CRM is the hot trend across all industries and all sizes of companies. And not without a good reason; the long-term results of using CRM speak for themselves in increased sales and improved customer experience. The benefits are transparently plain for companies that go into CRM with a clear strategy. This approach is the secret to a successful implementation and sustainable company growth. Read this CRM 101 to discover why CRM is your golden ticket to kick-ass customer experience and increased revenue.
What you will learn in this article
- What’s CRM
- What CRM can do for you and your company
- The top 3 signs you are ready for CRM
- How to choose a small business-friendly CRM
- Getting started with CRM
In a nutshell, CRM is an agent of business transformation. It’s a lot more than capturing, managing, and mining customer data. The best CRM platforms are the ones that help you create an enhanced customer experience through personalization and authentic conversation. The purpose of CRM is to focus on customers and outcomes for them. This means understanding your customer better and nurturing your relationship with them.
If you distill it to an equation, it might look like this:
Happier customers = more loyalty + more sales
What CRM can do for you and your company
CRM, then, provides you and your team with the best possible chance of converting leads into customers and selling more to an engaged customer base.
The technology is about giving you much deeper insight into your business and its customers. It’s about strengthening those relationships and providing the best possible customer experience from evaluation, purchase, and beyond.
Previously, this technology was only available to large companies. But that is no longer the case. Even the smallest companies can leverage CRM today thanks to the advent of cloud-based CRM solutions. For small businesses, a cloud CRM is inarguably the best option. It’s affordable, much more feasible than an on-site solution, and can quickly scale up when business growth kicks in.
The top 3 signs you are ready for CRM
Many companies wait until things are going wrong before considering CRM. By then, of course, it’s late in the day as you have already lost sales opportunities and seen revenue go down. So how do you know you are ready for CRM? What are the telltale signs?
To help you decide about CRM, it would be wise to first weigh up the following three questions.
Do you have a sales process?
Having a clearly defined sales process is critical to business success. If the process has randomly emerged through custom and practice, it’s unlikely to be as efficient as it could be. Take some time to outline each step of how your sales team converts leads into customers. And then chart out how they close deals. This will pay dividends later when setting up your CRM system.
Do you know which problems you need to solve?
Consider everything that is causing friction for customers. Then, examine the areas where you are struggling, for example, sales growth, customer retention, upselling, customer experience, etc. If you have a clear notion of the problems, you can concentrate your efforts on solving them with CRM.
Do you have buy-in from staff and senior management?
Many CRM implementations flounder because of low rates of uptake by users. You must have complete buy-in from the outset from staff and senior leadership alike. To ensure maximum buy-in for your CRM project, you need to demonstrate the benefits for the company and every person using the CRM system.
CRM 101: How to choose a small business-friendly CRM
Some features are nice to have but not essential. Here are the eight features you must get.
- Interaction tracking – Ensure the CRM tracks all your communications, including phone calls, emails, and live chats. Check you can import your existing records.
- Usability – Staff will more readily adopt the technology if it is intuitive and user-friendly. You want users to ‘get it straight out of the box.
- Mobile-friendly – You should be able to access the CRM in real-time from mobile devices wherever you can get an internet connection.
- Adaptability – Avoid square pegs and round holes. A good CRM is flexible enough to mold itself around your existing processes.
- Data importing – Find out if you can easily import your existing customer data straight into the CRM system. Again, you don’t want to be doing this manually.
- Custom reports – Check how detailed the customer reports are that you can obtain. Are they easy to export and share?
- Integration – You want your CRM system to integrate with all the tools you currently use. And all the data is gathered onto the platform seamlessly.
- Affordability – Nail down the actual cost, not the per-user figure that gets bandied around. Check for hidden costs for training and unlocking features you need.
Getting started with CRM
CRM is not rocket science. You don’t need a Master’s from MIT to get your head around CRM. Many developers have wisely expended much time and energy in making CRM platforms as user-friendly. This stands to reason as CRM platforms want all your staff to get on board with the technology as soon as possible. The better the uptake, the better the results.
However, you don’t need to take this article’s word for it. You can find out for yourself with a free trial demo account. Typically, these last 14-days and is enough time to get a handle on CRM and how you could apply it to your business.
For once, small businesses are not at a disadvantage. They, too, can access CRM technology to obtain faster growth, much-improved customer satisfaction levels, and more sales.
As mentioned previously, the best solution for small businesses is a cloud-based CRM system. These are surprisingly affordable given the functionality you get. Contact us today. We are the cloud CRM specialists dedicated to small business enterprises and ensure your implementation is a success.