Getting a CRM system in place allows startup companies to start the right way. And by this, we mean centralizing their business processes and contact data to drive growth. Having a clean slate like a small business startup means the CRM culture can be in place from day one. To ensure that things run smoothly, we have listed some great CRM tips for startups.
What you will learn in this article
- What is CRM?
- The benefits of CRM
- How CRM can help you work with Customer 2.0
- 15 great CRM tips for startups
- Getting started with CRM
What is CRM?
Before we press on, we should pin down what we understand by CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. Essentially, CRM stores customer data, tracks all your interactions with customers, and allows you to make better sense of data to drive sales and customer service excellence.
CRM is a real-time data solution that gives you incredible insights to make more sales and ensure your customer experience is up to scratch. But the party piece is CRM’s ability to identify opportunities and automate business processes. It can also predict the future to an extent by giving you a greater understanding of to whom, how, and when to market and improve your profitability.
How can CRM benefit my startup?
Stay connected – CRM enables you to connect with the customer from the first contact, throughout the sales journey to closing the deal.
More than contact management – CRM systems have evolved from mere contact management to an indispensable business tool that drives sales. Real-time reporting makes it easy to see your Return on Investment instantly.
Sales and marketing – A CRM system provides actionable information for sales and marketing teams from the moment a prospective customer lands on your website. The stream of automatically-generated information then determines which actions are taken to close the sale.
Working with Customer 2.0
Unless you have been in jail for the past two decades, you will be well aware of how dramatically customers have changed. Today’s customer is tech-savvy and reluctant to take business-generated marketing content seriously. Instead, they are switched onto social media and third-party review sites to gather information pre-purchase.
The latest generation of CRM systems is hip to this paradigm shift and fully developed to interact and appeal to Customer 2.0. This new breed of customer demands a class-leading customer experience, and CRM lets you provide this like never before.
15 killer CRM tips for startups
Customer needs constantly evolve, as do your product or service offerings. Therefore, you need a CRM that can keep up. Whatever CRM system you choose, ensure it gets regular updates by the developer to meet changing needs, trends, and best practices.
As a startup, there’s never a lot of cash to splash. Always ensure the CRM system you want represents good value for money and can be run within budget. Check there are no hidden fees.
Easy to implement and maintain
Unless you have the luxury of a dedicated IT department, opt for a cloud-based CRM solution over an on-site software. Cloud CRMs are way easier to implement and maintain as it is all done online by the provider.
Never skimp on security features. Your CRM should have robust measures in place to protect sensitive customer data. It is your responsibility as a business to ensure there are no breaches or data leaks.
A CRM database worth its salt should benefit everyone in your organization. Ensure you can run customized reports in real-time to extract as much insight as possible from your data.
You want everything in one place. And that includes email. Automation of email responses can also reduce time spent responding to common inquiries. Plus, you can use the system to schedule mailshots, marketing emails, and newsletters.
Get reassurance over how reliable the system is in gathering data. Bad information gathering will only lead to wrong business decisions and processes.
Another must-have is campaign tracking. Insights from marketing campaigns are crucial to gauge the success or otherwise of your outreach.
Your CRM system should be able to categorize your leads and the effort they require. Be sure the metrics will give you heads-ups to deliver better targeted and personalized content and offers in real-time.
In today’s mobile-first world, you need to be able to access data wherever you are. Double-check that you can easily access any potential CRM system via mobile devices.
The best CRM solutions include a range of AI-powered tools and features. These help future-proof your business by speeding up sales cycles, optimizing prices, lowering support call costs, and even detecting fraud.
Clarify that the CRM system will allow you to gauge campaign responsiveness. This permits you to take corrective action if a campaign is tanking.
Users should be able to set up alerts to ensure they never miss a callback or any follow-up actions.
The use of game design and principles to better engage staff. It’s a thing, believe it or not.
Social media integration
Social media platforms are essential to raising startup brand awareness, so seek confirmation that the CRM solution fully covers this customer touchpoint.
Getting started with CRM
Just because you are a startup (or a small business) does not mean you have to miss out on CRM. There are many benefits. And in a lot of ways starting from scratch with CRM is vastly superior to shoehorning data from all corners of your organization. So while implementing CRM may sound like a significant investment, you have to ask yourself if you can afford not to.
CRM is an excellent first step for startups and small businesses. A CRM system allows you to get more sales out of your precious customer data. However, not all CRM systems are the same. For startups and small businesses, it’s highly advisable to opt for a cloud-based CRM. These systems are much less of a burden, especially when you have no dedicated IT department.