Because they’re time-intensive, few operators in the cannabis space are eager to invest in a CRM, or customer relationship management software. But, as we’ll outline here, once you get past the upfront time investment, a good CRM can offer risk protection, data centralization, accessible and accurate reporting, as well as a history of vendor contacts, all of which play a role in ensuring customer relationships optimized for maximum mutual benefit and efficiency over the long term.
What is a CRM and what does it do?
As an acronym for Customer Relationship Management, CRM refers to software built to track, facilitate, and otherwise manage customer relationships. CRMs in the cannabis space are no different than CRMs in any other field, insofar as operators use them to optimize and manage their interactions with customers. In their modern incarnation CRMs are a robust and versatile sales tool enabling you to turn every customer interaction into an extended, and, one would hope, long-term, conversation. Once your CRM is up and running, you’ll immediately have access to a to-the-minute database on every customer who’s interacted with your brand, with the ability to trigger automated texts or personalized emails when following up a new lead.
Let’s begin by reviewing what you as an operator stand to get out of a business-to-business CRM.
How Cannabis Operators Can Leverage a B2B Seed-to-Sale CRM?
By a B2B CRM we mean customer relationship software built to manage relationships between your cannabis business and the businesses you work with. By contrast, a B2C CRM is built to manage interactions between your business and buying customers, at an adult-use retail store. In an industry characterized by steady change, staff turnover is a given. And, if and when staff leave, CRMs furnish a system of record so that information on a vendor you’ve been selling to for years remains with you and accessible. In this capacity CRMs function as a form of necessary risk protection. If you’re a business operator looking to streamline operations without your business and the other business you work with, read on here. If you’re a dispensary operator looking to expand your customer outreach, scroll down to the section below.
As an operator, it’s a natural and adaptive desire to want to know which of your accounts is performing well, and which is not. Somewhat like supply chain software, CRM reporting provides to-the-minute performance information on people and accounts, furnishing you with real-time data and by extension the ability to make well-informed decisions about relationships with customers moving forward. Additionally, A CRM can help you aggregate customer data all in one place. That way you’re not in the position of having to track down numbers across different accounts that you then have to reconcile only to get an idea of comparative performance. And lastly, a CRM records your contact history, so that in the case of needing to reference an old correspondence for whatever reason, it’s there. Examples of B2B CRMs include Hubspot, Outfield, and Salesforce, among others, and each has its benefits. Smaller-scale operators may opt for Hubspot because it offers an inexpensive entry point, at as little as $20 a month for those just getting started. Outfield, on the other hand, offers the perk of being one of the few sales-focused CRMs that works, as the name would suggest, in the field. A pro tip for those considering a CRM would be to do your preliminary research and consider which offering suits the particular needs, scale, and growth expectations of your company.
How to Choose a Cannabis Dispensary CRM
Although not altogether different from the above, the uses of B2B CRMs will naturally differ from the use of a CRM platform with customers, at a dispensary.
As one example, a dispensary CRM platform can help you implement and automate outreach to customers by integrating with your POS (point of sale). With loyal customers, a business-to-customer CRM can help you generate customer profiles, which can then be used as data points around which you can devise loyalty programs. Many CRMs will offer templates for marketing emails, once you’ve gathered the email of prospective customers. Other useful capabilities include the ability to track trends in customer purchasing behavior, target emails to customers on the basis of the data it collects, and attract new customers by targeted outreach. Many also offer time-saving automations pre-programmable by simple commands in order to eliminate repetitive tasks carried out by paid employees.
Modernize Your Customer Interactions via Flourish’s Hubspot Partnership
As a client and business partner of Hubspot for over five years, Flourish’s team can help you assess the next steps in investing in a unified sales solution. Flourish can help you ensure that you’re getting the most out of Hubspot’s marketing tools, with their integrated team of Hubspot experts (read more about this here.)
Explore the Potential of Flourish’s Partnership with Outfield
Flourish also partners with Outfield, the sales CRM equally equipped for customer outreach in the field or online, with their gamified marketing tool. (Click here to learn more about Flourish’s Outfield partnership.)
Flourish also offers a full-service cannabis software solution capable of syncing with Hubspot and other cannabis partners, which you can learn more about by clicking here.