CRM for Small Business

Customer relationship management, or CRM, is the lifeblood of a small business. You know each of your customers by name and, at least in the beginning, you easily remember their preferences, needs, and previous purchases. You can even anticipate future orders and instinctively provide them with other products and services they need without them having to ask. Making each customer feel like your only customer is easy.

As your business grows, however, this becomes more challenging. Even expanding from a dozen customers to 50 means more data than one person, or even multiple people, can truly handle error-free. Sticky notes, files in drawers, and spreadsheets become less manageable, and your customers stop feeling as special.

How do you maintain the close relationship you have with your customers? You get a little help from a CRM platform.

Why do small businesses need a CRM platform?

In an increasingly crowded business environment, companies must lean on technology to give them a competitive edge and keep their relationships with customers strong. One important tool every organization needs is (CRM) software. Small businesses have customers demanding their attention, and CRM platforms are how they gain the ability to stay organized, put their customers first, foster deep engagement, and earn loyalty from their customers and partners.

Small businesses sometimes feel at a disadvantage due to their limited resources and time. Startups and growing businesses should leverage a CRM solution to overcome these limitations.

 

Six ways a CRM can benefit small businesses include:

 
 

1

Holistic view of your customers and data

 

4

Automation of everyday tasks

 
 

2

Enhanced communication

 

5

Greater efficiency for multiple teams

 
 

3

Improved customer service

 

6

Improved analytical data and reporting

Small business owners use technology, such as a CRM platform, to enhance their service, marketing, and sales efforts. A recent survey revealed 91 per cent of companies with more than 11 employees already employ CRM software. Keep up with the innovation curve by implementing a CRM solution with a number of features that can help small business managers stay organized, including:
A universal dashboard that documents all customer interactions and touchpoints A simplified way to categorize, segment, and sort contacts
The ability to analyze performance trends and identify growth and sales opportunities Marketing automation that streamlines frequent and personalized customer contact

When you use a CRM platform for your small business, your teams have access to data that helps them accomplish more at their jobs, identify obstacles to a customer’s success, and facilitate a better customer experience — because when you know your customers better, you can serve them more effectively. Your CRM receives data from users to present a holistic view of who each customer is, their history with your business, and opportunities to deliver a positive customer experience.

As an entrepreneur, you need the best small business CRM. Salesforce is the #1 CRM provider in Canada and the fastest-growing among the top three largest enterprise software vendors based on 2016 total software revenue (according to Gartner's “Market Share: All Software Markets, Worldwide, 2016” report.

 

A CRM system helps customer service staff keep customers happy.

 

For small businesses, a CRM platform allows reps at the company to quickly look up:

  • Basic customer information such as names, phone numbers, addresses, and job titles
  • How the relationship with a customer was built by the marketing and sales teams
  • The activities a specific customer takes on your website
  • Interactions a customer has with your brand on email, phone, and social media
  • Past and current purchase orders, along with the status of those orders
  • Customer service requests and notes on how those cases were handled
  • The employees who have engaged with a customer
  • Previously asked and answered questions in a knowledge base

When customer service staff have access to all of this information through their CRM dashboard, they can engage customers personally and recall details about previous interactions the customer has had with your company. This leads to a significant improvement in a service representative’s ability to identify and solve a customer’s problem quickly and reliably.

In fact, Salesforce Canada users have enjoyed a 34 per cent jump in customer retention, a 38 per cent increase in customer satisfaction, and a 40 per cent faster case resolution time.

Quickly respond on every channel.

Wherever customers need help, be there. Whether by email, phone, or social channels, quickly route their requests to agents who can access a complete customer history.

A CRM solution helps marketers find leads.

Marketers use CRM tools to strategically drive more leads and manage their pipeline of sales at scale. Whether you’re a startup or a large enterprise, a B2B or a B2C, a CRM solution will help your marketing team shape 1-to-many and 1-to-1 journeys, grow your pipeline, and provide your salespeople with quality leads. With a CRM platform, a small business can:

  • Categorize leads based on source, industry, product lines, and campaigns.
  • Base lead prioritization on time of inquiry, allowing your team to shorten response times.
  • Use artificial intelligence to analyze engagement across channels and power personalized content.
  • Identify customers who are likely to convert with larger deal sizes.
  • View actionable insights that reveal which channels drive the best leads and which approaches are more likely to convert leads into actual sales.
 

