You’ve no doubt heard of the CRM craze. In fact, with over 90% of all businesses with more than 11 workers using some CRM solution, you might be already using one. However, there’s still a chance your company has fewer employees, or you’re among the 10% who don’t use one yet. Or, it might be that you’re using a CRM solution but haven’t fully tapped into its potential. No matter which is true for you, we’re here to explain the ways your small business can benefit from CRM software.
What is CRM?
Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, solutions are an ambitious type of software. At the same time, rest assured they’re as simple as can be. At their core, they’re systems that track and manage your interactions with customers. Thus, they can provide a transparent database with all your customer information, as well as other specialized features.
Basic CRM features
First things first, let us explain the basic CRM features you’ll see most solutions offer.
#1 A searchable database
As we’ve mentioned above, the most basic function of CRM is a customer database. This database contains all your customer information and makes contact management more straightforward. All the ways in which your small business can benefit from CRM software start from this essential function.
#2 Interaction tracking
Through this database, CRM lets you track your interaction history with each customer. Think of conversation history, customer support inquiries, and everything in-between.
#3 Lead management
Finally, these insights allow you to track and manage potential customers or leads. Through this function, you can apply lead scoring and move potential customers through your sales pipeline, hopefully reaching a sale. What’s handy about this is that you can score leads based on your own unique criteria so that you track what matters most to you.
Types of CRM
Speaking of, let us then define the different types of CRM. To begin with, CRM solutions are usually cloud-based, but on-premise solutions exist as well. That aside, all such solutions come with a core set of features and can then specialize. This is a crowded market because of this, but we can divide CRM into three categories, each with its own focus.
- Operational – service, sales, and marketing automation
- Analytical – predictive modeling, profitability analysis, and customer segmentation
- Collaborative – interaction and channel management
As you can see, each offers something unique that may best fit your business. Of course, small businesses typically don’t need such specialized options – but it never hurts to know what’s out there.
How can a small business benefit from CRM software?
Now, having said all that, let’s return to the very first point. Many believe that CRM is only useful to large businesses, but that’s a very, very wrong assumption.
Consider that CRM intends to improve your interactions with customers. Which business doesn’t want, or need, to put their customers’ experience first? Exactly. Finally, consider how many CRM solutions are affordable because they specifically target small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs). You don’t need to break the bank to use CRM while offering a tremendous return on investment (ROI).
Top reasons why your small business needs CRM
So we’ve touched on its capabilities and core functions. Now, let’s explore the specific ways your small business can benefit from CRM software.
#1 It drives sales through proper lead nurturing
Probably the most vital CRM benefit, it lets you drive sales. It achieves this by allowing you to nurture leads more effectively, from the first touchpoint with your business all the way to a transaction.
Once you’ve generated a lead, it’s vital to remember that it may not lead to a sale. In fact, the vast majority of leads won’t pull the trigger. Through accurate, thorough information on their journey, you can inform your marketing strategies and optimize your email campaigns. You’ll know when to reach out, when to follow up, and when simply to give up. No matter the size of your business, this level of insight can only be valuable.
#2 It lets you improve the customer experience
Similarly, with such insights on each customer, CRM offers various options and allows you to streamline your entire sales funnel. You can assess which lead generation strategies fail for you and refine them. You can more accurately personalize marketing emails. And with your customers’ history in hand, you can more easily provide personalized, quality customer support.
In all of these ways, you can improve the customer experience on the whole and better satisfy your customers. After all, getting new customers costs much more than retaining the ones you have, so small businesses value customer retention.
#3 It improves your workflow
Similarly, from better organization to automation, CRM can help you improve your workflow. Is this only useful for large businesses? Absolutely not. In fact, smaller teams may even appreciate it more. When every working hour counts, being able to automate mundane, repetitive everyday tasks is excellent. An improved workflow means a more cost-effective daily schedule for you and your team.
#4 It lets your teams cooperate and manage multiple channels
On a similar note, CRM lets you coordinate your teams more effectively. Smaller groups will likely need this less, but it’s still useful. What’s more, it can allow you to manage multiple channels more efficiently. You may have various social media profiles to help you expand, on top of customer support and other platforms. CRM can let you gather them all in one place and manage them effectively, saving you valuable time and effort.
#5 It allows you to maximize your resources
Finally, as a sum of all the above, CRM lets you maximize your resources. Through all the ways your small business can benefit from CRM software, you can minimize wasted resources and focus on growth. Especially when resources are limited, you’ll want every working hour and every invested cent to count. And through all of its insights and conveniences, CRM lets you do just that; focus on what matters, improve what works, and leave behind what doesn’t.