As your business has grown, you’ve probably had to upgrade everything from your payroll system to your IT infrastructure. But have you considered your marketing and customer management tools? If you still rely on spreadsheets to track sales opportunities, or hunt through countless emails to find customer contact information, then you’re missing out on the valuable opportunities and time savings that a CRM system can offer.
At its core, a CRM system provides your business with a turn-key customer relationship management toolset. Sales and marketing efforts are integrated into the system, which makes planning and scheduling business development activities a breeze. Many CRMs offer additional components such as social media integration, online reporting tools, and email marketing and event management. The bottom line is that your company can take advantage of a unified, customer-centric platform that will drive business development and eliminate wasted time and effort. Here are three ways your business can benefit from using a CRM.
Centralized contact management
Forget about emailing outdated lists of contacts back and forth between coworkers; now your team can store all of their important business contacts in one centralized location. Instead of running into stale contact information or bounced email addresses, everyone on your team will benefit from having instant access to the most up-to-date and relevant contact information. And best of all, online or mobile access to the CRM puts more power directly in the hands of your team members.
Business development reminders and reports
If you’ve been relying on calendar reminders to touch base with your customers, then you’ll love the extensive business development capabilities provided by a CRM. You can schedule and track upcoming client touch points, and you can even see the same information recorded by your team members. Instead of wondering who is on deck to meet with a customer, the information is at your fingertips. Then, take your business development efforts to the next level by looking at CRM reports of past and upcoming customer activities so you can form a smarter growth strategy.
An ongoing record of customer communications
Without a CRM, important customer communications can get buried in your team members’ email inboxes and phones. No one knows which meetings, phone calls, or communications took place. But today’s CRMs integrate with Outlook and other email systems to seamlessly track and manage customer communications. With a single click, your team will be able to instantly track meetings, conversations, or any other key information for a given contact.
The CRM industry is constantly adapting to meet the needs of businesses both large and small. While Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365 are two of the biggest enterprise CRM systems, there are plenty of free and low cost CRMs that are specifically designed to address small business needs. For example, CRM systems like Nutshell and Insightly offer full CRM capabilities and additional product integrations for less than $100 per month. HubSpot offers a free, simple CRM that is extremely popular with small businesses and very easy to integrate into existing workflows. And of course, businesses can always choose from industry specific CRMs. Within the real estate industry, popular CRMs like LionDesk and Top Producer provide sales and marketing techniques that are targeted at bringing real and potential leads to a successful closing and future repeat business.
No matter which CRM you choose, you will only see the benefits when everyone begins to use it. Otherwise, it will become just another black hole of forgotten data. When you adopt a CRM, be prepared to champion its use throughout your company. You’ll soon reap the rewards of this incredibly powerful tool. To learn more about choosing the right CRM for your small business, contact us today.