How going without a CRM cost one company big time

A few years ago, I had a contract to do sales and marketing for an engineering company. The firm had been around for about 10 years, but sales were still pretty low. My predecessors had consistently sent out direct mail campaigns, run advertisements, worked tradeshow floors, cold called and so on. They did pretty much everything you should to find new clients. There was just one problem.

The company had no way to keep track of leads, prospects, contacts, sales or anyone else! They didn’t have a CRM or contact management system, not even a makeshift one made up of written notes. They had absolutely no information on anyone they’d ever contacted. They had no idea who’d responded to their campaigns or what they’d bought.

What a tremendous waste of money! This company had essentially been throwing its money away for years. I’m talking hundreds of thousands of dollars of sales and marketing money. No wonder the company hadn’t been able to grow.

If you want to grow your consulting business, you need to get some sort of CRM. You absolutely need to know who you’ve contacted, what lists you’ve used, what campaigns you’ve run and so on.  You don’t have to implement an expensive application. Just keep some sort of records and be sure to refer back to them. That’s customer relationship management. It’s the relationships you need to worry about. Otherwise, you’re wasting your time.

Basic sales skills

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