CRM for Coaches:
all you need to know (and more)
Your Ultimate Guide to CRM Systems
What is CRM?
A Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) is the computerized system or application you use to manage all of your customer information and the customer journey from lead to client and beyond. At a basic level, it’s a database of customer names, addresses and contact information, but it can do so much more to help you manage your clients if you pick the right platform and use it effectively.
What can I use CRM for?
From a growth standpoint, A CRM system is used to find leads, follow up with prospects and nurture them through the sales pipeline.
A CRM system is also used to maintain customer loyalty by storing key information to boost sales – for instance, by personalizing the experience and providing excellent customer support.
Why do I need to use a CRM?
In general, A CRM will help you:
- attract and pull in leads,
- engage with your leads and nurture them through the sales pipeline, and
- Once they become customers, delight them by providing a personalized client experience.
Although there are many solutions that can do this for businesses, the beauty of CRM software is that it can accomplish these tasks automatically, using just one solution. It can also integrate data from other areas of your business without any additional work.
CRM software have become a hot commodity over the years and now many companies use a CRM system at the center of their customer and administrative processes as they can do so much more than just track customers!
What are the types of CRM systems?
CRM systems can be split into 2 types: Multipurpose and High Sales.
Multipurpose CRMs are those that are geared towards more service-oriented businesses and can carry out multiple functions. One of the biggest features of a multi-function CRM is the ability to send and receive digitally signed contracts, estimates and proposals.
High sales systems are designed to work with your sales platforms such as your website and are geared towards businesses that are doing 100’s of product sales per day. Their biggest features are around Communication and Marketing.
Examples of CRM Systems?
- 17 Hats (Multipurpose)
- Agile CRM (Multipurpose / High Sales)
- Dubsado (Multipurpose)
- Hubspot CRM (High Sales)
- Infusionsoft (High Sales)
- Timely Salon CRM (Multipurpose)
How do I choose a CRM?
All businesses should have a CRM. However, which one? remains the biggest question. Especially since CRM Systems all have different features and functions, and they all command different prices.
Regardless, the criteria for choosing a CRM can be split into 3 categories: Cost, Volume, and Need. The following questions could serve as a guide:
- How much am I willing to pay?
- How many people would I be granting CRM system access to? (these could be staff, contractors and/or customers)
- What features does my business require
Price and number of users are usually fairly easy to come up with, but features of the system is where it gets tough. If you are not a process-oriented person it can be hard to visualize all the areas of your business that a CRM can assist with, and like most software, it’s only as good as the user.
Some companies pay 100s of dollars for fancy CRM software, only to get lost in the interface and not make the most of all the bells and whistles. It’s also really important to consider where you are now and where you want to be in 5 or 10 years. Picking a scalable CRM now means not having to change systems when your company grows. This might not seem very relevant at the moment, but you have to keep in mind that changing systems can be very costly; you will have to spend either time, money or both to move your data over.
What specific features can I expect from a CRM System?
Prepare to be wowed by the astounding list of features some CRMs can handle!
- Customer Relationship Management
- Project Management
- Social Media integration
- Task/To-do lists
- E-mail marketing
- Contract management with digital signatures
- Payment Gateway
- Online Sales/POS
- Workflow Automation
- Integrations with other software
- Lead Management/Capture
- Subscription and payment schedule management
- Helpdesk functionality
- Online Booking
- Calendar integration
- Telephony Integration
- Web Engagement (landing pages, web forms etc.)
- Analytics and reporting
- Staff/employee management
- Vendor management
- Sales pipelines
These are some of the most common functions across different CRMs. Note that not all CRMs will have all the functions, and there is no one size fits all system. Also, the various platforms work very hard to stay relevant with regular updates and upgrades.
Unless you are planning on paying $1000s for a custom-built system, then it’s alright to settle for as good as you can afford!
What CRMs does Diligent Assistant recommend?
CRMs are by far our favorite software systems to build and use, and they really enhance our philosophy of working smarter since many tasks can be automated. Your choice will finally boil down to affordability, functionality and usability.
