Yes, entrepreneurs need tools like a Salesforce CRM like Ford needs a warehouse and a chef needs a pantry and refrigerator.
All are great for storing the raw material needed to create a final product that can be sold for a profit but until you create and sell the final product, you are just wasting money as you pay to store the raw material.
Yes, you heard me correctly.
A static CRM is a liability because it does not make you money on its own.
(Hint: That's why Salesforce purchased ExactTarget who had already purchased Pardot. See "Salesforce After The ExactTarget Purchase.")
Having the names of your clients and prospects sitting "in the cloud" impatiently waiting for you to remember to call or email or visit or send them a letter means you can only sell to those you remember to communicate with, and hopefully you do so on time, every time and deliver the proper message and content at the right time.
Ford makes money (without a government bailout that bought Union votes) because they mastered the assembly line and automation.
Ditto for McDonald's.
Ditto for Subway...and every other big company that is a household name.
Salesforce CRM Is Overkill For You
You, the ambitious, motivated entrepreneur must do the same with your lead nurturing process, which is why I say you don't want or need a CRM like Salesforce.
Having a CRM like Salesforce is actually hurting your business and your profit-earning potential.
Why do I say such harsh things about Salesforce.com?
Because it requires you to bolt on additional, expensive, tools to attempt to automate some portion of your lead capture, nurturing, sale, fulfillment and/or follow-up. (See the video below.)
As an entrepreneur, you and I have enough to do.
Worrying about whether or not a hot prospect got Email #3 of your 7-step sequence they requested last week is not scalable.
Having to remember it has been 30 days since your client purchased and it's time to send them the New Client Survey is insanity.
At best you'll grind yourself into the dirt trying to make that happen or you'll pay an admin to do it—but nobody's perfect, so not all clients will get the survey, which means some will go away mad and some of the happy ones will never be asked for a referral or testimonial—or you just won't do it at all.
Instead, you'll focus where all entrepreneurs focus:
- making a better mousetrap. (Which will provide marginal increases in revenue if it's released on time and if enough people buy it.)
- handling the hot lead because you can't let the hot ones slip away because you don't have a system producing more leads tomorrow than you generated today.
What a grind.
I first started using Salesforce.com in 2004 and became certified on it to help Dell deploy it to THOUSANDS of their sales people in 2007 and 2008 (and was even rated the #1 CRM / Sales Trainer during their SPT rollout in the summer of 2007.)
Before that I used Onyx, Siebel, ACT!, and a handful of smaller and/or home-grown CRMs, none of which had any automation built in.
And at every company I was a "power-user" of the CRM platform.
With Salesforce I used the Blackberry and iPhone editions.
I had the Desktop and Microsoft Office features installed.
I could generate quotes, assign Tasks, add team members to view and/or edit my Companies, Contacts and Opportunities.
I kept my forecasts updated, made Templates to accelerate my one-off communications and utilized the Outlook plugin so my email history stayed with the Contact inside Salesforce.
But Salesforce was not for me.
It was installed for my manager and his director and his VP of Sales and the VP of Operations and the owner of the company (or the CEO) so they could run reports, forecast sales to order raw components, set our quotas for the next quarter or year and squeeze us if we were behind on our sales.
Salesforce WAS NOT EVER used well, regularly or proactively to help us generate sales.
Marketing would get an idea and maybe develop a Campaign using an expensive, bolt-on marketing tool like Marketo, to send a couple of emails about a webinar or trade show but then the salespeople wouldn't know how to look at the hot leads and/or didn't know how to communicate with them in a relevant manner based on how they came into the system.
But Salesforce.com is the 800 pound walrus in the CRM space and since you think you need a CRM—instead of a sales and marketing automation platform—you think you need "the best" so you pay for Salesforce.com for a year and by the time you upload your contacts and realize support is not included, email is not included, ecommerce is not included, affiliate marketing is not included, automation is not included, nice templates are not included...—you're stuck.
Get unstuck. Automate. Integrate. Celebrate.
Contact me to discuss the best CRM for you based on your needs, your goals, your budget, your expertise, and more.
Being certified in many platforms and an affiliate in even more enables me to offer you so many bonuses like extra training hours, private group training, in-person training options, archives, free books and MP3 and copywriting tools you'll think it's an Entrepreneurial Christmas every week.
Automate Your Sales. Live Your Life.
- Salesforce vs Infusionsoft For Small Business CRM
- Salesforce vs Infusionsoft after the ExactTarget Email Purchase
- Infusionsoft Competition Matrix
- Salesforce vs Infusionsoft for Trade Show Marketing
- Salesforce vs Infusionsoft Support | Free vs. Not Free
Market like you mean it.
Now go sell something.