How a small business CRM can help coaches and consultants close more high-value sales

Caroline Burk

Updated: Apr 03, 2024 · 8 min read

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As a coaching and consulting business, you deal with high-value sales deals. And when it comes to those deals, you need a way to close them — fast.

There’s no time to waste, but there are only so many hours in the day. So what’s the answer? It’s surprisingly simple: A small business CRM and automation software.

We promise it’s not too good to be true — we’ve seen it work for coaches and consultants time and time again.

The magic is in the CRM’s ability to store countless pieces of information about leads and customers in one place. Then, the software can make sense of that data so you can use it to communicate with your contacts more effectively. And it gets even better when you implement a small business CRM with automation. This combo allows you to automate repetitive daily tasks and keep your contacts moving through your sales pipeline without lifting a finger.

But to unleash all the benefits CRM and automation software has to offer, including closing high-value deals in less time and with less stress, you have to know how to maximize its features. In this article, we’ll show you how by covering which features can help coaches and consultants close deals more efficiently, how to choose the right CRM, success stories and more.

Three challenges of the high-value sales processes

High-value sales are exciting, but they can take a bit more work than other products and services. Below are three common challenges coaches and consultants face when trying to secure a high-value sale:

  • Limited resources: You and your team juggle a variety of tasks day to day. Things wouldn’t be as complex if all you had to do was focus on closing sales. However, that’s not the case, and resources are limited. Without the right software to back them up, coaches and consultants can be left scrambling, which can lead to balls being dropped. And when a high-value sale is on the line, there’s a lot to lose.
  • Consistency: Consistent communication is necessary to keep the high-value sales process moving forward. To hold your leads’ interest and move them through the sales funnel, they need to be met with the right message at the right time. But consistency is a struggle when coaching and consulting teams are stretched thin. When this happens, leads may not receive the consistent, personalized attention they need to feel comfortable moving forward with such a big purchase.
  • Longer process: All the challenges that come with a high-value sale can be exasperated by the fact that the sales process is usually longer. More problems arise when teams with limited resources have to juggle extensive negotiations, address the increased needs and concerns of high-value clients, and keep track of more steps in the sales pipeline than normal.

Have you run into any of these issues before? High-value sales tend to demand more from teams, which is why it’s crucial to have a system in place that lightens the load. That’s where small business CRM and automation come in.

How small business CRM and automation software make your sales more efficient

Making your high-value sales process more efficient would alleviate a lot of the stress you and your team feel. Plus, the quicker you close a sale, the faster you can move on to the next. Fortunately, increasing efficiency is what CRM and business automation were made to do, and there are three main ways it can help you:

  1. Automating repetitive tasks
    First thing first: Get the repetitive tasks out of the way. Although they’re tedious, they’re still necessary for your business, but that doesn’t mean you have to be the one to do them. You can hand tasks like appointment scheduling, reminders, quotes, invoicing and more over to business automation. You can even use the software to automate your follow-ups and increase the personalized messages your contacts receive because everything you automate will be informed by the data in your CRM. This feature is especially helpful for coaches and consultants who need to stay in touch with clients using tailor-made emails and texts.
  2. Streamlining workflows
    Simplified and optimized workflows mean more sales, hours saved and a happier team. But you don’t have to do it alone — automation and a small business CRM can facilitate this process:

    Pipeline management: Use your software to create sales pipelines with custom stages, then set up automated actions based on each stage. This feature ensures you have a consistent sales process and that leads move through without hassle.

    Task assignment: Some things will need to be done manually by a member of your team. For example, when a client refers another person for coaching or consulting, you may want a team member to call them up and deliver a personal thank you. CRM and automation software can automatically create these tasks and track their completion so they don’t fall through the cracks.

