As we all know, when it comes to consulting BD, relationships are key – But keeping on top of all of the people you’ve had coffee with, met at events or invited for a beer can be hard work.
That’s where a CRM (Client Relationship Management) system comes in. They’ve been around since the 1990s, but have mushroomed in popularity over the last few years. And now, in the wake of a global pandemic that has accelerated the use of tech across all areas of business, they have gone from a nice-to-have to a critical tool in your marketing arsenal.
But with so many systems, tools and spreadsheets already, you may be wondering ‘do I really need this?’.
To help you answer that question and find out how a CRM can help you turbocharge your BD efforts we wanted to share this blog!
So what is a CRM?
A CRM is a platform that allows you to manage your interactions and your relationships with potential clients and existing ones.
Where once upon a time, client information might be found on Excel spreadsheets, or scrawled on Post-it notes around the office, a CRM can store all of this information in a way that is much more efficient, and with greater detail – allowing you to track your contacts, your interactions with them and make a bespoke plan for nurturing and hopefully converting them into a paying client.
Not only does a CRM replace that Excel contacts spreadsheet, but it combines it with the ability to track your deal pipeline and integrate this with your other marketing systems, so that you can keep all of this information in one place.
As CRMs are typically SAAS platforms, they can be accessed by as many of your team as you want. Meaning that you can all access and input your contacts, meetings and deals into one central place. Giving you a powerful overview of who knows who across your firm and where there may be potentially unexploited opportunity to create introductions and generate new business.
Where do I start?
While it may be tempting to jump in and sign up for the first CRM that pops up on Google, this is unlikely to lead to the best long term result for your consultancy.
As you no doubt do with your client work, the first step with any new CRM is to clearly define what you want from it, and then to select the platform that best aligns with your strategy.
From there, you’ll want to customise the CRM to suit your specific requirements – be that adding bespoke contact fields, creating automation within the CRM or linking it to your other marketing platforms to help you create an integrated view of your marketing activity.
Once you’re set-up, it’s simply a case of adding members of your team to your CRM, collating your contacts onto the platform and adding those all-important deals. The more data you have, the more powerful your CRM will be.
How to use it for your marketing?
Once you have your CRM system up and running, you can use the data provided to help you turbo charge your marketing efforts.
Whether it’s identifying potential leads based on your email subscribers or creating tailored content based on challenges that a prospective client mentioned in your recent meeting. You’ll have all of the data readily available to you. Letting you monitor, manage and measure your BD efforts.
With so many low-cost CRMs out there – many of which offer free trials – there’s no excuse for going without.
If your firm has more than two consultants, you’ll benefit from a CRM and see your marketing and business development improve because of it.
If you’d like to find out more about CRMs and how they could directly benefit your consultancy feel free to drop us a message!