creative agency crm

If you had to pinpoint the most essential part of your business, what do you think you’d pick?

Your talented employees? Your unique creative perspective? Your logo?

Or would you realize that all of those things don’t really amount to much without customers to witness them?

Without a consistent approach to engaging with customers, your creative agency isn’t really an agency so much as it is a bunch of creatives trying to figure out which way is up. We’ve all been there. That’s the beauty of something like customer relationship management software (CRM).

Unfortunately, because of all the excitement that comes with pursuing new clients, mapping out projects, and delivering beautiful marketing to customers, something fundamental like CRM falls by the wayside. Sure, you’ll set reminders to email a client to say hi or check in on a project. But that’s the agency equivalent of buying push-up bars when you’re trying to get six-pack abs.

While CRM is a little more expensive than setting a reminder, the payoff can be major for both your business and your clients. Here are five reasons you should consider using a creative agency CRM:

1. Dolla’ Dolla’ Bills

According to 75 percent of sales managers, CRM has helped drive an increase in sales. Agency life can lend itself to a lot of mental juggling. Putting all of your customers or prospects in one location can help you identify trends and improve sales tactics. CRM isn’t just logging your client information; it can also help your account execs track people they’ve called and when they’ve called them. This is crucial for building a rapport and a business case with potential clients.

Another useful function of using a CRM is the ability to spot trends. Maybe you thought you were a Web development firm, but most of your projects have been for building mobile apps. That could be a great sign that your account execs should be having different conversations and targeting different prospects.

2. Referrals > Cold Calls

Anyone who runs a business, especially a creative agency, knows that referrals are like manna from heaven compared to hitting folks up with cold calls. Another benefit of CRM is that it generally leads to a better customer experience.

If you aren’t confusing your client’s project (or name) with another client’s, it reinforces that special feeling you’re trying to inspire in your client when it comes to your team’s work. Accordingly, 70 percent of customers who have had a positive experience will refer that company to family and friends. This is great news for your agency should it choose to invest in CRM.

3. Customers for Life

Speaking of customers, another maxim that most business owners live by is that retaining a client is more cost-effective than trying to win new business. They know you, they’ve already chosen you once, and the laws of human psychology suggest they’ll most likely choose you again.

If you’re wondering how you can make keeping customers a part of your strategy, businesses that use CRM saw a 27 percent increase in their customer retention rate. If you held on to 27 percent more of your clients every year, what sort of impact would that have on your business?

4. No More Taking Margin Baths

A bath is a nice way to relax after a long day approving wireframes, but it’s a little less appealing when it comes in the form of destroyed margins on a project. Knowing more about a client going into a deal and tracking that information on a single platform can help you identify opportunities for upselling. It can also give you a holistic view of how your projects are panning out from a margin perspective.This is a good example of how CRM can help you spot trends in your data, as we mentioned previously.

Businesses that have adopted CRM were able to recognize a two percent increase in profit margins. This is the dream for every creative agency. But, hey, the dream can become reality if you use CRM well.

5. Reap More Than You Sow

Any business leader, even the one running a creative agency, knows it’s crucial to be able to identify which levers, when pulled, have the greatest impact on the overall health of the business. This can vary from business to business, but it is always an important revelation when you discover what aspects of your business turn a 10 percent investment into a 20 percent return.

CRM has helped reps increase individual revenue contribution by 41 percent. That means that investing in CRM can turn your four-person team into a six-person team from a revenue standpoint. That’s pretty powerful stuff for any creative agency.