Posted February 18, 2020 by Gabriel Lewit, Chief Executive Officer
Using a CRM may not seem like the most productive way to increase sales, but it’s perhaps the most important activity you could be doing in your business to save time and boost revenue. Here’s why.
When I was first getting started in the business over 15 years ago, CRM technology was way different than it is today.
There was no such thing as the “cloud” (you had to have an expensive IT company install a CRM system on your own office server), CRM software was clunky and slow, and using a CRM really felt like a tremendous chore.
As a result, for years we went without a CRM. Instead, we just stored all our client data in physical folders, on note-sheets, and a bunch of sticky notes. Talk about old-school.
The most technology savvy we were was keeping a master mailing list of all our clients in an excel file.
It really seemed like using a CRM was a waste of time. I mean, what was the purpose?
Fast forward to today, and CRM technology has massively evolved. Vision Financial Marketing’s CRM is a foundational element of our advisory practice that I couldn’t ever imagine going without.
So, what’s changed over the years and why is using a CRM so important for financial advisors these days? Let’s look at 3 top reasons why.
1. It’s Efficient & Saves You Time
In my opinion, the number one advantage of using a great CRM is the organizational and speed benefits that you get from doing so.
As a busy advisor, saving time is so important. There are dozens of demands on your time, so anywhere you can shave a few minutes off, or twenty minutes, or hours, is great.
But can a CRM really help you do that? I think part of the issue with advisors adopting a systematic, daily usage of a CRM is that it can actually feel like it’s going to be more work and time, as opposed to saving you time.
Logging in, adding a new contact and logging a note feels like a “chore” that has to be completed before moving on to more productive activities or your next sales meeting.
Trust me, I’ve been there. And, in fact, there are times where I STILL—to this day—feel the same way.
The reality is, however, using the Vision Financial Marketing CRM saves me tons of time in the long run, and so I push through that mental “roadblock” when it inevitably pops up.
CRMs are a great example of the phrase “Short-term pain, long-term gain.”
Some examples of short-term “pain” are taking the time to log data, notes, and interactions into the CRM. But some examples of the long-term “gain” you get from the short-term “pain” are finding any and all contact information in seconds vs. minutes, tracking sales opportunities, implementing marketing quickly, etc.
Multiply this across dozens of clients in each week and now you’re talking about HOURS of time that you’ve saved by using a CRM each day, not to mention efficiencies in other core business areas such as marketing and client service.
2. A More Efficient Team
Once you expand beyond being a one-man or one-woman office, creating team efficiency is particularly important.
A CRM like Vision Financial Marketing can help dramatically improve team efficiency and overall communication and productivity.
For one, the speed and time savings mentioned above now apply to each member of your team. Since time is money, you want your team able to access and digest information as quick as humanly possible, and a CRM helps do that.
Moreover, to effectively do your job as a business owner and as a manager, you need to have a pulse on what each person on your staff is doing. A CRM can help you do that too.
For example, you can have each team member use the CRM to track and list all their tasks (open and completed) each day. Team member out sick? No problem, you can view everything they had pending on their to-do list. Need to assign a task to a team member for tomorrow? No need to find them and tell them in person. Just create and assign it via the CRM system.
These are just a few of the examples of how a CRM can help.
Perhaps my favorite feature is that, when used right, the CRM contains a history of all your clients’ accounts, communications, history and team interactions.
What this means for you is, your team doesn’t need to bug you about everything you did or talked about with a contact. They can simply pull up their record, view the notes history and likely get 95% of their questions answered immediately.
You hear that? **crickets** That’s the sound of no one bugging you to get information they can get on their own using the CRM. It’s glorious!
3. Increase Sales
Using a CRM isn’t just about storing data, it’s also about increasing sales. But to understand this you must see the forest through the trees (i.e. the big picture!).
Imagine you’re taking a road trip from point A to point B. You see a direct route on the map with a short mileage and your brain says, “that’s probably the best route.”
That’s how you likely feel when it comes to generating sales. You think you should be making phone calls, out networking, buying new leads, or something that you attribute more directly to your bottom-line revenue—not using your CRM each day.
But instead, turns out that road is an old, 2-way scenic route with a 35 mph speed limit and stop signs every block.
Instead, if you checked out Google, you would see that there’s an alternate route that’s a brand new 4-lane highway with an express lane and a 75 mph speed limit that will get you there in half the time.
That’s what using a powerful CRM like Vision Financial Marketing can do to help boost your sales. It’s just a faster and more efficient way of accomplishing that goal.
Some examples of how a CRM helps you boost sales:
- Create and track a list of all your pending sales appointments, cancellations, rescheduled appointments, etc… so no sale ever slips through the cracks.
- See a list of your best clients and ensure that you stay in frequent communication with them—boosting client retention and referrals.
- Send emails, postcards and other communication pieces to your contacts in minutes, so you’re always top of mind and generating new meetings.
- Track and mine old “dead leads” quickly and efficiently without wasting extra time.
- Identify additional money-making opportunities for capturing additional existing-client wallet share.
- And many more.
Making CRMs Work For You
Ultimately, using a CRM was perhaps the biggest catalyst for the growth and expansion of my advisory business, as it has been for hundreds of other advisors. Without it, we’d never be able to complete the volume of sales, client service, marketing, and communication that our business requires.
While it can take some time to obtain the full benefits of using a CRM when you’re first getting started—after all, using a CRM is a big culture and paradigm shift—the net results will always be worth it, so be sure to stick with it and you’ll reap the rewards.
PS. Need a CRM? Check out Vision Financial Marketing and sign up today to start exploring all our great features.
Until next time,