Sarah Wilkinson hosted this introductory session on having a CRM (Customer (or Client) Relationship Management) system on Tuesday 28th April 2020.

Take a look for yourself in the video below.

Underneath the video you will also find a PDF Transcript.

Transcript of Video

My name’s Sarah and I’m from Computer Assistance and I provide IT support to small businesses. I just wanted to let you know just a little bit about myself cause I don’t think I’ve met a lot of you or just in passing. Just to let you know a bit of my background, I began my career actually as a programmer and IT Support for a textile company in Greater Manchester. Then when PCs became a bit more widely available. And yes I am that old. I don’t know whether anyone remembers a time before PCs but I moved to a networking company who specialized in file transfer. And, but it’s funny how I feel cause at the time I was in a serious runner and managed to qualify for the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur and I decided to concentrate on my athletics for a few years and become a full time athlete.

So my aim was actually to go to the Olympic Games and I missed out by just a few seconds and, and again, how funny life is. But I managed to go to the World Half Marathon and I actually met my coach there and that’s when we moved to the Northeast. And I kind of wanted a more flexible job that would start earning me some money but also that allowed me to still travel with my athletics as an d when I could. And my mum was actually the one to suggest to me to become self employed. So I started supporting small businesses in the area or people usually in their homes with IT. And we were living in Manchester, but we moved to the Northeast and it was up here when I met up with a guy through networking and he owned a communications company and he asked me if I would help with consultation, support and training for CRM.

And that’s what I’m going to talk about today. So that was quite a number of years ago now and time really flies by. It feels like yesterday. So I wanted to just talk about what the meaning of CRM was. So CRM is actually an abbreviation for customer relationship management and business is all about people and relationships and a CRM helps you keep the information of all your customers in one place and your prospects so you can track all your customer interactions and not lose, lose any information really.

It was developed to nurture relationships and probably the very first ones were the Rolodex system. I

don’t know whether anyone remembers that, but it was literally cards on a, on a ring where you have the customer’s names and addresses and phone numbers. We have some people nodding there. That was just me. So that was really the best kind of CRM system.

But obviously they improved from there and became digital and so examples of CRMs are all around you and you probably wouldn’t even realise that you use them. So for example, you fill out a form on the web and someone gives you a call straight away, that’s probably a CRM that’s doing that. Or when your insurance company let you know your annual policies due, they’ve got all your information stored in the CRM and it automatically will tell them when your policy is due and send you a letter. And also another example, for example, when you use your Tesco card at the check out and then you get some vouchers for something you haven’t purchased for a while. Again, they’re using the information to give you a good customer experience. So what can a CRM system do for you?

So it can maintain and manage your data obtained from multiple sources. So in one place you can store all the information to do with your customer, like the names and addresses and phone numbers, but also emails and information from your website and from the telephone calls and even social media.

So why is it really important? Your customers are your biggest asset and when you’re trying to grow your business it beccomes more challenging to track of all your customers and potential customers. So to begin with, you might be able to deal with new customers on spreadsheets or in separate areas. And especially as a small business, you’re putting on lots of different hats. Your marketing hats and you know, your customer service hat and it can be really difficult to keep track of your customers and how to organize that information. So you also need to know if your customers are engaged with your content. So some CRM will integrate with your website and provide autoresponders and you can follow your contacts on social media through the CRM. Now there are lots of different kinds of CRM system and I’ll talk about that a bit later.

The way of actually being able to choose how you can choose a CRM. What I’d quite like to do is just open up a CRM system just to show you around, just to give you a flavour of what it’s like. Now I’ll just share my screen.

Okay. So, when you first go into CRM, quite often you will get a dashboard. So just to let you know, the one that I’ve chosen here is one called act! that used to be owned by Sage, but it is now owned by Swiftpage. And this is the one that I, I train just because the company that I work with and that they sell Sage and Swiftpage products. There are lots more out on the market and again, I will talk to you a little bit about that towards the end.

So, within the app and within the database product, you can see on your dashboard all the information about your tasks. So anything you may need to do, any tasks you want to perform, meetings with your clients or phone calls just to remind you so you don’t lose any of that information.

There’s also information about your pipeline here. So it will tell you, Oh, by the way, this is all demo data. You can see there’s lots of information here. So the pipeline here will allow you to keep track of where you are with your, with your customers. I don’t know whether any of you deal with pipelines, obviously while you’re at work, you might not realize that you have a pipeline, but just going through the separate steps of your sales process and you can keep track of it here within the system. And so within this system they’re called your sales opportunity. So here it sort of tracks what’s open sales and possibilities that you actually have. Okay. And has anybody, any questions at the moment?

Sarah, can I just ask you about the pipeline? That’s a really interesting one because the pipeline and the funnel has been talked about a lot over the various sessions on Mint recently. Is that something that’s standard as part of most CRM systems or was that specific to that one you’re demoing?

No, this is part of most CRM systems and you’re able to put in information about your customers. It’s sort of has your potential sales in there and tracks the route, the different stages and also keeps track of what people are buying so you can track and segment your customers, find out sort of how to target people with your marketing.

