It can be hard to keep track of all the moving parts when working in the arts—especially when it comes to nurturing and maintaining all the professional relationships that are integral to your success.

Whether you’re a gallery owner working with collectors and advisors; a nonprofit institution with a complex donor network; or a private individual managing a major art collection—effective contact management is a key component to reaching your goals.

Artwork Archive has developed a fully integrated CRM tool that is intended to help you build new relationships, strengthen existing ones, and generally work smarter when it comes to making decisions about managing your art business, institution, and/or collection.

Below, we’ve outlined specific ways that CRM can benefit your day-to-day workflow, specifically for Collector and Organization plan subscribers.

What does CRM stand for?

Typically, CRM stands for ‘Customer Relationship Management.’ However, in the arts, ‘customers’ are not the only relationships that are important to maintain.

At Artwork Archive, we prefer to think of CRM as Contact Relationship Management’ where you don’t just manage client relationships, but also donors, curators, artists, advisors, service providers (or vendors), and everyone in your professional network.

How to use CRM to build new relationships

For Galleries

Let’s say you’re the director of a commercial gallery and meet the curator of an important corporate art collection at an art fair. They’re interested in the artist you’re exhibiting, but nothing is currently available because you’ve already sold out the booth (bravo!). As every gallerist knows, this is merely the beginning of your relationship with this future buyer, and it’s imperative to capture all the details of your conversation immediately, while it’s still fresh in your mind.

For Nonprofits

In this example, you’re the director of an academic gallery and meet a philanthropist at a lecture on campus. They’re very interested in your institution, especially in an upcoming retrospective you’ve organized, as well as your various patronage levels. Add their details to Artwork Archive without missing a beat, as well as notes on the show they’re excited to see, and a reminder to send them a personalized invite to the VIP opening.

For Collectors

You’re attending a fundraising event at a museum, where you hope to donate a suite of works, and are introduced to the new director and chief curator. With Artwork Archive, you can not only show them your collection immediately on your smartphone, but also add their contact details on the spot, and a reminder to send them detailed inventory reports of the works you’re hoping to donate—when you’re all back at your respective desks and can truly concentrate.

How to create a new contact

With Artwork Archive’s CRM, you’re able to create a contact record for the prospective buyer, donor, or donee. This contact record can contain general information, social media links, notes about how you met this person, and other distinguishing features.

With the CRM tool, you’re also able to set reminders about a specific person directly from their contact record. So if a collector or donor mentions they would like a private preview of your upcoming exhibition, you can instantly create a reminder for you to follow up with them at the appropriate time.

How to set a reminder for a specific contact

Click ‘Contacts’ in the left-hand menu. Then, click into the Contact Record that you want to set the reminder for.

Click ‘Add Reminder’ at the top of the Contact Record.

Enter both the date and the note you want to be associated with the reminder. Be sure to click ‘Save’.

Your reminder will be added to this contact record and is automatically integrated with your Schedule feature. You are also able to sync your reminders with your smartphone, Google calendar, or Outlook by clicking on the ‘Calendar’ icon to the right of your reminder.

How to use Artwork Archive’s CRM to strengthen existing relationships

While continuing to grow your client or donor base is important for ongoing success, it’s also true that strengthening relationships with your existing network is a critical driver of long term sustainability in the arts.

Artwork Archive’s system is relational, meaning that contacts are hyperlinked to their respective documents—such as invoices, appraisals, donations and gifts—allowing you to track everything you’ve shared with a specific person, as well as all prior correspondence.

From various Reports to Private Rooms, everything you share with a contact will be recorded on their individual contact record, even if you share information with an entire group of contacts at once.

How to share a report with a contact

Once you’ve generated a report in Artwork Archive, you will be redirected to the ‘Reports’ page.

Find the report you’d like to share. Click the blue arrow next to the report’s title, then click ‘Share’

Find the existing contact you’d like to send the report to. Write a brief message to explain what it is you’re sending, then click ‘Send’.

NOTE: You’re also able to share with a Contact Group. To do so, select the existing group from the ‘Groups’ drop-down menu. Once the report is shared with that group, a Share Record will be recorded on each individual’s contact record.

This is an excellent way to seamlessly communicate with specific sets of contacts, including VIP collectors (for commercial galleries), top level donors (for nonprofit organizations), or service providers (for private collectors).

Every time you share a report, the Share Record will be notated on the 'Reports' page next to that report under 'Info.'

You will also see all Share Records associated with a specific contact. This includes all Reports and Private Rooms shared.

In addition to tracking shared reports and Private Rooms, you’re also able to see a specific contact’s Purchase/Acquisition History as well as any Additional Files (such as donations and gifts, etc).

Keeping track and staying on top of this information doesn’t just help you stay organized, but also empowers you with the information you need to keep your existing client or donor base feeling appreciated and engaged. This can ultimately drive more sales and result in greater fundraising!

How to use Artwork Archive’s CRM to work smarter

Save time and always be a step ahead with Artwork Archive’s integrated CRM tool. Working smarter means streamlining all your calendars, correspondence, documents and myriad contacts through one platform, available instantly from any internet-connected device. Reminders and Contact Groups empower you to do more in less time.

Using Reminders

Reminders will integrate with calendars on your other devices, so you’ll never forget to send an important email, even if you’re in transit and not at your desk. Follow up with sales leads, potential donors and other important contacts effortlessly.

If you are managing a major art collection, reminders are a useful function for collection maintenance—set reminders to schedule annual condition reporting, conservation activities, appraisals for insurance purposes, and more.

If you are planning an exhibition, you can also work smarter by corresponding with all the artists featured in said exhibition at once—as a contact group—or by adding reminders to follow up with certain artists regarding shipping, consignment or loan agreements, etc.

Using Contact Groups

Contact Groups allow you to categorize the different relationships within your network and send groups customized communications.

Let’s say the curator you met at the art fair has become one of your best corporate clients. It would benefit you to group her as such. For example, adding this contact to a group called “VIP Corporate Art Buyers” will allow you to send this entire group new pieces from a particular exhibition, or exclusive offers that strengthen those relationships even further. The same applies in the nonprofit sector for ‘VIP donors.’

How to add a contact to an existing group

Click on the contact record. Then, click the ‘Edit’ icon. Once in the ‘Edit Contact’ window, select your desired group from the ‘Groups’ drop-down menu.

Be sure to click ‘Update Contact’.

Now, every time you filter by ‘VIP Corporate Art Buyers,’ you’ll see all contacts who fall under that category.

NOTE: In addition to filtering by Groups, you’re also able to filter by Relation and Location.

Every time you register a sale, the system automatically classifies the buyer as a ‘Client’. This enables you to sort through your contacts by who has purchased artwork from—for example—your gallery, your benefit auction (for nonprofits), or your collection.

The same functionality applies to donors for nonprofits—every time you register a donation, that contact will be updated as a ‘Donor.

Knowing which clients have purchased works or made donations, and which are still idling, gives you important information about the next steps you need to take in order to increase revenue, engage targeted groups within your network, and become more efficient.

In addition to building new relationships and strengthening existing ones, having the right integrated CRM helps you work smarter for sustainable growth and lasting success.

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