If you’re part of an emerging small business, keeping track of your customers’ histories, sales opportunities, marketing campaigns and other key data points is likely essential to your future success. The question is … Are you still depending on inefficient and error-prone spreadsheets and disconnected databases for this information or have you automated these tasks with a flexible CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system?
If your answer is the former, we suggest you start researching CRM systems immediately! Here’s why. A CRM system gives you instant, real-time access to all your sales, marketing and customer service data “under one roof,” so that you can make the best possible decisions and win new customers. And when you implement a CRM solution that is either part of or seamlessly integrates with an industry-leading business management solution, you’ll have a 360-degree view of all your business processes without having to go back and forth between disconnected databases
Below, we’ll drill down into seven specific advantages that small businesses gain when employing a CRM system as part of the overall business strategy:
1: Build Successful and Sustaining Customer Relationships
Customers want to know that you’re attentive and responsive. If you’re relying on manual systems, as noted above, this is a more challenging proposition as things can “slip through the cracks,” no matter how well-intentioned you are. With a CRM system on-board, all of your customer data is secure in one place and you can set up all the alerts you need to ensure that you never miss an opportunity to stay in touch with your current customers and win new customers. This, in turn, helps you earn their trust and confidence, which leads to longer-term and more profitable relationships. Additionally, these loyal customers can become “evangelists” for your products and services, which turns into more leads that you can convert.
2: Stay on Top of Your Game with Automation
A CRM system is a tremendous asset for organizing nearly every component of the sales process. Tasks such as tracking sales appointments, following up with leads and conducting post-sales activities are automated so you’re always on top of your game. Built-in alerts ensure that you’re always on time for meetings, generating periodic reports and staying in touch with your customers and prospects. Moreover, you can keep track of other essential information such as sales forecasts and sales conversion rates. Bottom line – a worthy CRM system will make you a better salesperson.
3: Own the Big Picture with Seamless Integration
The right CRM package can integrate with the leading business management software to deliver information across sales, marketing, accounting and other departments. This enables you to align your customer and sales information with all your other business management processes. So, make sure that any CRM solution you evaluate offers integration with industry-leading third-party solutions.
4: Execute Targeted Marketing for Higher ROI
CRM systems should be able to support your targeted marketing efforts in a wide variety of ways. For example, you’ll want the ability to create and execute targeted campaigns to your leads. Personalized email campaigns are a great way to deliver your message and your CRM system can facilitate those efforts. Your CRM should also help you coordinate your social media outreach, which can prove quite beneficial in attracting prospects to your products and services. Moreover, you’ll be able to match up specific campaigns with actual results to better determine which strategies are working and which aren’t.
5: Maximize Up-Sell and Cross-Sell Opportunities
A worthy CRM solution will provide you with the required tools to effectively analyze your customers’ purchasing patterns to promote cross- and up-selling opportunities and generate more sales, in general. Insightful information can be extracted from previous order history and your customers’ product preferences to help determine the best time to offer promotions, discounts, special pricing, etc. to help boost sales.
6: Leverage Departmental Cross Collaboration
If your CRM is part of a centralized business management system, your colleagues in other departments may have authorized access to CRM information. For example, the marketing team can use the stored customer data to design targeted marketing campaigns and then analyze the results of those efforts in order to improve future campaigns. Working collaboratively with your associates in other parts of the company, you’ll be able to leverage skills across the enterprise to achieve greater profitability and deliver higher levels of customer service.
7: Develop Close Customer Interaction with Integrated Social Media
Social media is omnipresent and it is the go-to platform where consumers can voice their approval/disapproval about products and services. It’s also a place where businesses and their customers can interact directly and develop more personal relationships and for sellers to deliver more personalized products and services to meet their customers’ desires. In other words, social media as a component of targeted marketing cannot be overstated.
This fact has led to the development of “Social CRM,” in which businesses utilize the power and reach of social media to develop closer relationships with their customers, and win new customers, by following them on the most popular social media outlets. To support this approach, more and more CRM software packages are incorporating social media capabilities, empowering businesses to stay in constant touch with their customers, which results in more leads and sales, and improved customer service.
It Just Makes Good Business Sense
Conduct your research online, speak to other businesses in your industry that use CRM and make sure that the software can seamlessly integrate with third-party add-ons so that all departments can access the same information in real time. Adding a CRM to your business strategy not only gives you 7 ways to win new customers – it just makes good business sense!
Find out more by signing up for our free webinar “7 Ways to Win New Customers” on 14th March @ 10.30am Pacific. We look forward to seeing you there!