With more prospects enquiring about your creative products or services, long-term customers providing repeat business, and warm leads in the pipeline – a bunch of post-it notes with their details attached to your desk won’t do.
You’re a growing business, and you need to keep on top of potential, new, and existing clients a lot more effectively than you’ve been used to.
What Is A CRM System?
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system helps manage customer data. It supports sales management, delivers actionable insights, integrates with social media, and facilitates team communication. Cloud-based CRM systems offer complete mobility and access to an ecosystem of bespoke apps.
Why Do You Need A CRM For Creatives?
Life as a creative is hectic enough without the added stress of remembering all your clients’ details. And you’re always on the move – between meetings, events, coffee shops, etc – and you need a solution that will go with you.
It can be difficult to juggle many projects at once. Not only do you need to keep in constant touch with your clients, you’re probably involved in several different projects and dealing with different people. A CRM system enables you to track all projects, contacts, and activities all in one place, creating a clearer overview of your business.
CRM In Action
Let’s say you’re a freelance copywriter who receives a request for a website redesign from a new client. Instead of flicking through paper project files in a folder that you’re hoping isn’t overflowing with all your past project records, you can now pull up the specific details of this job directly on a CRM tool.
You can track and record all of your conversations, details and project minutes and you can easily share documents with client for collaboration. If it’s not the client you’re working with, but it’s a contact you’d like to pursue in the future then adding them to your list will help you stay organized and reach out to them when it’s the right time to do so.
The browsing function on a CRM will save you time and lots of open tabs. When your clients contact you over e-mail or social media, you can simply send them a quick link to your CRM tool and they can easily get in contact directly, without you having to share your personal email address every time.
Some of the biggest names in the industry use CRM for better management of their business processes and workflow.
For example, The British Council is the United Kingdom’s international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities. With the support of digital technology, it is the United Kingdom’s leading organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities. The CRM tool it uses is a business solution customized to meet the needs of its business.
The British Council operates globally and sells its calendar of events and workshops to schools, cultural groups, and organizations all over the world. As a business that manages content and customers using cloud-based CRM, it is efficient and minimizes any issues that might arise from having a paper-based system.
As a creative working with other creatives, you can communicate directly with your colleagues via your CRM system. This ensures that every client gets the right amount of attention.
For example, if you’re under pressure to provide a client with a proposal, you can send your colleague a request to review the draft and comment on if it could be improved. This helps to eliminate confusion and reduce possible mistakes.
For creative freelancers and small businesses, the use of CRM tools is not an option but a necessity.
Benefits Of Using Cloud-Based Systems.
- Significantly reduce your paperwork by saving all your contacts in one place.
- Stay on top of your deadlines and targets by sharing your project management and action steps with your colleagues and clients.
- Give everyone in your team the opportunity to comment on every detail
- Save multiple copies of your proposals and presentations in different versions
- Create a database of contacts and references and access them from any device at any time
- Save time spent on searching clients and projects by tagging tasks, issues, and requests
- Stop using lengthy policies and mission statements and write them down in the one place
- Let customer service know the exact details of your projects and how they are proceeding – questions and concerns can be answered immediately
- Create unlimited team rooms to ensure your colleagues are up to speed on all the details of your projects
Advantages Of A CRM System For Creative Companies
- Faster and convenient access to customer information
- Ability to track potential leads, sales pipeline and generate up-to-date stats
- Build customer loyalty, retain clients and schedule the highest quality of services
- Do away with paperwork by keeping your information in one place
- Customer engagement is increased by providing better service and understanding their needs
- All communication history is safely stored in one place
- Share all your project details and relevant media files within seconds
- Eliminate duplicate efforts and duplicate work
- Dispense with endless emails and save time spent on master documents
Creative CRM systems cover different modules, such as contacts, project management, content marketing, customer engagements, and account management.
How To Choose A Good CRM For Creative Companies?
Each CRM solution has its own unique features, but you should look out for the following functionality:
- Basic features
- Calendar and Scheduling
- Task and Project management
- Contracts, Invoices, and Estimates
- Contacts and Lists
- Business Intelligence
- Time Tracking
- Push notifications
- Personalized support
- On-Premise CRM
As explained, you should consider the on-premise LAMP as the easiest and quickest option.
If your business has a small number of clients you probably won’t even need to build any kind of database.
It allows you to get a basic CRM solution instantly and it will be the best option for start-ups.
The main benefit of a hosted CRM system is that you don’t have to set it up yourself. Instead, you have to simply download your CRM application, and it will be ready to use within a little while. The applications of the hosted CRM are usually limited, but it is more efficient and less costly than an on-premise software solution.
The cloud-hosted CRM is recommended for companies with a large number of clients, projects, and account management information. This system allows you to store all of your information in the cloud with access from any device. If you want to integrate your CRM with other software, you can manage your customer lists, tasks, and projects directly from your CRM system. Customers are engaged more often through “Push notifications” and the data is always available to you when you need it.
What To Look Out For When Choosing A CRM Solution?
Be sure to choose a CRM that meets your specific needs. There are certain factors to consider when evaluating the CRM services you are thinking of using.
The Number Of Client Records:
usually, CRM helps you store addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and other basic information on your customers.
At the same time, you should choose a vendor that has the ability to scale up with your business!
If you opt for a CRM solution in the cloud, you may be charged by the number of users and the number of records in a database.
It’s always wise to expect the unexpected. So, make sure your CRM solution has a system of backup and restore.
It’s suitable for all of your projects. This is where your CRM choice comes in handy.
If you have different phones and you have to access your information from anywhere, mobile options are a great idea.
To put it simply, this means that your CRM will make it possible for you to organize your contacts and your business with ease.
Reporting And Analytic:
It’s essential to download your reports and access them wherever you are.
Instead of writing down the tasks, you can simply send an e-mail to the CRM system and get a sense of urgency.
Make sure that you can easily integrate it with your payment management system.
Human Relationship Management:
You have to be able to save time and money by keeping your team informed about the ongoing projects.
The Ultimate Q&A To Make Your Business Better
1- Free Trial
If you prefer a faster installation and lower cost, an on-premise solution is the best option – just get your copy, follow the installation guide, and you are done. However, hosted CRM is a paid service but it’s the best for small businesses without any special requirement.
Many of the free CRM transitions are now built in the cloud. A cloud-based solution is a good way to ensure that your data is protected and also makes it easy to scale as your business grows.
3- Customer Relationship Management
CRM systems allow you to interact with one of your clients when he or she needs it. So, it is easy to communicate with every one of your customers. Moreover, you can communicate with them whenever you want.
CRM Software is not like using a Windows or a Mac. It involves a certain understanding. So if you don’t know how to use it, you should get some training.
5- Reporting And Analytics
CRM Systems are pretty fast and responsive. In addition, they offer more reporting and analytics anywhere, anytime you need them.
The pricing will vary according to the complexity of your business. Barter-based payments are the most common pricing scheme offered by vendors.
It’s very important to be sure that you have someone to talk to when you run into a problem. In fact, the best CRM systems offer 24/7 support.
8- File Storage
Some CRM Systems are limited and don’t offer solutions like file storage. On the other hand, CRM systems offer unlimited file storage. Most of them can also be used offline.
Managing today’s small business has become much more complex with the need for collaboration and productivity. CRM systems like Salesforce, Oracle, and Microsoft Dynamics are frequently used by small businesses.
A CRM system with a domain-specific marketing focus offers advanced lead, opportunity, and campaign management, segmentation, and forecasting tools, as well as leads management with automation and robust analytics.
Connecting a CRM with the email marketing service proves to be an on-point solution for any small business looking to manage customer relationships.