In an increasingly crowded business environment, companies must lean on technology to give them a competitive edge. One important tool every organization needs is customer relationship management (CRM) software. Small businesses have customers demanding their attention, and CRM platforms are integral to their ability to stay organized, put their customers first, foster deep engagement, and earn loyalty from their customers.

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

 
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.

 
 

For small businesses, a CRM platform allows users 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.

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.

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.

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.  
 

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:

 
Score leads based on relevance, deal size, sales funnel stage, and timing.
These notifications keep sales reps accountable in executing frequent and timely follow-ups.
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.
 
This makes nurturing prospects simple when you choose to interact with them over email, display ads, social media, phone calls, and in-person meetings.
A variety of factors can compromise your chances of closing a sale.
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.
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 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
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.
 

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.

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.

 
 
 
 
This software company, headquartered in Toronto, helps its clients find their happiest customers and mobilize them to drive business growth. A year after it was founded, Influitive started using Salesforce, including Community Cloud, Sales Cloud, the Salesforce1 Mobile App, Chatter, and Trailhead, to increase sales. These tools, all part of the Salesforce CRM solution, helped Influitive improve sales 10-fold.
 
When the Vancouver-based recruitment services company experienced 50 per cent year-over-year growth, managing hundreds of daily inbound emails from job candidates and organizations with position vacancies became overwhelming. To provide timely service and manage the increasing data load, Mindfield turned to Salesforce to store and organize job application and company opening information in a central location, making it reliable and easy to access. By the end of 2015, Mindfield used Salesforce to help approximately 100,000 Canadians find jobs.
 
Michael Katchen has been investing money from a young age. When friends turned to him for advice, he didn’t just tell them where to invest; he founded a business that would revolutionize wealth management for his friends and other millennials. With Wealthsimple, Katchen has already helped over 15,000 people make smarter investments.
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.