If you’re a small business owner, you know how important your customer relationships are to success. So the idea of a CRM (customer relationship management) system is certainly easy to agree with. Nonetheless, it can feel like a big leap.

But how do you know if a CRM system really is a worthwhile investment for your business specifically? As the world's #1 CRM, here are a few of the challenges we hear every day from businesses that are looking to grow bigger, faster, and with more ease.

 

The right customer relationship management (CRM) system can supercharge your small business like nothing else. By intelligently storing and managing customer and prospect information, it can help your marketing team find new customers faster by boosting your lead volume. It can win you more customers by boosting your sales team’s ability to close deals. It can help your service team make more customers happy with intelligent help desk solutions.

A powerful, small business–oriented CRM solution does this all on one platform, keeping your business connected end to end with minimal IT involvement and setting you on the path to major growth. So when it comes to knowing the customer, everyone is on the same page.

 
If you’re in the fortunate position of having a flood of new business but are struggling to keep up with it, you might need CRM. An intelligent CRM system will quickly sort and prioritise your leads so that your sales team can respond to them in a timely, efficient manner.
Spreadsheets, email, and sticky notes may have worked just fine when your business was in its infancy. But as it grows, those old tools limit your team’s visibility into customer interactions, as well as your ability to make informed decisions quickly. This is where a CRM system comes in: giving your entire organisation a single, central source of easily accessible data that can drive sales success rates and increase customer retention.

Whether they’re in the office or on the road, it’s essential to know what your sales teams are doing and how they’re performing. A powerful customer relationship management system allows team members to update details from their mobile devices, so information is instantly available for you to see and act on immediately, if needed.

A good CRM solution not only allows you to track what’s going on with your business; it helps you see where you should allocate extra resources, while helping you accurately forecast future sales.

Getting customers is tough enough as it is. The last thing you want is to lose them due to subpar service. If you find that your customer service team spends more time reacting to customer complaints than proactively anticipating customer needs, it might be time to invest in a CRM system. Being able to effectively manage case flow while having a unified view of your customer creates the opportunity to wow your clients with spectacular service — and keeps them coming back.

Additionally, smart CRM solutions allow you to extend the power of learnings among customer service agents, routing cases to the right agent and helping agents answer questions with shared knowledge. You can also create self-help communities that allow customers to find answers on their own, so agents can spend more time solving tough cases.

Not all customers are created equal. And you certainly don’t want your best and biggest customers to feel unappreciated. A CRM system can automatically remind you of milestones and important events for your most valuable customers, so you can easily send out timely communications and assure them you’re in it for the long haul, too.

Plus, CRM solutions can help keep track of individuals within an organisation. This not only allows you to further personalise your communication but also to maintain a relationship with an account even if your contact there has moved on.

If your salespeople are manually entering data to produce reports, they’re spending less time doing what they should be doing: selling. CRM systems can keep all your data in one easy-to-access place, making up-to-the-minute reporting and accurate analysis a breeze.

Some solutions even automatically flow account and contact information into your CRM and can periodically “clean” your customer data, filling in missing info that sales people left out and intelligently removing duplicates.

Do you know how your organisation will handle a potential rush of new business? Are you completely confident in your company’s ability to scale effectively? If you don’t think your processes and tools are up to the task, it’s probably time to research a CRM solution that fits your business needs. A suitable system will grow with your business without sacrificing productivity.

 

A truly worthwhile CRM system is extendable and customisable enough to overcome any business challenge as your company evolves. Additionally, resources like the Salesforce AppExchange put over 3,000 easy-to-integrate business apps at your fingertips.

 

Pley is an on-line toy rental service. Here, CEO and Founder, Ranan Lachman, explains his criteria for choosing a CRM system.

If one or more of the above scenarios hit a little close to home, it’s time to take the next step and start looking for a CRM solution for your business. The ideal system will help you find more customers, win more deals, keep customers happier, and connect your entire company — priming your small business for big-time growth.

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