From contact to contract: Using CRM systems to grow your business

Key takeaways

A CRM is a Customer Relationship Management tool or system that allows you to manage your interactions with potential and current clients.

CRMs help you convert more leads into sales and improve the experience that your client has when interacting with your business. This can lead to referrals, as happier clients recommend you to others.

When we’re chatting with potential clients one of the questions we ask them is:

Do you have a CRM and may we occasionally have access?

This might seem like a strange request from an SEO agency! 

But, as we’ll see, allowing your marketing agency access to your CRM (even if you occasionally produce a report and send it to us) can significantly improve your chances of growing your business. 

In this article, you will learn:

  • What a CRM is and its primary functions.
  • How a CRM can drive business growth.

Let’s dive into the world of CRMs and explore how they can significantly boost your business growth.

What is a CRM tool?

CRM stands for “Customer Relationship Management”. A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool is a digital platform that helps you manage all your company’s interactions with potential and current clients. You can store the contact details of leads, note whether quotes have been submitted, and keep track of conversions, amongst other activities. 

Make your own CRM

There are loads of CRMs on the market. Some of the market leaders include and Hubspot. But if you’re a small business owner (or even a sole trader), you don’t need to subscribe to a complex online system to feel the benefits that CRMs can bring. 

A spreadsheet can offer a lot of the basic benefits of a CRM, particularly if you host it on a Google Workspace so that all your team can access it. 

Here’s an example of a CRM that tracks leads:

Screenshot 2024 04 22 144634

What to include on your homemade CRM

We recommend that you include the following headings on your spreadsheet as a minimum:

  • Initial enquiry date
  • Company name
  • Contact name
  • Contact email address
  • Name of enquiry (create a drop-down menu here, or give space for your team to describe what the lead is initially looking for). 
  • How did they hear about us? (Create a drop-down menu here that lists your normal enquiry channels e.g. Google Search, Referral, Existing Client, Social Media)
  • Quote sent?
  • Status (Create a drop-down menu here that lists the options, e.g. Quote sent, Closed out, Converted)
  • Last reviewed
  • Additional comments

You can then supplement this spreadsheet with other centrally stored documents that record the conversions, requests and outcomes for each client. This can help your team track the current state of any project or service.

The benefits of a CRM 

1. Improve client experience

There’s nothing more annoying than contacting a company and getting a different person on the end of the phone each time. Rather than a quick explanation of your problem that leads to a speedy resolution, you end up explaining the whole backstory again. 

CRMs allow your internal team to know what is happening with each client so that they can pick up the conversation where their colleague left off. This reduces the need for clients to explain themselves over and over but also ensures that requests don’t slip through the cracks. 

2. Don’t misplace leads

If you’ve worked hard to win leads, then you don’t want to lose them. 

Using a CRM and training your sales team to log the enquiry when it comes in, ensures that your leads don’t get lost in a sea of emails. 

3. Hold your marketing company to account. 

Keeping track of where your enquiries are coming from allows you to measure the impact of your digital marketing and traditional marketing endeavours. 

When working with our clients, we tend to create reports that demonstrate the proportion of leads that our SEO Campaign efforts are bringing in. If our campaign is not bringing in any leads for you, then we need to change our tactics so that you get a good ROI. Your CRM helps us to check that the data we are collecting from other sources (such as Google Analytics) is accurate. 

4. Improve your conversion rate

CRMs help you to measure how many of your leads are converting into sales. Tracking this over some time can help you spot problems or develop strategies to improve your conversion rate. This can lead to improved revenue for your business. 

5. Improve communication across departments

With a CRM your team can have access to information no matter what department they work in. This stops the need for endless emails or lost information. Centralising your information means that your team can save time and be more productive. 

How do we use our client’s CRMs?

We regularly request access or copies of our client’s CRM. We use this information when creating our monthly reports. 

1. Track enquiries

To ensure we’re providing the best ROI for our clients, we always decide on a North Star metric and provide information on this every month. 

For example, if a client measures success by the number of users that fill out an enquiry form, we add a piece of code to the “thank you” page a successful form submission creates. This code is called a “tag” and whenever a form is completed, it sends a signal to the client’s Google Analytics account. 

Google Analytics is a free piece of software that helps you track the number of visitors your website receives, as well as some of the actions that users make whilst visiting their site. Using a tag and Google Analytics we can “count” the number of form submissions that are made. 

But Google Analytics isn’t fool-proof, and some form submissions can be false positives (e.g. spam). 

So, your CRM can help us ensure that the data is accurate. We compare the two pieces of information to ensure that the enquiries you’re getting are genuine. This then informs our reporting. 

2. Identify content problems 

CRMs can also help us identify problems you are having with your content marketing. 

During our reporting activities, we also look at the type of requests that are coming in. If your conversion rate is low, there may be content problems on your website that need addressing. 

For example, if you’re a commercial cleaning company specialising in office cleaning contracts, but are getting lots of enquiries from landlords requesting end-of-tenacy deep cleans, then we know we need to improve the content of your website to address this. We would consider signposting that you don’t do end-of-tenancy cleaning. 

This change would hopefully send users looking for this service elsewhere. Making sure the content on your website is working to “qualify leads” will help improve your conversion rate. It should also make your leads easier to convert when they get to the point of speaking to your sales team, as a lot of their questions will have already been answered on your website. 

Key features of an effective CRM

If you choose to buy a CRM tool, rather than build your own, it’s crucial to look for features that align with your business needs. A good CRM should offer:

  • Integration capabilities with other tools like email, calendar, and accounting software.
  • Automation of repetitive tasks such as data entry, and lead nurturing. 
  • Customisation and scalability to adapt as your business grows and changes.
  • Reporting and analytics features that provide insights into customer behaviours and sales performance.

How to implement a CRM in your business

Implementing a CRM system involves careful planning and execution. 

  1. Start by assessing your business needs and budget. 
  2. Choose a CRM that fits your size, industry, and specific requirements. 
  3. After selection, focus on a phased implementation, starting with core functionalities. 
  4. Offer training to your team (the CRM tool you choose should have resources available, such as blog posts or videos to help you do this). 
  5. Add complex features as your team becomes more comfortable or your business grows. 
  6. Finally, ensure ongoing support and training for your staff.

CRM systems: great for business growth

CRM systems are invaluable tools that help businesses. They can help you convert more leads into sales, and improve the experience your client has when interacting with your business. This in turn can lead to more sales, as happier clients tend to pass your name on to others. CRMs can also help you improve the productivity of your team, as they save time searching for information. 

Our Framework

Our KnowShowGrow framework guarantees long-term sustainable growth for your business. Our transparent, concise plan gives you an excellent return on your investment.

KNOW your brand

Know who you are, what you’re selling & who you’re selling to

SHOW on your website

Show the benefits, build trust, answer objections & eliminate risk

GROW using seo

Optimise for search, warm up leads and grow your enquiry rate



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