A business without customers is doomed, right? As for customer acquisition, you know, the key phrase is “conversion rate”. And the lethal weapon to boost its conversion rate is the CRM tool. How to set up such a tool without spending hours on it? What good habits to adopt? In this article, I present my method in 5 steps…

Some basics to get started

A person who may be interested in your products or services, but who has not yet purchased is called a “prospect”. In this case, the conversion rate represents the number of prospects that you manage to turn into customers, compared to the total number of prospects that you have identified.

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If you want to ensure the sustainability of your business, you must ensure that your conversion rate is as high as possible. To achieve this, there is no secret: increasing your conversion rate is based on two key principles :

  • Know your prospects. The goal is to have enough information about them to be able to offer them, at the right time, the product best suited to their needs;
  • Building a relationship and … nurturing it! Establishing a first contact with your prospects is good. Maintaining this relationship in such a way as to develop it in the desired direction (generally the signing of a contract) is much better.

As an entrepreneur, you know better than anyone that your time is precious. The implementation of a CRM tool (“Customer Relationship Management”, or “Customer Relationship Management” in French) allows you to intervene on these two levers while gaining efficiency and time.

Without further ado, here are the 5 steps to follow to optimize the installation of your tool.

Step 1 – Define your constraints and challenges

When you start to study the different CRM tools, you will find that a plethora of solutions exist. In order to save time in your first selection, I advise you to define in advance your constraints and the essential functionalities you need.

Some examples :

  • If you’ve just started your business, your budget is surely limited. In this case, you will be primarily interested in free solutions.
  • Conversely, if your team has several collaborators brought to use this CRM, you will orient yourself more towards a more collaborative solution.
  • Finally, if you have already implemented specific tools and technologies within your structure, you will choose a CRM that can interact with the solutions that you are already using.

Defining your constraints and challenges in advance allows you to have a first filter and not waste hours reading technical sheets, or attending tool demonstrations which in any case will not suit you.

Step 2 – Prepare your customer base: start with a spreadsheet, from the start

Once your constraints and challenges have been defined, you need to prepare your customer base. This will include the essential information you want to see back in your tool (contact information, website, date of last meeting, etc.). The easiest way here is to start with a basic spreadsheet.

Until you have made your choice of CRM, I recommend that you update this spreadsheet regularly.

Indeed, the majority of CRM tools offer the possibility of importing an existing database from a spreadsheet without formatting (the famous .csv file). Having the habit of regularly updating your database will make you save considerable time during this import.

Step 3 – Choose and test 2 or 3 tools: think of the “little extras”

The test phase is unavoidable. The customer base prepared in advance allows you to get started in just a few clicks on several tools at the same time. Trying two or three tools (no more) over at least a week allows you to:

  • Compare them;
  • Validate that all your prerequisites are respected (constraints and challenges);
  • Identify the “little extras” of each tool.

Examples of “little extras” :

  • Is the tool sufficient ergonomic for you ?

Some tools have multiple functions, but require a longer handling time.

With the smartphone almost becoming an extension of the entrepreneur’s hand, having a mobile app can be a huge advantage.

  • Does he offer reminders on actions or tasks to perform?

Some CRMs for example can send you notifications on your mobile phone.

  • Is your CRM interconnected?

Currently, the majority of tools and resources offer APIs – Programming Interfaces – which allow them to “talk” to each other. Can your CRM be linked to other tools that you commonly use?

Step 4 – Power up your tool and explore its possibilities

You have just chosen your CRM. Well done, I recommend that you follow a few tutorials and, if a user community exists, observe the good practices shared within that community. This will help you avoid mistakes and get to grips with your new tool faster.

Also take the time to discover the setting options of your tool and their usefulness. This step is too often overlooked. However, it is essential for adapt your CRM to your work habits and preferences.

Step 5 – Get into the habit of bringing your CRM to life

Do not forget that your CRM is the nerve of your customer and prospect relationships. Make sure that all the information necessary for these relationships is regularly updated. At the same time, you will be able to get the most out of your CRM, by periodically consulting the new features proposed in the updates.

In conclusion, setting up a CRM allows you to save precious time. This prospect relationship tracking tool helps you build strong relationships, thereby increasing your conversion rate.

We hope these five steps will help you get your CRM set up quickly. And if you prefer, you can consult these tips in the form of an infographic on Koï Coaching.

About the Author :

Mialy Ramaharobandro – Digital referent Koï coaching: I joined Koï Coaching because I fundamentally believe in the defended cause: putting people back at the heart of business. Specializing in digital transition, I help companies make the link between generations and I support them in the implementation of digital solutions adapted to their organization.

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