CRM, or customer relationship management, allows companies to manage and analyze customer data in real-time. The accessibility, demand for personalization, and growing interconnectivity between platforms are all reasons why CRM software is one of the biggest software markets in the world. It’s the centerpiece for growing and successful businesses.
One constant goal of every sales process or business strategy is to maximize efficiency without sacrificing your budget and finding the right CRM has become an integral part of that, even for small businesses. It’s important that as a small business owner, you’re aware of what’s waiting out there to make your life easier and business more profitable.
Here are 3 things you should know about CRM for your small business:
What a CRM Does
In short, it helps you manage your company’s relationships, including all interactions and history with current and potential customers. The goal is to grow your business. This system is all-encompassing, everyone on your team or in your company would have an optimized way to manage their relationships because your customer and lead info is stored and organized. With everything in a central location, your team and identify opportunities, room for improvement, manage campaigns and easily collaborate.
Here’s a quick summary of the functions of a CRM, provided by HubSpot:
- Automatically store prospect and customer contact information in a central location.
- Streamline cross-team and cross-department communication and collaboration.
- Organize information about current accounts, leads, and previous customer communications.
- Automate monotonous and time-consuming tasks like updating contacts and creating or sending reports.
- Streamline your company’s sales lifecycle and boost team-wide efficiency.
- Save money and time.
Why You Need a CRM
When all of your customer data is centralized and segmented, it allows you to focus on providing them with a seamless customer experience. It’s reported that 86% of customers are willing to pay up to 25% more for a better customer experience. There is an apparent demand for highly augmented customer experience, check out how to improve your customer’s experience here. This goes to show just how important your internal organization is.
CRM will make your life as a business owner easier. Your day-to-day operations will be smoother, and it’ll give you time to focus on the bigger picture.
You may be wondering if this is really necessary for your small business. Perhaps you have a working system already in place, or you’re a solopreneur and have it covered. The truth is that a lightweight CRM system can still go a long way for you. You may not need all of the functions of a top tier system, but you can greatly benefit from a CRM system that is built around smaller teams. After all, would you really want to pass up on the opportunity to analyze your customer’s buying patterns, faster communication, improved customer service, and the automation of standardized processes?
What Your CRM Options Are
There is no shortage of CRM software solutions, so doing your homework and taking advantage of free trials will be to your benefit. A couple of features to look for are that the system is cloud-based so your entire team can access it from any device, and contact profiles that enable each lead showing interest to have their own profile.
Here are some options for small business owners:
- HubSpot – HubSpot Free available, great overall
- Drip – Great for eCommerce
- Constant Contact – Great customer support and focus on email marketing
- Zoho – Free trial available
- Salesforce – Known for catering to small businesses
Using CRM software is your choice, but don’t lose out on money because you are trying to keep up with administrative tasks when you could be spending time and energy on bigger things. There are a lot of options to choose from that can make it a little overwhelming at first, but like every other software package, you get what you pay for. Investing in a basic plan for your small business can truly make all of the difference.