Cause I know Moira has mentioned the funnel as well and from the sales perspective as well. So for anybody who’s sort of selling a product or service, it sort of makes sense, doesn’t it?

Yeah. Yeah. And so within a CRM system it’s kind of modular. So you have everything interacts, but you have your contacts. This is, I just click on contacts here, it should take me, sorry about this. The thing

Sarah, sorry to interrupt you. Could it, can I just bring in, Lucinda’s got a question on the pipeline, Lucinda do you want to unmute yourself?

It was just on that point, whether you would have to tailor it to your business or whether it’s just set up to a certain format?

No, you can, you can fully customize it. So, the stage is, if I go back, sorry I’ve brought you onto this screen. So if I just go back onto this screen here, you can fully customize all the stages. So if you don’t have screen keeps flashing, I don’t know if it’s to do with the recording.

Yeah, you can fully customize your stages so you don’t have to have this many stages, it can be exactly how, you know, you, you have your pipeline yourself. What kind of pipeline would you have personally?

It wasn’t necessarily for me, it would be for clients.

Oh right, okay. Yes, so it’s fully customizable and you can sort of move your customers through those different, that different process stages.

So just to let, just to show you your contact card. So within the CRM it’s still, it’s just the basic information at the top here in the fields. So you have the contacts, name, address, telephone number that, you know, that kind of information. But also you can add your own fields to this. So if there’s anything else that you want to capture about your contacts, you can actually put a new field in here. So it is customizable and you can also segment them by giving them, in this particular software they call it ID status, but you can actually segment to sort of target with more things and things like that. It also keeps track,if you want to, then have your last interactions.

Now something’s gone wrong here. I’ve just noticed the same last activities from 2021 and 2024 this is meant to actually show you your latest activities all with these, with these particular customers.

And so you have all that information there that you can use, you can report on it. And underneath here you’ve got several tabs which can store extra information. So for example, with this particular contact, It’ll show you what activity you have scheduled already with them, what’s also in the history, well the activities you’ve done in the past.

So just move along, it’ll show you sort of any meeting, any phone calls. And the emails in here. So you’ve got a full list of what all your interactions are with your customers. And it can also help with customer service because you can keep track of everything going on and hopefully you don’t miss anything.

So you can log something in there to do a follow up call with somebody or a follow up meeting. So, and along here you would have your opportunities or your sales. So this is where you would see your individual sales. So that picture I showed you was of the actual pipeline, the whole pipeline in the individual record, you will see any sales that have been made with that particular customer.

Page three, see if I can find somebody with some data. So here you can see some that are open and some that have been closed within here. You can find out what that particular customer bought.

And so you can also store individual notes for these customers so you can tailor anything directly to them. So if you’re on the phone with them, you can store that information, have that information to hand about any likes or dislikes. You can also store documents in here. So anything that will be helpful stored with that customer. So you can see, you can just centralize all your information in here. You can also have relationships. So any relationships that people have within your contacts, you can store it within the database so you know who’s, who’s sort of dealing with who and keep track of that and also your social updates.

So in here we can link it to LinkedIn and things and some, some other social media so you can see it all happening within your CRM system. There is also web information that this particular CRM, where you can actually, again it’s going to Facebook page, things like driving directions even. So if you are visiting a particular customer, it would give you directions as to where they are. So just little things like that.

So with the records you can also help hold more personal information. So when I was saying before you can create extra fields, you can do this and on on other tasks as well, just to add extra information that you may need to keep such as the birthday or their spouse, things like that, just to help you with the procedures.

You can also with some CRM run marketing through it. That can be an extra charge. You can have marketing automation to come directly from your CRM. And so that can be useful as well. The information, the campaign results can come directly in here and you can see which marketing campaigns you’ve sent out and how successful they’ve been.

So that’s a quick look around. I don’t know if anybody’s got any other questions about that.

Yeah. Can we just bring Lucy and Sarah, she’s got a question about whether it’s a general system or we sent John to unmute yourself.

Hi Sarah. I used to use CRM systems all the time. And they seem to have gone from when they went from black screens, which some will know obviously from black background screens to web based screens. They seem to have overcomplicated them because they’re trying to create one system for absolutely anybody. When I need to heal all of that in, you could spend hours doing it and it’s still not work as a good database.

Right. Okay. Yeah,

From having used them in the past there’s so much going on in there, you wouldn’t know where to put it or where to start. That looks far too complicated for most of us.

Okay. Right. That’s a good point. I mean I think with these CRM systems they are trying to work not just for a smaller business. So they’re trying to work for people who have their own separate departments for marketing, customer service, that kind of thing. So it’s trying to make it available for people who are bigger now.

I was going to come on, I’ll talk about that now and about the different kinds of CRM systems. So

Sarah, before we move on, can we just, there’s a couple more questions on this, which would be good to cover if that’s okay. Sarah Johnson, just unmute yourself and ask your question cause I think that’s quite a

Yeah, and I pressed send before I finished typing. Yeah. I think following on from Lucienne’s question again, are they industry specific? And also I use social media platforms to communicate quite a lot with clients. Sometimes taking the bookings almost through those and then following up with kind of confirmation email. Would I be then having to go into a CRM system every time I sent sort of a a message or a MailChimp or anything like that? Or could you, is there a way of doing them all in here for example? Does that make sense?

