In a world inundated with information and personalization, offering a special touch of personal detail can make all the difference when engaging with clients and building your business. A sophisticated customer relationship management (CRM) software can be the competitive advantage you need.
CPA firms are paid to understand the intricacies of evolving business needs and tax laws. Trying to keep pace with it all while maintaining strong customer relations can be overwhelming without the proper technological tools. By investing in CRM software, organizations can better manage their workloads and incorporate tools that improve professional operations, without sacrificing the personal touches that make a firm stand out.
CRMs are platforms that act as broad virtual assistants, helping accountants better manage client relationships, keep track of interactions and customer data, and streamline processes such as communication by integrating with third-party data services. As more business processes move to the cloud and as companies navigate new hybrid work models and regulatory frameworks, CRM software is becoming a critical addition to the CPA toolbox.
So, why should your company consider utilizing a cloud-based CRM system? We’ve compiled a list of five compelling reasons below.
1. Efficiently communicate with clients
Imagine being able to manage all client communications seamlessly from a single platform. CRMs can improve upon an organization’s client relationships by allowing CPAs to schedule automated responses for specific customers, segment clients by demographics, and send scheduled newsletters and emails without having to click outside of the app.
CPAs previously had to manually keep tabs on clients, which would dull efforts to market, sell and support customers. A tech solution, such as CRM software, helps them to quickly get a 360-degree view of their customers, ensuring accountants and financial managers can offer a more personalized experience and communicate more efficiently, without creating more work.
Active Campaign, for example, enables precise targeting through segmentation and automated email campaigns so CPAs can stay top-of-mind with new and existing clients. Whether you’re sharing relevant tax updates, reminding them of deadlines, offering financial advice, or cross-selling new opportunities, better communication with clients increases the likelihood they’ll continue to do business with you in the future.
2. Improve relationships with leads
Maintaining strong client relationships is key to gaining a competitive advantage. With 40% of accounting firms still not investing in cloud CRM tools, there’s an immense opportunity to differentiate your firm. Managing these efforts via the cloud not only ensures that organizations will be able to communicate more quickly, but that their touchpoints will be personalized.
CRM software allows you to store important information about each client or lead along with all recordings of previous outreach, communication, notes, and converts. The technology can help CPAs take note of key dates such as birthdays and anniversaries, or client interests, to add a personal touch to each interaction. Customers feel heard when CPAs remember the specifics of their past interactions, helping meetings run more efficiently and empowering CPAs to strike with unique opportunities when the timing is right.
3. Track sales better
Now that you’ve improved your communication, it’s time to track your sales cycle. One of the most important features of CRM software is the ability to track a client’s movement through the sales funnel. By bringing important information together about each client and interaction, CPAs can start to identify trends that turn leads into lifelong clients.
CRM programs help organizations create customizable sales pipelines with easy-to-consume snapshots of business traction. With just a few clicks, a CPA can see where each lead is in the process so that they can hone targeting. Custom dashboards, stats, tables, and charts can all be incorporated to identify major metrics in sales forecasting and performance, giving a temperature read on business operations and enabling real-time marketing adjustments.
4. Integrate apps to streamline tasks
As an organization becomes well-versed in CRM software, they can begin to lean on a rolodex of third-party integrations (some free, some that charge a monthly fee) to grease the machine even further. CRMs such as Zoho and Active Campaign integrate with hundreds of different plug-ins and services to bring as many aspects of the business together in one place.
One of the most powerful CRMs on the market today is monday.com. This platform integrates with thousands of different applications and is one of the best workflow management tools out there. You can leverage these app integrations to your advantage by creating interactive workflows and process automations that will shave off hours of your time every week.
For accountants, one of the most useful integrations is with QuickBooks, which instantly syncs customer data, invoices, and payments between the Intuit software and CRM, offering accountants a comprehensive view of a customer’s account and making it easier to input data from other sources that can also be integrated, such as Expensify. The Expensify integration generates real-time expense reports with receipts imported directly to the CRM so CPAs can seamlessly incorporate personal and business expenses without manually inputting them; to use as, say, write-offs for client taxes. Integrations automate the accounting process by enabling multiple data sources to be combined effortlessly.
5. Juice up your marketing power
What else can you do with a treasure trove of client, lead, and sales data all in one place? Boost your marketing power to build deeper relationships with existing clients and attract new leads. CRMs and software integrations allow organizations to send out different types of marketing campaigns, such as email newsletters, automated text messages, and scheduled phone calls. CPAs can more efficiently sell their services by setting up processes such as drip campaigns, which are packages of pre-written messages that get delivered to customers and prospects at specified dates and times. Automated messaging can also help CPAs manage client onboarding and other key communications, freeing them to focus on other timely matters.
Organizations can use these tools to get creative with how they market their services. Perhaps they find there’s value in a weekly informative newsletter, or a video series explaining certain components of evolving tax regulation. Adding value in this way has been proven to deepen existing relationships and incentivize new ones by increasing brand awareness.
With a CRM platform, importing consultation forms can be a breeze – allowing you to begin working a lead immediately.
Are you drooling yet?
As the world undergoes an unprecedented shift to the cloud, it’s time to begin investing in a CRM software solution to take your business to the next level. With all of this data now easily trackable online, businesses are finding that CRM software helps their operations become more efficient and their client relationships more lucrative.
There are huge time savings and competitive advantages awaiting your firm with the adoption of modern apps. Invest in a cloud-based CRM today and incorporate integrations that usher your firm into a modern era of accounting management — you won’t be disappointed.