We live in a global economy that buys, sells and communicates with each other via different channels, in countless ways. With the market competition increasing by the day, the need to manage relationships with customers has become very important. While maintaining the free excel sheets appeal to small scale businesses in the beginning, once their customer database increases, CRM for small businesses becomes a wiser choice.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) refers to the practices, strategies and technologies used by businesses to consistently track and analyze all the interactions you have made with existing as well as prospect customers. A CRM software centralizes data, simplifies processes, secures and scales customer engagement. And proactive engagement is what keeps small businesses going.
Here are 6 reasons why you need CRM for small businesses:
A CRM helps you understand what your future revenue stream would be, based on history and current activities. It also helps you understand upcoming trends and events that could turn into leading indicators of your revenue and profit metrics.
The CRM software can be used to monitor the leading indicators closely. It helps them bring changes in their core business processes for better results. Be it lead generation, opportunity creation or pipeline value to spot possible problems that can be faced by the customers. CRM enables a proactive approach to managing the business.
Here are a few use cases of CRM in this case:
– It gives the sales manager an in-depth view of the activities of the sales teams, trace problems that have been affecting revenue growth – territory coverage, customer calling activity, lead conversion rates and opportunity close rates; and make the required changes.
– It enables the marketer to trace the effectiveness of marketing activities and campaigns, adjust them according to the business goals and improvise on them for better results.
– It gives the customer service team an overview of what they need to look into, what’s not being managed well, alerts when a case exceeds the expected close time and easy monitoring of escalations.
– It helps product managers monitor cases dealt with the customer service team to understand product defects, support trends and feature requests by customers that can lead to an improved version of the product or service.
Prospecting is a collection of manual and automated activities executed across multiple channels that result in lead generation or opportunity creation. And this task is not just restricted to a salesperson in a small business.
CRM for small businesses helps you acquire leads from your website, email campaigns, hosted webinars and seminars and other marketing efforts, and send them directly to the sales team. It also enables you to assign leads to specific reps immediately who can then pursue the prospect as soon as possible.
The CRM can be used to direct the sales reps in cross selling and up-selling activities. Implementing a CRM can help you improve the calling efficiency of your sales team to create top-of-the funnel opportunities.
Since every business today has turned to inbound marketing, integrating a CRM system will only help you nurture your leads better and turn them into customers. The insights provided by the software can also be used to identify new products requirements or market opportunities as well.
Every business knows when, how and at what frequency they need to engage with their customers. But the key to success is being able to deliver the same high quality customer experience to all your leads.
CRM systems can be used to embed your best sales or customer support processes to guide the teams through upcoming customer interactions. It lets you create templates that can used as a guide through otherwise complex processes.
If some activities are repetitive in nature, the workflow automation can be used to automate them. This ensures that the best practices are followed by the team, without reducing their productivity levels.
The major source of leads for small businesses is their existing client base. But as their marketing efforts increase, they need to understand where the rest of their leads are coming from. This helps them cater to their needs better, nurture them into qualified prospects and eventually, customers.
Through marketing automation and CRM, small businesses can prospect in the long tail, which can otherwise be too inefficient for the current resources they own.
A CRM software gives your marketing, sales and customer support teams, the ability to manage the increasing number of tasks, opportunities, cases, communications and customer information required to close more deals, efficiently – without losing an opportunity.
Every business makes various marketing and sales efforts to generate leads. And losing them because of a sales rep or customer service turnover, can be very disappointing. CRM helps you track all events from lead generation to what’s being done to pursue them, lost or never contacted leads and provides an audit trail to control sensitive information.
Integrating a CRM also makes the transfer of responsibilities assigned to sales and customer service reps seamless, in case of a turnover. It assists you in managing risks – of losing leads due to lack of record or loss of sensitive customer information.
Customer intimacy refers to the act where businesses tailor their products, services and customer engagement processes to fit a customer’s interest. For small businesses, this is an effective way to compete and stand out from the competition by providing a more personalized experience to customers as well as prospects.
CRM gives you an in-depth analysis of your target audience and their behaviors to enable targeted marketing, product development and efficient sales activities. Understanding what your prospects need and how they can be approached, can help you introduce a personal touch to your campaigns.
For example: Take into account the message you receive on your birthday from a restaurant you went to a few months back, offering a 25% discount on the bill amount to celebrate your day.
Even though moving from a free resource to a paid one might seem like a bad idea, your small business needs CRM to become more efficient and increase revenues.
To get an edge over your competition, it is important to capture the interests of your prospects – irrespective of how frequently they change, and deliver relevant campaigns to get their attention at the right time.
Do you think small businesses should invest in CRM? Or should they simply continue with the age old marketing tactics to grow? Let us know in the comments.
Looking for a tool that can streamline user onboarding, engagement, training, and support for your CRM. Then check out Whatfix’s solutions for Enterprises using CRM’s like Salesforce, Oracle CRM and MS Dynamics.