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And what’s I would say is that there are two different kinds of systems available out there. You can get cloud based, you can also get on premise CRM. And I think when you’re, if you’re thinking about guessing one, you have to look at the integrations with them.

So I would look at what you’re already using. So rather than just what Lucienne said, you don’t want to complicate things. And you don’t want to spend hours filling something in if you’ve already got something that works. It’s meant to be kind of an aid. And also, I would say that you would look at what you were already using and whether a particular product has those integrations because what you find as well at the cheaper end of the market they offer you, for example, another one I looked at was Insightly, which is very clean. It looks very good for the cheap end of the market. It gives you 2,500 records.

Now that you think, Oh that’s fine, I haven’t got maybe that many contacts but a record it counts as any kind of history, any email or anything like that. But for example, Insightly will integrate with MailChimp so it can pull your information through into there so you can get your history of your email campaigns in there. So I think if you’re already using a product in your, you’re happy with it, maybe look for something that will add on to it rather than starting with something new where you have to, you know, start all over again kind of thing.

Okay. Is it, is it okay if I jump in as well on this? Just following on. Thank you Sarah and Lucienne. I’m sitting in the background, just listening and I’m writing cards for you all actually at the same time. So I just want to follow on from Lucienne’s point and yours as well, Sarah. The first database I used was when I worked in recruitment when I was 24, so it was proper old school, black screen, green writing and stuff. And, and what I know of them is that I’m not very good with them because the only way these things work is if you put the data in. A CRM literally cannot work if you don’t put the data in. Okay. so for me, because it’s an additional admin task or that’s how I always felt about it, I really struggled with it because you know me very well. I’m not an admin girl, but let me just throw something to you here.

Let’s say you’re on four or five social media channels. You use a MailChimp, you’ve got your emails, and you’ve got your website collection data. And let’s say on one day you get an inquiry from Instagram, you get an inquiry from Facebook, you’ve got an email though, you got something on your website and the, you know, someone sends you a text message or WhatsApp, well, how do you then run that data successfully so you don’t miss any of those inquiries? How do you then transfer that or have that in one spot? So it makes it easy for you to run your business? Because I’ll put my hands up and absolutely I know that I’ve missed sales inquiries because I don’t have a proper system. And I think that I can just remember that there’s an inquiry on Facebook, there was an inquiry on Instagram, because we’re all all over the place, always learning and always talking from all over the place. Your inquiry is coming at you from everywhere. So the point of a CRM in this session isn’t to help you put barriers up because you’ve gone, Oh my gosh, there’s just so much to do. It’s to think about what you’ve already got, as Sarah’s just said and bring that all together into one manageable process.

So for example, MailChimp and Insightly do converse with each other and you can use that as a starting point. So every time you would add someone into your MailChimp list or someone would subscribe to that, it goes into Insightly or anything or act! or any, any one of the others, you know, Pete’s looking at something for us so we can integrate that into our website when we get, you know, when we have a better system just of integration, but what would, what I would ask you to do is sit there with open minds about how you run all of your contacts now.

And if you’ve got four or five contacts, that’s one thing. The minute you get over 20 or 30 and let’s say for you Lucienne you want to, you want to invite everybody to an event. And what you really want to do is remember what happened at the last event when those people came. So let’s say, Lucienne, you’ve got 20 people there and you know about these databases, but let’s say for all of us, you’ve got 20 people who turn up to an event, six of them bought something off, yet all 20 of them paid XYZ amount, three of them love bright red over green, right? That level of detail could be the difference and keeping that detail could be the difference between your next sale and not cause you’ve remembered something about that client. Now you might choose to put that all in a spreadsheet when you’ve just got a few clients.

But the minute, like for us, with you guys, 150 of you, there is no way that I can track everything that you do properly without a proper managed system. Does that make sense? So this is about you really focusing on what your business needs in terms of a system that lets you service your customers properly and hand on heart. I mean, I went back into Facebook about three weeks ago and because I’d had an automatic responder on it, missed two people commenting and leaving us messages about, and they were both inquiries potentially about joining the club. I’ve missed them, I’d had automatic responses on and I just missed them. Right.

And so Sam, you’re saying that happens to me, I’m looking at your chat. So I think, I think Lucienne you’re absolutely, that unless you are prepared to use this as a way to strategize the flow through of anybody that contacts your business, you’ve got to have the right mindset around it or you use someone like Lucinda to do it.

So Peter, you saying you’re missing stuff, right? Well Lucinda could pick that up for you. Does that make sense? I don’t want to come over like I just, I just, this is so many people keep asking. I’m just looking at all your faces, so many people keep asking about CRMs and what I do know is that it is a proper commitment, but if you build a CRM into your workflow and whether you’re a one person business or a huge, I mean the last big business I worked with their sales team were not allowed at all to work off anything but their CRM system.

Every call was logged, every Facebook thing, everything was logged. But they’re a half a million pound turnover company with a team of just five or six. It’s small business still, well small compared to ours.

