Categories and Tags in Your CRM

A CRM can be a powerful tool in helping you strategize and think about your clients and prospects. JP asks about how I use a CRM. He wants to specifically know how I categorize things.

  • Dream Clients: You know how important it is to have a finite list of prospects for whom you create breathtaking, earth shattering, jaw dropping value. This is the critical category. You want to make sure you nurture these, and that you persistent, patiently, professionally, pursue these clients.
  • Prospects: These are something less than a dream client, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t important, or that you are not going to put great effort here. When you take care of dream clients, you move down to prospecting in this category.
  • Existing Clients: These are just what you imagine they are: clients you are working with now. You can’t neglect these without paying the price.
  • EDV: This is how much the prospective client spends annually. It stands for “estimated dollar volume.” You need this number to know what your wallet share is–or what it might potentially be. I use categories that increase by 250K to 500K. For clients, this gives you an idea about your wallet share.
  • Leadership: I categorize leadership contacts within the CRM. These are not necessarily categorized by titles, but more about their role in solving problems.
  • Compelling Reasons to Change: A simple list of choices that remind you of what challenges and opportunities are compelling your dream client to change. This is nice list to work against when you plan calls, and when you build a solution.
  • Buying Cycle Stage: This one is important. You want to know how best to serve your clients where they are. This category helps you think about what they need from you to move forward.
  • Competitor: If you are in a competitive displacement business, this category can help you with a strategy to create and win a new opportunity. A little intel here can inform your plan, especially if you know how you beat each of your frequent competitors.

All of these categories are for naught if they don’t drive consistent behaviors. If you haven’t built searches and lists to make these categories useful, you don’t need to worry about these at all.

What is most important is that you use categories and tags serve you and your process. The best CRM is the one that you will use consistently, and the best categories are the ones that allow you to be more effective.

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