What is a CRM?
A customer relationship management tool keeps all your contacts and the relationships with that contact in place.
This is used for managing customers, leads, colleagues, network contacts and so forth.
For a long time I didn’t use one, because I basically used my email inbox to manage my contacts. But that quickly became cumbersome and not ideal especially the more mature my business became.
I then shifted from my inbox to my email marketing provider, Drip, to manage my contacts through tagging and segmentation.
But then I had to switch from that as well.
Focus on the contact
The reason I had to switch was really based on the need to keep in touch with a single contact.
Drip and even my inbox was easy enough for leads and clients, but not for my colleagues and those that I wanted to be sure to keep in touch with over the year.
Due to the fact that my relationship with leads and clients are mostly a linear relationship, but colleagues and other contacts can become complex and evolve, I needed a system that is flexible enough to evolve with those relationships.
I use Pipedrive as my CRM.
It allows for the growth of the relationships of leads and customers.
You’ve heard me so many times talk about the sales process and buyer’s journey on this podcast. Having a proper CRM allows for you to nurture the individual through each of the stages of the process.
By keeping tracking of emails, calls, and even in some cases social media posts, a CRM tool will retain all the information of that relationship you have without you having to keep those things in mind.
A CRM allows you to be to identify opportunities for your business and your clients as well.
What I mean by this is you can see a certain pattern of questions, objections, or reasons why a lead doesn’t sign on the dotted line. Performing a report on these can spark ideas and even opportunities for you that you wouldn’t have otherwise seen.
Pipedrive’s core is activity based selling. Which means that deals and contacts alike are all based around activities. When you create an email with a client, Pipedrive will then prompt you for the next activity and when.
At that point, you don’t have to worry remembering what that is until it’s that time again. It removes the clutter in your head.
Helps you with your numbers
Numbers don’t lie. Your cashflow is key to your business and if you don’t know how many people you need to talk to today in order to hit your revenue goals for the quarter or year, you’ll no doubt be reactionary and looking at lagging indicators of your business which is no way to run a successful business.
Pipedrive is so customizable, that you can set up the stages of your sales process and put goals on each of them. Then you can see how many deals come through to each stage and get that conversion rate for the next stage.
These conversion rates give you a much more precise insight into your business and an understanding of what you need to do to reach those revenue goals and profits.
I highly recommend you start using a CRM, whether it’s a spreadsheet and you move contacts around in cells or a proper CRM like Pipedrive.
By the way, this link above is an affiliate link, which means that I earn a commission if you do end up purchasing this product. It’s at no extra cost to you, and please if you have any questions related to this product, please let me know and I’d be happy to answer them for you.
If you’d like a quick demo about how this product, I can help you and share what it’s like.
As Chris Ducker, founder of Youprenuer and 2-time best selling author says “Business is about the P-2-P relationships; the people to people relationships you build.”
Running your freelance business
More episodes in this topic:
What do you do when a crisis hits?
How to start building an email list as a freelancer?
How do you manage time wearing so many hats as a freelancer?
What software tools do you use for business? What is best?
How do you prevent, manage scope creep in your projects?
Do you schedule in time for exploring or reading articles online?
What is the best way to get income fast?
What happens if you can’t define a scope of work on a call?
What do I do first thing Monday morning?
How can I focus on my business when I’ve got a ton client work?
Do I have to be concerned with GDPR?
What are the tools and services that you use and would recommend to freelancers?
How do you have time for all that you do?
What podcasting gear do I use?
Does live chat bring you in business?
How do you followup with a lead after a proposal?
Did hiring a mentor really help you with starting up your business or your career?
What is my writing process
What is the easiest way to get a remote testimonial?
How do you determine a quality prospect?
How do you step away and actually take a vacation?
Are job boards reliable?
How to decrease the sales cycle or time to close?
How would you write a cold outreach email?
How to present different services that could potentially diminish your abilities in the minds of clients?
Should I bundle projects for clients or keep projects separate per client?
What product do you use for your business that you can’t live without?
What makes you stand out from other freelancers?
Do I drop this client?
How do I set a goal?
Do you meet leads and clients face-to-face?
How do I work “ON” my business and not “IN” my business?
What is the best structure for setting a goal?
How do you do a review of your week?
What do I say when a potential client says I’m too expensive?
What is activity based selling?
How to get more clients?
How to have a productive week?
Do you use a CRM for your business?
How do you choose the technology for your clients?
What is the structure of a weekly review?
What is the structure of a monthly review?
What are lead generation techniques to get me out of the feast and famine revenue cycle?
How do I know if I should buy a course?
What’s a polite way to tell existing clients you are raising your rates? And what is a reasonable percentage to go up?
How many email follow-ups should I send to a lead?
What do I do? I’m afraid to filter the tire kickers coming into my business because they are the only leads I have.
How to take the next step from contracting resource to solo business owner?
What do you think about Gutenberg? Schmutenberg!
How do I get better at sales?
How to overcome objections in sales?
How do I respond to an RFP?
How to respond to “I don’t need strategy, can you just do…”?
If you don’t have experience, how to you prove the quality without the education/experience?
How do you handle a client that has ghosted?
What do you ask during a sales call?
How to improve your sales process as a freelancer?
How to charge more as a freelancer?
How do you push past the imposter syndrome?
How do you segment your email list?
What to say when a client insists on adding something new?
What kind of content should I promote to potential clients?
Best of Season 3 - Get out of the comfort zone
Best of Season 3 - Building Relationships
S06 E12 - Undercharging, Targeting the Wrong Audience, and What You Should Do About It with Alex McClafferty
S03 Bonus - Tom McFarlin on Blogging, Balancing Work and Family, and Building a Business that Lasts
S09 E11 - Differentiation, Reputation, and Pivoting From the Top-Down with Peep Laja
S01 E11 - Kai Davis helping freelancers get more clients with outreach