    Segmentation: Organize your contact list more effectively by leveling up your segmentation efforts. It’s common for coaching and consulting businesses to have thousands upon thousands of contacts, which can quickly get overwhelming. With a CRM for small business, you can create tags and organize your contacts into groups. Not only does this make your list less daunting, it can lead to more personal outreach and increase your email deliverability.
  3. Optimizing the sales process
    Creating custom pipelines isn’t the only way CRM and business automation can benefit your sales process. This software will optimize your sales system by bringing all your follow-ups, tasks and data under one roof. This leads to clarity for your sales team and greater collaboration because everyone is operating on one source of truth. Reporting is another game-changing feature. You can create custom analytics reports, making your data easier to understand, giving you greater visibility into the performance of your campaigns, and allowing you to track your business’s progress toward specific goals.

Implementing the software into your coaching or consulting business

To experience all the benefits of CRM and automation, you first have to find the right platform for your business. As you research options, features will catch your eye, but don’t forget to look into training too. It’s about more than software — you need a system of support to go along with it. A few things to look for as you shop are implementation services, ongoing maintenance and learning opportunities.

For more details on software features and support resources you might need, check out our small business guide to choosing a CRM.

Real-life examples in action

Automating follow-ups, streamlining workflows and optimizing sales processes are things every business can benefit from, but they can be especially helpful for coaching and consulting businesses looking to scale.

Yvonne Halling is one of the many coaches whose business was changed for the better after implementing CRM and business automation software. She started by automating her repetitive tasks and follow-ups. These small changes resulted in big growth, 900% revenue growth to be exact. Now, she continues to use Keap’s small business CRM and automation platform to attract new coaching clients and teach them how they too can experience growth, freedom and flexibility with the software.

A similar success story to get you inspired is Donald Miller’s of Business Made Simple. When Donald transitioned from a memoirist to a coach, he needed a way to attract clients and convert them efficiently. He opted for the same solution as Yvonne, and it paid off. Donald and his team were able to use Keap’s CRM to generate 500K leads and take their revenue from $250K to $16.5 million.

“What I really liked about Keap was its ability to take me from a solopreneur company, essentially, to 30 employees and a database of half a million users seamlessly,” Donald explains.

Tips for maximizing the impact of CRM and automation software

There are three things you can do to maximize results with your current software or hit the ground running when you find one.

  1. Schedule routine audits of how you’re using your software. This will give you the opportunity to identify what’s working for your team, how your customers are responding and any additional features you could make use of or use differently. You can also use this time to analyze and improve your customer lifecycle strategy. Here at Keap, we encourage users to use the Lifecycle Automation strategy to get the most out of their software.
  2. Foster collaboration between sales and marketing teams before and after implementing the software. The features of your small business CRM and automation platform are only half the equation. It will take your team to bring these features to life and use them in the best way. Something many marketing teams may miss is collaborating with other departments, specifically sales. You’ll want your marketing and sales departments to discuss the stages in your sales pipeline, how frequently to schedule automatic follow-ups, ideas on feature usage and more. You can also bring sales into your audit process to report on the quality of leads and other outcomes they’re noticing. Read about more CRM best practices on our blog.
  3. Use automation for retention and upselling. Closing high-value sales more efficiently might be your initial goal in implementing your CRM and automation software, but that’s not the only way it can help you increase your bottom line. Carve out some time to set up automations specially tailored toward retaining customers. You can also generate additional revenue by automatically upselling current customers and asking for referrals when the time is right.

Free resources for your CRM and automation journey

Closing high-value sales is no easy task, but it’s an essential part of running a successful coaching and consulting business. So if you want to close more of those deals and save time doing it, consider investing in a small business automation and CRM platform.

Get started today by signing up for our free, customized Growth and Freedom Playbook. An automation expert will schedule a call with you to learn about your business, and then they’ll provide a custom playbook revealing your top three automation opportunities.

Already a Keap user? Sign up for a free 37-point audit of your Keap app. This audit will identify improvements and features that could take you to the next level and help you get the most value from your CRM and automation investment.

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