Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5
Subscribe

The 7 Stages Of Customer Relationship Management

How to focus on the right people rather than more people.

By
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Customer Relationship Management increases profitability, productivity, loyalty and satisfaction. There are many kinds of CRM software, specializing in many kinds of industries.

Hubspot and Close.com are the CRMs my CEO coaching firm, Strategy Sprints, most recommend. However, software is always changing and it is important to be strategic when automating specific messages, at appropriate places, based on the client’s actions. 

Here's how our own experience in this area helped us increase scheduled sales and demo calls, which boosted sales without bringing in a single new lead.

7 Stages Of Customer Relationship Management

 

1. Awareness

In your chosen software, input their contact information, name, business and any other identifying details they provide. At this point, they are a cold lead, so identify that in the profile. Then assign this lead to someone on your team. Generally, when someone is just now entering your CRM, they will be at awareness. If you don’t have templates for outreach, build them from the emails you're about to send.

2. Nurturing

The beauty of a robust CRM lies within their tagging systems that follow the client’s actions. You can automate what is sent to them next based on that action. You can use Zapier or IFTTT to connect your website with your email system for tracking action across your platforms. These two programs simply work by initiating a trigger, which causes another action to happen automatically. 

Related: Salesforce (CRM) Set to Report Q3 Earnings: What's in Store?

3. Sales Opportunity

When a warm lead becomes a hot one, we enter a potential new business opportunity because they have scheduled a sales call. This means you enter the client into the Sales Tracker. From here, the lead’s status can go into many directions such as Abandoned Audit, Qualified After Audit, Did the Discovery Call, DC No Show, etc. Have templates ready in your CRM for all those possible outcomes after someone schedules a call with you.

Related: Customer Service Is the New Upsell

4. Closing

Once the lead moves all the way to the end of your Sales Tracker and says, “yes"? They are now a new customer. Track this in your CRM by sending them the agreement and invoice. Now, automate a welcome email and set their expectations for what’s going to happen next now that they are on board. You still want to track their activity and make sure they complete the payment. Have automated messages to send friendly reminders if they don’t complete the sale in a timely manner.

5. Delivery

For a single product, such as a subscription to software, this might trigger a sequence of emails that ensure the customer is benefitting from the tools and nurture throughout the subscription to make them aware of new improvements and upgrades, as well as client wins to keep the patron inspired engaged. You might automate weekly updates for the client to keep them abreast of your progress, reminders to give feedback and follow-ups for any meetings. 

6. Upsell

One of the fastest ways to increase numbers in your Sales Tracker is to move people from your Main Offer to your Upsell. In some businesses, the Main Offer may solve one problem and the Upsell may solve additional problems that arise after you solve the first issue. When you tag an Upsell lead, you may offer a sales call and move the lead into a sequence for selling this additional offer. When they accept, sign them up for Upsell automated emails.

7. Follow-Up

Have the AI reminding you who to follow up with while utilizing a personal assistant or a routine team call to go through lists of leads and their status. It’s important to keep a personal touch in your follow-up communication. Stop selling and start serving.

Related: A Simple-to-Use CRM for Small Business Means an Easier Day-to-Day

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks