Every startup finds itself stretched pretty thin resource-wise. So CRM is maybe not at the top of your To-Do list. Chief among these is likely to be: Does our startup need CRM now, or will later be okay? This article shines some much-needed light on the questions surrounding CRM and startups.
What you will learn in this article
- What is CRM exactly?
- The benefits of startup CRM
- The CRM challenges a startup may face
- How to find the correct CRM for your startup
- How to get started with CRM
What is CRM?
CRM means Customer Relationship Management. It comprises two separate but connected parts.
- The methodology – CRM’s most well-known component is its ‘big picture approach to customer relationships. It pulls together all your touchpoints and interactions with people related to your business. This comprises all your customer-facing departments, such as marketing, sales, customer support, HR, and public relations.
- CRM as a tool – Along with the ethos, CRM is the central hub where interactions get logged and analyzed. Without CRM, a hot lead can quickly cool because you didn’t follow up promptly. Or you forget an essential detail and lose a sale.
What are the benefits of startup CRM?
CRM for startups and other small businesses will enable you to quickly and accurately gauge your sales pipeline’s health. A CRM can also be massively beneficial if you are a solopreneur. The CRM effectively becomes your ‘wingman. It will keep you updated on what’s happening day-to-day and remind you about important business stuff that needs your attention.
The leading CRM benefits for a startup or small business include:
- Finding customers for your product or service
- Managing all your contacts and conversations
- Forging solid and longer-lasting relationships with customers
- Improving your overall customer experience
It does all of the above and more by allowing you to do the following.
Build stronger relationships
As a startup, you are at a fledgling advantage by having detailed conversations with all or most of your customers and leads. But when your customer base grows, you need something to support you. CRM does this by:
- Grouping and sorting conversations
- Keeping all your notes, email, and other data in one place
- Alerting you when you need to contact someone
Prepare for business growth
As your company grows, so does your sales team. The less time they spend chasing down customer data, the more time they spend with customers and closing sales.
With a CRM system, your sales team has instant access to customer records and the historical data of customers, leads, and prospects. You can also use CRM for speedy onboarding of new staff.
Focus on what matters
A CRM will help you expend your time and energy more efficiently by concentrating on what’s meaningful and most profitable. With so much going on for startups, it’s easy to get distracted with tasks that can wait.
You can change course swiftly
CRM is an excellent means of troubleshooting your business and identifying underperforming areas. A CRM system is good at spotting patterns and then producing actionable insights to boost sales.
CRM challenges for startups
Committing yourself to a CRM system is no easy task for a startup. You, quite naturally, have doubts and are worried if it’s the best way to spend your budget.
- Isn’t it too early for a CRM system?
If you don’t have a busload of customers quite yet, it’s easy to put off investing in CRM. But just-in-time doesn’t apply. By focusing early on your customer relationships with CRM, you can grow faster and get the jump on the competition.
- Can we afford CRM?
A better question to pose might be, can you afford not to have a CRM system. Cloud CRMs are cost-efficient for startups and small businesses. They are charged per user and relatively inexpensive for what you get.
- The existing isn’t broken yet; why change?
Sticking with a manual system is a risky strategy, particularly when you factor in business growth. It’s inherently error-prone and time-consuming.
How to pick out the right CRM for your startup
The trick with picking out the right CRM for your business is selecting the one with the right mix of features that you need. Not the one with the most whistles and bells. As a minimum, you will need:
- Reports and forecasting – Visual reporting and forecasting will give you deep insight into your business.
- Automation – You can free up substantial staff time on admin by automating your sales process.
- Easy user onboarding – CRM offers a unique insight into your business which is perfect for getting new staff up to speed quickly.
- Business data security – A CRM plays a pivotal role in the privacy and security of customer data. Dive deep into how a CRM provider guarantees data security.
How to get started with CRM
CRM is the widely acknowledged route to delighting customers and cementing strong customer relationships for the long haul.
Selecting the right CRM for your startup can seem like a long and involved process. But it isn’t really. The best way to get visibility to make an informed choice is by trying out the system on a free trial. These are usually 14-days and are a no-risk method to evaluate a provider’s system by getting hands-on experience.
CRM is as crucial for startups as it is for any small business or large corporation. There’s no such thing as ‘too early when it comes to CRM. The price tag plays a massive part in a startup’s decision-making process. But don’t get too fixated on the cost and focus instead on the Return on Investment.
For startups and other small businesses, the most cost-efficient CRM will always be a cloud-based CRM solution. These are inexpensive, easy to implement and run, accessible anywhere, and can scale up quickly to match your business growth. But before you do anything else, contact us today. We are the cloud CRM experts and laser-focused on providing a small business-friendly CRM service.