No, that’s the wrong way round. Not compared to ours, but their entire team were not allowed to do anything unless it was off the CRM. Every, literally every single thing they do has to go in the CRM. So another sales person could come along and pick up that relationship and know what has happened before. I promised Sarah, I would only bounce in if absolutely necessary and I know how rubbish I am with them, which is why I’m listening in the background because either we, we choose a way to automate this a bit more and Peter will be able to help us with that once he’s done it. Or it is about our determination to fill the stuff in.

But if you ask yourselves, have you ever missed sales or inquiries or forgotten details about people because you didn’t have a system, then that’s what CRM is for. Yeah. So I want to see what everybody’s got here. Well LeSean LeSean were you wanting to say something else? I was just going to add it. It’s not meant to be a negative comment. If it came across that way. Apologies. It was absolutely true because look, everybody else is saying exactly the same mowers just said. No, it didn’t come across as negative.

But when I was listening to this, like, you know, at the end of the day, we have to have an open mind to this and Moira’s saying the same. It’s very overwhelming. You know, it looks very complex. Sam was saying that, Lucienne doesn’t, you don’t want to end up duplicating things. But if you then read all the next comments, every one of you is saying that you miss stuff. Moira, she’s had bad experiences with CRMs in a past life. So she wants something easy or have someone to do it for you Moira. And this is the thing is, and Sam, right, there are too many platforms to keep track of if you’re trying to keep track of them all individually. Right? So if you’re all going, you know, Oh my goodness, there was an inquiry in Facebook and I’m sure there was inquiry in LinkedIn or like me, where was that inquiry?

So I sit and waste more time trying to remember whether something came into Instagram or Facebook or here, there and everywhere. I swear if I had a system, I’d probably save like gazillions of hours, cause I’ll read all of these things and then totally forget where I’ve read it and then off i go for an hour trying to find out where the blooming messag is. So what are you saying Sam? I actually took my leave a message here off my website just to have one less platform to keep track of, but really is your website not where you want everybody to go. So you could centralize that data rather than social media. And this is where you’re planning for how your marketing and your sales and this is where Moira can help, it’s where Sarah can help. So how do you track those inquiries? So how do you plan through, where do you want those inquiries to go to?

Cause some, if you’ve turned off your inquiries on your website, I would suggest that maybe we’ll look at that again and think do you not want all your inquiries to go to one place, which would be your website just in case Facebook explodes next week and we can’t get access to Facebook.

But then Gemma’s just put, I’ve used this so much in previous roles but never considered using one for my own business. But the thing is, Gemma, you’ve got dozens and dozens of us and you’ve got all of our names. And details in your, in your payment system because of how you get us to pay as well now. So I know you’ve got all of our details. What would be the next step to find something to integrate with that? Something to integrate with that that lets you put more information in.

So how, how you knew about me loving the blue and the greens. Right? So the next time you’ve got a blue and a green you could say Nic, you know duh, duh, duh. Rather than having remembered it all, cause our brains let us down. We just can’t remember it all. I spend my life looking for messages. Where did that go? Where did that go? Where did that message come in? Why didn’t act on it sooner? I mean I waste so much time with just trying to find stuff again. So is that okay? Just, just have a think about, the thing is we don’t think about our businesses as big businesses or needing systems and processes because we’re all so busy trying to do everything. This could actually help you run your business more smoothly.

I’ll shut up now, cause it’s not my training session, it’s Sarah’s. You’re brilliant, you’re doing a grand job. And, and the thing is is I sit here literally knowing how everybody’s feeling cause I’m rubbish at entering the data, the only way a CRM would work for me is if Suzanne or Pete fill it in. That’s it. I’m not even going to try and pretend after since I was 24. So what is? 20 years that I could actually use it. But I know how good they are for the business.

No, I think you’re absolutely right and it’s finding one that you’re happy with and it, there is a learning process that is part of it. But if you have a look at it, well think backwards really, think about the parts of your business that you would like to automate or how, how it could help you. I think that’s, if you know sort of what it can do.

You still have to think about, like Nicola’s said, that she’s looking for things all over the place and she doesn’t keep a track of them. If you actually get used to putting tasks into a CRM, as soon as a message comes in, you’ll put a task in to remind yourself to do something. Or you do log that particular piece of information about somebody so that you don’t lose it. And unless you’ve got a small number of contacts or a brilliant brain, you do forget things. Everybody does.

So can you see my screen, just now? Insightly?

Yeah we can. Just on that Sarah though, just in terms of people who thinks the screen is quite complex, how configurable are they? Are they quite easy to adapt and maybe take things out if you don’t want to see them?

Yeah, that’s a good point. Taking things out. So it depends on which CRM and which level you actually purchased. So some are easier than others and some have got a limit to how many fields you can put in and you can take them out. It’s just how many extra ones you can put in. So you need to look at that. And they, they are, they are configurable. Yes. Yeah.

So I was just going to show you just the screen of this, whether this looks any cleaner for you. Cause Insightly have sort of, I think, a cleaner background cause it’s kind of, it does look more web like and it sort of looks fresher to me but it still has, you can see the same conventions. So on the left it’s got the same kind of tab there. And when you click into a particular contact you’ve got the same information that’s kind of available.

