The customer relationship management (CRM) system is an integral part of your company’s success. CRMs help you identify relationships, keep track of conversations, and measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
Unfortunately, many small businesses don’t know how to use a CRM or when they should invest in one for their business.
In this blog post, we will explore why every small business needs a CRM by examining what it can do for them and how much it costs to get started with different features.
You’re probably wondering: “What is CRM?” Customer relationship management software tracks interactions with customers over time so that you can analyze trends in order to better serve them. Imagine if all the information about each customer was gathered on one
A Customer Relationship Management CRM system can help you optimize all of these processes.
In this article, you’ll learn what a CRM system is, the key benefits to customers, and why you need CRM software for your small business.
Small Business’s Need CRM or Customer Relationship Management platform enables small and medium business owners to manage operational challenges, such as client attrition, sales decline, misalignment between corporate revenue targets and their salespeople’s commission policy, and others.
What is CRM Software?
CRM stands for customer relationship management, but it typically refers to a tool or solution that helps businesses track and manage interactions with customers and prospects. In broad terms, it’s a database that holds information like first name, last name, email address, company, a log of encounters with your business, and so on.
Your CRM will act as the primary place to keep all the information you’ve gathered throughout your relationship with your clients. It’ll all be in one central location from the first time they read a blog post or sign up for your newsletter to phone recordings of sales calls and lead qualifications. CRM even manages the process through sending proposals, contracts, and billing information (with some plug-ins).
Think of a CRM platform as a multidimensional map. You have people, companies, and deals all connected through different interactions-—like viewing an ad, opening an email, taking a sales call, or signing a contract. Your team members are connected to action items and can add information to contacts, accounts, and deals as needed. This information creates a web of insights to help you manage processes and relationships with the people who have decided to do business with you.
Reasons Why Your Business Needs A CRM
Let’s take a closer look at the top ten reasons why your small business needs A CRM:
You Want to Expand Your Business
The more customers you have, the more workload your employees will have to deal with.
For example, you will need to hire new employees, increase labor costs, rent a new office, acquire new equipment, etc.
Alternatively, you can look for more cost-efficient optimization options – and implementing a CRM solution is one of them.
You Aim to Optimize Your Employees’ Work
A CRM system unifies customer information among your employees as efficiently as possible, in real-time.
As a result, your team won’t have to waste countless hours looking for contact information, lead information on potential customers, and the like.
You Run a Recently Opened Business
If you are taking your first steps in running your own business, a CRM system will help you stay focused and create optimized working processes for your team from the very beginning.
This makes more sense than trying to change the working algorithms your employees got used to in a year or two.
Your Business Isn’t Growing to Scale
If you do not see the sales results you desire, ineffective marketing campaigns and lackluster customer service may impact your progress.
A CRM for Small businesses can help optimize these processes while letting you focus on building better relationships with current or potential customers.
Your Sales Department Is Growing
If someone on your sales team calls out sick or goes on a vacation, keeping track of their customer information can become a huge problem.
Unless, of course, that employee spends a couple of days explaining everything to another employee and sharing all the essential files. With a CRM, your employees won’t have to waste their time on such an issue.
You Want To Revitalize Your Marketing Strategy
With every year, traditional marketing campaigns aimed at a nonspecific audience are becoming less and less effective. Instead, if you want to increase your sales, you should create more personalized offers and take the time to understand your customers and their needs truly.
A CRM, in its turn, can help you with this. It can also help with marketing automation, such as scheduling email blasts (Nimble even integrates with Office 365 to allow you to use your CRM within your Outlook inbox) or social media posts.
You Are Constantly Looking for Touch Points within Your Sales Funnel
To stand out amongst their competitors, a brand has to do a lot of research on their target audience and the market they should be catering to. Several people usually do this work.
To speed up these tasks, a CRM system includes features such as pipeline management, task management, and various analytical tools for creating reports and providing insights on consumer behavior.
You Aim to Automate Your Business Processes
Not a single business can operate properly without at least some automation today. Automating routine tasks such as data entry and deals management can improve your employees’ productivity and boost overall sales.
Besides, an algorithm won’t ever let you down — unlike an inattentive or inexperienced employee.
You Strive to Improve the Quality of Your Employees’ Work Constantly
Many online CRM systems allow you to record phone calls and store messaging history so that you can track customer interactions. As a result, you will better understand how to improve your CRM for the sales process and what insight to provide your team to close more deals.
Your Former Business Strategy Turned Out to Be Unsuccessful
Do you need to restore your reputation among your customers? You can do it by improving the quality of the customer service. A CRM will be a great help in this endeavor.
Extensive Lead and Contact Management
As a small business, generating leads & managing contacts is of great value. So, using a CRM for your small business not only streamlines your lead acquisition it also makes your contact management more effective and seamless.
Let’s now imagine you attend a local fair relevant to our market and meet a few contacts who would be potentially interested in your products or services. Those people are leads and may or may not end up becoming clients – but they have to be nurtured over time to increase their chances of becoming your customers.
Based on their reaction to your first outreach, you would need to devise a strong cadence, so nothing falls through the cracks, and a CRM tool is just the tool for you to help you preempt and automate your sales needs.
Understanding Your Clients
For a business big or small, what is key to success is having a deep understanding of your client base. Knowing what works and what doesn’t for your clientele will help you close deals quickly. CRM software will allow you to keep all the information regarding a client in one place and make it accessible instantly.
That way, you will quickly understand your client’s behavior and predict how different contacts respond to other messaging: which ones buy more quickly, which ones leave the highest profit margin, which ones pay on time and which don’t, etc.
Using all this information intelligently, you can ultimately sell more and sell better, which is what every business wants, no matter its size.
