Getting CRM Right!

If a business is up and running and making a nice chunk of revenue, there is nothing better. However, if one is still keeping track of your leads and clients in a creaky old spreadsheet, they have been using since day one. Or, worse, he is managing his entire business out of your inbox.

What could go wrong?

Well, maybe nothing. Some businesses are turning over $25 million in revenue—and they still use spreadsheets for their customer relationship management (CRM).

But the absence of headaches (so far) is not a good reason for avoiding innovation.

A modern CRM should have the ability to track every action of one's leads and clients. Starting from the moment, they become aware of their business until they become a lifelong brand. It should also include automation, analytics, and inbox management tools and offer solutions to headaches that one didn't even know he had. Most business owners misunderstand the purpose of having a great CRM entirely.

Here's a brief list of advice when choosing a CRM:

Build it before its needed Hiring the right people to implement the CRM Selecting a CRM with excellent user experience and superb customer support Deciding on a fully integrated vs basic CRM

"In God We Trust, All Others Bring Data" — framed plaque, NASA's Johnson Space Center

Whether it's known or not, these days, business is a digital business. Even if someone is a clothes retailer with physical storefronts, he has a digital business with storefronts, not a retail business with a digital sales channel.

It is an important distinction because, in a digital business, data is an immense source of competitive advantage. And the key to collecting, storing, and leveraging data is an effective CRM system.

The more significant point is that one needs to leverage what his CRM can build. A scalable lead management system that triages incoming leads and lets you stay in control of your workday. If one does not, he will drown in pointless emails and nonsensical conversations.

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