Make Life Easier with Client Relationship Management (CRM) Tools

How many times have you missed an appointment, discussed the wrong information during a meeting with a client or, even worse, called a client or prospect by the wrong name?

These are the types of actions that can lead to mistrust and a prospective lost business sale or deal.

We do need to be realistic and ask ourselves: can the average person remember everything?  Of course, the answer is no.

The brain is very complex.  Yes, most of us breathe and walk on auto pilot but when it comes to using our cognitive abilities, which include memory, problem solving and decision making, it’s can be a very different story.  We use all of those abilities during a typical business day and are sometimes pushed to our limits.  How can we simplify our lives so that our focus is on the things that matter?  We can do this by using tools that can help us to organize our time and our business relationships.

One of these tools is Client (or Customer) Relationship Management (CRM). At its most basic level, CRM is a system that helps you capture information about your customers. CRM systems range from the most simple, for example, a spreadsheet or database containing information about your customers, to very complex, integrated online applications. There are many organizations that offer CRM solutions. Search “CRM” on the web for a starting point. Visit their websites to review their services and consult client testimonials.

A few examples of Client Relationship Management[1] tools include:

Microsoft Dynamics (CRM):

  • You can access this program through a web browser or through Microsoft Outlook

Sage Act!:

  • This program can interact with other applications and web services like Outlook, Google, and LinkedIn.

Maximizer:

  • This program can be easily configured to meet the specific needs of your business with access through web, desktop and mobile devices.

Salesforce:

  • This program provides easy collaboration and a proven cloud platform.

We have only touched the surface by mentioning a few options above.  The important thing to remember is that you need to implement a CRM that fits your business needs.  Price may also play an important role in your decision.  Also consider customer support, future updates and whether or not the company is reliable.  Take a look at Customer Relationship Management from the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation for additional information on determining your CRM needs.

CRM can make life a lot easier.  It can help you organize your clients and you can store conversations, tasks, appointments and goals.

Being an entrepreneur is not an easy task.  The things you have to remember on a daily basis can be overwhelming.  Using CRM tools or having a system in place that will help you to keep on top of issues will also help to create more confidence in those you do business with which will help to enhance and grow your business.

The Halton Region’s Small Business Centre is here to help you.  One of the goals of the Centre is to empower small and medium-sized enterprises and give you the tools to achieve success. For more information about any of Halton Region’s other Small Business Centre resources and services, and how we can help direct you to the right resources, contact us at 1-866-4HALTON (42-5866), www.haltonsmallbusiness.ca, smallbusinesss@halton.ca or visit us at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville.


[1] This blog is intended for informational purposes only. Halton Region does not endorse any commercial product, process or service referenced in this blog, or its producer or provider.

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