7 Ways CRM Will Help You Prepare for Christmas 2014

So it’s already the middle of January… in fact, February 2014 is right around the corner. Did you make or exceed your holiday sales goals?

Were you disappointed with holiday sales?

Did your most loyal customers buy from you?

Did customers refer business to you?

It’s a new year and now is the time to focus and determine your marketing plan for 2014 overall, but especially in regard to leveraging CRM better in your business.

If you already have CRM systems in place, this is the time to audit your systems, get rid of duplicates and optimize, to better serve your customers and prospective customers.

Those who have a sales surge in the holidays, or rely on the Christmas lead-up for a good percentage of annual sales, will find CRM particularly important. If you are not yet using a dynamic customer marketing system, here’s what you should do within the next 30 days to boost your 2014 sales.

  1. Speak with CRM vendors about their systems to see which ones might be best for you. Check out Infusionsoft, Salesforce, Hubspot, Batchbook, Zoho, and Insightly – just to name a few. Watch a few demos or have coffee with local CRM experts.
  2. Map out (on paper) your current marketing and sales processes so you can better understand what you are currently doing. This process will shine the light on what you can do better, what you should stop doing and what you’re doing right.
  3. Speak with your staff to find bottlenecks and challenges. Ask them, what are the road blocks in not being able to give customers the best experience possible?
  4. Interview a sampling of your customers and listen to their needs. You’ll discover ways to make them more happy and also to upsell them. This intelligence will add more revenue by helping you sell more to your current customers.
  5. Work with an expert to understand how your current software is being used. Are you using Excel? A database such as File Make or Microsoft Access? 
  6. Speak with companies who complement or even compete against your own and see what they are doing. There’s nothing better than speaking with someone who’s already succeeding in what you want to do. Pick their brain and be sure to say thanks!
  7. Review your lost opportunities: deals, customers, etc. Find out why they did not buy from you. Was it something you did wrong? Something the competition did better?

These are seven things you can do within the next 30 days to use CRM – or better put it to work in your business.

I’d love to hear your ideas on CRM; share them in the comments!