November 6, 2019
Why your coworking space needs a CRM system
You’ve likely heard other business owners and managers talk about their CRM systems, but what exactly is CRM? The acronym stands for Customer Relationship Management. A CRM system is designed to help you collect customer data, streamline engagement processes and nurture strong connections with leads and customers.
The scope of what these systems can do is wide, varying from comprehensive options such as Hubspot, Salesforce and Pipedrive to more niche-specific ones like Mailchimp and Pardot. As you grow your coworking business, a CRM system can be tremendously helpful in a number of ways.
Why do I need a CRM system for my coworking space?
Running a coworking business can feel like a juggling act. Between marketing your space, handling daily operations, nurturing member relationships and more, your team has a lot of responsibilities on their plate.
Here are just a few ways a CRM system can help you maximize time, stay organized and better serve members:
Building relationships with customers & leads
As your team grows, it can become increasingly tricky to keep track of everyone’s customer interactions. Did someone already send your prospect a pricing sheet? Did anyone answer your member’s question about printer setup? A coworking CRM system will help you define, collect and manage these data points. As a result, your team will have an accurate record of all customer interactions. This ensures everyone stays on the same page and customers receive exceptional service, without anything slipping through the cracks.
Mastering your marketing
Effective marketing is crucial for your coworking business. It fills your sales funnel and ensures you have a steady stream of new members joining your space. A CRM system can be extremely useful for optimizing your campaigns. Through it, you can send newsletters to your database and track engagement with the content to better understand member interests. You can run email drip campaigns to prospects, delivering specific marketing messages based on actions they’ve taken. Some systems even offer integrated social media management and web analytics to help maximize your marketing efforts.
Automating your sales workflow
Nurturing leads through the sales cycle is time consuming and can present a challenge for business owners and sales teams. By implementing a CRM system you can automate many aspects of this process. Capturing and tracking leads for you, CRM systems let you create rules-based workflows that automatically trigger when people in your database meet certain criteria. For example, a prospect signs up for your newsletter but doesn’t sign up to be a member. When they meet these criteria, they could automatically receive an invite to your next open house.
Complying with the GDPR
Need to stay compliant with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)? Complying with this complex shift in data privacy laws has kept more than one business owner up at night. Luckily, many CRM systems offer tools to ensure you always follow the legal requirements for contacting people.
What’s the difference between a CRM system and coworking software?
There is often some overlap between what CRM systems and coworking software can do. Most coworking software offers a degree of CRM functionality, typically focused on contact management. In Optix’s case, our platform is designed to help you with everything from lead conversion through to member management. It offers web sign up, allows existing members to upgrade membership in-app and offers integrated invoicing and billing capabilities.
For those starting out, this CRM functionality may be sufficient. It really depends on the scope and complexity of your business. At this point, adding a solution like Mailchimp to support your email marketing will likely be enough. Then, as your space and its needs evolve, investing in a cost-effective CRM system like Pipedrive may make sense. Finally, once your coworking business is fully established, a more sophisticated, full-featured CRM system such as Hubspot may be a good addition to your tech ecosystem. Salesforce is also a powerful option. But, given its steep learning curve, you probably won’t need it unless your organization is very large.
As you assess all these options, however, we recommend one key thing – avoid the all-in-one coworking CRM solution. Trying to be all things to all people, these systems often fail to live up to expectations in any area.
A CRM system can be a powerful tool for your coworking space. It helps you collect insightful customer data, execute effective marketing campaigns and stay organized to deliver the best possible service. As a result, you’ll be able to nurture deeper connections with both members and prospects, creating a loyal and growing base that sets your coworking business up for sustained success.