The business world is changing rapidly and today’s businesses must have the right tools...
Some accountants and bookkeepers think that customer relationship management (CRM) solutions are only for sales and marketing professionals—not experts who crunch numbers. Others believe that CRM is a dark science that only “CRM gurus” can possibly understand.
However, a CRM can be an effective business tool for accountants and bookkeepers to better achieve their firm’s overall business goals as well as help them mitigate today’s challenges that impact their profession.
Now, more than ever before, accounting services firms are struggling with attracting and developing new business. The competition is fierce and it is becoming increasing difficult to attract new clients. From low-cost online technologies to cloud accounting to high-end firms, today’s competitive landscape is a minefield when trying to drum up new business and referrals—and maintain an enviable clientele.
In addition, because of today’s hypercompetitive market, it is important for accountants and bookkeepers to stop and think for a moment. What is their biggest and most valuable asset? Their client list, right? So why should an accounting or booking firm relegate managing and protecting its most important asset to outdated tools or—even worse—no tools at all?
Here are the top 5 reasons why accountants and bookkeepers should use a CRM:
Ditch the rolodexes, sticky notes, archaic spreadsheets and paper-based filing cabinets. CRMs are ideal for bringing together all of your contacts—leads, referrals, current clients, partners and more into one place. Furthermore, all files and documentation pertaining to each contact can be uploaded to a CRM. No more fumbling around ad nauseum to find the critical information you are looking for.
Proactivity is key when acquiring new clients. With a CRM, you can set up tasks and activities for each lead or referral that comes your way. What’s more, as you gain control over your pipeline, you’ll be able to quickly pinpoint how opportunities are evolving through each stage of the sales cycle, ensure that your firm is hitting its targets win terms of new business, and be alerted should you lose any clients.
Also, if you integrate your CRM with accounting software, like QuickBooks Online or Sage One, you can consolidate information, eliminate unnecessary duplicate entries, and improve your team’s overall productivity.
Yes, the “M” word. Nowadays, clients can easily switch firms if you are not delivering the level of service they expect—or if a competitor becomes top of mind thanks to the way it communicates its added value. A CRM can help you easily set up automated and personalized email campaigns to nurture both your existing and potential clientele. You can also create automatic responses should someone fill out a form on your website. Think of your CRM as a means to enhance your clients’ experience and promote your services.
As the old adage goes: “you don’t know what you don’t know.” Managing your firm’s business means that you are under the gun every day to cater to clients and deliver the services they have come to expect. How easy is it for you to know exactly which specific clients or market segments are the most lucrative? Thanks to a CRM’s dashboards and reports, you can quickly identify profit centres as well as profit-gouging sales and which marketing tactics work.
For example, you may notice that your highest-paying clientele is made up of family-owned businesses. Or, you may discover that you have been heavily marketing a particular service for the manufacturing sector—but haven’t closed any deals with manufacturers. All this insight will give you the data you need to invest your time and energy where it impacts your bottom line the most.
If you choose a SaaS CRM with an accompanying mobile app and set up your practice so that the CRM becomes one of the central hubs of your business, you will be able to access any information you need, anytime, anywhere.
On the road and a client calls to follow up on a pending transaction? Simply log into your CRM and find out where that transaction is landed with your associate. A former client wants to employ your services again? You no longer have to tap into the memory of your administrative assistant or sift through archives to gather all the papers needed to reactivate your client’s account. Just a few clicks may do the trick!
We all know that time is money. And client acquisition and retention is critical in today’s market place. If you are looking to better manage the sales side of your business, consider investing in a CRM. The ROI will be well worth it!
If you’re an accountant or bookkeeper looking for a simple, yet full-featured CRM to grow your clientele, book a demo today with CentrixOne!