So you can just see all the information stored there, has additional information about them. And along the top you can just see the related information. So again their purchases, the projects, if you do projects. I think what you’ve got to do with sort of, if you can relate it to your business and like you say you can scale it down so you haven’t got, you know, a hundred fields to fill in cause that will be completely time wasting for you.

I think it’s getting yourself into a routine like Nicola says of actually using something. So, if this is the first thing you go into with your tasks for the day and your schedule from here, you can see your tasks in a calendar, but you can also see them against particular contacts, which can be useful. So I was going to talk about, I don’t know whether we’ve covered everything really about how to how to choose a CRM.

So, okay,

Can I ask you one more question, Sarah? Just on that one, you know, with the emails, do the emails integrate automatically to any email client or are there just specific email clients that it would work on?

Again, it depends, I think on which product you actually choose. With ask! You can integrate with outlook and Google and with Insightly it integrates with, well what you kind of do with Insightly, I think you kind of CC yourself in there and then it pulls the emails into, into Insightly. That’s another thing you need to check. So look at what you’re already using or what you want to use and then just make sure that the integrations are there for you.

Brilliant.

Sarah, will you click on a few of the tabs down the left hand side so we can actually just have a dig about. So like for example for me, your contact and your leads and how they look different and what does a lead look like?

Yeah of course. So your, your contracts within Insightly just give you kind of a list of the contacts. When you click on that, when you click on an actual contact, it gives you sort of this screen here where I’ve just been, where you get the details of the contact. So you can edit it very easily by using the pencil and kind of fill in the information. Yeah. So again, you can remove any of these if you don’t want to use them or you know, add to them. So it’s like dates to remember, description. And this is just standard remember, this is just a demo. So I’ve just installed it.

Just be aware as well if you’re testing out some of these products and when you, when you sign up for a free look around, they do normally give you the premium products. So you need probably, you’re aware of this already but you sign up and you think, Oh yes, it’s got all these bells and whistles and then when you actually come to the trial runs out and they downgrade, you realise lots of the things are actually missing.

So it is important to sort of make note of that. What else was it? Sorry, leads you wants to look at. So your leads, these are just people you might have touched but haven’t actually done business with. Or I mean it previously used to be used a lot by businesses when they actually buy information so they might buy personal information. I don’t know how much that happens now with GDPR but you might’ve just met somebody but you haven’t actually had a proper conversations with them yet. Or you know, they signed up for something on your website and you haven’t actually spoken to them. So they can go into leads directly from the website or you can enter them yourself. And then the information there is just similar to the contact information. It just gives you their name, address, just the details that they might have filled in from your website and it gets pulled across into here.

Okay. So and that, that sits from your website. So if we’ve got any inquiries on our website that would feed straight into there?

Yeah.

Okay. I like that because that is one job done. So what then you would be doing is thinking about your strategy to get more people to leave leads on your website, which is what we would want in the long run. Just everybody to visit our website, look at our website and then contact us from there. And then that information would pull in into here. Yeah?

Yes.

And then I’m having a look down the left hand side again and then I’m going to assume that we could then pull off a report, which is right at the very bottom there. Sorry I’m, this is my brain dashing about all over the place. But so you’ve got these leads off your website, they come in and get pulled into the CRM and then you could set up a report and I’m going to assume the report would tell us where the leads came from, what our conversion rate is. So things that are coming, you know from a lead, from an opportunity that leads to a sale, it will track this, and that will then start giving us the facts about how successful we are converting a lead into a sale.

Yeah, they actually, they sort of separate out leads and opportunities. So an opportunity is normally against a contact. So as you have the conversation with them, we would sort of convert them so when I, when I actually click into one of these leads, can you see how it’s got a status here? So you would have not contacted, this is just sort of lead status, not contacted, attempted contacting and disqualified or if there’s one that once they’re qualified they then would become a contact in there and then the sale would go against that contact, which would then be an opportunity.

Okay. I think Lucinda’s waving her hands, but I mean you can see from it’s, it is a process. So if I was sitting and we’ll bring Lucinda in, if I’m sitting and I’m on the phone and I’m speaking to someone like I was the other day, and by the way, I had a conversation with someone whose name I can’t even remember already and that was fortnight ago. She was thinking about joining. I know there’ll be details somewhere, but again, I’m going to have to sit and go through all the platforms to find out where I even started talking to this lovely lady. Had I had this open at the time, I would have been typing name in, typing her business name, putting her URLs in there and I wouldn’t be sitting here now having to admit to you all that I can’t remember the name of the woman I spoke to a fortnight about joining and, and I

think this is, this is where for me, I need to take this a bit more seriously. Anyhow, it’s not the Nicola show so Lucinda, what did you want to add in?

I think, I think you’ve answered my question now. I was just saying, if you’ve got a lead and then you talk to them and they become a contact, does it just happen automatically and move to the other group?

