The Value of ‘Canned’ content in CRM’s

On a fairly regular basis, I hear people comment that this person’s or that program’s form letters or fliers are bad/not for their market/hokey, you-fill-in-the-blank.

The value in ‘canned’ content is not necessarily in that you can take them as they are, and start using them. While it is true that there are some things, some times, that can be good they way they are, or pretty close, it is rare. The value is in the fact that the content, the concept, is already there for you, and pretty much done. What is left for you to do is to tweak it to your personality, and/or your market. The value is in not having to start from scratch. Starting form scratch takes a great deal of time. That’s where the value is; the time savings.

It’s literally impossible to create a body of letters, fliers, post cards, or activity plans, that are perfect, for everyone in every market. Different people have different ways of communicating, with different personalities. And the difference in markets is vast in some ways from one to another, with regards to terminology and procedure.

The point here is that once again, there is too much of a tendency to throw the baby out with the bath water when searching for a CRM solution. People hear; “Oh the form letters in that program are terrible”, and they discount the software on that basis alone. That’s a mistake. The form letters in all CRM solutions need to be tweaked. Granted, some more than others, but it’s necessary in all of them, for the reasons stated.

I liken CRM software to the purchase of a home, in that when purchasing a home, you are actually purchasing a parcel of land, and the improvements on it, the house. The lot can not be changed. It is where it is. It can’t be changed to any significant degree. The home however, can be added to, or raised for that matter, and built anew. CRM software also has two parts; the program itself, and the content. The program, for all intents and purposes, cannot be changed, whereas the content, can be added to, deleted, or modified.

When looking for a CRM solution, one of your decisions is which is more important for your needs. Is it the content, or is it a complete system to track prospects, track your history with those prospects, schedule to-do’s and reminders, create reports, manage your listings and closings, create mailing lists from the way you have categorized your contacts, and manage drip email campaigns. In my opinion, there is not one single CRM solution out there, that has the best of both, so keep this in mind when conducting your search.