What is a CRM in Design?
Running a successful design business is not easy. While you may be passionate about what you do and get inspired by what other designers create, managing the business may not be that exciting. Most design business owners don’t take the time to share their experiences on what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to the management issues.
Even though you may have heard about many different tools that can help you run a successful design business, especially when you use multiple of them, you have a far better option – using an all-in-one CRM system.
CRM System: Definition
If you just launched your design business, you probably never heard about CRM systems. Simply put, CRM stands for customer management relationship but it’s a lot more than it appears in the first place.
The reality is that when CRMs were first designed some years ago, their main goal was to collect and store as much data from your customers as you could. This data was then used only by support teams to ensure that customers had the best experience possible.
Over time, CRM systems have evolved to a point where many companies now use them as the core module of their workflows. As it’s the main purpose of a CRM, it continues to collect and store customers’ data, you can now use this data in multiple ways, and anyone within your company can benefit from it. Not only sales teams, but management can also benefit from using CRMs. After all, you have access to so much data that you can get regular reports about any area of your business that you want.
It’s important that you keep in mind that there are many client management software on the market today but they’re not all the same. Although their core remains similar, they also tend to offer different additional features. And in the case of design businesses, you want to make sure that you get a CRM system that is designed to match your needs.
How can Designers Benefit from a CRM?
In a nutshell, any business can benefit from a CRM software. From the sales department to the marketing department, customer support, human resources, business development, management, and any other areas of a business.
A CRM is a tool that allows better management of not only your external interactions and relationships but it can also help manage and improve internal communication and workflow within a department. Overall, CRM is not just a tool to collaborate, but also a tool to streamline management to-dos.
Since you’ll have all your business data gathered and organized in just one place, everyone within your company with access to it will be able to find all the information they need all the time. This allows your teams not only to save time and avoid frustration but also to be more productive and efficient. After all, everyone is on the same page and knows exactly what needs to be done, how, and when.
4 Advantages of Using a CRM in Design
You probably already realized that you need a CRM system when running a design business. However, we want to make sure that you acknowledge the most important advantages that you can benefit from if you decide to use Flowlu, one of the best CRM systems on the market.
There’s no question that the most important goal of any business is to attract more clients. And the design business is no exception. In case you are just starting your business, you may be thinking about building a body of work. However, how do you build relationships with companies that are going to come to you for your expertise?
In this world, there are always the lucky ones who may get referrals for your work, but this isn’t something you should pursue. Instead, you need to come up with different ways to attract them. Just think about what they like, what they want, what they need. And then offer it to them. But where? Well, you can start with social media networks, for example.
But to capture all your leads and turn them into clients, there needs to be a specific software. CRM is created for such a purpose. It helps to capture the most vital information of your leads and maintain communication in different channels via one single tool.
Keep Your Communication Unique and Personalized
If there is something that many designers continue to be reluctant to do is to become experts in a specific area. They continue to believe that if they can do it all, they’ll get more clients. However, this isn’t true, at least, in most cases. As it turns out, specializing in a specific niche can be very profitable. For example, you can grow and carve out a niche in multiple categories in the future.
One of the best things about doing this is that you can keep all your activities under control when you’re using a CRM. After all, it allows you to be on top of all sales-related processes at the same time. So, you’ll always know how each sub-niche of yours is doing at any given time.
CRM software can also help to keep your communication unique. All the email, invoices and other touchpoints can be changed to match your needs. Logo, icons, domain names, knowledge bases – everything can be customized if your CRM is powerful enough. This kind of appearance can help retain clients and make them loyal to your brand.
Stay On the Track of Finances
Even though we know that designers and overall artists don’t like math very much, the truth is that it pays to be on top of your finances. Knowing a bit about your cash flow and overall accounting can be an advantage when you need to close a deal.
With Flowlu, cash flow and other statements don’t need to be boring. In fact, you can easily get reports on your financial activities using a CRM system. This will allow you to know how much you’re spending and where. You can define a budget and stick to it. There are a lot of options to take control of your business finances.
Don’t Work Solo
Although you may be the only designer of your business, you still need other people to work on your projects. You help to manage sales, promote your product, stay in touch with clients, attract new clients, among many other things. If you work alone, managing everything separately is not the best option. That when a CRM software comes to help handle everything at once. Since all the projects, contacts and finances are securely stored in one single place, you don’t need to waste time on micromanagement.
To sum up: How to Run a Design Business
As we already said above, running a business takes a lot of time and it’s not easy, especially when you don’t use the right tools. This means that you’ll spend a huge part of your time administrating and not designing, which is what you really like doing. It’s easy to lose track of everything that needs to be done.. When you don’t have quick access to all the documents, project details and contacts, it’s easy for things to collapse. Using a one single business management software can benefit the whole business cycle from lead capturing to the won sales opportunity.
CRM software in design is a tool to build communication between designers and clients, as well as other departments. It helps to store and manage all the information in one single place.
CRM software helps segment clients, securely organize information about them and communicate with teammates at the same time.
Here are the top 5 CRM picks for designers: Flowlu, Pipedrive, ActiveCampaign, Agile CRM, and HubSpot.