For the majority of my professional life, I had not used a CRM system. I didn’t think I needed it. I didn’t have a sales position, and the term CRM (Customer Relationship Management) just confused me. I vaguely knew what it was, but never fully understood how it could help me on my professional journey.
In short, a CRM system keeps information about your customers and potential customers. This usually includes:
- Profile information (ex. name/job/contact info)
- Interactions (ex. email messages/phone calls)
- Meta information (ex. notes/status/reminders/analytics/reports)
The goal of a CRM system is to help build relationships. For sales professionals, this is more obvious - you want to be able to track who to talk to, and to track your progress in converting them into customers.
For non-sales professionals, there are still good reasons to use a CRM system. Mainly, it can help you build your professional network. We meet a lot of people over the years in our professional lives. Keeping track of them and making these meetings meaningful requires efforts for you to remember and organise these contacts. Think of a CRM system like a digital assistant that helps you do that - keeping track of your network.
Particularly if you are in a role that requires you to keep lists of different types of professionals. Let’s say you are a manager at a local football club. You might want to keep a list of athletes to keep an eye on, a list of potential and current sponsors, a list of volunteers, a list of food/drinks suppliers, and a list of tradesman. Even though you might not think of these people as “customers”, a good CRM system can help you stay organised with these contacts.
There are many CRM tools. Some are built for large teams, and some are focused on startups and SMEs. Some are more technical and some are simpler. I suggest trying a few (there’s usually a free tier or free trial) to find what suites you. We don’t necessarily consider markd.co to be a CRM system, but if you are looking for a fast, simple, and fun way to organise your contacts with tags and lists (coming soon), feel free to check us out as well!