CRM, or customer relationship management, is a type of software tool that’s designed to bring all your customer data to a single, centralised location. This includes not just personal and contact details you want to keep on system, but records of past interactions, transactions, and details about your relationship with them.
Here, we’re going to look at some of the reasons why small business owners should think seriously about incorporating CRM software in their own business. Especially if your business relies on lead building, support calls, email communication, online support, chats, and other means to managing your relationship with your customers over the long term.
In the past, CRM software was primarily designed for and used by enterprise level businesses, but now, more flexible solutions for small businesses are hitting the market. Here are five reasons you should consider using one.
Every lead is important for a small business
Yes, it might seem a little silly to keep such close track of your customers when your business is relatively fresh. You don’t have a lot of long-term customer relationships to keep track of, so why would you need CRM software to help with it? The truth is that new, growing, and small businesses can see some of the most benefits they have to offer.
At this point in the business lifecycle, building leads and finding the most effective way to convert them is a crucial goal. CRM software can make sure you never miss a lead, never forget to follow up, and that you can track the process from start to finish, seeing what works and what doesn’t.
Furthermore, most business owners learn the 80/20 rule. 80% of your revenue is likely to come from 20% of your customers. As such, maximising value from that 20% should be key a priority for the business. The CRM system can help you learn, rather quickly, which customers are likely to be that top 1-in-5 and to make sure they get the attention they need.
Systemise the sales process
CRM helps you lay out, step by step, the entire lead generation to sales process, allowing you to create an easy, systemised order to things that your team can easily follow. With the most effective process set down, it frees up the sales team to spend more time thinking about how to best convince and work with customers, rather than having to manage the process themselves.
Furthermore, since every customer is going to have their own record and place in that sales process, it’s easier to identify when is the right time to follow up on a lead, and when is the best time to move on to a different opportunity. If your sales, marketing, and support teams work in close tandem with one another, CRM can help different members of the team see when they need to step in, allowing them all to better coordinate their efforts.
Don’t underestimate the value of customer data
Every customer and client are recorded in the CRM’s system, each getting a file of their own. This is going to note contact details, but also records of past interactions with them. Every time you make a call, email, meet with them, or send an offer, you can record it, along with whether or not it leads successfully to the next step in the sales process. One of the advantages is that your sales team aren’t going to be inadvertently stepping over one another, reaching out to the same customer with the same offer.
However, digitizing and keeping that data in the same place means that you can also get a lot more insight about your customers, too. You can notice trends in demographics and pain points, as well as which lead conversion methods prove the most effective. For big data purposes, combining data from a CRM with that from marketing analytics can help you understand a lot more about your audience.
Be flexible with your customers
There’s nothing that the average consumer dislikes more than feeling like they’re being treated like every other customer or client. Modern business methods focus on taking every action to address this, from personalised emails to AI driven chatbots responding to individual needs. If your business still uses the business touch, you don’t have artificial intelligence to be flexible to customer needs, but CRM means that you have the information that you need.
Rather than addressing each qualifying lead or repeat customer the same, and sending the same offers their way, you can look at their transaction and interaction history to make pitches and offers unique to them. For instance, if a customer showed interest in a specific product or service in the past, but went for something different, then you could get in touch with them when that original product or service is on offer or has improved in some way.
A more cost-effective way of increasing revenue
Back to the 80/20 rule mentioned above, we need to address the cost-effectiveness of your efforts to win new revenue. It’s largely known that retaining an existing customer is much less expensive than winning a brand new one. If you find that you’re spending too much money trying to win new customers over, CRM can help you address that issue.
As the name implies, customer relationship management is about making sure you give existing customer relationships the attention, care and effort that they deserve. As such, you can make sure that you’re not missing out on the growth to lifetime customer value that, rather than new customers, could really be what your company needs to find its path to growth.
Customer relationship management leads to customer success
With the five key reasons above, hopefully you have a better idea of why using a CRM is a smart move for your business and you should consider choosing a CRM for your business. With effective CRM use, thoughtful customer communication and active support becomes much easier than ever, leading to customer success, which means it becomes easier to retain customers and to build a more valuable long-term relationship. With them.