. The sooner you start, the easier to refine and enhance the CRM system as your business expands.