The Value of CRM in the Professional Services Industry
By Barry Goman, Managing Director, AMR Consulting
It could be time to evaluate your strategy and approach to client relationship management (CRM). Forbes.com calls CRM one of the most valuable systems any business can implement. Inc.com states that businesses often overlook their best source of growth – their existing client base. When you also consider the significantly higher cost of acquiring new clients and advances in CRM technology, a yearly assessment is a valuable exercise for organizations to undertake.
CRM is a constant process for attracting, retaining, and expanding client relationships. It is about knowing your customers comprehensively and treating your client base as a valuable asset. CRM recognizes the need to track client interactions and data at the many “touch points” in the process and maintain a common client “knowledge base”.
A CRM knowledge base includes basic data like contact names and titles, addresses, locations, projects worked on, and invoices – but goes well beyond this and is designed to serve the needs of the whole organization. A “look-up” within a CRM system should generate a more complete picture of the state and importance of a client relationship, e.g. progress with current projects, outstanding issues, value and probability of winning new business, and past-project performance feedback.
Approached correctly, the benefits of CRM are numerous and include:
Brief surveys within your firm can start a CRM evaluation and quickly provide feedback on the merits of investing more time and effort. Owners and executives should consider the following key questions:
Introducing improvements to CRM frequently involve technology and software changes. The choices available today are wide-ranging – cloud (rent) or on-premise (buy), off-the-shelf or custom, vertical or horizontal, local support or web-based – and require careful consideration. In addition to selecting the CRM software solution that best meets requirements, factors critical to the overall success of an implementation include:
CRM is a constant process for attracting, retaining, and expanding client relationships – and building a more successful business. Do you need to establish or improve the CRM strategy and tactics in your company?
About AMR ConsultingAMR’s mission is to help organizations improve profitability by identifying and resolving problems with software systems, business processes, and staff training. AMR has been supporting consulting engineering firms across Canada since 1990 and maintains offices in Toronto, Edmonton, and Vancouver. Long-term clients include MMM Group, CBCL Limited, and Pinchin West. AMR is a Deltek Premier Partner and is led by Barry Goman, CMC. Learn more at www.amrgroup.ca.
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