A customer relationship management software, or CRM, can be very valuable for small and big businesses alike. Various studies have been conducted to gauge the effectiveness of using CRM. In one of them, it was revealed that implementing a CRM system increases sales by 29%! For small businesses, this increase might be essential for survival.
Previously, CRM systems were only available for enterprise. Small businesses didn’t have enough resources to bear the cost of having CRM tools. However, now, small business sales CRM
systems are springing up. As more integrated platforms arrive, the cost of owning them is decreasing. This, in turn, makes them accessible by small businesses.
Just because your small business can now afford a CRM system doesn’t mean you should implement them right away. You must only do so when your business is ready for it and can reap advantages from it. Here are some signs that you are ready for a CRM system.
1. Your employees have to deal with multiple spreadsheets on a daily basis
When a business starts, things are not that complicated. This is why you don’t need an integrated platform from the get-go. However, as your organization gains momentum, one thing that you will notice is how difficult it gets to manage spreadsheets! Each of your employees will have various spreadsheets that they are dealing with. The problem with juggling with different worksheets is that your employees don’t get to organize business information on a single platform. This can lead to difficulties in communication. A CRM system can solve this issue. So, when your spreadsheets start getting out of your hand, know that it is time to move onto a well-integrated CRM system.
2. You are finding it increasingly difficult to identify ideal buyers
Identifying your target audience is very crucial for the success of your business. You need to know who your best clients are, and when and where can they be found in the digital landscape. This allows you to target them accordingly. Remember, mass marketing is a thing of the past. Micromarketing is the present and the future.
Finding your ideal buyers without CRM systems can be very tricky. If you are finding it impossible to detect your best customers, it is time to use a CRM system. Such an automation system tracks and reports the behavior of those who visit your website. Moreover, it also delivers data about email responses and customer purchases. This makes segmentation quite an easy task.
3. You are forced to transfer customer calls from one department to another
You can’t expect to go far if you don’t deliver the best customer experience. This doesn’t just refer to the purchase experience. Instead, building a long-lasting relationship involves being there for your clients during the post-purchase phase as well. How you deal with your customers when they call you is one aspect of the post-purchase experience.
Think about it. When customers call at your office, are they transferred from one person to another because the data needed to resolve their issue is distributed among various departments? If so, this is a sure sign that you need to implement a CRM system.
A CRM system allows all of your employees to access data regarding each of your customers. Since all the data is concentrated on one location, you don’t have to keep your clients waiting. Instead, you can resolve their issues as quickly as possible and thereby reduce frustration.
4. Your customers are dissatisfied
There is a high probability that you keep track of your customer satisfaction rates. After all, the long-term success of your business depends on whether or not your customers are satisfied. If you are unable to satisfy your customers and are clueless why this is so, this is a sign that you need a CRM system.
How can a CRM system help you in dealing with dissatisfied customers? Well, CRM systems deliver the business intelligence and analytical data needed to understand customer behavior and purchase experience across various touchpoints. It allows you to know what they like and what they don’t prefer. For instance, do your customers prefer being contacted online or via phone? At what time do they prefer getting contacted from brands? Which of your product or service are they interested in? By learning more about the customers’ buying patterns, you can pinpoint where you are falling short and solve the issue accordingly.
5. Your critical business data is at risk
What’s the biggest problem with spreadsheets? Well, they can accidentally be deleted never to be recovered again! When your business surpasses a certain level, such accidents can be lethal. Not to mention that anyone can copy and share the data present on spreadsheets without you really knowing.
Once you become a strong contender in your industry, your critical data is at risk of accidents and theft. This is when it is time to shift to a CRM software. These systems are equipped with high-level security to prevent data theft and data loss.
6. Your workforce is duplicating work
What happens when you don’t know that someone else has already worked on a given task? You have to do it all over again. Duplication of work is not a problem during the initial days of small businesses. However, once you have enough people on board and enough clients, duplication of work become a problem. If you find your employees all doing the same thing rather than sharing the knowledge, you must move to a CRM system.
A CRM system provides a single platform which is accessible by all employees. This helps in benefiting from the shared knowledge and reduces work duplication.
If your small business is exhibiting these six signs, know that it is time. Move to a quality CRM system and watch as your sales and revenue increases. With the right tools, your small business can achieve greatness.
Audrey Throne is a mother of a 3-year old and a professional blogger by choice. Throne is passionate about lifestyle, business, automotive, technology and management and blogs frequently on these topics. Find her on Twitter: @audrey_throne.