There are some entrepreneurs who believe that customer relationship management (CRM) solutions are only meant for large enterprises and that they’re unnecessary and too expensive for startups and small companies. Fortunately, they’re wrong. However, this is a misconception that CRM has been unable to overcome in all its years of existence.
In the beginning days of CRM, the software was very expensive – in the 7 figures. It also required IT teams to come into your office for up to a year and a half to install it and teach you how to use it. Once installed, many companies found that this software was unwieldy, complex and poorly integrated. For these reasons, many of their employees never bothered to use them.
This is very different from the solution that CRM has evolved in today. Now it’s both sleek and highly usable. You can even customize it to meet your specific needs then expand it so that it’ll grow with you. Of course, for this to happen you must choose a CRM platform when you first open your business, so it’ll be able to grow with you and isn’t difficult to implement in the future. Now that you no longer have so many concerns to deal with, you’ll find that there are many reasons why you should choose a CRM solution for your business today.
Good CRM Helps Plot Your Growth
The use of tools like Copper CRM save you time and also help you make your business a successful venture. When you choose a CRM when you first launch your company, you’ll save yourself a lot of time you’d otherwise need to spend employing all the right techniques, so you can attract your niche market’s attention. This may seem “easy” in the beginning, but as your business grows, your lists of contacts, prospects, partners, and investors will also grow. If you don’t have a good CRM solution in place when this happens, then you’ll lose track of all these people. You don’t want this to happen to your business because when you present a confused, haphazard image to potential customers they’ll go elsewhere.
Storing customer information haphazardly also causes a lot of duplicated effort. This opens you up to errors, wasted time, and customer turnover. Good customer relationship management lets you personalize your sales and marketing processes. You may even discover that you’re able to automate some elements of it. For instance, you can let your CRM solution automatically capture leads from your website then convert them into new contacts in your CRM database. You can also let it convert customer relationship management data into other documents like quotes and invoices for you to use.
Use CRM to Spot Trends
Once opportunities become visible many times it’s already too late to take advantage of them. Unfortunately, this is something that often happens because companies are overwhelmed with data. At the same time, customer behaviors are continually changing. This means that the conventional wisdom from a decade ago typically doesn’t work today. So much is changing. In fact, many of today’s CRM solutions are reinforced with artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics that can spot trends before the trends become obvious to human eyes. You’ll also be able to identify what leads have the highest probability of being converted into sales, so you can understand where you should have your sales team focus their efforts. Additionally, you’ll also be able to gain a better understanding of your customers’ behavior, so you can gain insight into who’s likely to buy your products and services and who you’re in danger of losing to one of your competitors.
Save Time with Reporting
Most business owners find themselves spending about 23% of their time creating and analyzing reports. Although this activity doesn’t directly generate revenue, it’s still a necessary part of conducting business today. When you’re able to spend less time on this task and spend more time innovating, communicating, and selling your business is bound to be much more successful. Another reason you find yourself wasting a lot of time generating these reports is that they contain much more information than you need. However, with modern CRM solutions, you can configure data in any way you want and thus create a snapshot of your preferred key performance indicators (KPI). The fact that you can also import and export data to other business processes (e.g. email marketing, accounting software, Excel spreadsheets) is also beneficial.
Foster Collaborative Selling
Businesses are increasingly realizing that they can’t take a “lone wolf” approach to sales. This no longer works because products are complex, administrative tasks are outsourced, and customers use multiple communications channels because they expect you to solve their problems immediately. When you have a centralized CRM database in place, your sales and customer support teams are better able to take a collaborative approach to serve your customer holistically. They can easily pick up where another employee left off since processes are more transparent and accountable. This opens the doors to best practices by doing away with unproductive behaviors.
Only Pay for what you Use
In the early years of CRM, many companies spent a lot of money on solutions their employees rarely used. This is because businesses were required to buy the maximum number of licenses to use throughout their busy season only to discover that they were wasting money on them during their “off” season. Today’s CRM apps no longer require this. Now your business can expand or contract its usage monthly, so you save more money than you waste. Some SaaS models also let you count your CRM as an operating expense instead of a capital expenditure. With this in mind, you can rest assured you won’t get stuck with a solution that doesn’t work. In fact, many CRM app providers give you a free trial, so you can see if it’s a good fit. So, stop thinking you need to be a large, established company to take advantage of a CRM’s benefits and start thinking of this as a strong foundation on which to build and grow a successful business.
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