A simple CRM is an underestimated tool that can prove to be more efficient and powerful than you may think. 

In this article, we’ll walk you through the basics of what a CRM actually is, plus plenty of actionable ways you can use a simple contact management solution to supercharge your customer management process. We’ll also cover step-by-step instructions on how to use Wrike to manage contacts and seamlessly track sales leads. Let’s jump right in! 

What is CRM software and what is it designed to do? 

CRM stands for customer relationship management. As the name implies, this tool is meant to help businesses acquire, organize, and update leads and contact information over time. It can be used by businesses in virtually every industry. You’ll find that a lot of sales and marketing departments make use of these systems for a variety of mission-critical tasks. 

What are the different types of CRM software? 

  • Collaborative: Share customer information across all relevant departments and keep everyone on the same page at all times. 
  • Operational: Use this type of CRM to automate sales, marketing, and services processes such as capturing leads and moving new contacts through the pipeline. 
  • Analytical: Automatically gather and analyze data using in-depth reports that are both easy to read and actionable. 

Top benefits and features of an effective CRM

What is client project management? On a surface level, CRMs do a great job of keeping all your contacts, project timelines, and messaging in one easily accessible place. When you begin to explore this software a little more, you’ll find that CRMs also make it easy to streamline everyday processes, which goes a long way towards scaling customer acquisition

All of that extra free time opens up employees to focus on higher ROI activities, which include bonding with leads and providing excellent customer service. For example, most CRMs offer the ability to update relationship records in real-time as well as set up timely follow up and assignment reminders for other team members. Being on the same page across the board ultimately helps to create loyal customers. 

In addition to the benefits we just discussed, you’ll also find these useful CRM features in most systems: 

  • Contact organization
  • Lead capture
  • Task assignments
  • Project management
  • At-a-glance dashboards
  • In-app team communication
  • Reports and analytics

How to use Wrike as a simple CRM

Follow this step-by-step guide on how to set up a workflow system of folders and tasks within your simple CRM software. 

1. Determine your priorities and goals 

These will ultimately help you label contacts and add searchable tags to specific leads. Distill those ideas into one or three-word phrases that best represent frequently searched client characteristics and funnel stages. 

2. Create a new folder and add clients as tasks

Use their first name, last name, and company name in the title. Next, include the following items in your task description:

  • Client’s website
  • Account notes
  • Contact information
  • Call notes
  • Logged activities
  • Next steps
  • Professional photo of them

3. Use tasks as deadlines and/or reminders for next steps 

Assign specific personnel to the job. They’ll be automatically notified and reminded. 

4. Create a second set of folders based on your priorities and goals. 

Use labels that your team can all agree on. Don’t be afraid to make changes to these later on as you get used to the system. 

5. Create another folder with personalized client-status tags 

Assign and update these tags as your relationship with each client progresses. 

6. Create a final folder for templates

We suggest that you include answers to client-specific questions, FAQs, and other frequently referenced customer relationship material.

How to track sales leads with a CRM

Now that your simple contact management system is all set up, let’s take a closer look at how you can use Wrike as an equally simple lead tracking software for sales. Tracking leads in a CRM helps sales rep get the most out of every interaction and ensure that no sales opportunities fall through the cracks. Since each CRM contact contains relationship details, funnel stage notes, and next steps, sales reps are able to keep each other up to date on any important information in real-time. 

Create subfolders for each stage of your sales cycle 

Add a corresponding tag to each client that signals which stage/folder they are currently in. 

Schedule follow-ups and assign tasks so specific sales reps

Not only will they be able to view it on their dashboard, but they can also update the project status once they complete the task. You can even set up event triggers that will notify the person in charge of the next step. 

Update the tag for each new stage 

Your sales team can use your simple sales CRM to keep track of leads as they move through the funnel. 

Setting up and optimizing your CRM Solution for the best results

To start, make sure you connect your CRM to Salesforce. This app integration allows you to consolidate all your lead and contact information into one single platform so you don’t have to worry about keeping multiple tabs open or searching through different services every time you need to access your records. 

In fact, you can actually search multiple categories at once by searching first by folder and then by task. Or, if you’re looking for specific files, you can quickly locate leads using any keyword associated with their contact (including phone numbers). 

Next, you’ll want to keep track of sales performance using reports. Not only will this help you get the big picture of past and present performance, but it will also help you set realistic and achievable goals for the future. Simply use filters to specify periods of time (like deals closed this past week), stage (how many new leads are close, or sales rep).

Then, invite leads to view estimates, project drafts, and more right within your CRM. Not only will you avoid the hassle of messy email chains, but you’ll also be able to streamline time-sensitive approvals thanks to in-app messaging. Plus, adding this level of transparency into the process will help build trust among your clients since they’ll have access to your relevant records, notes, and progress (if you choose to share all this, of course). 

Finally, your CRM can be used to receive at-a-glance updates on any and all client files just by viewing the Activity Stream. This will help you keep up with important updates and notes without having to search for and open individual files every time. 

Track leads and manage projects in Wrike

Get started with our free trial and see how easy it is to set up your own simple CRM today. 

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