A more pertinent question to pose could be, how can you pick the right CRM for your small business. CRM is known as a game-changer. Many small businesses already realize this but are wary of taking what seems like a bold step. In this article, we examine how CRM can help small businesses grow.
What you will learn in this article
- What CRM is all about
- How CRM can benefit small businesses
- The CRM challenges for small companies
- How to introduce CRM into your small business
- How to get started with CRM
What’s CRM all about then?
Firstly, it stands for customer relationship management. And you need to know that there are two distinct aspects to CRM. The first of these is the function. Customer relationship management spans not just customers. It also includes:
- brand advocates
- email subscribers
- suppliers, partners, and vendors
- anyone with a connection to your company.
The idea behind CRM is that it brings all your interactions into sharp focus. It helps you as a small business owner to nurture all your relationships. It does this by keeping track of every communication, including:
- phone calls
- live chat
- and more
The other aspect of CRM is the tools you use. Essentially, CRM is a user-friendly database that acts as a central hub for all your business dealings.
If your sales team is each making more than a hundred phone calls per week, for example, CRM logs the calls and lets them store essential details about each call. Plus, agents can see where a prospect is in the sales funnel and what has previously been discussed.
The CRM benefits for small business
There are many CRM benefits for small companies. For example, maybe you want to develop a new market and hire more staff. Or maybe your objective is to become more productive and profitable. CRM can help you achieve your goals. Here, though, are some of the everyday things CRM can help you with:
- Focussing on the right priorities every day
- Personalizing every interaction
- Making smarter, better-informed business decisions
- Seizing opportunities
So, let’s look a bit deeper at each of these.
Do your reps know precisely what they need to do each day as soon as they arrive in the morning? If the salespeople don’t know where to focus their attention to close a sale, they will most likely use their gut instinct.
With a CRM system, you and your sales team will know precisely the warmest leads and go after the ones most likely to make progress.
Small businesses have the edge over larger rivals in providing a personal touch. However, given the number of contacts a sales rep has each day (over 94 by some estimates), it’s next to impossible to remember the fine details of each contact.
The rep has a complete picture of each contact at their fingertips with a CRM system, including buying history and all previous communications.
Smarter, better-informed business decisions
With the business insights you can obtain with a CRM, it’s easy to see trends emerging. In addition, you can pick up on issues that need addressing or opportunities you can address. You can use this intel in numerous ways, including tweaking your marketing campaigns.
Ever missed landing a big new customer because you got distracted and the opportunity slipped away? With a CRM in place, everyone is in the loop and receives reminders about follow-up actions. So along with process automation and team-wide insights, you will never drop the ball again.
The CRM challenges for small business
By now, you can see how CRM could transform your small business. But what are the challenges? What are the pitfalls?
Your current ‘system’ works fine
If your manual system works okay, why change it? But look at what you are juggling:
- An email inbox
- Word docs
- Sticky notes
- The list goes on and on
Without CRM, it is estimated that a sales rep could be spending as little as 35% of their time selling. The remainder goes on admin, meeting prep, research, and jumping between platforms and apps. By contrast, a CRM system is a centralized working platform. It stores and manages all the data your sales team needs in one place. The difference is night and day.
Yes, but can I afford it?
Almost certainly as CRM is charged on a per-user basis. Cloud CRM is best suited for small businesses and a very affordable entry into CRM. Looking at it from a cost-benefit analysis, you will find CRM more than stacks up. Focus on the value, the Return on Investment, you will obtain.
How to adopt CRM in your small business
By nature, humans are resistant to change. Introducing CRM, then, is not without its challenges. However, here are some great tips for ensuring your CRM implementation goes smoothly.
- Communicate the benefits – Show how CRM will benefit the users and make their life easier.
- Involve your team in selecting the CRM – When you have narrowed down your shortlist, get input from users on the final selection. You will instill a sense of ownership and increase the likelihood of adoption.
- Map out the CRM equivalents of your current processes – Show your users how CRM works to replace your current system.
How to get started with CRM
The next step is narrowing down the field of CRM providers. For small businesses, there is little argument that a cloud-based CRM solution is the best option. These are affordable, easy to implement, and can keep pace with your business growth.
Small businesses stand to make substantial gains with CRM. Yes, it might seem like overkill in the beginning. But once you get started with CRM, there’s no way you are going back to a manual system involving spreadsheets, Word docs, scribbled notes, and memory. To discover more about how CRM can meet the unique circumstances of your small business, contact us. We are the cloud CRM experts for small businesses.