CRM = Customer Relationship Management. It is designed to help businesses solve challenges with their sales & marketing.
CRM refers to the system a company uses to analyse customer interactions and measure data throughout the customer lifecycle. It should improve business relationships with customers through retention and acquisition.
Think of it as a tool to manage business relationships (with clients, partners and suppliers), projects and strategies. It goes beyond managing your business contacts because it also manages relationships.
It is designed to help you gain insight into the sales performance of your business so you can adjust strategies based on trends. It will help your sales team stay on track by setting up automatic workflow rules, so interactions with potential customers aren’t missed.
Whether you’re a small business looking for a place to store and access information across multiple devices and locations or a larger business wanting to manage and improve customer interactions and satisfaction, a CRM will benefit your business.
1: Organisation. Manage leads, clients and contacts, and track your engagement.
2: Communication. Schedule automatic reminders & create email templates for leads.
3: Information. Give your sales team access to necessary resources by sharing data.
4: Lead Generation. Capture website leads in your CRM to quickly follow up potential sales.
5: Understanding. Schedule weekly emailed reports, to know whether goals are being met.
A group of small businesses were asked to identify their biggest challenge regarding sales and marketing. 70% of respondents said engaging, qualifying and following up with leads was their biggest challenge, and 61% said prioritising and tracking tasks for the sales team was a problem.
CRM systems are designed to help businesses solve challenges when it comes to following up with leads and managing your sales team’s priorities. If you’re considering implementing a CRM System but aren’t quite sure if you need one, here are some common problems it can help your business solve:
1: You feel like you’re drowning in information and can’t keep track of it.
2: You’re losing business because leads are falling through the cracks.
3: You have no idea if your marketing expenditure is benefitting your business.
4: You waste time trying to find emails from potential and current clients.
5: You’re missing appointments and not following through on tasks.
6: You have no idea if your business is growing or how/where it’s growing.
7: Your customers have to repeat themselves every time they call you.
8: Each person on your sales team has a different sales process.
9: You lost a hot lead list when an employee left your company.
10: There is no consistency in sales emails sent to potential customers.
11: Your sales team has no way of prioritising their task list.
12: You don’t have a way of collaborating easily as a team.
A CRM is part of a suite of software apps your business needs to grow. One of the perks of using a CRM is it’s part of a complete set of apps available to manage your business, including email, marketing campaigns, invoices, and passwords.
In a survey, CRM users ranked the ways it has helped their business. 67% said it helped them follow-up on opportunities and leads, and 56% said it helped customer relationships because the interactions were accessible in one place. If you answer ‘Yes’ to any of the following three questions, your business will benefit:
1. Are you losing sales because you’re not properly following-up on leads?
2. Have you established a sales process and want to manage your sales pipeline?
3. Do you want customer info. (emails, calls, meetings, projects) accessible in one place?
A CRM should be customisable to meet specific business needs and suitable for B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-customer) organisations. Whether a sole trader or small business, you’ll stay organised and efficient. We advise the following to anyone implementing a CRM:
We have implemented CRM systems for sole traders and small businesses. Every business benefitted from being able to read, edit and save data to a central database through any device. From collaborating on projects to scheduling meetings and reminders, a CRM allows a business to manage hundreds of contacts, projects and leads in an efficient manner. And, because it is cloud-based, it means the data is backed-up and accessible from anywhere in the world. So, if you want to work from home, need urgent access whilst on holiday or want to base yourself somewhere exotic, you can.
Your business may use a system that has sufficed but has been found lacking. Maybe you’ve used Excel to track projects and maintain contact information, or used several different apps for your data. Whatever your process has been, you might be looking for something more advanced.
Gartner research found eight essential areas in creating successful businesses: vision; strategy; collaboration; processes; customer experience; information; metrics; technology.
Once the business vision has been identified, a CRM should form part of the business strategy to help with collaboration, processes, customer experience, information and metrics. A CRM is a part of the software technology needed for a business to operate.
CRM users shared the timing of implementing a CRM system for their business.
If you have a process that is working well and you’re wondering why a business would need a CRM, here are a few indicators to help you decide when it’s time to implement one:
1: You wish you could easily organise and analyse your business contacts and projects.
2: Keeping a record of conversations and scheduling task reminders is difficult in Excel.
3: You have no way of cross-referencing and searching marketing campaigns.
4: You want to remotely track your sales team’s pipeline, projects & client interactions.
5: You want to easily find historical emails for your contacts and projects.
6: You want to link unrelated contacts to projects they are collaborating on.
Using a CRM in the early stages of business growth will help you setup ongoing sales processes, manage customer relationships and close important deals. As your business grows, you’ll have a system in place to track leads, sales, projects, and tasks. A CRM is scaleable, meaning a business can easily add new employees to the system to ensure they adopt the standard way of working. This is essential to prevent employees creating their own standalone spreadsheets and workflows (making it impossible to understand and analyse what they are doing and with who).
When should you implement a CRM? Yesterday’s gone. Tomorrow never comes…
Map out and ingrain your sales process:
Train your staff how to use the CRM
Use workflow automation to avoid repetition