CRM or Customer Relationship Management can be quite intimidating for small and medium-sized enterprises. After all, if a business has just a handful of customers, why would there be a need to go for a dedicated system or process to keep track of the prospects. Just a few spreadsheets and thumb rules would be fine, isn’t it?
Well, overall, it sounds ok, but what will happen when the business starts booming? At a certain, the business will need to have a customer contact management system, right? At that point, it will be necessary to keep everything streamlined and organized, isn’t it? In that case, spreadsheets won’t serve the purpose anymore. In such a situation, the shift can be painful, especially if the decision has been put off by a few months or perhaps years. In case there is a CRM in place, it becomes easy for a business to scale.
At the core, a CRM is not just about large enterprises and companies; rather, it is fast becoming essential for all types and sizes of business. However, no need to go by perceptions. It has been found that more than 70 percent of sales managers have confirmed that CRM is crucial for driving and increasing sales. The other way round, CRM can help to retain customers by almost more than 25 percent.
A CRM is a software that can help businesses to keep track of interactions with the present and future consumers. The goal is to develop a system that can help the sales and marketing teams be more effective and efficient. Going ahead would ensure that the right leads are passed on to the sales team, which is a crucial aspect of developing a robust relationship with the sales team.
Sales people make use of CRM differently. They use it for sourcing prospective consumers. It further allows communicating with them and also tracks their interactions. Having the entire prospect history in one place makes it convenient to improve productivity and increase efficiency. For example, a business with a CRM will not require its sales representative to hunt through a heap of emails to recall where a particular interaction was left off.
Even an average small business CRM allows sales and marketing team to see where a prospect is currently positioned in the buying cycle and what else is there in the pipeline.
Who Is Best Suited For A CRM
The most appropriate answer would be – any company that seeks to maintain a relationship with its customers can take advantage of CRM software. To be more specific, there are two types of businesses that can benefit the most from a CRM. The first is the B2B (Business To Business) entities that require tracking customers and leads through long cycles of sales and upgrade paths. Examples of such businesses are recruiting agencies or software companies.
The second is B2C companies like a landscaping company, insurance, technology, realtor or investment advisor agencies, or perhaps other service companies. Having said that, there might be a few companies that may not exactly fit the profile but can still benefit a lot by using CRM. Another way businesses can understand whether or not a CRM application can help a business is by thinking of the challenges a CRM can solve. These include:
- Whether there is a need to maintain a list of information regarding customers and leads or not?
- Is information related to different places?
- Are the prospects interacting with multiple people on the team?
- How do the employees keep track of the interactions with the prospects?
- Is the team following a structured process?
- Do people need to struggle to understand the productivity of the sales team?
If the answer is yes to even one of the above questions, the chances are high that the business would benefit from a CRM, even an Open Source CRM.
Small businesses can benefit from CRM in the following ways:
Better Leads For Both Sales and Marketing
It is always helpful to know when a potential customer is going through the website. A CRM can help to know how many times a potential prospect has visited the site or interacted with someone from the sales team. Such information is available in real-time, and it not only benefits the sales team but the marketing team as well.
Smarketing – Sales and Marketing Alignment
Sales and marketing both need to hit a number each month. If both the teams can see each other’s metrics, it becomes convenient for them to identify and remedy issues at an early stage. It further promotes accountability for all.
CRM not only extends complete visibility, but it also helps to prioritize prospects and opportunities.
When marketing is integrated into CRM, it helps to analyze the effectiveness of the campaigns. Therefore, it becomes easy to send customer focused information and attribute a prospect to a specific channel and campaign.
To effectively reap all the benefits of a CRM. Businesses must choose the one that fits best with the current requirements and grow as the business expands.