As your business starts to grow, investing in a CRM system is a positive move. It’s not easy to manage an increasing amount of customer, supplier or employee data across multiple spreadsheets, notebooks or Post-its. And soon you’ll be too busy to rely on memory alone.
When you’re at the point where you need a CRM system you’ll soon see that you’re spoilt for choice. There are CRMs for specific industries, professions and of course business size.
If this is your first CRM, it doesn’t really matter what industry you’re in or your profession, the best CRM system out there will benefit your small business in the following ways:
A simple CRM system won’t take long to set up and it will save tonnes of admin time with automation. You can automate marketing, sales, finance and customer support activities by connecting your CRM to all your favorite software. So every time you send an invoice through Xero or an email through Mailchimp, your CRM contact is updated automatically. It’s transformational.
It’s a well known fact that it can cost anything between 5 or 10 times more to acquire new business compared to retaining and growing existing ones. If you bring all your customer data into one place you’ll easily spot growth opportunities in your customer base and be able to use insight from your data to nurture those opportunities to sale. This will cost substantially less than acquiring new customers.
One of the greatest benefits of a CRM is its ability to organize your data, keep it clean and compliant. When your CRM system sits at the heart of your business and connects to all your relevant software such as accounting and marketing, you have one data source to manage. This is much easier and quicker to update, clean and analyze.
Each CRM system will have their own unique way of keeping you organized too, from simple task lists to automated workflows. But even the humble task list is revolutionary when it reminds you to take action.
Of course the ultimate organization tool for sales in a CRM system is the pipeline. A clear visual representation of each stage of your sales process. It shows exactly where each lead or opportunity is and the value. You’ll never miss a sale again. This accurate information will help you to forecast sales and get a feel for your profit margins each month, quarter and year.
It can be quite easy to spend time on activities that don’t contribute to the bottom line without even realizing it. That’s when tracking activity can be useful, especially when you report on it.
This is particularly effective when you’re nurturing a new opportunity or upselling to a customer. It helps you identify what activities work best so they can be replicated. You can quickly spot when activites are not working so either the opportunity should be closed or it needs a new approach. This intelligence focuses effort on the fruitful deals and is a more efficient way of working.
Reports that are automatically generated and very easy to understand will give you a birds-eye view of your core business functions. This management intelligence will fuel plenty of growth ideas based on real data as well as experience.
When you’re a smaller business the customer expects a closer relationship where you remember all their challenges, objectives, even perhaps the destination of their forthcoming holiday. It’s only natural they feel this way, it’s how all businesses behave in the beginning as they have the capacity to make customers feel extra special.
With a CRM system you can continue to behave this way forever as you’ll have all this useful information at your fingertips. Anyone can speak to a customer like they already know them and provide a remarkable customer experience, one that builds trust and values the customer. As 55% of consumers say they would pay more for a better customer experience, this gives you a tremendous competitive advantage.
If you put all of the above together you can see how a CRM system will drive growth for your business because individuals will:
- become more organized and work on every opportunity
- understand their customers and uncover incredible insights
- track their progress and see exactly where they need support
- report on sales data and discover trends that spark new sales and marketing activity.
In truth it can be, there are lots of CRM systems out there that have all manner of advanced features and workflows. Some need a full-time employee just to get started so they would be completely inappropriate for a small business.
Thankfully there are plenty of CRM systems that are easy to implement, use and update. As a small business it’s useful to look at CRM systems that are flexible enough to adapt as you grow and support your unique objectives so you don’t have to change in a years time.
You and your team will be busy focused on taking your business to the next level so the best CRM system will do all the data work for you. It will:
- Make it easier to manage your data.
- Keep your data complaint.
- Display your customer information clearly.
- Create reports that will aid your decision making.
- Keep you completely focused on the business activities that deliver growth.
If you’re interested in how to implement a CRM system our 3 part series talks you through the steps. And if you would like to try a CRM for free, Capsule has a 30 day free trial on both paid plans or you can sign up to a Free Forever.