Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software solutions are a business must-have for creating an accurate, valuable customer or client database. Beyond that though, a CRM can also introduce some great benefits into your business, from increases in productivity to improved service and conversion rates.
Cloud-based CRM systems are swiftly rising in popularity, particularly among small businesses who can take advantage of enterprise-grade tools for an affordable cost that fits into the tight budget of a small company. As a result, a CRM is typically one of the first software investments a small company makes.
But what are the key CRM capabilities and features that will bring the most benefit to your small business, in the short and long-term?
This brief guide covers some of our favorite CRM tools and functionalities for small businesses.
One of the most important components of a good CRM system is usability. You want a system that is easy to use and offers intuitive dashboards and tools that are simple and functional. A CRM can be a great tool for your small business, but only if your team feels comfortable using it and can easily figure out not only how the system works, but how it can be used to streamline manual work, improve efficiency, and boost customer or client retention rates.
The first CRM system that you implement in your small business should have robust tools for creating, managing, and tracking all of your business contacts. If you’ve been manually keeping track of contacts with spreadsheets or other methods, you can begin by uploading all of your existing contacts into your CRM to create contact records.
Many CRM solutions even have automation tools available for contact management, which will create a contact for anyone who engages with your business from your website, social channels, email, etc. (depending on the rules and integrations you have in place).
Tracking leads is a vital CRM function, and implementing these tools early on in your small business will not only capture lead data, but also help you grow more quickly by nurturing leads and making the most of every opportunity that comes into your small company. You can create follow-up tasks and reminders to help your teams stay in touch with leads all the way to conversion (and beyond) as well as automate follow-up sequences that integrate with your email client to send important communication at key points during your lead cycles.
CRM solutions typically offer tools that help you track all your efforts and interactions with contacts, leads, clients, and customers. You can create to-do lists that are specific to a client or set up reminders for lead follow up to make sure that you don’t forget any important tasks you need to complete. These tasks display in the CRM tool, and can also be paired with email reminders so that you always stay on track with your goals and communication.
Integrated email and social tools help you gather key details in your CRM through email, custom webforms, and social media that you can then use to craft highly targeted marketing materials that will resound with your consumers. This can be particularly powerful if you own a small to medium-sized business because it can help you gain deep insight into your customer’s preferences and demographics much more quickly and easily, which will make your marketing dollars much more effective.
Most all CRM solutions have reporting and analytics tools that you can use to put your stored data together in meaningful ways and analyze to see developing trends or catch issues that might be forthcoming. You can run reports ad hoc, or you can set up an automated reporting system to send you daily, weekly, and monthly reports based on your custom parameters.
When choosing a CRM system for your small company, it’s important to keep your growth plans in mind. You want a CRM that gives you all the tools and features you need right now in your business, but you should keep scaling in mind. A CRM that is customizable and easy to scale as you grow is important so that your investment keeping paying for itself over time (and you avoid having to switch systems down the line for more advanced features).
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Please visit our CRM software page for a complete list of all the solutions we have on offer. Need more help? Drop us an e-mail at email@example.com and we’ll be happy to assist you!