Update 6/29/2021: This post has been updated with additional information about CRM Software and its benefits.
Small and medium businesses make up for the most significant number of enterprises in any economy – whether a developed country like the US or the UK or an emerging nation like India or Indonesia. Many small businesses are engaged in niche customer services or are providing valuable B2B links in the supply chain.
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SMBs have to compete with their larger corporate rivals – having greater reach, more funds, a bigger talent pool, and a better network. Sometimes, SMBs and corporate both woo the same set of customers and as SMBs are not great at customer relations, they lose out on the orders.
The need for CRM software for small businesses is felt never before than during the COVID-19 restrictions. SMBs that already had access to customer relationship management solutions could better retain their customers compared to those who lacked this advantage.
The best legal CRM solutions allowed the small and medium business owners to effectively manage operational challenges, including client attrition, dropping sales, revenue realization, misaligned sales force strategies, and unmet revenue targets.
This article will discuss why CRM software for small businesses has become an essential business tool that you cannot ignore. By deploying the tools of the customer relationship management system effectively, you retain your existing customers and acquire new ones to grow your business even in these testing times.
Here are the main benefits that the use of CRM software will bring to your business and operations:
1. Bring Structure and Organize Operations
You have to wear many hats as a small business owner – meeting clients, managing employees’ tasks, attending to business emails & calls, scheduling salesforce routines, managing business operations, and whatnot. A CRM will bring all the customer and sales-related information to a single platform, integrating all activities from a central dashboard.
You can assign targets to the sales team from your office, manage leads, check their status, help your section businesses if they get stuck, personalize the experience for customers, and better engage with them. Synchronization will bring a structure and organization to the sales and customer service workflows, making them efficient, responsive, and accountable.
2. Manage Sales
With CRM software for small businesses, you can seamlessly integrate your sales activities with your accounting, production, and inventory systems. This will give a clearer and accurate picture of the monthly production and procurement targets, workforce needs, and cash management.
An accurate forecast of sales and delivery schedules alone can bring considerable benefits in the form of reduced working capital requirements, adoption of JIT manufacturing practices, and shorter accounts-receivable cycle. You can increase the customer experience management system with better service and aim for a larger average deal size per order. You will be in a unique position to cross-sell and upsell your offerings effectively.
3. Effective Sales Strategy
One of the uses of a CRM solution is to develop an effective sales strategy based on hard facts and data rather than whims, gut feelings, and inaccurate information. A winning sales strategy can be the difference between the winners and in the long race.
An effective sales strategy will help you target customers with more potential and invest more effort and time. You can drop the leads that seem to be unpromising early on, thereby saving your precious time. With more information about each client, capturing every interaction with them and tracing all their activities will help you identify the right customers from the wrong ones.
4. Centralized Data and Remote Access
Whether the CMR installation is on-premises or on the cloud, it gives you a centralized store of customer information about every client. The security of this data is critical as it is the lifeblood of your business, and its security becomes more accessible with it being in a central repository.
A centralized data store can also provide you with additional benefits such as the opportunity to implement data mining and analytics, share insights from one location, effective collaboration, better user management, a complete and accurate picture of each client, and so on.
If the CRM is deployed on the cloud, then you can provide remote access to your sales force in the field with strategic and tactical support without making a call. You can scale your operations by empowering the team with smartphone-enabled apps and portals to capture customer requirements and experiences.
5. Effective Customer Interactions
With a CRM in place, you can track your customer’s digital journey on your website, social media, and other digital channels in real-time, know what they want, and offer that right away! Developing, having, and nurturing good customer relationships requires deep insights and processes to enable them.
You can consolidate all data relate to customers from multiple sources and platforms in the centralized repository to be accessed only by authorized users. The CRM can track customers on different platforms and look for changes in their preferences, contact details, and needs. Proper complaint ticketing, responsive agents, efficient after-sales service, and transparent costing builds customer loyalties that you can rely on for a long.
With effective customer interactions, you will not only get repeat and larger orders from your customer base, but they will be your biggest brand ambassadors. The word-of-mouth publicity will ring you in more customers, more revenues, without having to spend much on marketing. This requires a consolidated view of all the interactions and needs of all customers, and CRM software for small businesses can help you with that.
6. Leads Management
Asking agents to make cold calls to a bunch of numbers collected from malls or door-to-door surveys does not get you new orders. Leads require nurturing, just like a baby does. Every leader needs to be classified as potential, maybe, or a dud lead. With a lead management module in the CRM solution, you can manage leads, organize them, track how they evolve, and track your agents’ performance working on them.
One of the standard tools of customer relationship management solutions is their ability to track your leads on multiple social media channels, where you get to know them better. This makes it easier to convince them by leveraging the information to start a conversation. By investing more time on better and prospective leads, you’ll get more revenue per dollar spent on chasing leads.
7. Empower your SalesForce
With a cloud-based CRM solution, you can empower your sales team and help them close the deals even when they are in the field. They can prepare quotations, get technical advice from analysts back at the office, offer exclusive discounts on bulk deals and too long-time customers just by logging into the CRM remotely.
If you are expanding operations into new territories, products, or sectors, then the use of CRM can be very critical to your success. Onboarding more salespersons, assigning them teams, targets, leads, tracking them, monitoring their performance, and communicating with them can be done easily and quickly.
An efficient CRM system will help you automate many of these processes and empower your sales force to approach customers with confidence, information, and a solution. An empowered sales force is enterprising and enthusiastic and delivers better than average performance every time.
8. Evaluate Performance
With a CRM solution, you can track, monitor, and evaluate the performance of every key input on all key metrics. For example, you can find out if the campaign run in local trade magazines was a better success than the social media campaign. You can compare the sales by region, product, category, salesperson, season, customer, month, or another conceivable filter.
The plans you made and the target that you set could be used by the CRM solution to compare how much better or worse you are doing compared to the intended track. This comparison can be made in real-time at any frequency that suits your needs.
AI-driven analytics can help you track the business performance like never before and give you suggestions on fixing any deviations from the normal. The feedback from the field teams can help your designers and analysts to deliver better solutions in the next patch or update.
Digital channels like social media are potent tools that you can use wisely to your advantage. Multiple platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, Linked In, and many more can all be integrated to receive continuous feed on customer activities.
You can track your existing customers, your leads and find new customers as well. Social media platforms are the treasure trove of data, and an efficient CRM solution can deliver you excellent results. You can even manage and run campaigns from within the CRM and provide analytics to your dashboard.
CRM software for small businesses and medium enterprises is not only essential for your growth but increasingly for your survival in the competitive marketplace. The sooner you adopt and learn the effective use of CRM, the sooner you leave your competition behind.
Given these advantages, you need all the customer relationship management tools, even if it meant changing old ways and switching to an AI-drive, cloud-based CRM solution.