August 19, 2013

Why Small Business CRM is Essential

BY John Paul Narowski IN CRM Software, Small Business 0 Comment

Build and operate a successful small business with great Customer Relationship Management

The double-edged sword of slow recession recovery has been the culprit of two definitive events in the business world – depreciation in profit margins on the financial statements of established businesses and a significant increase of new entrepreneurs launching their own start-ups.  With the undeniable explosion of web business opportunities, there are cracks in the tech world waiting to be filled by those looking to capitalize on their ideas and software solutions.

SaaS and mobile development are at their peak since the induction of Apple’s App Store in 2008, and there are new start-up success stories every few weeks.  There are many entrepreneurs that remain diligent in the marketing, sales, and development of their business website applications.  On the other hand, there are also many that forget important factors such as operations and customer service.

Let’s look at some of the ways that a good small business CRM can help make your operations, customer service, and even your marketing and sales efforts more efficient.

First…what does CRM stand for?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management

The customer is always right, and businesses that remember this usually see a percentage of success in their market.  Knowing your customers and their needs is an essential part of the sales cycle; lead to prospect preceding prospect to customer.  The steps between these processes are essentially the foundation that most CRM applications are built on.  Constant communication between your trained sales team and your customers will ultimately lead to an increase in conversions.  Having the ability to communicate with your target customers on a frequent basis will allow you to hone your pitch, while getting your analytics in line with a successful model.

What services do I need?

Proper service selection is something every business owner or startup should pay attention to. What is the software offering you that will allow your business to achieve its goals?

Some benefits that come standard with most Customer Relationship Management software are email marketing management, lead tracking, and opportunities to leverage prospects.  These components are essential to success in a competitive market.

You should also pay particularly close attention to the support offered.  Will someone be there to help familiarize you and your staff with the application?  Some of the more clunky CRM systems can demand a major learning curve before you are efficient enough to leverage all of their tools.  The faster you and your team can become experts in your new CRM system, the more quickly it will positively affect your bottom line.  For this reason, a CRM application that is more user-friendly should be a primary focus for those new to such applications.

Have more time for what’s important – your business!

The ability to manage your business’s relationship with its customers with an automated solution drastically decreases the time utilization from a manual process.  As a business owner, your time is one of your company’s most valued assets; use it wisely.  The more time spent shifting through a paper tracking system is time that could have been invested in development of your product, team, and/or brand.  This lost time could equal to a loss in profits as more time-efficient competitors emerge in your market.

Increase your sales while getting organized.

Being able to identify a new or promising lead quickly is a growing need of most sales teams.  Relying on paper systems, or keeping up with the maintenance needs of downloaded software, is just not as feasible as cloud solutions increase in popularity.  In choosing a good CRM system, small businesses now have the ability to speed up the entire process – an important benefit as your sales team now reduces the time it takes to locate prospects and call backs, which leaves more time for actual selling.

With a new cloud-based CRM system in place, your sales and service team should be able to:

  • Quickly add notes or reminders to specific accounts
  • Better monitor collections efforts
  • Follow-up with prospects
  • Convert leads into prospects
  • Communicate more effectively with team members

The possibilities are almost endless.

With a more efficient sales and service team at your disposal, your profits depend more on the product itself, which is great for businesses with a solid service.  An effective CRM system is the key that will bring your business full circle.

I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.

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