We hope you and your business have enjoyed 2016. Whilst New Year is a time to reflect on how lucky we are at present and the successes we’ve enjoyed so far, my mantra is: “how can we find a better way?” I’m always looking for ways to improve, streamline, optimise and get smarter.
So what have we learnt from our A-Z of CRM blog post series this year that can shape practical and useful New Year resolutions we can implement to benefit our business in 2017?
Hang on to the old. This may seem like a contradiction to the typical ‘making new habits’ habit we have around the New Year period but sometimes there is still value in doing things the old-fashioned way, despite the great potential and power of technology.
Just as handwritten mail or face-to-face meetings can still be a valuable and personal way to communicate with customers, sometimes we can’t expect technology to transform the way we operate. We need to implement positive and improved practices in other areas of our life not just while we’re sat working at our laptop.
For instance, it’s no good appearing to be a collaborative and open participant in a business online but being closed-off and uncooperative when working with your team in person. You can’t use your CRM and be dead organised during working hours then constantly be scatter brained and forget to bring important documents to the office after you’ve been working from home.
Positive changes need to be made offline as well as in your online CRM and technology use.
A new way of working. That being said it definitely pays to be open-minded when it comes to embracing and adopting new systems and technology that can streamline the way we work in the long term. CRMs and other platforms are a bounty of untapped benefits and potential- don’t fear technology- have a hunger and drive to learn it!
Promote your business by helping others rather than blatantly and overwhelmingly selling. Sales is all about engagement these days but why not take that one step further in 2017 and stick to the 80/20 rule? In email broadcasts or blog posts on your business’ website 80% of content should be shared insights, knowledge and helpful tips and only 20% should be sales.
Your contacts and clients will appreciate the advice, respect your for it and recognize you as a knowledgeable expert in your field or industry. Your expertise and extra effort will speak for and sell itself.
Productivity is achievable. We all want to get more ticked off our ‘to-do-lists’. A CRM, or indeed any online tool or technology is only as good as its user and only works if you actually put it into action.
Why not use Zoho CRM’s neat ‘tasks’ feature to keep track of what activities you and your team have to accomplish? That way you can spot where certain team members have too bigger a workload and may need a hand or where you’re spending too much time on one client or task.
Yes to tech and new systems. Online tools that can help to seamlessly streamline your business are readily available, modern, mobile and easily integrated with one another so why not?
Nail the networking knack. You may deem a networking events as a waste of time or might not think you have any time left to spare to waste on them but they can be hugely valuable investments- perhaps not for immediate lead conversions and direct selling but for helping give your brand a personality by you having a presence and helping potential clients put a face to your business and has a whole host of other benefits.
Networking is priceless for nurturing and developing healthy business relationships.
Everyone can collaborate. A productive team that delivers great results only exists if everyone has equal input. Communication needs to be facilitated and sometimes this provision needs to be supplied remotely as we tend to work different hours, on-the-go from different locations in the modern business world. Why not collaborate more within your business in 2017 using Zoho Connect or a similar innovative platform?
Work on the move. While working on the go might seem chaotic to some and not suited to everyone, I find being bound to an office all day every day can be very demotivating and doesn’t inspire interesting ideas. Did you know a CRM could empower you to work on the move as you’re out and about should you so wish?
Yippee for data! Okay, I struggled to think of another resolution/tip beginning with ‘Y’ but data really is something to celebrate and an asset to your business. Dealing with data is very much like a dance: failing to embrace it, interpret it and improve your business processes via learning from it, results in you being out of step with your customers, not moving to their rhythm but ultimately being out of touch and tune with them instead.
And do you know the perfect dancing partner for data? A CRM! Read more on why you should use a CRM to log your business data and learn from it here.
Establish positive and potential opportunities in 2017! Tools like a CRM can help you identify opportunities by pinpointing whereabouts a potential interested person (lead) is in their customer journey in which the destination is becoming your full-fledged signed-up client.
The system makes it easier for you to spot good chances to help/interact with the interested person to nudge them further along their customer journey and work towards your goal of achieving business growth in different ways.
A location independent approach and a business freedom lifestyle. Why not aim big in next year and break the traditional 9-5 office-bound convention? Using online systems and clever tools can help you achieve this!
Report and review. Just as we’ve reviewed what we’ve learnt this year through out A-Z of CRMs blog series, it’s important that your business uses analytics and other insights to accurately report on the progress and effectiveness of the tools you currently use. After all, how else will you know if you need to change the systems or methods you’re using. How will you know what you need to do to improve your daily business practices and overall brand?