BY GENE MARKS
How a CRM system
will reduce your expenses
Gene Marks, CPA, is the owner of the Marks
Group, which sells customer relationship,
service, and financial management tools to
small and midsized businesses.
As a CPA, I’ve learned a lot about re- ducing costs over the past 15 years. Sometimes from unlikely places, too.
Like customer relationship management systems. This technology can help you reduce
Here are a few things I’ve learned.
1. By creating workflows, you can save
time. The scar on my head has healed by
now. But it was a nasty one. It was caused by
a roof shingle that had fallen to the ground,
then was picked up, and then was thrown at
me by my wife. We were walking out the door
to a party and she was wearing a new dress.
And she asked me how she looked in it.
Need I say more?
Once the bleeding stopped, I thought to
myself how we needed repair work done on
the roof. And my roofer, a long-time CRM
user, taught me something about using his
CRM system. When a new job comes in, at
least 20 tasks need to be performed, including ordering materials, sending thank-you
notes and scheduling trucks. He asked me
to help him configure workflows in his CRM
system so with one click of the button, all of
these tasks were accomplished, along with
reminders and alerts to ensure that nothing
fell through the cracks. And it worked!
So if you’re spending too much time doing repetitive tasks, you might find that automating them in your CRM system will cut
labor hours and increase productivity, too.
And stay away from the metal shingles. They
hurt like hell.
2. If you stop the data chase, you improve
productivity. We waste enough time in our
lives. We sit in traffic. We wait in lines. We
watch that kid get older and older on Two
and a Half Men. In the office, we run around
looking for quotes, e-mails, invoices, purchase orders. We place customers on hold
and they get steamed. We miss important
calls because we’re out in the back trying to
find an old file. Time is being wasted. Service
So stop doing this. With a CRM system,
all activities like calls and appointments
are linked in the activities tabs. All e-mail
exchanges from anyone in the company are
there in history. Any document you want is
linked in the notes tab, so with a single click
the document is retrieved. It’s all there. In
one place. No searching. No yelling. Time is
saved. So is money.