A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is undoubtedly one of the most valuable tools that any small business can utilize. It is as essential as hiring qualified and dedicated people, and more than likely to have more of a significant long-term effect than any individual employee would.
At its most basic, a CRM system for small businesses streamlines your business relationships as well as the information and data associated with them. Using CRM tools, you can store accounts, customer contacts, prospective client information, sales opportunities and leads in one central cloud location, allowing the information to be accessible by your entire workforce, in real time.
According to recent studies, small businesses with a fully utilized CRM system can increase sales by 29%. Customer relationship management software doesn’t just help your sales people report their numbers to you, or only help with daily sales activities and managing sales pipelines — using a simple CRM system can help improve your small business in a variety of ways:
1. Do More with Less
A centralized tool will help your people share information and help salespeople track their own leads, contacts, and deals. This information prevents salespeople from being indispensable and promotes teamwork.
A shared CRM with deals and contacts shared across an entire sales team manages your customers’ expectations and needs, and handles escalations even if their regular representative is not available.
Managing multiple clients and meeting large quotas is often difficult. CRM software can help keep everything organized for individual people and sales teams alike. Small business sale teams are able to manage their books of business better when they have the right tools on hand to do the job.
2. Set Alerts
You can follow up on any task in a timely manner by setting alerts with your CRM software. Alerts will notify you that it is time to follow-up with a deal-breaking milestone, a presentation date, to trigger new activities, and to inform you when you have not contacted your client in a while. Alerts help you become more attentive, proactive, and show your customers that you are thinking of them.
Setting alerts can drive success, especially if your business juggles many different clients that are not daily buyers. Managing multiple accounts is difficult, but with alerts, it is harder for important events and actions to slip through the cracks. Setting alerts well into the future will ensure that clients and touch-points are not forgotten.
3. Track Important Data
A good CRM system will allow you to keep all of your important information in one centralized location. That will help you proactively maintain your customer relationships when you need to do a follow-up call or want to generate business, as well as helping you competently handle inquiries.
Storing pertinent information centrally can help you proceed with specific insight about the task and can help you share that information with other collaborators on that account. Historical reports and other data will provide your team with insight and help you anticipate your customers’ needs by putting important data at your fingertips during every contact.
4. Run Reports
Reports attached to your CRM tool can help you constantly measure your customer service performance and help continuously monitor your customer activities in order to anticipate your clients’ needs and act quickly when necessary.
Other reports can reveal emerging trends that will help you analyze your business’s performance. The reports can be used to measure and assess sales territories, customer bases, specific salespeople or other representatives working with customers. Running sales reports can keep you on top of customer service in a variety of ways, to ensure that you can react quickly if volume slips, quotas drop, or if customers begin to buy less.
For customer relationship software to help you manage your employees better, or to provide more personalized customer service, you need to choose the right system for your specific business, and then follow through to ensure you are using it to its full potential. Make the effort to shop around for a CRM that suits your business model, make sure it is simple to use and easy to implement.