Until recently, many businesses, including those in the hire sector, could ‘get by’ without the need for a Customer Relationship Management system. CRM was considered a ‘nice to have’, rather than a necessity and for many businesses - particularly those in more traditional industries - there was a general consensus of “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it”.
Now, things have dramatically changed.
As technological advancements challenge businesses to move more quickly and with more agility, organisations that want to thrive can no longer rely on messy spreadsheets and good memories. A Customer Relationship Management system can support your hire business with everything from organisation and administration to lead generation, relationship development and upselling. But with so many CRM systems to choose from, where do you start?
Use our top tips below to cut through the noise and find the CRM software that’s right for your rental business.
- Look for a CRM system that dovetails with your rental management software to simplify raising rental quotes and contracts.
A quality CRM system is designed to make running your hire business easier - and a huge part of that is the administration that comes with raising quotes, contracts and invoices. Opt for rental software with built-in CRM functionality that streamlines converting your rental quotes into contracts with one simple workflow, consolidated into a single system. The benefits of combining CRM with your rental software are vast:
- Your sales team spend less time working on paperwork and more time selling.
- All paperwork is stored securely and electronically in one place.
- There is consistency across all of your communications with customers and prospects.
- Manage your hire business on-the-go with mobile access
With increasing popularity for employees working in different locations, on-site with clients and even remotely from home, it’s essential that your hire business remains just as informed and up-to-date as it would if all staff were working in the same office. With this in mind, opting for hire management software that provides staff with mobile access ensures;
- Up-to-date access to essential records and client information on-the-go
- The ability to add and record new information anywhere, anytime
- Instant information for on-the-road sales teams to close deals quickly
- Keep processes streamlined with third party integration
There is little point in investing in a CRM system that doesn’t work well with your existing systems if you are going to retain them. This will only result in yet another technology to contend with - and it’s likely that you won’t use your CRM to its full potential. Instead, look for a software solution that integrates with what you already have in place, resulting in one streamlined process that maximises opportunities and reduces administration. Just some examples of third party integration include:
- Outlook integration for email and appointment-setting
- Marketing automation and/or email marketing tools for intelligent, personalised email campaigns
- Rental management software integration that avoids unnecessary rekeying of data (which increases the likelihood of input error
- Look for a CRM with usable reporting functionality
In-depth statistics and analysis can offer huge support for driving your hire business forward. However, if the reporting functionality of your chosen CRM system is difficult to understand or interpret, it’s useless. Be sure to choose a CRM that easily visualises your results in a way that’s digestible and, most importantly, usable. Just some of the reporting features to look out for include:
- Lead monitoring - which leads are ‘hottest’ and likely to close
- Pipeline and probability of sale
- Sales team performance
- Ensure that your CRM supports your data segmentation and marketing campaigns
Customers and prospects alike expect to be treated like an individual - in all of your communication with them. They want you to demonstrate that you understand their individual circumstance, purchase history or products and services that they’ve shown an interest in. They expect your marketing campaigns to be tailored to reflect this. A CRM rental system that integrates with your email marketing software and allows you to segment data based upon a series of factors will provide the best results. Just some of the ways in which you can segment your data include:
- Job title and/or industry
- Buying history
- Choose a CRM system that supports your staff in their day-to-day role
As highlighted above, a CRM should make your life easier - so opt for one that works with your staff, not against them. The best CRMs allow users to set actions, tasks and reminders that they can work through each day, boosting;
- Opt for a system that’s configurable
Every hire business is unique and it’s unlikely that you’ll find a CRM system that’s perfectly suited to your needs out-of-the-box. With this in mind, be sure to choose a system that can be easily tailored to match the requirements of your business. Consider the renaming fields that are important to your individual business and ensure that your chosen CRM can accommodate these.
- Be sure to get the CRM support that you need
In order to get the best out of your CRM system, it’s essential that you know how to use it - even the most simple software can take a little getting used to so be sure to identify any training requirements for you or your staff. Some things to consider include:
- Do you need implementation support?
- Do you have access to online training or resources?
- Does the cost for your CRM include any support hours?
CRM can undoubtedly have a huge positive impact on your hire business. Saving time and money, boosting productivity and results, delivering better email marketing and improving insights, it’s a no-brainer when it comes to reaching your company goals. However, it’s essential that you take the necessary time and consideration to find the CRM that suits your business and its employees; do what’s required to ensure that your staff ‘buy into’ the software and, consequently, use it to its greatest potential.