Regardless of what type of services firm you work for, they all have something in common: the commodity being offered is not a product you can see or touch. Rather, your organization is delivering services, the value of which comes from your experience and expertise. Because of this, it is critical for these organizations to use a customer relationship management (CRM) system that addresses certain business development challenges that are unique to services firms.
1. Making Every Employee a Salesperson
Most companies have a dedicated business development or sales team that is responsible for generating new business. At professional services firms, however, all members of the staff have a duty to help generate leads and fill the business development pipeline. Whether through referrals or relationships built at networking events, all team members must carry the flag for the company. Having said this, it becomes even more critical that their CRM system be simple to understand and easy to use. If a CRM system is too confusing, non-business development team members will get frustrated and likely not use the system appropriately, thereby risking new business being lost.
2. Creating a Central Repository for Client Intelligence
Your relationships with clients are the foundation of your business. Knowing your clients’ business inside and out is one thing, but having all that updated information in one place where everyone in the firm can access it is another. Don’t risk alienating (or losing) an account if one of your account executives or project managers leaves unexpectedly. Leverage the true power of your CRM system to know the latest information about every client at any time while quickly training new staff members on client information.
3. Navigating the Extended Sales Process
It is crucial to build trust with clients immediately and show yourselves as a thought leader in their industry. However, the sales cycle can often be long and arduous, and can require a skillful tap-dance to maintain communication with the client while not suffocating them with your attention. Through the use of a CRM system and marketing automation solution, you can maintain a regular schedule of touches with the client to make sure your company is always top of mind while providing valuable, relevant information. This is great way to move the sales process along and, when they’re ready, engage your business development team to finalize the sale.
CRM systems are a great way to give your business development efforts a boost. But implementing the system is crucial in making sure you get the most out of it. Look for a partner who will take the time to understand your business and can set the CRM system and processes up based on your requirements, not the other way around. Contact BroadPoint to schedule a complimentary CRM needs assessment for your professional services organization today.