As business owners, we all have a CRM but how effectively are we using them?  Is it a glorified white page for looking up current and old contacts?  Let’s look at the CRM name itself.  It’s a Customer Relationship Management system platform not a CLU Customer Lookup Up platform but I can pretty confidently say that CLU is all most organizations use it for.

CRM Housekeeping

How often or do you ever clean up your CRM contacts?  Most small business are simply not managing their data so how do you even have a “relationship” with contacts if you are not actively managing the related data.  Here are simple steps for managing your data.

    1. Purging – You may have more than one CRM.  You need to clean up and consolidate the data from all of them.  Who would own multiple CRMs? Let’s drill down on the locations of the CRM:

      A) The website – Your website collects contacts and a plugin like HubSpot contact form redirects the contact info to their CRM.
      B) PSA – Your Professional Services Automation system may be at the core of your business for providing customer services to your clients.  It also contains a CRM.
      C) Books or Outlook – Some businesses and individual’s bookkeeping platform or Outlook may actually contain the most clean copy of company contacts both new and old. 
      D) CRM – Your default CRM may have most of your contacts but is it really just a broom closet full of crap?
    2. Tagging – Congrats!  You paired down your repetitive contacts of who’s who and tag each contact into Client, Prospect, Resource, and Friend.

    3. Uploading – Take the cleanest, most optimal, ready to use CSV file and upload it to your client engagement platform. Alternatively, use an API connection to keep contacts in sync with your other platform.

What is a Client Engagement Platform?

Most CRMs are pretty bad about the “Relationship Management” part of the acronym CRM.  More robust CRMs like Salesforce or HubSpot may do this a little better but I suggest purchasing a dedicated client engagement platform.  

A client engagement platform will require you to assemble sales processes (SOPS) for how you obtain contacts to place into the platform and sales sequence for once they are in your platform.  SDR (Sales Development Representative) that have incredibly good insight for how your business runs and how your contacts interact with it can also assist with this.

This is different from email blast platforms such as MailChimp.  The philosophy behind client engagement requires a fundamentally different approach to gain top of mind for when these contact eventually reach out to you.  That’s a whole another discussion that cannot be broken down into one or even many blog posts but I can tell you almost everyone is approaching the art of engagement wrong. ProTip! Don’t send DMs to strangers inquiring if they want your services. You are wasting your time.

How to Engage Prospects

How to Engage Prospects and Existing Clientele Summary

There are plenty of sale engagement platforms out there such as Outreach, OutplayHQ, and Hubspot but simply buying the software does not fix your problem.  You must clean your own house by gutting most of your outdated CRM contracts.  You must develop processes so you don’t ever accumulate thousands upon thousands of contacts ever again unless you put them into a sales sequence or delete them.  You must find other streams for engaging with more prospective clientele and purge those if they lead to nowhere.  It’s all about creating processes, delegating those processes going forward, and making sure this role is a joint responsibility for you and someone else going forward.

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