Does Your Service Business Need Two CRMs?

If you have a traditional service-based business I want to explain why you might need two CRMs in your business. 

One of my longtime clients has finally started to take advantage of all the power of automation through ActiveCampaign. One thing that spurred her to take better advantage of a marketing CRM was watching some of the videos  on my YouTube channel. 

She shared: 

I have been focused on using a CRM/sales pipeline software that is included with legal documents platform software, but it's pretty challenging as the options are limited (and crappy).

CRMs that are specific to industries such as legal, finance, medical, or real estate tend to be lacking in innovation, slow to develop new features, rarely update based on user feedback and are unlikely to integrate with many outside tools. This is generally by design to protect customer data, but it also prevents you as the business owner from being able to automate anything that’s not included in the features of your chosen platform.

Oddly, I’ve encountered many of these CRMs that only integrate with Mailchimp for email marketing - arguably the worst email software on the market. (If any industry CRM founders are reading this, please consider integrating with Active Campaign or ConvertKit). 

Use a CRM for People Who Are Interested But Not Ready to Buy 

If you want to get more sales as a service business, the first step is to generate leads who are not already clients.

When I ask a service business owner if they have an email list, they usually respond by telling me about a database full of their current clients. And while customer retention is important, if you want to create more sales while being able to serve your current clients, you need a gentler on-ramp for the people who are interested in your services but not yet ready to buy–and giving them a way to join your email list is the best option.

Marketing CRMs - Made to Integrate with Other Tools

Your leads should go onto your email list and into a marketing CRM. 

A marketing CRM is made to integrate with other tools you use in your business such as your website, calendar scheduler, proposal software, and email service provider.

Tip: Active Campaign is an email service provider and CRM in one tool which makes automating your sales process even easier. 

When your tools are connected to your CRM, you can automatically collect data about your subscribers, their actions and engagement with your content. 

Connecting Two CRMs for Better Client Experience and Retention

I’m not gonna lie, getting data out of your client CRM and into your marketing CRM is usually a pain. The options for this depend on how hard it is to get data out of your client CRM. You could: 

  • Hire a developer to create a connection via custom API
  • Use Zapier, a tool made for connecting software without code if your client CRM has an integration
  • Manually download CSV files and upload them to your marketing CRM

Hiring a developer is expensive and most industry specific tools don’t integrate with Zapier so the last option is the one most of our clients end up using. If you can get a consistent CSV export, there may be options to automating the data transfer to your marketing CRM. 

The ability to nurture and market to existing clients is well worth the effort.

Think of automatically following up with someone after their latest appointment, reaching out to them on their birthday, or ‘magically’ suggestion the next logical offer based on what they’ve purchased previously. 

Is Managing Two CRMs Worth It?

Managing two CRMs introduces complexity, particularly in terms of data synchronization, user training, and increased administrative overhead. The strategic benefits can outweigh these challenges for certain businesses. 

The decision to use dual CRMs should be based on a thorough analysis of the business's operational needs, growth strategy, customer engagement goals, and the specific features and integrations offered by each CRM platform.

Your team is probably used to the current way of doing things and they are probably not interested in learning and managing two entirely different tools. You can mitigate the risk of adding a marketing CRM by bringing in experts to set up and create an automated marketing system for you.

That is exactly what we do in CRM to Sales. We can set up an automated welcome sequence and sales sequence within 4 weeks and provide a way for people finding your business online to practically sell themselves via your content. 

If you’re interested in finding out what an automated marketing system could do for your business, book a sales call today.

About the author 

Kronda Adair

Kronda is the CEO of Karvel Digital, a digital marketing agency that helps mission-driven service-based business owners how to use content to sell so they can automate their marketing and scale without burnout. She loves empowering small business owners to not be intimidated by all this tech stuff. She's often covered in cats.

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