Coaching is all about creating and maintaining meaningful relationships with our clients. While we’re great at leading sessions, there’s no better way to stay connected and improve customer experience outside of sessions than using a CRM.
A CRM, customer relationship management, is a cloud-based platform businesses use to collect and implement customer data. CRMs gather this data through interactions to improve marketing and customer service. As coaches, we can use CRM features to complement the work we do in sessions by sending follow-ups to our clients, keeping a history of important information, and managing other additional business needs.
We’ll explain what are some features of CRM systems that directly benefit coaching practices. There’s a lot to consider when choosing a CRM, so we’ll discuss everything coaches need to look for in CRMs.
3 CRM features and benefits for coaches
As our practice grows and we take on more clients, we may require a CRM solution to help manage all the logistical aspects of our business so nothing falls between the cracks. Delegating tasks to an automated CRM platform aids coaches in scheduling and communication. A good CRM will improve our businesses and ability to serve clients with these big-picture benefits:
- Analytics: A CRM collects and contextualizes client information, making it a strategic tool for marketing teams. Coaches can use it to measure their performance and determine trends in their clients' journeys.
- Sales management: We can use the same CRM software that powers marketing automation to send personalized messages to clients and address their progress. It’s helpful at the beginning of the coach-coachee relationship because an intuitive CRM platform allows clients to go at their own pace during onboarding.
- Retention: Ensuring customer satisfaction is critical for any business. That's true for salespeople and coaches. Automating client interactions like scheduling, payment, and archive access means better, more efficient customer service.
10 CRM key features coaches should look for
Many companies use CRM strategies to address the specific needs of their business models. An excellent CRM platform for retail and sale cycles might not be appropriate for coaching. We’re usually independent business owners, so it's up to us to know what features a CRM should have. Here are 10 things to look for to supplement and supercharge any coaching practice:
With coaching and CRMs, there's no one-size-fits-all approach. Small businesses and major corporations both use CRM software to complement their businesses. Providing intuitive features such as invoicing, payments, coupons, and scheduling options, better serves and entices clients. Providing positive customer experiences is essential to maintaining good relationships with our client base. Customization helps distinguish us from our peers by representing our brand in a credible, positive light and collecting demographic information we need to contextualize clients’ goals.
Collecting and representing internal and client metrics is a crucial CRM function. By compiling this information into a collection of data visualizations, called a "Dashboard," CRM platforms let us see real-time sales progress, ongoing revenue, client lifecycles, and other key performance indicators (KPI) at a glance. This data management feature improves workflow by removing the need to prepare charts and gauges and allows business owners to make informed decisions, at a glance.
3. Sales analytics
Along with real-time data, CRMs make it easy to review records and determine the efficacy of current operations. This analysis is particularly useful for figuring out which marketing campaigns are successful. This analysis makes previous successes and failures — and their expended resources — easy to compare when preparing our next plan. If we're planning on using email marketing to attract potential customers, the measured success of previous email campaigns helps determine whether we should adopt a new approach.
4. Sales forecasting
CRMs help guide us to take appropriate actions to mitigate issues faster. By combining real-time information with historical analysis, CRMs predict things like client acquisition on sliding time scales. Sales teams often use this to determine how external and internal changes affect revenue and adjust their spending and hiring rates accordingly. For coaches, lead scoring may indicate how long it’ll take to convert potential customers. This helps us decide when it’s time to pivot our focus to finding new leads or reducing costs.
5. Task management
A CRM helps break down our operations into achievable tasks. With a CRM, it’s easy to track and rank tasks in terms of their importance, progress, and predicted timelines. This organization improves client relationships and lead management by ensuring we send things like follow-up emails on time. It also aids in time management as we can delegate and automate many time-consuming, repetitive tasks.
6. Mobile app
For many clients and team members, phones may be their preferred or only mode of communication. A mobile CRM platform is key to ensuring everyone is up-to-date. Having scheduling, payment, and access to exercises and templates available via mobile devices is often a fundamental part of coaching customer support. Plus, this allows clients to stay engaged wherever they are.
7. Third-party integration
Although a good CRM platform performs many services, it’s possible we’ll need more to support our coaching practices. And if a service provider works well, why would we change them? A CRM that effectively incorporates multiple excellent third-party platforms will streamline our workflow. There’s no need to rebuild our entire operation to fit a single platform when using flexible, adaptable CRMs..
8. Email integration
Gmail, Outlook, and similar email platforms have multiple apps, like calendars, cloud storage, and meetings, incorporated into their architecture. It’s convenient for coaches and clients to run CRM software through email notifications and incorporate sessions into personal calendars.
9. Sales pipeline management
Whether or not we have sales reps working with us, having a complete sense of the sales process is important for building a coaching practice and has never been easier. CRM software lets us view the entire sales funnel and track potential clients on their way to conversion. Contact management automation ensures we address every lead, even if they only need a quick response, while we attend to more pressing customer interactions.
10. Client database
As coaches, organizing our client's information is crucial to ensure successful sessions and expand our practice. Managing our client base takes more than a spreadsheet with contact information. An archive of customer information, including whether they discovered us through social media or a referral, and records for every prior interaction in a comprehensive system is a powerful marketing tool. CRM data management and analysis give us insight into where our efforts are succeeding and where we could direct more energy.
Find the best CRM features for coaches
Although CRMs adapt to most business processes, finding a platform specific for our businesses that provides CRM tools to fit our needs makes all the difference. We don’t need CRM tools oriented to high-yield strategies like sales automation. Our CRM needs to address the needs of our practices and help us provide transparency and care to our clients.
At Practice, we made our CRM platform and management tools specifically for coaches. With automated reminders, easy scheduling and rescheduling, secure payments, and easy client management, we’re here to help you better serve clients in and out of sessions. Try Practice today.