How To Set Up a CRM System for Your Own Biz – Part I



As you know, we run a lot of workshops and training to educate businesses about what a CRM system is and the benefits of using a CRM system to manage your customer database and client interactions.  One of the biggest hurdles for a small business is to find the capital to hire someone to set up a CRM system for them.

We know what it is like to be an up and coming small business and not have the funds to set up systems to help automate manual processes.  It’s like a chicken and egg situation, you need a CRM to automate manual tasks to free up your time so you can work on your business not in it – been there and done that!  Read this article by Forbes that explains this more.

That’s why we have decided to reveal the steps that we go through with our clients to set up their CRM system so that you can do it yourself!


1. Create a CRM strategy and define your objectives

You need to understand a couple of things about your customers/clients before you get started with a CRM tool. Ask yourself some of these questions:

  • Do you know why your customers need your product or service?
  • Do you understand how your customers find you?
  • Do you understand what your customers like most about your products/services?
  • What are your customer’s expectations of you?
  • Where is customer information stored?

You may want to consider the customer lifecycle below when you ask yourself these questions.

Customer Lifecycle

These questions will help you to define a strategy to build relationships with your clients, which will then help you to define your CRM objectives. CRM objectives are what you want to achieve through your CRM system. Some examples are:

  • Have a central place to store all customer info
  • Staff to have a clear view of all interactions with a customer
  • Access customer demographics and segment customers to send targeted promotions
  • Increase revenue per customer – identify opportunities to sell additional products and services
  • Improve customer service by responding to enquiries, complaints and feedback within X mins, hours, days
  • Increase referrals from existing customers

Other common examples are:

  • Automate manual tasks in my business like preparing quotes, and tracking and sending follow-up emails
  • Be able to identify potential customers who are likely to buy
  • Be able to track which marketing campaigns are more successful
  • Find out which products/services sell more
  • Engage with customers via social media – find out what they like or don’t like about my products and services

Once you identify your objectives the next step is to prioritise these.

2. Prioritise your CRM objectives

It would be nice to achieve all your CRM objectives in one fell swoop, however it is not always possible.  The best thing to do is to prioritise your list of objectives into something like this:

  • High – Must Have
  • Medium
  • Low – Nice to Have

You can then concentrate on the high priority objectives first.  Once you have done this, the next step is to define your current processes.

3. Define your business processes

What are your processes when interacting with your customers?  For example, how do you handle phone enquiries?  How do you handle requests for quotes?  Processes are a way for you to deliver a consistent experience for your customers.  The more consistent you are the more you will build trust.

For example, if you receive an email enquiry, do you ensure you always reply within 24 hours or do you take an ad-hoc approach and reply days or weeks later?  Remember to look at the normal flows but also think of the ‘what if’ scenarios .  For example, have a look at how this client handles email enquiries.

Email enquiry process flow

It covers what happens when a general email enquiry comes in and also if the enquiry needs to be passed on to another staff member to respond.

Once you have noted down all your usual processes to handle clients, the next step is to find the right CRM tool for your business.

4. Select the right CRM tool/system

Now that you have understood the processes in your business the next step is to find the right CRM system that can cater for these processes.  For example, do you regularly have to prepare quotes for your clients?  Do you need to track the proposals/quotes until the client is won?  If so, you would need a CRM system that can create quotes and plus track potential sales.

What if you have members and run a lot of events?  What if you already have an email marketing tool (like Mailchimp or Aweber) but you want a central customer database? You would then look for a CRM system that has member and event management modules as well as the ability to integrate with email marketing software through a plugin.

Other tips are to look for a tool that can help you meet your CRM objectives. For example

  • Segment customers and send promotions via email marketing
  • Track the sales made via these campaigns
  • Get recommendations on who to upsell and cross-sell to based on sales reports.

Here’s some useful criteria to help you find the right solution.

CRM tool selection criteria

Now that you have found the right tool, the next step is to set up and configure your CRM solution.

We will cover this in Part II of How To Set Up a CRM System for Your Own Biz.  Meanwhile if you prefer to get face to face training on this, contact us to find out about our upcoming training courses or get on our list to receive latest updates.

To be continued….





Sankhya Consultants are experts in Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Data Mining and Predictive Analytics. We have over 20 years experience in the IT industry and have completed CRM implementations in various industries. We also have extensive knowledge in Data Mining , Business Intelligence and Predictive Analytics. In a nutshell we work with your business and help you: - Understand your CRM business objectives and advise you on how to build fantastic relationships with your clients to get more sales and repeat business. - Streamline and automate your pre-sales, sales and post-sales processes to help save you time so you can work ON your business not IN your business. - Select the right CRM tool for your needs - Configure the tool specifically for your business - Train your people to use the tool effectively in line with your business objectives If you already have an existing CRM system, but not sure if you are using it to it’s fullest potential, we can help you out there too. So please contact us to see how we can help you save more time and build long lasting relationships with your clients.

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Learn how a CRM system can help you to:

  • Have all your customer information in one central place.
  • Gain valuable insights to close more sales
  • Save time and improve productivity
  • Market more efficiently- generate more leads
  • Track interactions, get automated reminders

“Thank you Vish for the advice and support. Implementing the CRM made an immediate impact on the way we manage our customers” --Jacqui Warnock, Fremantle Chamber of Commerce