10 Reasons Why Coaches and Consultants Need a CRM
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has been an essential sales and marketing enabler for many years at a corporate level. But if you’re a coach or a consultant you might consider a CRM unnecessary. You may be concerned that it’s a big beast for which the return doesn’t justify the investment. I’m going to try and change your mind by sharing the top 10 reasons why ambitious coaches and consultants need a CRM.
1. To keep all of your contacts in one place
First of all, the beauty of CRMs today is that they are customisable and that means that you can keep all of your contacts in one place. You might have a current client list in a spreadsheet with suppliers in another and store contacts in Outlook or Google, or have a stack of business cards on your desk which you have collected while networking. Too much of your time is spent trying to find the phone number or email address of that interesting person you met somewhere, sometime in the last few weeks. Sound familiar?
Don’t get me wrong – I love spreadsheets but they don’t work for keeping in touch with people and often you’ll just have too many versions, stored in different places. A CRM changes a two-dimensional list into a three-dimensional, interactive tool, which can be played with like a Rubik’s Cube, allowing you to dice and slice your data any way you want.
A cloud-based CRM will enable you to record a contact’s details (even scan the card with a business card reader and automatically input it) and set up a follow-up task while you’re out and about, email direct from the system and log phone conversations for all your contacts.
2. To Reduce Feast and Famine
You can’t, even with the best will in the world, be in two places at once. When you are out delivering your productised service, you can’t be generating interest, keeping on top of your pipeline or doing any of the other trillion back-office jobs you need to do to keep your business, not only ticking along, but growing.
The right CRM will prompt you to do things in a predetermined sequence; you’ll be nudged to action tasks so that you don’t forget them. The right CRM will not only help you manage your contacts, but move new opportunities through your pipeline, your existing clients along your product staircase, and manage your deliverables – so the tasks that it reminds you to do can be across 100% of your business, if set up correctly, of course.
3. There’s a limit to how many things you can remember at any one time
It’s been shown that we can only hold 7 (give or take 2) things in our head at any one time – George Miller, a cognitive psychologist at the Harvard University Department of Psychology identified this way back in 1956; it’s now known as Millers Law – so don’t worry when you forget things, or your head feels like it’s going to explode. It’s not just you! Let’s face it: running a business means all the jobs fall to you, even the ones that aren’t making you money.
A CRM will help you run your coaching or consulting business in a more efficient, organised way. It will free up head space to spend on the areas which will generate more revenue and help you grow your business. Most importantly, it can help you deliver the quality of service your clients need you to provide for them.
Make life easy for yourself and get some CRM help – keep a note of a conversation on the person’s record and set up a task to call them and follow up; set up best-practice processes for encouraging an opportunity to convert to a sale and for the delivery of what your client has purchased. Remove emotion from a specific situation by establishing the processes beforehand and then the CRM will prompt you to undertake the next task – it’s as easy as that. Save yourself from re-inventing the wheel each time and stop a bad day from becoming an unproductive day.
4. To set up your business for growth
Until you are ready to take on some dedicated help (be that an employee or a VA), you will need to stretch yourself as far as you can. You’ll be able to stretch yourself a lot further with a bespoke system which supports you. A good CRM will integrate with an email delivery system and your accounts package – a lot of your business processes can be automated so that things are ticking along whilst you are with your clients. Not only that; relationships with any associates or suppliers can also be managed, keeping them in the loop on joint projects and the like which is vital when you are growing your coaching or consulting business.
And, when you are ready to ramp up a gear and take on someone else, the whole thing will take less time and energy because all your processes and systems will be set up ready for them to hit the ground running and do things as you want them done.
5. To adopt best sales practices and keep an eye on the pipeline
So many coaches and consultants don’t have a pipeline, but how can you truly run, let alone grow a business, unless you do? Understanding where opportunities are in the sales process helps you plan and manage forecasts – and keep the boat afloat. Understanding what actions need to be taken to convert the lead into a sale, and being reminded of those actions, will give you the best chance of winning the deal. A good CRM will enable you to see all of your opportunities in one place so you can see the total value and what needs to be done to realise that value.
6. To adopt best service delivery practices
Your clients come to you because they have been referred or searched for you. They have bought into what you offer, they want or need your services, and they deserve the best – but you don’t need to re-invent the wheel every single time. They deserve to receive the best of what you have to offer and that is a service which is tried and tested and improved over time.
With a CRM you can set up a series of tasks which enables you to deliver best practice and a good system will prompt you to carry out the actions when you need to, so you are able to help more clients.
7. To get a 360˚ view of your client and still communicate 1:1
A good CRM will give you the ability to have a 360˚ client view and offer 1:1 communication as it will integrate with your email delivery system and your accounts package.
GDPR comes into play here too – make sure you use the correct lawful reason for processing for the correct group of contacts.
8. To encourage your clients along your product staircase
The easiest source of new business is most likely from your existing clients – they already (hopefully) love and trust you so if you’re not helping your clients along your product staircase in a way which works for them, you’re not doing them any favours and you, and your business, are missing out too.
9. To find more sales opportunities among existing leads and accounts
By understanding who your ideal client is, you also understand the problems they face and how best to contact them.
Having your leads and prospects in a CRM means that you can dice and slice your contacts as you want and need to, ensuring that you send communications containing messages which resonate with them, so increasing the chances of them wanting to work with you when they realise they have the need for which you offer a solution.
10. Save you money and time
The most important reason. A good CRM saves you money and time. It gives you the ability to increase revenue and decrease costs, meaning you increase net profit.
Most of all, a good CRM enables coaches and consultants to be out there more, doing more of what they want to do and less of what they don’t (but need to). Whilst you are out there helping your clients, your CRM is capturing any new enquiries and getting ready to remind you to undertake the actions you need to when you are back at your desk (or on the go – the mobile apps are very good too 😉 )
Coaches and consultants need a CRM as much as enterprises, but not the same CRM – one that has been designed with the small to medium business in mind. They need one that is flexible and created to be a bespoke tool reflecting their ideal client avatar, business model and goals.
Just make sure you invest the time in thinking about how your processes work, who your ideal client is and what you offer them, then populate it with your clean and enhanced data. And learn how to use it, so it becomes part of your day-to-day business life.
If you are unsure why you need to know who your ideal client is, or how to create your own Ideal Client Avatar you might like to check out my free eBook which will help you.
You never know, it may just be a life-changing experience for you and your growing business.
How I can support you
My goal is to help you, as a business owner, to grow your business by getting the most value out of your three most valuable assets:
- Your contacts/data
- Your processes and systems
When you make the most of your contacts/data you are in the best place possible to increase your revenue. When you have efficient, repeatable processes in your business, you reduce the cost of sales. Both of these give the business owner more headspace to focus on growing their business.
The overall result is an increase in net profit.
I’m always happy to have a chat – you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I have been working with CapsuleCRM for over 9 years and helped many clients increase revenue, reduce costs, make the most of their contacts, manage their pipeline and deliver great customer service.
I do this by designing and installing Capsule to meet the client’s needs, offering a bespoke CRM to suit their business requirements. Capsule really is a great solution for coaches and consultants and when it is integrated with Mailchimp and Xero you have really solid foundations in place to grow your business.
To find out more or arrange a time to discuss how I can help you, please contact me. Thank you.