Managing Effective Marketing Campaigns
CRM for your small business also centralizes the entire marketing process in a single tool so that you have access to all the data you need to launch effective campaigns. Knowing the client’s individual open rates of your emails, the degree to which your emails and ads are effective within a particular segment of the market, etc. All such intelligent analytical input will let you know the ROI of every element in your campaign, which makes for efficient and wise marketing decisions.
With CRM, businesses can now resort to quick labeling of customer issues, using canned responses effectively to resolve customer complaints. CRM can also improve a company’s customer service practices, helping employees respond to clients’ queries quickly and effectively.
A CRM allows you to offer added value to your customers by knowing what and when they want something. That means you can now provide a client with your products and services right at the moment of need, resulting in a boost in sales over a period and repeat business coming from loyal clients.
What to look for in a small business CRM
As we just covered (but in case you skipped it), the various small business CRMs available on the market today all come with their features and functionalities. When choosing one for your business, remember that price isn’t everything.
The right CRM for your business helps you carry out your marketing strategy more seamlessly and gain insights along the way to adjust and refine it—ultimately helping you win more customers (and revenue) while also saving time and money in the long run.
Here are the core features of a CRM designed to help you achieve that:
Ease Of Use
It’s hard to avoid complexity in any CRM since its very nature is rather complex—it is housing every interaction and piece of information each of your team members and campaigns gather on each of your contacts in one place. But complexity doesn’t have to equate to difficulty with navigating the platform.
A good CRM is intuitive and keeps things as simplified as possible. You’re looking for a CRM that is not a constant uphill battle but that has a learning curve that settles out somewhat (not entirely, since there will hopefully be updates and new features to learn).
Advanced Campaign Tracking
Rather than just seeing how you’re doing overall, it’s essential to view your marketing performance at the campaign level. This way, you can see which methods are most effective in attracting customers and leads to your business, as well as which channels and devices within those campaigns are performing best.
So you can see which channels or devices are performing best in a campaign, but how well is the campaign doing overall? With analytics, you can identify benchmarks and see if the numbers you are seeing are increasing or decreasing from a previous time frame or condition. This is crucial in a CRM because it empowers you to make data-driven decisions and know exactly how much you’re getting out of your marketing investments.
You shouldn’t have to wait until the end of the month or the end of a campaign to see results. A good CRM will have real-time data capabilities so that you can get insights on-demand. This allows you to identify and make optimizations during campaigns, seize opportunities when they arise, and ensure you’re on track with your goals.
Having advanced campaign tracking, solid analytics, and real-time data are all critical considerations for a CRM. But also make sure that you can customize your reports by time frame and other criteria. This way, you can keep your marketing strategies the way you intended them rather than molding them around what your CRM can report on. Plus, comparing campaigns to previous years, channels, and more will allow you to learn, improve, and refine your marketing strategy into a finely-tuned lead-generating machine.
If your CRM does its job and your client database and sales team expand, can the CRM’s capabilities and pricing plans quickly scale with your business? Conversely, if you need to dial things back for a period of time or are going through a slow period, are there flexible downgrade or resource-saving options?
Last but not least (and perhaps most important) in the list of CRM features to look for is communication tools. With email integration, you can get notified about new leads and essential activity and communicate with your contacts directly from the CRM. This could be an automated email triggered when a contact completes a specified action, a prompt response to a form submission, or a personalized outreach or follow-up email to an individual.
Are You Ready for Integration?
How can you understand why you need CRM for small businesses? Well, first of all, if you are reading this article, you’re looking to optimize the business processes related to interacting with customers.
For instance, many companies (especially small ones) store all the data about their customers in spreadsheets and sticky notes. It would be ideal for storing this information in a cloud-based CRM, but many business owners only create such files on local machines. If the computers break down (for instance, a hard drive gets damaged), this database gets lost forever.
Moreover, even if your hardware and software function properly, such spreadsheets are efficient only up to the moment when the number of your customers gets too huge for you to be able to navigate this amount of constantly updated data.
It is impossible to visualize connections between different contacts in an Excel spreadsheet – and no, using different colors for this purpose is not the solution to your problems. Besides, switching between several databases significantly slows down your employees. If someone leaves your company or goes on vacation, you will waste tons of time restoring their previous interactions with customers and all the data needed for processing past orders.
Before your staff reaches such chaos, it is an excellent time to start looking for a perfect CRM without any hurry or stress.
Could a CRM Be Suitable for Your Small Business?
As I mentioned at the start, the goal with this post is for you to gain a clear picture of what CRM platforms can do for small businesses and the background knowledge you need to find the right one for yours, should it be something worth pursuing.
So here is a recap of what we covered:
- A CRM is a central location where all of the information you’ve collected on your leads and customers as you engage with them is stored.
- Pros of CRM software include organization, efficiency, and communication, while cons are cost and implementation.
- If implemented correctly, a CRM can help a business increase productivity, customer satisfaction, marketing efficacy, and revenue.
- CRMs vary in price from free to hundreds of dollars per month, but it’s important to know what you’re getting for the price.
And most importantly, here are the features to look for in a CRM for your small business:
- Advanced campaign tracking
- Real-time data
- Customizable reports
- Communication capabilities
In conclusion, if you are ready to take your small business to the next level, choosing the right CRM to help you integrate your sales, marketing, and support needs is imperative.
So, keep your Rolodex aside and gear yourselves for the next generation’s selling and marketing techniques.
Finally, a small business’s need for CRM is highly recommended, as this software can improve an organization’s customer service practices. For example, it helps your support staff respond to client’s queries quickly apart from providing insight into customer’s order trends, which ensures that your support staff never mess up with order-related questions from your customers.