You have all heard the acronym CRM. Some may know CRM as Customer Relationship Management, but for CPAs, it is known as Client Relationship Management. CRM, in a nutshell, was originally developed as a contact management database to help build and maintain client relationships. And CRM was also viewed as a means to access and analyze
client data and activity from a sales and marketing prospective. Today, CRM has evolved into a more robust solution that helps firms manage knowledge about their clients. This goes beyond sales, marketing and customer service to be the one place to keep all the unstructured information that is floating around a firm. Over 70% of the information office workers use today does not come from an accounting or operational system. It lives in spreadsheets, notebooks and in people’s heads. A CRM system gives that information a home where it can become transparent and easy to access. In the end that results in better client relations and more internal efficiencies.
You have to ask yourself, will CRM help grow my practice? The answer is “Yes!” If you want to start to gain client loyalty, you need to enhance your client’s experience every time you do business with them. And the right CRM solution can accomplish these tasks automatically. Think of CRM as a centralized database with a flexible structure of information and processes that can easily be customized based on the way you do business. All this data and activities will provide better insights so you can better service your clients and grow your firm.
Ask yourself, how are you keeping your clients happy? Do you have the ability to cross-sell your services that are vital to your client’s welfare? And what about client retention, are you able to stay competitive? Today’s firms are challenged because each of their clients has a separate and unique set of requirements specific to their own business. You need a standardized and efficient CRM solution to help manage these complicated challenges so you can effectively meet the needs of all your clients.
Today’s accountants are on the go and no longer confined to a desk. They are constantly on the move trying to win new business and maintain client retention. Mobile workers are utilizing a CRM solution for numerous reasons: real-time insight, virtual office, better collaboration, social media, web conferencing and much more. Firms want a CRM solution that scales and allows them to keep up with client demands. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have all your departments all working together in one centralized system, from anywhere?
You should also consider how you interact with your clients. If email is an important way to communicate with your clients, your CRM system should integrate with your email software. Clients need to be made aware of new information that is vital to their business on a timely manner. When was the last time you communicated with your client?
What about lead generation and marketing to existing clients. Firms need to continually market in order to acquire new clients and pull revenue from existing clients. There needs to be a change in attitude to automate a sales and marketing process within the firm’s core operations. The right CRM solution can deliver targeted marketing messaging to promote new opportunities and upsell existing clients.
If you are not using a CRM solution, you are missing out on important opportunities to help grow your practice. Implementing a CRM strategy is advantageous to both small and large-scale CPA firms. Accounting firms adoption of CRM is a growing trend. If you’re looking to scale your business or running multiple businesses you should seriously look into a CRM solution to stay competitive. Simplify the way you do business with a CRM solution that is right for your practice.
John Silvani, President & CEO, Gravity Software, combines his in-depth market knowledge with practical business strategies, meeting the unique needs of a broad client group. In May 2001, he was
recipient of the Crain’s “Who’s Who in Technology” award and continued to receive awards for his companies throughout his career. In 2011, he was recognized by Lawrence Technological University as one of the “Leaders & Innovators Honoree” in Michigan.
After 30 years in the software industry, John has become one of the nation’s top respected resellers of business applications. His background and leadership has provided him with an understanding of the demands and needs for growing organizations. In 2012, John sold First Tech Direct, a Michigan Microsoft Dynamics reseller company and decided to develop an online cloud financial solution for smart businesses, Gravity Software.