Over the years though, we’ve had first-hand experience with many CRM systems, and we’ve broken out a few of our favourites here into non-specific platforms and coaching-specific platforms.
Hubspot is probably the most well known CRM and is designed for heavy sales use. It’s power can be found in the Marketing and Sales Hubs which integrate seamlessly with the CRM function.
Hubspot will track your customer interactions automatically, comes with a slew of integrations and provides a clear snapshot of your leads and sales pipelines.
One of the best features is that every single interaction and all gathered data are neatly stored in one place, with barely any manual intervention needed.
What we love most about 17hats is its clean interface and easy to navigate look and feel. It’s also packed full of valuable extras such as pre-designed templates for you to customize.
It ticks the box for usability and is designed with a focus on the customer journey and will help you manage clients from onboarding to offboarding.
Just be aware that 17hats is a one user platform, and so is best suited to solopreneur-run coaching businesses.
Dubsado is especially suited for coaches because it integrates quite a healthy variety of tools including the Google Suite and Zoom.
In particular, the ability to receive payments from clients as part of the appointment scheduling process stands out. This means you can set your paid sessions so the client pays before being able to schedule an appointment.
The Dubsado Scheduler tool is particularly powerful and allows for many different types of appointments, negating the need for separate scheduling software.
Use the code ‘diligent’ to get an additional 20% off your price for your first month or year!
Honeybook is another heavy lifter that won’t break your bank.
You can send out invoices, contracts and accept payments; create workflows and tasks so nothing gets missed, and get automatic payment reminders.
And let’s not forget how much aesthetic appeal the platform has, especially for those of us who like things to look pretty.
Client portals make managing your clients a breeze and allow them to self-manage some of their journey with features such as forms and questionnaires, invoices and emails all available to see in the portal.
Subscribe with our code to get 20% off!
CoachAccountable covers the basic administrative tools of running a coaching business, including accepting payments, scheduling sessions, creating detailed, individual coaching plans for clients to be delivered electronically, and sharing documents.
The clue is in the name, Coach Accountable has a great set of tools for helping your clients be accountable and stay on track with their self-development goals.
Similar to the business management platforms above (Dubsado, Honeybook and 17 Hats) Practice is a brand new platform that is still in Beta and requires an invite to access (https://partners.practice.do/3saOdDo)
Practice has a myriad of tools geared towards managing your coaching clients once they become coaching clients, but lacks the lead management tools that the other BMP’s have.
If that’s not an issue for you, this is a great platform and runs inexpensively compared to other CRMS.
Paperbell focuses on the “business side” of your coaching business with an all-in-one solution that covers payments, scheduling, contract signing, and client management capabilities.
It also includes digital download and course delivery, as well as the ability to sell and deliver more complex packages such as group coaching or “combo” packages.
While the coaching business management side of the platform truly shines, the additional course and content delivery tools give you enough to deliver a viable experience for client engagement as well.
All-in-one online coaching software for emerging coaches. Streamlines the entire coaching and business management process for coaches wanting a full solution out of the box to run their business. With a focus on selling coaching packages and managing the coaching relationship, Satori, like Coach Accountable is great for onboarding coaching clients through to offboarding but does not have the lead management tools.
Their system is unique relative to others on the market as the platform is more of a CRM for coaches – i.e. a combination of a customer relationship management (CRM) tool + a business intelligence tool- but it’s worth noting that its clean and intuitive interface makes it an attractive option for new coaches looking for a 1-stop shop.
What if I need some help with my CRM?
Bottom line is that EVERY business should have a CRM. However, a system is only as good as its user. In other words, your CRM will only function within your personal capacity to understand and properly deploy it. No matter how much you spend on your system, or how good it is, its output can hardly surpass your inputs.
The good news is all the systems on our list are fairly intuitive and have excellent customer service teams and resources to guide you, so we’re sure you’ll do great.
You will certainly get a great ROI on any CRM if it’s the right one for you, properly configured and used to the best of its abilities.
Choosing and building a CRM however, is not everyone’s forte. So if you feel that you don’t have the confidence or skills to take this on, or if you find yourself needing some assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out and benefit from all our CRM expertise!