This may seem like a clear cut answer, but is it the most educated answer? These days a lot of people do research on products before they make a purchase. Some people are impatient and will just get the first one they see without shopping around. It’s hard to go wrong utilizing Google. There are plenty of topics you can look at such as: CRM applications, sales software, marketing software, contact management systems, ETC. The other thing to do is talk to people you know, and see if they have any recommendations. The important thing is that you need to use some type of system. I wouldn’t recommend waiting for people to discover your business. Unfortunately, that does not work.
The most popular choice is Customer Relationship Management software (CRM). It will generally include some form of customer management system, marketing automation software, and sales database software. This will cover you on almost all fronts. Marketing is clearly important to get your business going. A CRM will allow you to send out email blasts to engage your target audience. Having the ability to track your metrics is very important too. This way you’ll know which emails are working and which need to be re-evaluated/tweaked. Setting up web forms to capture potential customer information is also important. You’ll want to gather the appropriate information so you know what the potential customer is looking for. You don’t want to offer them clothes if they’re looking for a phone. A good CRM will also allow you to store all your contacts in one place with a historical record of all the conversations you’ve had with them. I’ll touch more on this shortly.
The sales aspect is important because you obviously need to make money to keep your business going. We do need to make money, right? You’ll want the ability to make a sales process that works for your organization. A car salesman’s sales process isn’t going to work for you if you’re a chiropractor, now is it? Nope. This way you can setup a sales automation process that works for you and you alone. Your system tells you what to do as opposed to trying to come up with something all the time. A solid CRM system will also give you sales reporting capabilities to show what is in the pipeline and give you a forecasting report. Being able to track your sales is critical.
A very underrated feature a CRM system brings you is organization. Having the ability to have all your customers and contacts in one place is huge. How many of you have Outlook contacts and then contacts in a mailing service, more contacts in a spreadsheet, and then more contacts in your phone? It’s all over the place, right? The advantage of utilizing a CRM is to put everybody in one place. Not only that, but then you can keep a log of all the conversations you’ve had with each customer or contact. Doesn’t that sound a lot easier than rustling through three or four different programs? The real question is what are you waiting for?