crm CRM stands for Customer Relationship Manager, and using one is essential to success in the serviced office industry.  When we do not accurately track various customer data, we lose the ability to test and measure successes and failures.  This blog post will share the key functions of a CRM for the serviced office industry, the insights that come from CRM use, and a quick list of CRM options for the serviced office industry.

 

Key Functions

The most useful CRMs track these three business functions: sales pipelines, customer on-boarding, and contract renewals. Within sales pipeline tracking, CRMs allow sales staff to enter lead contact information and lead sources. They can track communication with those leads as they graduate to qualified prospect. The CRM can also be the place where sales staff schedules tours, delegates sales activities, and monitors the contacts progression through their pipeline. Once a prospect commits to the serviced office centers service, a good CRM will also streamline the onboarding process. Customer service staff can then input information related to contract term lengths, fees, and services selected. Come renewal time, good CRMs will remind the sales and/or service staff that the client is nearing their renewal date. This presents the opportunity to negotiate increased services or a lengthier term upon renewal. Even if the service staff are not assigned to negotiating renewals, they are equipped by the CRM with the information that renewals are upcoming and have the opportunity to thank their customer for their business and provide an added touch of customer care at renewal time.

Insights

There is no better way to gain intelligence about your processes than with a CRM. Some of the most enlightening insights that can be drawn from the use of a CRM are the success of advertisements and forecasting ability. Remember that one of the key functions of the CRM is to track lead sources. Your options for lead input into your CRM should require the selection of one or multiple advertising media that attracted that lead. Options could be signage, web advertising, social media marketing, and word-of-mouth as lead sources. In fact, all of the ways that a customer might learn about your center should be options for the lead source section on the lead input page of the CRM. Upon review of lead sources and the percentage of those leads that become customers, the success of advertising endeavors can be evaluated and a better informed decision can be made when choosing to continue or stop a particular form of advertising. Depending on the length of time that the CRM is in use, it can reveal trends in the serviced office center’s pipeline. These trends make forecasting more calculated and eliminate the tendency to speculate when discussing future growth.

The value of these insights depends on how committed the center staff is to using the CRM. Centers can become bogged down in other activity that pushes tracking and measuring with the CRM out of priority. However, the data that the CRM provides is vital to the continued growth and efficiency of the serviced office center. Leaders should advise their staff of the importance of using the CRM and hold them accountable for entering information. Office Suite Strategies managed centers have weekly meetings (usually on Mondays) in order to review current leads and discuss pipeline activity. This meeting would not be near as productive without the use of our CRM and the information it tracks. The feedback the staff gets from CRM reports is always interesting. We learn something new each week each week.

Which CRM to Choose?

While there are several options available on the market today, Office Suite Strategies managed centers use the CRM provided by Salesforce.com. Salesforce.com provides a wide range of highly customizable options. We like it because it tracks all of the key business functions mentioned earlier as well as average time from lead to close. Additionally, Salesforce.com allows for follow ups and provides a system for our tour surveys. Other than Salesforce.com, Happy Desk, HubCreate, and MorningStar have options for CRMs that are tailored for the serviced office industry. All in all, if you want to implement a CRM you should evaluate all of the available options based on services, cost, and reporting options and choose the one the makes the most sense for your business. The worst mistake to make when using a CRM is implementing one that does not allow your business to fully commit to it for the long run. If you would like help in selecting a CRM for your serviced office center or if you would like to learn more about how Office Suite Strategies sales training focuses on accurate tracking and measuring, email me at kcondi@officesuitestrategies.com. I look forward to your feedback on this topic on Facebook and Twitter.