We’ve all heard the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” and you’re probably wondering what does this have to do with my CRM system.
Well, similar to eating apples, it is the little things you do every day that contribute to good health and more importantly CRM success. For example, taking half an hour to train new users at their desks, working with an assistant on formatting a letter, attending a group meeting to better understand how CRM could help attorneys achieve their business development goals, communicating small wins to the entire firm. These little things really do add up.
Here are some little things you can do to make CRM more successful… and something about apples.
The Apple of Our Eye
Sure, there are plenty of stories about CRM failures. But in reality, when implemented and rolled out successfully, CRM has tremendous potential. It can actually help a firm or organization improve communication, coordination and client service. If you really think about it, I bet you won’t have trouble coming up with a list of really important day-to-day tasks that are done in law firms or other industries that don’t involve at least one of those things. That’s because for some businesses, relationships are their most important assets, and relationships require a lot of communication, coordination and service.
Here are just a few things CRM can help us do:
- De-duplicate contact records, so the same people aren’t sent the same communication twice.
- Generate lists and segment them by key categories to ensure that we can target information to the people who can benefit from it.
- Alert potential clients of important information or changes in laws or regulations that can affect them.
- Coordinate client and team meetings.
- Share information from client surveys about client service preferences.
All these things can help CRM become the apple of any firm or organization’s eye. Then, there are even more important things that CRM can do.
The Golden Apple
Arguably, the most important thing CRM software can do for firms or organizations is business development – attracting and retaining top clients. This is one of the main reasons firms or organizations invest in a CRM system in the first place. Actually, this is the reason firms and organizations are able to do a lot of the things they do.
The problem is that, after the fact, those same firms often complain that their CRM system is not providing a return on their investments. The reasons have less to do with the CRM technology and more to do with the fact that the CRM system isn’t being used properly – or at all – or that the firm hasn’t found a way to adequately measure ROI.
Here are a few things you can measure to enhance the CRM’s ability to create more business development opportunities:
- Send targeted communications to key clients and prospects to provide opportunities to generate business related to changes or developments in laws or regulations.
- Strategically send (and follow up) on invites to events to key prospects to set up meetings to discuss key issues and strategies for addressing them.
- Plan and schedule client team meetings to identify cross-selling opportunities.
- Communicate and distribute information from client surveys to improve client service and retention.
- Set reminders to enhance follow-up after events.
- Create pipelines to track business development progress with clients and prospects.
- Share financial information to help determine who the firm’s top clients are so that the firm can serve them better and try to grow them – and to help identify who the firm’s at-risk clients may be so that the firm can serve them better and try to retain them.
One additional thing to remember when it comes to ROI on CRM investments: CRM is about people, processes and technology – and when it fails to deliver ROI, it’s more often an issue caused by the people, not the technology. All the technology (or apples) in the world isn’t going to get the business in the door if the professionals aren’t willing to do the outreach necessary to set up meetings or walk out the door and get face-to-face with clients.
For more than a decade, the team at CLIENTSFirst Consulting has been helping professional services firms and other organizations successfully select and implement CRM and eMarketing systems and improve Data Quality to maximize value, adoption and return on investment. If you need help achieving CRM Success, please contact us at 404-249-9914 or Info@ClientsFirstConsulting.com.