Size doesn’t matter when we talk about CRM solutions. Many small businesses are under the mistaken impression that Customer Relationship Management is the preserve of large enterprises. However, this is a dangerous fallacy. No matter the scale of your business, a system that lets you keep tabs on all your customers is one of the most vital tools to possess.
What you will learn in this article
- What we mean by CRM
- Why Customer Relationship Management is vital to business success
- The telltale signs you need CRM
- Ten questions to consider when deciding on a CRM solution
- Getting started with CRM
It’s estimated that half of all small businesses fail in their first year. While there may be a diversity of causes, one avoidable reason for failure is data management.
By CRM, we mean systems that enables you to manage all of your contact information. Keeping track of contacts and your interactions with them makes it easy to follow up with every customer in a timely manner. CRM is essential because it stores all your customer information in one central location. You can then be sure that you are not missing any business opportunities and strengthening relationships with your customers.
Why CRM is important
It’s difficult to underestimate the importance of CRM to your business. All the various pieces of information you hold, when gathered together, can unlock sales opportunities. With CRM, you can keep track of buying behavior, customer preferences and interests, and predict buying cycles and opportunities to upsell, for example.
CRM is a gold mine. Not only in retaining but in attracting new business through targeted marketing campaigns.
Telltale signs you need CRM
Unfortunately, small businesses often discover they need to invest in a CRM solution when something has gone wrong. The following are just some examples of CRM alarm bells ringing:
- Your top salesperson suddenly quits, and you discover all their contact information is stored on their phone.
- Your customer service team is trying to placate a disgruntled customer. Unknowingly, your sales team contacts that customer in a bid to upsell them. This scenario infuriates the customer so much they pull the plug on all their business with you.
- Or a customer follow-up call was missed, the customer gets fed up and buys elsewhere.
Doubtless, you can add to this list of business woe yourself as well. However, having CRM in place would have prevented these mission-critical failures from occurring in the first place. And saved the lost business, time, and energy attempting to rectify them.
10 questions to ponder about investing in CRM
If the above sounds depressingly familiar, here are ten questions to help you decide whether your business needs a CRM solution. If you answer ‘No’ to any of these questions, then it’s time to seriously consider making a move to small enterprise CRM software.
- Do you keep track of all customer interactions and store this info (letters, emails, forms, documents, and phone conversations) in one handy location that everyone within your business can access?
- Are all leads in your sales pipeline being chased up?
- Can you coordinate targeted marketing campaigns and follow up in conjunction with your salespeople?
- Can you generate at short notice up-to-date information on sales forecasts and the sales pipeline?
- Are you able to view all your company’s sales activity and results at the touch of a button?
- Can you accurately identify the areas of the sales funnel where most purchases are being lost?
- Can your sales team access all necessary customer information when they are out of the office?
- How many deals fell through last quarter, and why did you lose out?
- Do you know which service issues every customer has had and why?
- Are you content with the number of hours your sales team spends on admin tasks?
So, how did you do? How many of these ten questions tripped you up?
Getting started with CRM
Switching from a predominantly paper-based process to CRM can seem daunting at first. It can present a significant challenge for a small business to find out everything they need to know about small business-friendly CRM. Searching online isn’t terribly helpful for small enterprises. This is because the vast majority of white papers and articles on CRM tend to be geared towards large companies. There’s not much clarity on how smaller companies can implement CRM.
As you are already well aware, small businesses operate on a much smaller scale than large businesses. This means they face particular challenges. To help you out, here are five checklist items to look for in a CRM solution that will work for your small business.
Five key features for your CRM
Office and email – You should ensure the CRM integrates well with Office and your email system to avoid hassle later on.
Ease of data importing – Most small companies have their data spread across several different apps. Ensure you can import everything from Excel, Gmail, Outlook, etc., for Windows and Mac.
Reporting features – Ensure there is adequate reporting functionality. A CRM is more than mere storage. You should be able to leverage your information to make smart business decisions.
File storage – Ensure you have adequate storage from the outset and can scale up incrementally as required.
Costs – Stick to out-of-the-box solutions and check for hidden costs.
Contrary to popular belief, CRM is a great way to grow and sustain small businesses. If you wish to make a go of business, the number one requirement for success is customer information. By collecting it in one central point, the chances of boosting sales and building excellent customer relationships are greatly enhanced.
So don’t worry about whether your company can get on board with CRM or not. Contact our support, the to get further information. We will take the time necessary to understand your business. And then talk you through what will work best for your company.