Trust Small Business CRM Coach to Transform Your Business
One of the best ways to understand how a CRM system can transform your business is through the eyes of another company or business owner trying to scale their operations. It also lets you know what is involved in the growth process so you can find an expert who can offer a strategic solution to the challenges that lie ahead. Small Business CRM Coach takes the time to do it right the first time, so you can reap the rewards of your new system sooner. We promise you’ll look back and be glad you made this decision!
Fearing the worst in a struggling economy over the past year, many businesses took it upon themselves to make course-correcting decisions and made complete transformations in the way they do business. One such company is Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute (RMMFI), a nonprofit organization helping under-resourced entrepreneurs with their community-based programs. They offer classroom instruction, coaching, and business loans to help support small business owners from idea to launch and beyond.
During 2020, they had to move all of their programs to an online format and offered additional programs to business owners who needed extra help during the COVID crisis. We were proud to have them as our first client, and we continue to help them with CRM strategy consulting for upgrades to their systems.
A Growing Problem
The RMMFI organization is continually growing. Recently, they began seeing more and more opportunities to support entrepreneurs in other areas of the state of Colorado. We configured their first CRM system back in 2014, and they’ve made many changes in how they operate and in their programs since.
When they first implemented the system, there were only ten users. With the addition of more users, they wanted more than a CRM; they wanted a platform that allowed full integration with other systems and required minimal effort to learn and use.
The system they had no longer aligned with their processes, and if they purchased more access for users, the cost of integrations with other systems was prohibitive. They needed a solution that was less expensive and enabled them to grow.
A Trusted Solution
Small Business CRM Coach worked together with RMMFI leadership to review their business processes and growth goals. We evaluated a few CRM systems that were part of a platform that would allow them to expand and integrate with an existing survey module and marketing automation system and add other systems in the future. During four months of CRM coaching & consulting, we did the following:
- Interviewed team members in each department to see what was needed to improve their processes and make their jobs easier
- Translated their processes into system requirements to figure out which CRM had the capabilities they needed
- Created trial accounts with three different CRM platforms and tested their most important use cases to compare them
Once we had the final results from the system trials, we presented them to the team. They made a decision on the cloud based platform, and then we proceeded with a phased implementation. This meant working closely with the team again to dive deeper into the details of their processes to set up the core elements in the new system before they could go live. This required:
- Working on their data model
- Configuring the system using a sandbox
- Reviewing the main use cases for each department in the organization
RMMFI has several aspects of their business benefiting from new CRM implementation and upgrade, including a programs team, volunteer management, development through fundraising, and the social impact these programs have in the community.
- The programs team needed to track new entrepreneur applications processes. They needed to monitor the engagement with their websites and landing pages to know who was interested in their programs, the activity and attendance levels, the number of loan applications, and status.
- In volunteer management, they needed to identify volunteers with different skills, encourage them to apply, determine who could serve as mentors, and track their hours in the program.
- Development of RMMFI through fundraising efforts required tracking grant applications and deadlines, and cultivating relationships with donors.
- Monitoring RMMFI’s social impact meant identifying entrepreneurs who would benefit from their programs and tracking each participant’s progress.
Challenges They Faced
RMMFI had a lot of different systems that didn’t talk to each other. Everyone was using their system of choice and their own processes to track data, which made it impossible to accurately track and know the impact RMMFI was having internally and in the community. The big picture of their footprint was buried in different systems and in spreadsheets that didn’t have real time data.
Initially, the new platform was not set up for a nonprofit. Our CRM strategy consulting customized the software to support the concept of managing data from several locations, automating program sessions, and calculating volunteer hours accurately.
We addressed this gap with a mix of declarative configurations and custom code in their CRM platform. Having an integrated platform allowed them to see data across the whole organization in real time making everyone’s efforts more transparent.
The Ultimate Result
RMMFI experienced a complete transformation. They went from a few users accessing a system they were frustrated with to having an entire team engaged and using a new system. By having everyone participate in the process, they supported each other through a challenging journey, and we were able to reinforce the effort. It began with an abstract idea of how the new system should work, but we took their ideas and followed a strategic plan we call Design, Develop, and Deliver. We use it for every system change because it works.
When making a significant change in operations and software, it’s important to know what to expect from CRM coaching and understand the value of having customized processes and integrated systems in place when you are done. RMMFI trusted us more than once to make this happen. Each department now has its own dashboard to monitor key performance indicators. Users, who were intimidated by the system at the beginning of the process, are now fully engaged and reaching out to discuss adjustments to the CRM to support new initiatives. They have a system that supports current processes but can also grow the organization into the future.
Big changes aren’t easy, and the decisions you make will impact the future of your business. Small Business CRM Coach helps you adapt and evolve with technology and automated processes. Reach out to us if you want greater efficiency that allows you to scale. We work with you and your team to turn daily challenges into smooth operations with a CRM system designed, developed, and delivered exclusively for your business.