Mangement For Design

Autumn Release

Managing Your Client Relationships

A CRM system is not just an MS Outlook repository for client and prospect contact details. One of the primary goals of a CRM system should be maintaining and increasing revenue. This is accomplished by leveraging many aspects of an effective system, the most important of which are:

  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Enabling follow-up
  • Reporting
  • Predicting

An effective CRM System should:

  • Be the corporate Client Database
  • Track and measure Business Development efforts
  • Remind you to follow-up in a couple of days, weeks, or years
  • Become a central repository for notes and information on a given client or lead
  • Manage qualified leads and keep them from falling off the radar
  • Manage and track outstanding fee proposals, including forecasting revenue
  • Manage prospect customer interactions
  • Identify Business Development Tasks that need to happen and whether they are actually happening
  • Notify Client Managers about interactions everyone else in the company is having with their client
  • Provide feedback on projected revenues and actual revenues
  • Report projected revenues by group/department/company
  • Increase collaboration between groups and departments through information sharing
  • Alert Client Managers and management when revenue is declining for a given client
  • Provide a historic record of projects and submissions for the client and prospect
  • Be a central repository of information on other firms, e.g. architects that are winning hospitality work that we can team with to pursue future work
  • Report on Business Development activities: “That which is measured is improved”
  • Manage conferences — costs, exhibiting, attending — and relate it back to specific employees
  • Answer the question: what happens to someone’s contacts when they leave?
  • Provide historic Information on prospects, marketing events, e-mag distributions, lunches, relationships, and more

A Great CRM should do all of the above and more including:

  • Integrate with existing project and client data, allowing for cross reporting related to current revenues and past revenues and how these relate to future revenues
  • Identify opportunities that aren’t moving/progressing
  • Report on the effectiveness of the Business Development staff
  • Identify who and what efforts result in new work
  • Integrate with a Client Retention Program (e.g.: survey feedback loop to measure success)
  • Become a measurable part of the employee review process

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