CRMs and business: Often-missed opportunities

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I’ve been speaking with lots of business owners lately who have great businesses, strong marketing plans and comprehensive CRM/email marketing solutions.

Unfortunately none of them are working together, let alone seamlessly.

One of my new clients came to me with an elaborate Google Sheet planning out email marketing campaigns – as a spreadsheet gal, I loved seeing and going through it. It was a work of art.

When I mentioned that I hadn’t received any of the beautifully-planned emails, he noted that he had no time to write them. All planning, no implementation.

Another client called and asked what software he could use to determine which contacts were the best leads for his team to follow-up with. He had no idea his CRM does exactly that and can do it in an automated way once the rules are set and even email his team a task to follow-up.

Many businesses pick a CRM/email marketing platform either from a referral, special deal or price alone without knowing if it’s the best one for them.

My recommendation:

  • Determine what your business needs from a system (think of where your biz is going, not only today):

    Lead scoring? Ability to segment records? Ability to email team members when automated rules are triggered? Send emails only? Integrate with your calendar? Manage affiliates? Send automated campaigns when someone signs up for your website goodie? Track more than name and email address – or not? Ability to resend to non-opens at the click of a few buttons? What else?
  • Check out 2-4 systems that meet your requirements – ideally do a live demo where you can ask questions.
  • Review exactly what you get for pricing (some included limited items on basic plans) – including what annual discount is.
  • Make a decision and invest the time/energy into learning all the system can take off your plate (whether you or your team) or hire someone who knows the system to set it up and/or manage it for you.

Chosen well and set up properly, your CRM/email marketing system can (and often should) take the place of a team member. If your current system isn’t pulling its weight, it’s a massive missed opportunity — don’t be afraid to move on.