You would convert it into a contact on most of the CRM. This allows you to convert. But to be honest a lot of the businesses I work with, they, they don’t usually unless they’ve got a lot of, lots of people coming from external to keep them separate. What they tend to do is keep them as contacts but have them flagged as a lead so that everybody’s all in one place.

Sometimes people get a little bit confused between the leads and the contacts. So yeah, if it, if it happens like that, then really you’re better creating them as a contact and flagging them as a lead and then they’re already in that, in that, so when you’re searching your data, so if you’re searching on your contacts, you won’t, you don’t have to remember was that some lead or a contact kind of thing.

Okay. Thank you.

That’s okay.

Cool. So then in your calendar and then if you were setting jobs or times to ring people back.

Yes.

You’ve gone in here, you’ve, you’ve attempted to contact David Mann. Yeah. And you, so you’re gonna so you’re going to put in your, but then would that pull in? Right. So call back re the training session on the phone call. I tried to call them two weeks ago. They weren’t there. They’ve said, you know, cause this is the training Moira gives us all the time and Moira’s here. So if you need to ask Moira questions as well, like how you would sit with this. But you know, you’ve just had a quick phone call with someone, they’re not ready to talk to you, but they have given you a time to call back next week. So you go straight into your CRM or you would have that CRM orbit at that moment and you’d put it in there and you’d be like, right. She said she gave me permission, we agreed this time, we agreed this date. And it’s sitting in that calendar and I’m going to assume that that calendar will pull through rom Google or something. So you would only have needed to do that in one space. This is the thing with the CRMs that work really well is that they do pull in from all of the other places, don’t they?

I do, yes. With Insightly, it synchronizes with Google. It’ll only link to your contacts if you put the actual activity in. Insightly, it has an app, like lots of these have apps that are really easy to use. So you can use the app and quickly on the phone you can change it or you know, if you’re out and about you can add and then some history in there already. Again, it has to be easy for people to use. So you do have to have a go and, and just choose the one that’s best for you. And because if it’s not easy, people won’t use it. And if you don’t use It, then it’s pointless really, isn’t it?

You haven’t got the information there to pull your reports and the information from.

Indeed and Lucienne, I don’t, do you know this Sarah, if any of them work really well with Apple and

Gmail, both of them? We’d have to do a deeky about, I think Lucienne you’ll be doing a search of which one works best with your Apple products. I mean my Apple might have a CRM itself. Do you know what I mean? So right. Okay. What’s this? Keely, is LACRM less annoying? Cos I’ve just signed up to for a 60 day free trial. I think, I think this is the point, you know, it’s about, it’s about our strategy, which at the moment with everything going on is quite difficult to focus on. But where you would sit in your business thinking there are gaps there, there are holes there.

This is how I miss stuff. Is a CRM, and it may not be you know, but is a CRM and a proper tracking solution the answer to those gaps that you find? And you know, so if, if again it comes back to if you’ve got 10 inquiries all over the place and you’ve missed three of them off, which means you’ve had seven opportunities and you’ve only converted two of them, you know what, what did you lose in those three by not having a process? And I’m saying this to myself more than any of you honestly. I am. So it’s about the discipline to use this and I can see how I would use it if I was on the phone to people cause we still do take calls and sales calls and stuff like that. But for me then it’s about copy and pasting stuff off Facebook or wherever and having it so super simple and understanding it.

Because when you see this for the first time, it’s like learning to drive isn’t it? You’re doing what you’re doing until you’ve actually had a proper play. If you think about all the social channels, none of us knew how to use them until we started playing about with it. But I guess the CRM needs to fill the, the gaps and holes that you’ve already identified that are problematic for you and your business. And strategically. So let’s say for example, you’re siting there, you’re going to sit and think I’m going to contact 10 people every day on LinkedIn. We’ve done this over and over and again, in training, you know, you contact 10 people, three of those get in touch with you. One of them wants a meeting with you. Where do you put that detail and that data where do you manage those conversations?

How are you tracking whether if you contact 10 people on LinkedIn, one of them does become a coffee meeting and does that then become a new client? And so I guess this is where we start taking this stuff seriously, right? And you and you cannot just do it once or twice. It’s got to be a procedure and a system that runs through your business full stop. And it is at the heart, that tracking of that data and those communications with those people is at the heart of how we are doing stuff. Yeah.

And I think the problem is that if you working for a larger organisation, the data has to be centralized because you’ve got lots of different people accessing it. So you’ve got to have the information in there for everybody to be able to access. When you’re working for yourself, you think, well no, do I really need it? But it centralized everything for you. Then when you’ve got your different hats on, doing your sales, doing your marketing and doing your customer service, it does help you keep track of it and help you with all those hats.

And so there’s nobody forcing you to use it. So it has to become like an everyday thing to go in and you know, put that information in. So as soon as you get someone inquire, you put information if it’s not being pulled in from your website and then any meetings you have or phone calls you have, we do actually put them in against the contact. And yeah, it only becomes relevant, like Nicola was saying, if we’re missing information, recent information or if you want to report on it. So again, it’s, it’s looking at and tracking the insights into your business.

Sorry, what’s that flashing? Somebody asking me

Is there any more chat things? Is Zoho any good? Do we know anything about Zoho?

