I was a panelist for on a call for the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) last week. The topic was “Harnessing The Power of CRM to Grow Your Business”. I was one of 3 panelist discussing what a CRM was and how it helps your business.
So you may be asking “What is a CRM?” Here is a definiton from Zapier:
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, so by definition, a CRM is an app that helps you manage your relationships with current and prospective customers. Your email and address book already do that, in some ways—your email links related messages together, and lets you find all messages from a contact with a quick search, while your address book can hold as much info about your contacts as you want. Even the old-fashioned Rolodex was a CRM of sorts.
As you can see having and utilizing a CRM is crucial to your business, especialy if you want it to grow. So I wanted to share with you some of the tips I shared on this Teleconference.
Why Do I Need A CRM & How Early In My Business Should I Implement
One of the questions asked on the call was “Why do I need one and how early do I need to utilize one?” My colleagues all gave great answers saying the sooner in business the better to be thinking about and utilizing a CRM. This is true that you do need to be thinking about a CRM at the earliest stages of your business. Especially if you plan on growing your business. But my advice was that if you are just starting out and don’t have a lot of contacts yet you can still utilize a hybrid system of a CRM like your Google Contacts, Phone Contacts, Evernote, or a scheduling system like Vcita. The reason you want a CRM is because for any business to grow you need customers and clients. You need to build a relationship with these customers and clients. The more people you come in contact with the more disorganized it can become to keep up with who said what and when to follow up. So that is where having a CRM comes into play.
I shared that when I first started out I utilized my Palm Pilot’s roledex feature and kept paper notes in a notebook. This was way before there was a way to scan in business cards like you can now. That was a ok system until I got a little bit bigger and attended way more networking events. Then I graduated to ACT. Only now 19 years in am I utilizing another true CRM for my business as my business model has changed.
That was my experience but if you know that you want to grow your business bigger and will be starting out in business going to a lot of events, I would definetly try out a couple of the CRM’s I will mention below. Most, if not all of them have Free trials and a few have a totally free version depending on the number of contacts and people in your business needing to utilize it. You have way more technology available to you now than I had when I first started. Do what is comfortable and right for your business.
CRM’s To Start
Below is my list of CRM’s. They vary from free to paid and from simple to complex. My advice is choose two that meet your needs right now, but has room to grow as your business grows.
These recommendations are in no particular order and certainly does not encompass all that is available, but it does give you a few that I have tried personally and some that have been recommended by other professionals to get you started in the right direction.
- I also shared that when you are looking for a CRM you want to make sure that they have integrations with other services; like your email managment system, etc. You should also make sure that you can get all of your information by download or export.
- Also make sure that you can access your info via the cloud. Because there is no point in having a CRM if you can’t access your notes and info on the go.
- Look for free trials and only put in about 20 contacts when you are first starting out so that you can really see if it is going to be a good fit without sacrificing a lot of time and energy by putting all of your contacts and information in.
There is more that I plan to write on this subject as there was more questions that people asked that we didn’t get to get to. So stay tuned to my blog for future posts on the subject.
If you have a CRM recommendation or if you are using a hybrid solution of a CRM I would love to hear about it in the comments below.
If you are someone who needs more help in figuring out what is the right solution for you can contact me or check out my 4 week program Blueprint for Success: Pushing Past Tech Fear. You can learn more by clicking here.
There is just something about the month of August that makes you feel a sense of new purpose and push. Maybe because the kids are going back to school or maybe because it sets in that we only have five more months to make it happen this year on those goals. Whatever it is I am energized by the month and look forward to making big things happen.
There has been a lot of changes this year with Get IT Together! and me. My business has grown and I feel that I am finally at a good place in the process since transitioning fully to digital organizing and technology. I have accomplished a lot in just 6 months, but know there is more to go.
So I wanted to write a post sharing some of the big things that have happened and that I created to serve you better.
The first is I finally finished my Pushing Past Procrastination book. If you have not checked it out, please go over there now. This book was a true labor of love in it took me almost 4 years to complete for various reasons. I am excited to announce that the print copy will be available for purchase very soon. I will update this post when it is available in print.
The second announcement is I have finally opened Sam’s Tech Academy. I wanted a place where I could share my tech knowledge to help you in your business. So head on over there now. I have a couple of courses already up but will be adding new ones monthly. If you are not tech savvy and need to get up to speed on tech then you definitely want to check out Sam’s Tech Academy.
And then finally I have my new Facebook Group Digitally You with Samantha. I would love for you to join me over there in the group. I come in live twice weekly and share #TechChat’s and daily provide relevant tech information to help grow your business. It’s FREE to join and I would love for you to be apart. Just click here to request to join.
Well that is all of my updates for now. It’s a new month and I am excited for all that is going on. If you are not connected with my mailing list drop your information in the box below so you can stay up to date with the happenings and special offers as well as my free ezine My Organized Life.
I used to be an iPhone user. I know, I know. Don’t go running for the hills now that I have gone over to the “dark side”. It’s really not like that. But since I was changing platforms I had to find apps that had an android version or a comparable substitute for the iPhone version that I was using.
On my iPhone I was using the reminders app to keep me in line with what I needed to be doing daily. But I needed something that would hold me more accountable for what I wanted to build a habit on daily not just reminders and so my search began.
That is when I stumbled across the Habit Streak app in the Google Play store. I was intrigued and so I downloaded it and put it through its paces. Since it takes 21 days to form a habit I was really pleased to see that in this app I am able to track my progress on anything I am trying to form a habit for and if I fall off the wagon it lets me restart. Now that is very encouraging because most people just give up and never restart if they don’t stick to something for 21 days. Well with Habit Streak you will not have that problem.
Habit Streak is easy to use and easy to set up. You can use the built in timer to give you a daily reminder to check in and check off your completed habits. You can put in pretty much any habit that you are trying to form. Whether that is exercise everyday or brushing your teeth twice a day. Don’t overload it though with habits. You want to start out small and master those habits, not try to conquer 20 habits a day.
They encourage you to express each habit or question that you put in as a positive goal. And they also stress that this app is for building up a habit not reminding you of things like your calendar would do. I think this is very important to remember so that you can be successful at using this app and not getting disappointed because you put the wrong type of information in it.
As great as this app is it is not a magic bullet. You have to actually use it to be helpful. It can be really easy to just check “I Did These” to everything when the reminder pops up and you haven’t really done anything. I have caught myself doing that a couple of times. When this happens I just hit the reset button on the habits I am trying to form and start again. I also evaluate what I have on my list to see if it is really a habit that I am committed to growing or if it is just a temporary phase that I was going through.
There’s a Version for You
I am still using the free version of this app, but you can upgrade to pro for about $2.99 and will be able to do much more with it. And good news iPhone fans there is an iPhone version of the app so you can try it too. (By the way I still have an iPad Mini so I am not completely out of the fold 🙂 ).
So if you want to build up a habit and be held accountable for it I encourage you to try out Habit Streak . Start with one or two habits that you would like to form and see how it goes.