Small businesses that use a CRM platform have access to deep data and can analyze it easily. They can identify initiatives that yield the best results along with campaigns that underperform expectations. This helps entrepreneurs and management leaders hone their marketing, sales, and service playbooks to optimize for higher volume and more profitable conversions.

Companies that use Salesforce Canada’s CRM platform, for instance, report seeing a 41 per cent boost in sales leads and a 36 per cent jump in lead conversions.

Find customers with CRM tools designed for you.

Fill your pipeline without hiring a small army of marketers. Our lead-generation and intelligent marketing automation tools help spread the word, capture leads, and more.  
 

A CRM solution helps sales teams develop and nurture customer relationships.

Research shows sales professionals spend only 11 per cent of their time actively selling customers — the majority of their day is spent on non-sales related activities, including administrative duties. A reliable CRM system can streamline and automate some of their non-sales responsibilities, which frees up more time to engage leads and convert relationships into real revenue.

Additional advantages of a CRM platform include:

 
Automated prioritization
Score leads based on relevance, deal size, sales funnel stage, and timing.
Automated follow-up reminders
These notifications keep sales reps accountable in executing frequent and timely follow-ups.
KPI monitoring
Monitor and review the performance of your sales staff based on key performance indicators. Sales leaders can respond with praise, targeted coaching, and training initiatives.
 
Easy management and tracking of omnichannel communications and sales
This makes nurturing prospects simple when you choose to interact with them over email, display ads, social media, phone calls, and in-person meetings.
Maintain long-tail opportunities with clients who are not ready to convert
A variety of factors can compromise your chances of closing a sale.
Alignment between departments
Free-flowing information allows smooth handoffs between marketing and sales, then sales and account managers and customer service.
The effective use of CRM solutions can have a major impact on your small business’s overall sales performance. Salesforce’s CRM platform has helped companies increase their win rate by 32 per cent.

Save time. Automate the small stuff.

Focus on selling by automating day-devouring-but-important-business processes with a simple point and click. Create automatic email alerts for deals over a certain size, auto-assign tasks, and automate deal discount approvals.
 

Small businesses need to invest in CRM software like big businesses do — just on a smaller scale.

Small business software, like CRM suites, make managing and scaling effective sales operations easy. It improves employee productivity thanks to streamlined and centralized communication about lead and customer activity.

Salesforce Canada’s CRM platform has a proven track record of driving results for customers:

 
A 37 per cent increase in sales revenue
A 44 per cent boost in leads
A 45 per cent increase in customer retention

How a CRM Helps Your Business Grow

A CRM can help every customer communication feel personal, no matter how big or busy your business gets. And the right customer relationship management system will help you build and scale your business, while easing growing pains.
 
 

A CRM system is one of the most profitable small business solutions you can invest in.

Small business management teams need a CRM system to simplify their data collection and analysis needs so they can be better informed about how their customer service, marketing, and sales departments help clients succeed.

What is the best CRM system for small businesses?

Your investment in a CRM solution needs to fit your small business. We have tips for helping you choose which provider will work best for you, but the key is to get exactly what you need for the budget you have without compromising on the quality of the system.

Look for CRM platform features uniquely suited for small businesses.

When your CRM platform is powered by the cloud, your small business doesn’t have to purchase or set up new hardware. No IT staff are necessary. A cloud-based CRM platform upgrades automatically, which ensures users always have the most advanced CRM solution available. Furthermore, small businesses can rest assured their data is safe thanks to enterprise-level cloud security.

Users can quickly adopt the CRM solution and begin reaping the benefits. A CRM platform that works seamlessly across mobile devices ensures field sales reps and remote staff can access and update customer information whenever and wherever they need it.

A small business CRM system needs to be able to grow as your business grows. Easily add more users and customize your dashboards and extend your CRM platform’s capabilities with AppExchange, which offers users thousands of free and premium app options to integrate with your CRM platform.

 

Resources

 
 
 

Small businesses are winning with Salesforce Canada.

 
 
 

The world's #1 CRM for small businesses.

Salesforce helps businesses increase their sales revenues by 47% by closing more deals, getting more deals and improving productivity.
Find Customers. Win Customers. Keep Customers. Grow your small business, and succeed at every step, with Salesforce.opportunities.