Sooner or later, a time will come when the administrative side of your coaching business will start to take up so much time that you will find it harder to schedule as many coaching clients as you would like. That is the time when a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system will be a valuable tool.
However, you don’t need matters to almost spiral out of control before you start using a CRM. There are several CRMs available out there and the sooner you start using one the better since you can later upgrade or change to a superior one as your needs evolve. If you are still unconvinced about CRMs or you have never used one, read on and learn everything that you need to know about these software solutions.
What is a CRM?
A Customer Relationship Management system is software that helps you to organize and even automate many of the activities connected to your coaching clients.
This system has numerous features depending on the specific provider that you select. The following are some of the functions that you can enjoy when you implement a CRM;
- Contact Management. A CRM makes it possible for you to keep in one place all the contacts of your clients and other people you deal with. You are also able to track the interactions that you have with those people in your contacts list.
- Task Management. The best CRMs for coaches help you to manage different tasks related to your coaching business, such as tracking the goals you agree upon with each client.
- Leads Management. You can follow up on any leads generated from your website or other online sources (your social media accounts, for example) until you convert those leads into paying clients.
- Webforms and LiveChat. Some CRMs allow you to design and use webforms or livechats. For example, you can send your coaching clients questionnaires before each coaching session, get testimonials and reviews, etc. using the CRM.
- Calendars and Automatic Reminders. With a CRM, scheduling sessions for your clients will no longer be a hassle since this can be automated. Many CRMs allow you to send automatic reminders via SMS or email. Clients can even reschedule sessions thereby freeing the time they had originally booked and someone else can take up that freed time.
- Dashboard/Reporting Capabilities. Varying degrees of reporting functionalities are available on CRMs to enable you to generate reports and conduct some analytics on your coaching business.
- Mobile Apps. Some CRMs come with a mobile app that can allow you to access the customer relationship management platform using your mobile phone while you are on the go. This is made possible by syncing the calendar on different mobile devices so that issues, such as double-booking, are avoided.
Questions to Ask When Shopping for a CRM
The plethora of CRM systems for coaches and other types of businesses make the task of selecting the best one for your coaching business difficult. However, the following questions can help you to narrow down your options;
- How much technical support is required during the implementation of the software? Some CRMs are so simple that you can set them up in an hour or so without any technical help from the vendor. Others are so complex that the vendor has to send out their team to set up the system in your office. As a coach, you may not really need those complex systems since yours is a relatively small business.
- Who are the intended users of that CRM? Some CRMs are built with small businesses in mind, while others may be tailored to enterprise users. Many CRMs have versions for different end-users, such as small businesses, mid-sized entities and enterprises. As a coach, a CRM intended for small businesses is sufficient to meet your needs.
- Does it have user minimums? Be mindful about the minimum number of users that a CRM was designed to accommodate. For example, one CRM may not work if you have less than 100 users while another may put a cap on the number of users. Pick what will meet the needs of your coaching business.
- Can it be integrated with other systems? You may already have other pieces of software that you are using in your coaching business. For example, you may be using MailChimp to manage your email marketing campaigns. Find a CRM that allows you to integrate the other software solutions that you are using. Otherwise, having to change solutions to those compatible with the CRM can be very costly.
- Is it easy to use? If you need an in-house technical team or extensive training, then the CRM may not be ideal for your small or growing coaching business.
- What in-built security features does it have?
- What does it cost? Usually, CRMs are priced per user, per month.
The questions above are by no means an exhaustive way for you to identify the best CRM for your coaching business. However, they can get you looking in the right direction, and the follow-up questions that you formulate when you get answers to those listed above can clarify what type of CRM will be appropriate for you.
5 Coaching CRMs You Can Consider
The following brief review highlights some of the CRM tools that you could explore in your quest to find the right software for your coaching business. These CRMs are listed in no particular order, so use your discretion to determine the best for your needs.
Satori was specifically designed with coaches in mind. It allows you to start, grow and even streamline your business by creating different packages and use those packages in your marketing efforts. You can track and follow-up your clients and prospects, and your auto-email campaigns can be integrated into the system. Pricing for this package starts at $33 a month but you can take advantage of the free trial to test-drive the system before you invest any dollars in it.
2. The Coaches Console
The designers of this CRM had consultants and coaches in mind when they designed the system. The users can manage and schedule coaching sessions with clients and prospects. Agreements, invoices, appointments and payments can all be managed in one place. You can get familiar with the system using a free 30-day trial, and then fork out $147 a month. Obviously, this may be a little pricy for a coach just starting out, but who knows, it just may be what you need to take your business seriously!
This coaching software is free and you can opt for this to try out the CRM waters. Bookings and automated reminders can be done using the CRM. The booking page of your website can also be made more professional through the branding and customization options provided by the CRM. Appointments can be synced with your mobile device and you can access the platform on the go.
4. Life Coach Office
This cloud-based CRM allows coaches to invoice, onboard new clients, offer online courses or coaching packages, keep your resource library in one place and do a lot more to manage your coaching business. While there is no free version of this CRM, you can benefit from their free trial and then choose from the payment options that start at $24 a month.
5. Coach Logix
This platform is also web-based and is ideal for independent coaches or coaching companies. You can use the CRM to schedule coaching sessions, plan coaching goals with your clients, track their progress, manage the billing and invoicing processes, etc. The vendor gives you the starting prices when you contact them to use the product.
As you can see, there is almost no limit to the variety and scope of CRMs that you can consider for your coaching business. If you don’t have a lot of resources to invest in your coaching business, you can start out with a free CRM but be warned that such software normally has limited features. As your business grows, you can then graduate to paid versions once you are sure about what you would like to get from that CRM.
To Your Success,
Jairek Robbins + Team PCU