So, you think creating systems in your small company is an indulgence? Customer relationship management (CRM) systems can benefit small businesses in a number of ways – even those staffed by only a few personnel. Many small businesses may consider CRM systems a luxury, but these systems can streamline business processes, improve sales and marketing strategy and increase sales performance while taking some of the burden off of small business owners and staff. In addition, sales automation with CRM systems can help small businesses:
- build stronger customer relationships
- turns leads into sales
- improve customer retention and loyalty
CRM Implementation is not a Small Business indulgence
Most small businesses – in fact, any business – need every edge they can get. I don’t understand why many still fail to implement a reasonable CRM-based sales automation solution. It’s like leaving a $1,000.00 bill on the ground – stoopid. Sales automation for small businesses means
- eliminating duplicate processes
- providing sales and marketing staff more time to spend on sales and marketing.
- a cohesive view of customer and lead information across the organization
- more sales closed more quickly
- data security if someone leaves the company
- Keeps management in the loop
CRMs helps eliminate the staff member as a point of failure. If, for some reasons, a specific salesperson can no longer work on an account, sales automation allows another salesperson can pick up right where the previous resource stopped engaging. It provides a basic tool that helps the rep be more effective – that’s no small thing.
Improving workflow in many cases means improving customer relationships – a critical factor for business success. Even in today’s fast-paced digital world, word-of-mouth still matters, this is especially for small businesses catering to a localized clientele. CRM implementations can give sales staff the productivity tools to build strong customer relationships more easily and quickly.
Contact management database – Win friends and influence people
In addition to optimizing relationships:
- CRM systems allow sales staff to keep all relevant marketing data in a single location – including data about customer preferences and buying history .
- CRMs can also help sales staff keep track of their interactions with customers by enabling staff to record email, phone, IM chat and social media interactions.
- CRM can help sales staff keep customer interactions personalized by providing historical records of previous interactions.
- CRM doesn’t just provide benefits for sales and marketing. The same holistic view of customers information can provide a more engaging customer service and billing experience improving customer satisfaction and loyalty.
In addition to just making customers feel good, many customers are willing to pay higher prices for better service from a more informed staff. Larger enterprises are known for having much higher rates of customer dissatisfaction because of their lack of knowledge about their customers. Small businesses are in the unique position to provide a much higher level of customer service by facilitating closer relationships and more informed interactions.
Shake that moneymaker
How much can CRM implementations improve small business performance. Studies show their can be significant benefits:
- Lead conversion rates can improve by as much as 300%,
- Customer retention rates can increase by as much as 27%.
- The extra time CRM systems give to sales staff can increase each individual revenues by more than 40%.
Given the number of benefits that CRM systems provide, it should no longer be considered a luxury for small businesses, but rather important tool for increasing sales revenue. Are you waiting until your business gets “established enough” to implement a CRM system? With the benefits that CRM provides to help you build your business, how does that even make sense?