This week at Verde Martin, we worked with a small business owner who wanted to measure sales results in real time to enhance the sales process, with no budget. We found the perfect no-cost tool: a Customer Relationship Management program or CRM. He needed to be able to manage leads, calculate inventory, measure marketing, and drive sales, all with QuickBooks compatibility. After researching different CRM systems online, we suggested Zoho.com, a free CRM system for as many as three users. The Zoho.com program has easy-to-use features that complement the businesses steps of the sale. The steps of the sale are:
- Lead Nurturing
- Qualify the Lead
- Set an Appointment
- Process Payment
- Follow Up
Together, the client and Verde Martin paralleled our efforts to define the steps of the sale with the design of a customized training plan and manual, beginning with the first step: lead nurturing. By customizing the steps of the sale into CRM, we delivered an entirely new tool to the client to manage and measure results for every aspect of the business, in real time. For example, we were able to upload emails, add attachments to emails, qualify leads, and measure inventory. The system was easy to use and, because all the information is connected to a specific lead or contact and in one place, the user was able to print an invoice for a client with just one click.
The report section of the CRM offers the business owner a way to manage pipeline activity and forecast sales. For example, prior to adding CRM, this business owner used an Excel spreadsheet to calculate costs. Now, the business owner is able to see sales, profits, and revenues in seconds. One of the benefits of adding CRM to the business operation is saving time and money with a consolidated tool that complements the sales process and improves efficiencies. All the information is in one place, and the client can access it with easy-to-use reports and forecast tools. When a business owner uses a CRM, he or she can see all leads, prospects, and opportunities, and close deals with the click of a mouse. How would you use a CRM program in your own business?