Outgrowing Your Contact-Management System? Make the Leap to CRM
For a small business owner, sales professional, or new entrepreneur, a contact-management solution is a jumping-off point for effective CRM. Nevertheless, though contact-management systems provide SMBs (small- to medium-sized businesses) an opportunity to organize time and manage contacts, a CRM system is key to fueling enterprise growth and yielding more robust sales.
What is CRM?
Customer Relationship Management system software is a technology that helps business owners manage all their company’s relationships and interactions with current and potential customers. CRM system software enables businesses in connecting with customers in an improved manner and enhance their profitability. CRM software solutions allow you to maintain and improve your organization’s relationships with customers, service users, colleagues, and suppliers, by offering support and additional services. With a CRM system in place, you can store customers' contact information, identify sales opportunities, and manage marketing campaigns from a single central location, further streamlining the process and facilitating ease for all.
What are the Best CRM Software choices for 2022?
There is a lot of competition among the various CRM tools. To make the right choice for your business, it’s best to compare CRM software and pay attention to CRM reviews shared by current and previous users. Since we aim to enable small business owners interested in learning about the best CRMs, we have shared below our top choices of software that have received the highest CRM ratings for 2022:
- HubSpot CRM
- Monday CRM
- Oracle NetSuite CRM
- Pipedrive CRM
- Sage CRM
- Zoho CRM
How do you know when to graduate with a more robust CRM system? Consider the following factors.
Managing Contacts Vs. Developing Customer Relationships
Managing contacts is simply having the correct contact information for customers and prospects, tracking your communications history with them, and scheduling upcoming callbacks or meetings. These days, getting this data is mandatory for anyone starting a business, ranking up there with having a workspace, phone, email address, and accounting system.
On the other hand, developing customer relationships is proactively managing prospects and customers throughout their life cycle with your company. As your business grows, your teams and customer base will expand, making proactive management critical. Developing relationships is about marketing to customers personally, effectively working complex sales cycles, and capturing all interactions with them before and after the sale.
When businesses move to this level of managing customer relationships, they can boost customer satisfaction, improve retention and grow their businesses.
5 Signs That You Need a CRM Upgrade
How do you know when to move beyond managing contacts to a more formal CRM approach? Here are some critical signs:
- Your customer-facing staff is growing, yet you and other departments are disconnected from what they're doing.
- You've received a customer complaint about service and your staff doesn't have an answer for what went wrong.
- You think your competition is beating you, but you're not sure how often and why — whether that's the number of deals, increased market share, or another factor.
- You're not conducting effective email marketing, yet others in your industry are.
- Your remote staff is growing, but tracking customer communications in one central repository is complex.
CRM Investment Delivers a Competitive Edge
An investment in CRM means proactively managing customer relationships to gain a competitive edge. CRM processes enable companies to give personalized communications and services. Hence, customers feel valued — the same experience when a business owner or staff knows them and values their business. It becomes increasingly challenging to deliver that level of service as your business grows, but CRM can help keep that personalized touch.
Some key business processes that can be managed through a CRM software solution include:
- Collaboration among customer-facing team members: Whether in sales, customer service, marketing, or management, staff can track a customer's progress and have a high level of confidence regarding the last touch point with a client. Moreover, as your teams grow and multiple people are helping a customer, follow-up calls and other activities can be assigned to another employee to assist the customer better.
- Customer-service case management for tracking and resolving issues: Help desks and reps can generate customer-service tickets to help track and resolve customer issues to retain satisfied clients. They can also help your small business improve its products as you track the number of calls or complaints against specific products or parts.
- Proactive, personalized email marketing: This feature is also known as one-to-one email marketing and provides avenues to regularly contact customers with various customized offerings, either up-sell or cross-sell.
- Complex sales management and forecasting: CRM will help your sales teams collaborate throughout the sales cycle and track an overall pipeline if you have long or complex sales cycles.
- Automation of processes to streamline work for employees and improve response to customer inquiries: If resources are tight in your small business, automation will help you focus staff time where it's most valuable by taking care of other activities. This is key to improving response times and ensuring all staff is familiar with customer interactions.
Maximize Customer Satisfaction and Revenue
Ultimately, CRM technologies and processes help businesses maximize customer satisfaction and grow revenue. But there are other areas where small business owners experience CRM benefits, such as insight and productivity. As an owner watching your business grow and having less direct contact with customers, you can still maintain visibility and track customer activity — seeing the number of outstanding customer-service cases or getting a more accurate sales forecast. Productivity steers the automation of customer communications. Automation allows you to satisfy customers by setting the right expectations, and you don't need to dedicate manual labor to the effort. So, you're seeing results with the same number of employees.
Customers are the key to growing a business. They should be given the royal treatment at every point of contact. Moving to CRM will help your whole team better understand and respond to customers' needs and ultimately help your business grow.