Most businesses know that in order to run smoothly they need systems and processes in place. Whether it’s manual or automated, companies that fail to plan almost certainly plan to fail.
The day-to-day running of a publishing company is pretty full on as you can imagine. Not only do we have to source content, we then have to edit it (or copywrite from scratch), fact-check and proof it; then there are social media posts to plan, write and upload; emails to send and respond to; sales calls to make; new prospects to source; ad design and implementation to finalise; printers to deal with; distribution (and distributors) to arrange and organise; blogs to write; websites to update; digital magazines to upload; puzzles to put together (and winners picked!); interviews to conduct; invoices to send… and that’s just the start of it!
When it comes to organisational skills though, we’d be lost without our CRM (Customer Relations Management). Essentially, it’s a tool that tells us who to call (and when), when it comes to following up with potential new customers, liaising with current customers (and suppliers) and keeping on top of things in general.
The devil’s in the detail
When you’ve potentially got a large customer base, coupled with a memory that’s on the decline, a CRM can be your saving grace. You can make notes on customers based on conversations you’ve had, source their social media platforms, schedule follow-up calls or emails, integrate other platforms (such as newsletter marketing) and generally let it serve as your memory palace!
The CRM we use at Luna Creative Media (parent company of Life In…Magazines) is OnePage. We’ve used it from the start and enjoy its simplicity, ease of use – and email reminders on the day’s tasks ahead. And when we’re sending an email to a customer or potential client, if we bcc in a special code, it copies it directly to the CRM so it’s super easy to keep track of conversations.
The key features
The more we use our CRM, the more we’re impressed with its capabilities. And when you’re using (and paying) for systems and processes that will enable the smooth-running of your business, it’s a good idea to take time to get to know all of its features.
At the very least your CRM should be able to provide great customer support and a variety of relationship management capabilities including contacts, sales leads, task management and opportunities/deals. Most of the rest is a bonus.
With OnePage CRM, additional features such as its mobile app, data capture and business integrations with other systems and apps have been a godsend. And then there’s others that we haven’t yet explored including sales forecasting; importing LinkedIn contacts; lead capture from Gmail, Outlook, Twitter and Facebook and even a business card scanner.
Without a shadow of a doubt, the one thing that we’ve come to realise is super important when making sales and running a business is having a ‘next action’ to-do. We’ve all got our lists which we tick off – either on paper or digitally, but what action will you take on that ‘to-do’ next?
Luckily, OnePage always prompts for this before you close the window. Whatever the outcome – whether someone has said ‘no thanks’, ‘we’ll think about it’, ‘I’ll need to check with my boss’ or ‘yes please’ – the ‘next action’ prompt has never failed us. Definitely one to apply to all areas of your business and not just your CRM.
What CRM do you use and what do you particularly like about it?
“Saying, “I don’t have time for CRM.” is like saying, “I don’t have time to look at my GPS app because I am too busy trying to figure out the best way to get from here to there.”
― Bobby Darnell, Time For Dervin – Living Large in Geiggityville
Next time we’ll be highlighting why it’s important to shop local and support local!
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