What is a CRM Tool?

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool is essential for fostering business growth. It enables businesses to effectively manage conversations and relationships with clients, ensuring alignment with expectations and the development of strong, positive business relationships.

However, for the Nigerian business person, CRM tools can be both expensive and cumbersome, especially when considering that customer footfall might not always justify investing in the latest and most robust industry software.

In my experience, a practical approach is to recommend starting with the use of mobile phones. By adopting effective note-taking and sales habits, individuals can take the initial step of utilising their phones as a makeshift CRM tool.

The advantages of using a mobile phone for this purpose are noteworthy. It provides a cost-effective solution, particularly for those who may find traditional CRM systems financially challenging.

10 Ways to Use your Phone as a CRM Tool

Here are some suggestions on how your mobile phone can be effectively used as a CRM tool to grow a business:

1. Contact Management: Use the phone’s contacts and address book to organise client information. Categorise contacts based on their importance, potential, or specific business criteria. One trick I do is to include notes on where I met people, the specific business or social context, and outstanding action items or agenda that we have in common.

2. Calendar and Reminder Functions: Leverage the phone’s calendar and reminder features to schedule follow-ups, meetings, and important dates related to clients. This ensures timely engagement and prevents missed opportunities.

3. Note-Taking Apps: Utilise note-taking apps or even simple text messages to record important details from client interactions. This helps in creating a comprehensive record of conversations and key points.

4. Communication Tracking: Keep track of communication history by using messaging apps or call logs. This allows for a quick reference to past discussions, making future interactions more informed and personalised.

5. Task Management: Use the phone’s task management apps to create to-do lists and set priorities. This helps in staying organised and ensures that critical tasks related to client management are not overlooked.

6. Email Integration: Integrate email accounts with the phone to manage client communication effectively. Respond promptly to emails and use folders or labels to categorise and prioritise messages.

7. Customer Segmentation: Group clients based on common attributes using features like contact groups or labels. This aids in targeted communication and allows for a more personalised approach.

8. Document and File Storage: Utilise cloud storage apps such as Google Drive or Dropbox to store important documents related to clients. This ensures easy access to necessary information, even when on the go.

9. Social Media Monitoring: Monitor and engage with clients on social media platforms through mobile apps. This helps in staying connected and understanding client preferences and behaviors.

10. Regular Backups: Ensure regular backups of important client data on the phone to prevent data loss. Use cloud services or other backup solutions to secure valuable information.


The beauty of adopting this approach is that individuals who become accustomed to managing their client relationships using their phones and establishing good habits can seamlessly transition to more comprehensive CRM solutions as their business grows.

This initial step not only facilitates effective client management but also sets the foundation for a smooth integration into more sophisticated CRM tools.

Also read: Leveraging Technology to Grow Your Business