I’m going to jump in for Sam and I think actually Moira, can you unmute yourself here? Cause you can do this. So what do you class as an opportunity? A customer inquiring or is that already a lead? So an I ask Moira please as well as you Sarah to jump in on that because I think we do get a little bit overwhelmed with all the different terms. So what is, what do you class as an opportunity, a customer inquiry or is that already a lead? I’ll leave that to you.

And while I’m not a hundred percent sure, an opportunity is an opportunity to talk to somebody about an incoming inquiry. But equally if you’ve spoken to somebody at a networking event, I’d class them as a lead. If they’ve asked you to send, give them more information, then that’s definitely an opportunity. But I think it’s, I think you make it what you want it to be. I’m sorry, that sounds really fluffy, doesn’t it?

But it is. It’s how you view it. So they are, and I think this is where I struggle with CRM systems. I am very much sorry, old school, I’m not, we had CRM systems the whole time I was in media and I’d always be getting told off about the fact that I wasn’t updating it and because I kept everything in my head. So I’m probably not the best person for CRM chat. But for me an opportunity is when you see, when you see an opportunity that you can genuinely help someone. So you’ve built possibly a relationship with them or somebody told you that this person needs your help. And to me that’s an opportunity. A lead is someone that you meet and you think you probably, you know, you’ll want to follow up with them. Just in general.

I know, but I think that, I don’t know. It depends how you define the terms leads and opportunities. Like let’s keep this really simple for us. Anybody that you meet out and about that wants to have another conversation with you is both a lead and an opportunity. Yeah, it’s an opportunity for a second conversation. So you might want to class opportunities as conversations. You might think a lead is when an opportunity becomes a little bit more than just a chat and there’s a proper lead to business cause lead means lead to business lead to a sale, but to be honest, rather than getting caught up in the linguistics of this, if I, if I went out networking and somebody chatted to me and said, Oh I follow your Facebook page, I want to join your free group, that’s properly an opportunity and a lead because if I can get someone to join our free group for example, then then I know they’re invested in the brand.

They’re not ready to pay yet. They want to check us out. But it’s both a lead and an opportunity. Because if I know that I want to go after that person, I would put that in there and I’d just put them as everything because, and so it’s, I guess it’s, it’s how you see those things and how you want to run your system on here on a CRM. You know, in the old days on a spreadsheet, I would have just called it that. A person, to be honest, a lead, an opportunity for me was anybody who didn’t give us an outright no. And then, then I write no’s are just ignored most of the time anyway. All right, so how you see that stuff is what is going to get me to a sale at the end? And you will get a good feel and and you’ll talk to someone and you’re like, Do you know what? You’re not my ideal customer. So you might not even put them in your database, although I would suggest you do. Because if then they keep coming back to you and back to you, you need to know who they are and they’re about. Sarah, what about you in terms of filling this out? How would you see the difference between leads and opportunities?

I think it’s just wording to be honest. People do get confused with this and when I’m training people do, you have to of ask them about their processes and then when you put it in their words it then becomes more real. To me within the CRM is somebody who you haven’t really touched yet. So like I said before, it’s when people used to buy a whole load of data and you don’t want it cluttering up the database. So it just sits there and you haven’t found any, you haven’t had any conversations with them. If you’ve actually met somebody? I would, I would put them in as a contact and the opportunity lead stage, if that makes sense.

So an opportunity is, if you can imagine your opportunities, just your sales process. So a lead is really the very first part of your sales process, isn’t it? So I would put them in as a contact. So we offered an opportunity at the lead stage or flag them as a lead saying, well, you know, we haven’t had a big conversation. We don’t know where it’s going. We don’t know if they’re really interested or, you know, we have have met them and I’ve gathered some information about them.

And you also hear people talking about qualified leads and a qualified lead is when you’ve done a little bit more research into, you know, so for me, you know, have they got a small business that they’re going to need help selling, where if they’ve not got a small business and they work for somebody else, they’re not even in any kind of management position, then they’re not a qualified lead for me. They’re just an acquaintance.

Yeah. A step on from that is how much qualification have you done on the lead because a qualified lead is about what you’ve done. So you know, most of us just research that person. Are they the right person or the right person to get in touch with? I know this company is interested. Am I speaking to the right decision maker essentially? And for me when I’m qualifying leads for Mint, it’s it’s do I actually feel like they’re genuinely interested as well as are they the right person? What kind of stuff are they doing? But there’s another, there’s a bit of that do you think they’re gonna fit in Mint as well? So it’s all that qualification and that digging that you’re doing about that client or that person or whatever that moves them a step further to the becoming a sale opportunity. A sale. Because at the end of this, your CRM is a database of people who you’re trying to get to buy off you basically that’s, that’s what this is.

We can call it relationships all we like, and it is about building relationships because if like how Moira and I have sold in the past that you would be ringing someone every two months and you’d be finding out the names of the kids and you’d put it in the CRM. And so the next time you ring you go, how is Johnny today? Last time I spoke to you, he was down doing X, Y and Z thing, did he win the award?

