When Should Your Brokerage Consider A CRM Tool?

When you started your brokerage, keeping your customers satisfied was a main concern. You wanted to know everything about them and their business, requirements and preferences. You couldn’t build your brokerage without good customers, so establishing solid relationships was crucial to keep shippers coming back and to tell others about your business.

But as your brokerage grows, it becomes harder to give customers the personal attention they want and deserve. That’s when you might consider a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. A CRM can help you maintain that small business advantage while you grow—and also do much more for you.

What key functions does a CRM provide?
First, a CRM lets you organize customer information in a single place accessible to every member of your team. To ensure that information is comprehensive, each broker needs to input information on all sales activities—including calls, emails, meetings, tasks, and quotes—into the system. The CRM also keeps your sales team up-to-date on activities and follow-ups that are due to be completed.

Second, a CRM gives you tools to improve performance. You can generate reports on each broker’s sales activities and tie these to revenues. The CRM also helps you evaluate the success of your marketing campaigns. In short, a CRM helps confirm you’re doing everything you can to improve customer service and cement relationships.

What tasks can a CRM help you do better as your brokerage grows?
The most important function of a CRM is to help your brokerage maintain and build close customer relationships. If a broker leaves, you still have all the information on their customers and opportunities. By tying broker sales activity to revenues, you can determine what works—such as calls, emails and in-person visits—and with which customers. You can also run targeted marketing campaigns to generate higher-quality leads. All of this works in real time, so you know instantly how healthy your sales efforts are.

What characteristics should you look for in a brokerage CRM?
When you evaluate options for a CRM, you’ll find that systems often prove complex and expensive. So a primary goal should be to avoid features that will cost you more but not provide functions used in the transportation industry.

Next, make sure the CRM you buy meets five more criteria:

  • Provides easy implementation and integration with other systems, like your TMS
  • Makes data entry easy, so brokers won’t be bogged down in the process
  • Supports real-time reporting of sales activity and correlation with revenues
  • Tracks broker activities and performance to determine who needs further training or support
  • Requires little maintenance and IT support

Keypoint has just introduced a new CRM module designed for brokers and integrated into the Keypoint TMS. Learn more here