The importance of having a CRM system

I had a discussion with a consultants broker the other day, about why I used a CRM system for my consultancy firm. Why would you need a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system in a small firm?

For me, keeping tabs of a large group of potential clients, current clients, partners, suppliers and contacts is not something I can do by memory alone or by using a notebook – the risk that you forget an important piece of information or a task is large.

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I can’t see myself, or any business really, functioning well operationally without keeping a digital track of its contacts, contracts, invoicing etc. Having parts of those processes automated (e.g. notifications of when to send a new invoice, contract renewal, reminders to re-connect) helps me save a lot of time, which in business equals money.

When I implemented a CRM system from scratch for a client a couple of years ago, I set about mapping the current situation, the wanted situation (=goal) and requirements and then moved to getting RFP:s from possible suppliers and after receiving demos from these moved on to choose a CRM. In that project, I had to move a lot of both digital and analog data into the new CRM system. As the specifications had already been mapped out based on the requirement list, it was relatively easy, if time consuming, process of moving data to the new system. I added alerts for when contracts were do, and connected these to the relevant digitized contracts of course.

When I started Hvitravnur, I ended up choosing a free system called Hubspot mainly due to price (free for small firms), API/plugins to integrate with e-mail clients and adaptability. Starting off, I defined my sales process in the system, added partners and leads, and then started filling the dashboard with deals (possible business) that I moved a long the digital pipeline.

Want to bounce ideas and thoughts on CRM systems? Get in touch!