So that is where the relationship and the level of detail you put in about these conversations and these opportunities that you’ve got. It is all about those people. But it is a method by which you build up an understanding of the people who you’ve put in here in a way to get them eventually to buy off you. And then we get the data that says for every time people we talk to, we’ve got three or four sales, awesome, really good ratio of leads that have been qualified that have then converted to a sale.

If you sell massive tons of products very quickly on a website like Danielle does, I wouldn’t use one of these because Danielle has her sales tracker. Right? And all the data that comes off using her website when she was selling, Danielle couldn’t sit and put like thousands of people into this unless it integrated with our website.

And that her website would give her that data and it would integrate. She might have a different database of the people who buy her boxes though, you know, cause she’s got a hundred people there and they all buy that box and it’s on a subscription. So that data is really useful. So yeah. So Lucinda said if you haven’t qualified them then you don’t know how serious they are. That is it. And this is, this is where we come to the conversation about us getting our brave on and understanding sales process properly in our business.

So then you can use a tool like a CRM to replicate a sales process. So I dare say that most of us who are a little bit reticent about these kinds of things including me, doesn’t have a really clear sales process in place or you just a bit rubbish at admin like me and Moira.

Yeah and me!

I was gonna Moira in there. Both of us collectively. Right. If you’ve got any more questions, do you want Sarah, cause again, Sarah I told you that hour would just go boom. This was just an introductory hour to show you what a CRM looks like and make you challenge it and think about whether or not it would be right for you. You’ve got two minutes for any more questions for Sarah. Hang on then Lucienne and unmute yourself. Lucianne I’ll unmute you.

Thanks very much. Okay. my question was how much automation can you put in? So if for example, we had to set their birthdays or whatever, could you have a pre template that you had that it would actually send out that if you were busy you wouldn’t forget to send them out something just to say hello. Hope you’re having a lovely day. It doesn’t have to be really personal, but just to do that and you could follow up with a card or something. Will it do things like that? Or is that very expensive in general?

Just a simple email to go out from the template isn’t dead expensive. I think when you get the full email marketing automation, so when people are going on your website and touching a particular page and then depending on, you know, you send them information or you send them to a different page, depending on what they’ve done, that is more expensive. Just the simple, just actions, separate actions to do it can be automated and it doesn’t have to cost a lot. No. Okay.

Thank you.

Awesome question. Anybody else? Okay. Anybody else? Because you know, we can have another session. So for example, if you all went off and did some research and all of you wanted to use Zoho or Insightly or whatever, we can always get another session in there for you. Is there any more?

I’m just scrolling up and down. Anymore questions?

Me. Me, sorry. So Sarah if somebody was very anti admin like me, are there CRM experts out there that obviously you’re, you’re one. Okay. How does that process work? Because surely you’ve got to have all that information to hand over to them for them to input it. How does it work?

Well you can, you can input it all. If you’ve got it already like a spreadsheet of contacts, normally you can input that into the product, whichever one you decide to use. So all your contacts can go in. And if you want to sort of pull things from your website that can be put in place. So there’s a few things that you can automate if you didn’t want to do that yourself and if you wanted your emails and things, if you had certain ones will integrate with Outlook and Gmail where if you send an email it will automatically log it against that particular contact. But they do all work in different ways and offer different automations and you know, different levels. So some of them you’d have to look at whichever one works for you, but you mean if somebody else was going to do this for you?

Actually, I’ve got, I’ve got a client who does coaching, he has a PA who runs it for him and basically she runs a diary from the CRM and just inputs everything. And then the diary synchronises with Google calendar and he just looks at his Google calendar and works from there. And it was, it was brilliant because recently he wanted to do a coaching exam where he had to provide information about everybody he coached and how many hours and the information. So not all of it, but a lot of it was in there, but he had to actually contact each one of those people to ask because of GDPR, if he could use that information. And if he hadn’t had the CRM, it would have probably been a bit of a nightmare. But because he had the CRM, he just, well his PA sent out one email to everybody.

So a mass email merge. So you can’t see who it’s going to individually. So that individual person asking for their, you know, to allow him to use that information and when they replied it came into their record and she could then mark off with they said yes. And then he could run a report to see who hasn’t replied and which ones he could use.

So I think with CRM, I always think you have to kind of think backwards to get the information in there. So depending on the information you want to pull out has obviously got to be in there. So you do have to have an idea of what you want to use it for and the information you want to pull out. And that’s the difficulty with anything you try. It’s a chicken and egg thing. I mean, I, to be honest, I remember when I bought my first mobile phone and I went in and he said, well what do, what do you use it for?

And I was like, I don’t know. And they’re like, well how much? How much? How big a phone do you want? I don’t know? They’re like, Oh, you know, how much would you use it? How many minutes do you need? And you’re like, Oh, do you know it was years ago before everybody’s using them. But again, it was chicken and egg. You had to just go for it. And then in time, you know, you, you, you realize what you use it for. It’s a similar kind of thing, until you use it you don’t even know.

Totally, totally have loved this session. Thank you so much, Sarah. Can everybody, do you want to just stop sharing your screen then can we all give our Sarah just a little bit of a proper Minty love.