As your business begins to scale, and the pressures and demands become ever greater, you will soon realise the value of various organisational tools. You may be getting by with Excel spreadsheets now, but this method won’t be sustainable forever. Soon you will wish there was an easier way to keep up with your clients and analyse customer data. This is where Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software comes into play.
CRM allows business owners and their employees to input customer data into a central database—easy for everyone to access when they need it. The program organises this data and analyses it, so you can maintain strategic contact with each individual customer without spending hours analysing the data yourself. The program can even find connections between customers who have purchased and those who have yet to purchase to give your insight on the best strategies for closing the deal. Large and small businesses alike find value every day with CRM. We will expand on a few more benefits of CRM below.
Before delving into the benefits CRM software offers to small businesses, let’s first talk about what types of businesses won’t benefit from utilising a CRM program. Typically, businesses that are ready to scale and serve dozens to hundreds of clients are ready for CRM. So, businesses that only handle a few clients at a time, or that have virtually no repeat customers, won’t necessarily find value in full-package CRM. However, some businesses with only a few clients may benefit from one or two analytic features CRM offers. Plus, businesses with few clients now, may start to grow and have need of further CRM in the future. It really depends on the needs and outlook for the individual business to determine whether CRM would be useful for them.
You may need CRM if:
- Notes on clients are all stored differently and aren’t easily accessible to everyone
- Multiple employees work with the same client
- You would like to improve your customer service
- Your conversion rate isn’t where you’d like it to be
- You have employees who work remotely or are on-the-road
- Your business is growing quickly
- Your current system isn’t working
The best time to start CRM is before your current organisational system gets out of control. Spreadsheets may be working for the time-being, but how many clients would it take to become unmanageable, confusing, and possibly lead to sales falling through the cracks? Not only does CRM help companies organise client information, but it will also analyse metrics that will help you determine the best leads to follow and when the best time is to send an email campaign based on your specific audience. Read on to see how CRM helps businesses thrive every day.
- Organises data. The number one reason why businesses switch to CRM is because of the organisational features of the programs. As a business owner, you have so much running through your mind every day. CRM keeps all the important information efficiently stored for you to refer to later, so you don’t have to memorise every detail. Even with only a few clients, it’s difficult to remember all the specifics and past interactions with a client. Why CRM for small business? To make interactions more personal with each client by effectively and efficiently storing their data.
- Keeps team members on the same page. With CRM organising the data, all your team members can easily access the information and pull it up in critical moments, even while on-the-go. They can also add to it after each new interaction. Anyone communicating with the client will be well-informed and up-to-date on their history. Why CRM for small business? To eliminate repeat conversations and increase your team’s confidence in the sales process.
- Congeals your company culture. Instead of every employee fending for themselves when it comes to note-taking or relying on them to communicate between themselves before reaching out to a mutual client, CRM creates one central location for all employees to conduct business within. This helps create a company culture for keeping client information organised and accessible, so your team can work as one unit. More well-informed sales decisions will be the norm, along with accurate data entry and other good habits. Why CRM for small business? Because having one system for operations ensures that everyone adheres to the same standards and promotes the goals and values you want your company to portray.
- Streamlines customer communication. Instead of having multiple programs for notetaking and sales tracking, you can have all this information in one place with CRM. It’s nearly impossible to have effective conversations with clients when their data and history is saved on several different platforms and in various employee files. A central database simplifies the mess. Furthermore, you can organise your clients into different groups using variables and conduct mass communication with each group. Not all your clients will have the same needs at the same time. Why CRM for small business? Because it helps you organise your clients into one central database and into separate relevant groups for more streamlined communication.
- Grows your business. With the organisation and automation features of CRM, you can spend less time looking up information and sending out messages yourself. This frees up time for you to acquire new leads and keep your business growing how you want. As you gather information on leads, you can input the data into the CRM program and even have it analyse which prospects are most worth pursuing. This way you can stop wasting time on leads that go nowhere and focus more on the ones that will benefit you most. Why CRM for small business? Because you have built the foundation of your business, but CRM is the catalyst that will get it to the next level.
- Keeps customers coming back. We all know it is far cheaper to retain existing customers than prospect new ones. With CRM, you can more effectively increase your customer loyalty with systematic and targeted outreach. CRM collects data on users and lets you view what they have purchased in the past. Is there a new upgrade for something they’ve already purchased? Do you offer a product that complements a previous buy? You can now reach out to these customers much more effectively using the right analytics. Why CRM for small business? To retain loyal customers and target their upcoming needs for higher conversion rates.
- Analyses data for you. Besides analysing past purchases, CRM can also produce reports on information you would never know otherwise. CRM looks at factors such as the time of day and day of the week your customers are most likely to open your emails, or what types of headlines get the most clicks on social media. Knowing these details, you can customise your outreach for maximum effectiveness against your target audience. Why CRM for small business? To get a peek behind the virtual curtain into the habits and preferences of your customers.
- Customisable package options. Many CRM programs come with different package options for various business needs. Do all your employees work out of the office, or are some on the road? Depending on your structure, you may find that an internal program works better for you, or that the cloud option is more enough. Does the program need to be mobile friendly? How secure do you need your client information? These are just a few questions you will need to evaluate before building a realistic budget for your business’ needs. Some CRM packages are built specifically for small businesses to accommodate small budgets and eliminate excessive features. When looking for a CRM system, choose one that is easy for everyone on your team to use, includes features that are helpful for your specific business, and has a straightforward customer support process. It’s technology. When something goes wrong, you’ll want to be back up and running as soon as possible!
Bottom line: CRM saves you time, money, and stress by organising client details, analysing metrics, and automating tedious processes. If your current system needs an upgrade or you’re ready to scale, CRM is a no-brainer. Without CRM, you could be losing out on a large percentage of profits with low employee productivity, missed client engagement opportunities, and wasted time following dead-end leads. Not to mention, with how popular CRM is already, you can almost guarantee that your competitors are already utilising it. When you decide to jump on the CRM band-wagon, you will find your business growing faster than you could have imagined with more meaningful customer interactions and a more efficient central system that keeps all your employees organised from day one. With all the different programs out there offering various package pricing, CRM help both large and small businesses with their day-to-day operations.