The truth about market nowadays is that you are left alone on this battlefield. If you think that you are competing with businesses providing similar goods or services, you are completely wrong. The real nemesis is informational noise; the rival to knock out.
The customer acquisition looks exactly like an auction – business has to be ready to pay more to catch intending purchaser’s attention. In other words, your flower shop is competing not only with other flower shops but with restaurants, financial institutions, and insurance companies, as well.
The acquisition cost is usually reaching breakeven, while the real revenue appears with only second, third or even fourth purchase. It requires consistent and systematic work with clients. To become a winner, you need to learn how to track your leads, segment them in different groups, and build your communication strategy around these knowledge. Set up notification to call your customer and offer new car insurance plan when it expires in a year, send your warmest wishes to your customer on his or her birthday and give discount for food and wine at your restaurant, offer free delivery of flowers on Mother’s Day.
You don’t need a complex or pricy system to do that. What’s required is just convenient tool to record leads fast, keep your communication history, and build a simple segmentation.
The easiest way to start tracking your leads and learn their behavior is a spreadsheet. It is familiar, easy-to-use tool which is well integrated with billions of different services. Another advantage is confidence that you will be able to use it in very long perspective – it will always be there on your hard-drive or in the cloud. However, there are several pitfalls of this approach – you need to build your own system, you can not collaborate, it won’t send you notifications or provide space for segmentation.
Second approach is simple CRM system, like amoCRM. It’s easy to set-up, inexpensive cloud solution. You just sign up and ready to go – you’ll have access to all your records, collaboration with your team members on leads management. Moreover, it supports many popular add-ons and services, like Mailchimp, so you should never worry about import/export and missing a chance to remind your customers about your company. The disadvantage is low level of customization, so you’ll have to stick to the pre-defined interface and logic.
Finally, there are complex CRM solutions like Salesforce. You can literally build your own spaceship and set sail across red and blue oceans, with nearly infinite possibilities of customization. However, it will take you a lot of time, resources, and would cost a fortune.
These three approaches may be seen as logical development of sales processes within your company. Try spreadsheets when you’re starting and there are only you and one or two more fellow colleagues dealing with lead management. Import spreadsheet into amoCRM when you’re ready to have more flexibility, need tools for collaboration, optimization, and automation. And finally, build your custom CRM system based on enterprise-level solutions when need in tailored-made solutions becomes essential for further development of your business.