You can’t fix a leaky pipe with a broom or climb a mountain with a raft, right? Having the right tool for any job is one of the keys to being successful. This is especially true for your business sales. Without the right tools, it’s difficult to be successful.
There is a range of sales tools to choose, but one tool stands out from the crowd. Read on to learn about the one sales tool all small and midsize businesses (SMBs) need.
If you’ve ever misplaced a potential customer’s information or, worse yet, forgotten an important follow-up commitment you made to a prospect, you know the pain of information overload. Building customer relationships is the backbone of any sales organization but without a system to organize the incredible volume of customer information that accrues, your business will struggle with effectiveness. At the very least, you won’t reach your potential. And missed potential probably means lost sales.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is the process and system for managing all your customer information. Of all the business tools needed to run your business, CRM is the foundational system which will allow you to make the most of every interaction and organize your marketing and sales strategies to facilitate growth.
- Organizing information is critical to managing all of your customer information in one place. With a robust CRM, your business can develop a single source to coordinate marketing, sales and customer experience information. Your business will maximize every customer interaction which leads to increased engagement and improved customer experience.
- Data tracking and analysis is essential in today’s marketplace. CRM can harness information about customer engagement at every intersection in your marketing and sales process. Use CRM for lead scoring to prioritize your leads and invest time in those with greatest potential to become customers. With CRM, you can know how and when customers respond to each aspect of your strategy, monitor customer response trends and adjust campaigns within your strategy to bring greater value to customers.
- CRM is actually a tool for building customer relationships, which is the heartbeat of a sales organization. Because CRM manages all your customer information and data, your team (even if your team is you and your laptop right now) gains more capacity to invest time in nurturing leads who become customers. Email automation will expand your resources even further while improving customer follow-up.
How to choose a CRM
- A CRM must integrate well with other systems and processes already at work in your business. Look for a CRM that will work well with present resources and adapt to meet future business need.
- And speaking of meeting future business need, your CRM needs to be scalable to accommodate growth and changing marketplace trends. Select a CRM that is flexible to respond to change and adaptable to support growth.
- The most important thing about having a CRM is using it. Choose a CRM that is designed to support the user. The process flow should be clear and easy to use.
Putting CRM to work
- Do your homework to prepare for integrating CRM in your business. CRM is a versatile and robust tool with broad capabilities. Take time to understand the scope of functions CRM can offer. Develop a strategy for using CRM incrementally to meet your business needs. For a small business, CRM can begin as a basic customer contact system. As your business grows and for larger businesses, you may wish to integrate a broader range of CRM.
- Communicate and train employees throughout the CRM implementation process. Introduce the CRM tool and capabilities to your team to prepare them for the change in process. Share the vision for increased efficiency, productivity and enhanced customer experience through the CRM system. Engage employees in every aspect of the transition to CRM. Provide information, ongoing training and keep communication channels open to respond to your team about the new system and process.
- Be consistent with developing your internal process for using CRM. Document your processes from the beginning and establish checkpoints to evaluate and refine how your team interacts with the tool to make the most of CRM. Keep process flow documents updated to make training new employees easier.
There are many demands and competing priorities for a small business and choosing the right tools to maximize your time and talent is critical to your business success. A robust, adaptable CRM will create synergies in your business. By organizing all your customer data in a single location, and leveraging data in a scalable system, you’ll make the most of current resources and be ready for future growth.