During March we posted a series of blogs focused on how to build and nurture key relationships for the mutual benefit of both the business and its clients. (To catch up on those topics, see Turn Your Business into a Referral Machine, Build Instant Rapport, Nurture Genuine Relationships, and Win Business Without Selling).
As discussed in that series, the successful businesses of the future are the ones who are continuously investing in mutually beneficial relationships today. However, as any experienced relationship manager knows, there is a flip side to all of the wonderful benefits that flow from these relationships: the workload required to maintain and keep track of them.
Imagine if your business were to develop hundreds of new relationships with clients, prospective clients, potential business partners, etc. Where would the details of all those relationships be stored and maintained? How would each new conversation, meeting or email correspondence be recorded? Is it possible to see in real-time precisely where each prospect currently sits within the sales cycle? How would another staff member access this information should one of those clients call into the office when their primary contact was unavailable?
Even adding a handful of new relationships into a potential sales pipeline could translate into several hundred contact events that need to be tracked over the course of a year. And extrapolating the number of relationships higher means exponentially more touchpoints that need to be managed.
How does your business currently manage its client and prospect database? In a spreadsheet? Within an email system? In a physical diary?
It’s easy to see how a business could quickly outgrow these outdated and clunky methods of maintaining its client and prospect lists. Because the more time and effort that is spent on the administrative side of relationships – such as recording past conversations, cut-and-pasting emails, searching through databases, synchronising spreadsheets, updating profiles, etc. – the less efficient the business will be in nurturing those relationships properly and converting them into sales.
The good news is that there are numerous Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions available to help businesses of any size extract more value from the relationships they are working so hard to cultivate. CRM applications allow your staff to instantly record (or retrieve) any type of contact event against a client’s record from any device so that all information is up-to-date and always available. Certain client touchpoints such as reminder emails or invitations can be fully automated and individual follow-up tasks can be systematically assigned to appropriate staff members for actioning.
Too many businesses pour immeasurable resources into building new relationships only to see most of them wither away because they are inadequately nurtured by staff members who are overburdened by administrative tasks.
Consider the future of your business by imagining just how many new relationships you could properly service today. What would it mean to your business if that number doubled? Tripled?
If it’s time to review the CRM processes and tools that your business utilises to nurture relationships, feel free to get in touch so we can help you navigate the landscape. Let’s get started turning all those burgeoning prospects into raving fans of your business.