With Thanksgiving over and the arrival of the oft-maligned Black Friday giving way to the Holiday shopping rush, there are all sorts of ways to save on all sorts of appliances, electronics, clothing, and toys.
But one of the best things you can do this Holiday season to save is by investing in CRM and Project Management Software.
Let me stop you before you finish silently asking yourself, “why would spending money on software help me save?” It’s because CRM and Project Management Software are designed to help you save time and money, offsetting the cost several times over.
Especially when the price of entry is only $25 per seat per month, saving just a couple dozen dollars every month doesn’t seem like such a hard thing to do.
This Is How You Can Save With CRM + Project Management Software
1. Keep Your Contacts Close
You never know when you’re gonna need to get in touch with a customer or other contact, so having their information with you at all times will make sure you always can.
Don’t let disorganization or lack of internet get in the way. Save all your contacts into JobNimbus and be sure to sync your data with your smartphone and/or tablet as often as possible.
2. Keep Your Tasks Closer
If you’re like me, you need a little help remembering everything that’s on your plate.
Keeping your task list updated, synced, and with you at all times gives you access to see your tasks, any details and instructions, notes, and quick links to associated contacts and jobs.
3. Track Statuses
It may sound silly to spend time to change a status, but changing the status with a couple taps or clicks is a lot faster than starting a phone conversation to report the new status of a customer or job.
4. Create Frequently-Used Reports
If you’re always interested in seeing certain metrics from your day to day business, like the estimated value of all your jobs from the last 30 days, or the amount of time logged per crew this week.
All of those reports can be saved so you can just open them up whenever you want to see, export, or print them.
5. Set Up Your Dashboard
Once you’ve got some key reports set up and saved, you can add them to your dashboard.
It saves you time searching for them and they’ll always be the first thing you see when you log in each day. Convenient, fast, easy, helpful.
6. Get A Bird’s-Eye View
The reports and your dashboard are just two ways to get a sky-high view of your operation. You can also use Recent Activity and the Activity reports to see what’s going on and keep the ball rolling.
Of course, one of the best ways to save time is to automate all the routine and mundane processes that you have to do with every job.
That means changing a status and letting JobNimbus create tasks and assign them automatically to the person who’s responsible, or sending notifications about new jobs of a certain type.
Be sure to go over your process and see what you can automate without losing the human touch (putting your customer service in automation is a no-no).
8. Get Notified
Notifications allow you to get up-to-the-minute play-by-plays of what’s going on.
Each day, JobNimbus will send you a list of tasks that are due for that day and the days following. You also get notifications when a new task, contact, or job is assigned to you.
You can also set JobNimbus up to notify you when different events occur (see Automation above).
9. Save Your Products & Services
Quit doing your estimates and invoices from scratch and start building out your products and services list.
The initial time investment is real, though isn’t terribly substantial, but once everything is in there you just start typing on each line and then select the applicable item.
A few taps later, your estimates and invoices are done and ready to send.
10. Build Estimates On The Spot
Instead of just taking measurements and inspecting, why not use your saved products and services to just build the quote right on the spot with the customer?
Studies show that you’re much more likely to actually win the sale if you can provide an estimate sooner, rather than later.
11. Track Your Time
You’ve probably done your job a thousand times and know it forwards and backwards, but just try this little experiment and track your time.
You might find you’re spending more (or less) time than you thought and may find some problem areas that could be improved upon.
12. Create Jobs From Contacts, Tasks From Jobs
JobNimbus works very well when everything is connected. That means your jobs are related to your contacts, tasks, and so forth.
You can type in a related job or contact when creating jobs and tasks, but if you create the job or task from the page of the ‘parent record’ (contact or job), it will fill in the related items automatically to save you some time.
13. Postal Code Auto-Fill
When creating new contacts, you can save some time and worry by just adding in the postal code. This will effectively auto-fill in the City and State fields so you don’t have to.
14. Job Info Auto-Fill
When creating a new job, you can save a little time from having to fill out the address, related contact, sales rep, and other fields by specifically creating the job while on the page of the related contact.
It pulls in all the information for you and helps to finish the job creation process in just 2 clicks.
15. Take Pictures
A picture is worth a thousand words, so why write a thousand of them in a note when you can just take a picture with the mobile app and watch it upload itself to the customer or job?
16. Be Fine Offline
Anymore these days, we can sometimes get a little freaked out if we need to have access to something but we don’t have an internet connection.
Whether we’re off on a distant job site or deep inside a concrete and steel building, you can save a little hassle by using the JobNimbus mobile app with offline mode.
You can access everything in JobNimbus, do everything like you normally would when connected, and once you reconnect everything you did gets synced like it otherwise would have.
17. Build Documents From Templates
What’s more mundane that creating the same contract or service proposal over and over and over again? Not much.
So why not add those documents as templates so that when you need to create the document, you just click “Create Document”, choose which template, and it auto-fills all the information for you.
Then you can email it right there or get it signed on the spot.
18. Communicate With Co-Workers
Use notes to keep all your communication in one place between your office, your team leaders, and your crews.
With everything in one place, all you have to do is search for the contact and you’ll see the entire communication history.
19. Communicate With Customers
Jumping between two apps is always a pain. With JobNimbus, you can save some time and hassle by sending emails directly from the app.
That way, everything saves as a note and all responses get pulled right into the app at the same time.
Coordination is key when you have a team with a lot of moving parts; especially if you want to move fast.
Empowering your office managers with automation, email, task assignment, notifications, and more will allow them to more effectively manage all those moving parts and coordinate with greater ease.
21. Treat Your Customers Like Kings/Queens
You might spend a little more time trying to do everything within your power to make sure your customers feel like kings and/or queens, but all of that time spent is time saved trying to find new customers because you’ll secure repeat work for yourself in the future.
22. Meet Job Deadlines
Just like providing great service to your customers will help you earn back their business, meeting job deadlines will show them you are professional and mean business.
By sticking to your deadlines, you greatly increase the chance of reselling to previous customers and earning customer referrals along the way.
23. Re-Engage Old Customers
When you’ve got a supply of customers that you’ve done solid work for, you can re-engage them with new offers and get new jobs lined up for the new year.
Not only do you save time and marketing resources having to look for new customers, but you also save by spending 5x less by re-engaging existing customers that know your name and level of service as opposed to cold-calling people who don’t.
This is another reason to keep your CRM clean and up-to-date.
24. Ask For/Encourage Referrals
After you’ve done the stellar job that you do for your customers, be sure to ask for referrals.
If you’ve done your job right, hopefully you don’t even need to, but getting referrals from customers is like finding gold in a mine you believed to have “gone dry.”
Referrals are statistically much higher quality leads than any other source, so don’t let that opportunity slip through your fingers.
25. Ask For Reviews
A positive review can make a huge difference in public perception of your business, especially in our highly connected world of Yelp, Foursquare, Google+ Local, and more.
Try to funnel your reviews to the websites or areas that most provide quality leads to increase the positive influx.
Be sure to use your CRM to keep track of who’s given you reviews and think of a nice treat to say, “thanks.” One idea is to give them a discount on their next service that they request from you.
There are plenty of ways to save using CRM and project management software during this holiday season, and there will never be a better time to start.
With the season winding down and preparation for next year’s onslaught underway, taking the plunge by adoption software to help run your business will have you readier than ever.