As a software consultant I am constantly testing different platforms for sales and marketing. When I test a new CRM platform the first thing I need to determine is “What kind of CRM is it?”. For the most part I have found that Customer Relationship Management software fits into 2 main categories, Lead Generation or Sales Enablement.
Lead generation is pretty self explanatory, these platforms will talk to you about increasing website traffic, converting visitor to prospects, and delivering content that matters to your audience. Through marketing automation these platforms often provide you with tools to deliver your content, integrate with social media, create marketing emails, landing pages and forms to gather visitor information. I like to refer to these platforms as Top-of-Funnel CRM, because this is where you have the largest pool of prospects and you are often just introducing yourself or your services to them.
Sales enablement is the technology, processes, and content that empower sales teams to sell efficiently at a higher velocity. These platforms offer you tools to manage your contact database and time management. Often these types of CRM platforms revolve around your email inbox because this it the primary way we interact with our known prospects. The origins of customer relationship management can be traced back to this type of platform, a rolodex or day planner are where CRM solutions originally hail from. Now we use sales enablement to improve our efficiency by providing our sales team with all the tools they need, when they need them.
At Larmahil we use both these types of platforms, but when we decide on a platform we look for these two main features.
These are the two most frequently used tools in my CRM.
1) Email Templates & Snippets
An email template is a prewritten letter with a purpose. Currently in my CRM I have 17 templated emails designed for everything from a new prospect introduction to booking a kick-off call after they purchase a product. A snippet is a block of text inside an email which is consistently the same, something like “visit our website” is a perfect opportunity to create a snippet. Rather than manually linking those three words to my website every time I want to add it to an email I just place the snippet and the linking was already done. On average I send 340 templated emails per month, that means for ever 1 minute of time I save by using an email template I save 5.67 HOURS/MONTH. If a template saves me from writing a 5 minute email I have free’d up 28 hours of my time.
2) Meetings links
We have all experienced the frustration that goes along with trying to co-ordinate a meeting with a client or prospect. It often starts with a “when are you free” followed by a “let me check” leading to a “that doesn’t work for me, how about this” and this can go on for days. I book 5-15 meetings a week, and almost all of them are done by my clients/prospects having open access to my calendar to book a time to talk which works for them. I know that sounds crazy but I control the times which I am available for by setting up my available schedule, and my CRM ensures I am never double booked and creates a cushion between meetings for me. I have multiple meeting links designed for 15 minute connect calls, 30-60 minute explorers calls, 1 hour demos, 2 hour training sessions, and a special clients only availability. Yes a lot of the times overlap, but by having multiple links not only do I know when the meeting is but I will also have a better idea of why we are meeting, especially in cases where new prospects reach out to me, it takes all the guess work out of the situation.
As Larmahil continues to grow I am certain the other tools in my CRM tool box will become more useful, but at the moment these are the two time saving tools I use the most. If you are interested in taking advantage of these CRM tools for your own business we offer full training packages tailored to fit your needs.