Why do you need a Client Relationship Management solution? The short answer is to grow your firm and increase profits.
But that’s too generic. Everyone wants to boost their success. So, let’s step through two common situations that hinder success and how a CRM can help take you to the next level.
Situation #1: Lost Leads
Say you attended a networking event or conference (live or remote). You met a couple of dozen people, and from your conversations, you think four could use your services. In addition, you talked to another dozen colleagues, and they gave you three companies and contacts that your firm can help.
Of the seven leads, you only wrote down information for four of them. If this was a live event, the information may be on the backs of business cards, napkins, and in the margin of handouts. For the other three leads, you expect to remember the information, which is never a good idea. For a virtual event, you might add the lead information in your daily diary, on a post-it note, or on a slip of paper. In short, live or remote, opportunities can come fast and furious.
Regardless of how you record the lead information, you do plan to contact them.
As a partner or manager, do you delegate lead followup to an assistant, office manager, or someone else? This is the most common situation. Partners and managers have high bill rates and the most expertise, so maximizing their utilization is critical for the firm to operate. They can’t spend their valuable time trying to convert leads.
However, a few problems can pop up in this situation.
- Your delegate can’t read your handwriting or the ink is smudged.
- The person has other work to get done like answering the phone, checking timesheets, billing, and managing receivables.
- As a partner, you might delegate the lead to a manager or professional staff, but they need to generate billable hours too.
In short, leads that could become new clients and new revenue (and likely, recurring revenue) are lost because:
- The call is not scheduled and eventually forgotten in the busy day. Time passes before it is remembered, if at all.
- The lead is scheduled, but a client priority comes up and delays the call. Then it is forgotten for days, weeks, or forever.
- The post-it, business card, or napkin with the lead information is misplaced for days or weeks or is simply lost.
And losing a lead isn’t only possible during and after an industry event. The same lost lead situation can result from call-ins to your firm, online chats, emails, and text messages.
Use Your CRM to Automatically Record and Manage Leads
The solution is Core CRM, which records and manages all leads. With Core, the information is not scattered among post-its, diaries, and people in your office. And the person assigned to the lead can schedule follow-ups quickly and easily.
In addition, Core CRM contains a history of contacts and notes. This means you (partner or manager) can monitor progress from the prospect stage and to the opportunity stage. When your expertise is needed, you can insert yourself into the business development process and take over at any point.
Bottom Line: With Core’s CRM, everything is in a central location. Leads are not lost. Follow-ups are easily scheduled and the assigned person sees “today’s calls” on their Core CRM dashboard. As their manager, you can check follow-ups, notes, and other actions without time-sucking briefings. Monitoring is effortless, and at the right time, you can insert your credibility and persuasion, which will likely bring in a new client.
Situation #2: Impatience
Impatience kills growth and profits. It results from the tug of war between billable hours, critical staff tasks, and getting leads to talk to you. Even seasoned business development reps fight against impatience with leads.
Say a company indicated an interest in your firm’s services. Perhaps you spoke with the contact a few times and you emailed them a brochure about your firm and services. But they suddenly stop responding to your calls and emails. Nothing. The Deafening Silence!
Deafening silence can occur at any stage: prospect, opportunity, after sending a proposal, etc. Regardless when it occurs, your impatience will ask: When do I stop setting follow-ups, attempting to contact the lead, and taking up my most precious asset – time?
Not until they tell you to stop.
When you stop laughing, read on.
Why don’t leads respond? Here are the most common reasons.
- They have a hectic life or a demanding business.
- They aren’t ready to move forward.
- They don’t want to hurt your feelings by telling you to stop calling.
- Their need has not risen to the top of their priorities.
- They are building a business case for the boss.
- They are waiting for the right time to approach the boss.
- They are no longer interested.
Gosh, that list reads like it came from how we all deal with a hectic business and busy life.
The frustration you feel is because what you want is not happening when you want it to. Other than “no longer interested,” all the reasons translate into “not ready.”
Remember, your leads are expensive. Attending events, remote or live, come at a cost: non-billable time, travel, hotel, etc. Even leads shared by colleagues have a cost, though it is mostly intangible. What would a colleague think if a lead told them: “Yeah, they left a couple of voicemails then nothing”?
Use Your CRM to Continually Nurture Leads
Your marketing strategy (should) includes information that will nurture leads until they are ready to move forward. It might be a brochure, new information on your website, or a blog post (yours or someone else’s). After calling and emailing say, ten times over three weeks, you tag the lead as “not ready.” In addition, you might tag the lead with another attribute such as type of business and what their need is (if you know). Then, every four to five weeks. you filter your leads and mass email them information. Of course, your email asks them to contact you with questions.
This “content” sharing process ensures you stay top-of-mind with your leads. It reminds them that they have a problem or need that you can ease. Through your content, say a “success story” with another client, you may hint at a solution.
Bottom Line: No wasted leads. You nurture them until they are ready. That might be days, weeks, months, or years. No matter. Emailing 50, 100, or 500 leads once a month takes very little time with Core CRM.
Impatience be gone! Frustration, I do not know you!