As an independent or small business owner, you NEED a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system and I’m going to tell you why – efficiency, quality service, higher productivity, and more money. It’s important to track all customer relationships whether they’re prospective, current, or past. CRM systems organize all of your interactions and don’t need to come at a high cost.
Customers are important, but as we’re learning in our modern age, data is more important.
How do you know a CRM is worthwhile for you and your business? Here are a few challenges that business owners face that can be defeated by CRM:
1. Keeping up with leads – It’s hard to manage all of the contacts you’ve made, emails you’ve sent, cold calls you’ve made, etc. CRM will help you stay organize and even take notes on your most recent interactions.
2. Managing customer data – When you want to communicate with your customer, it’s important to have their names, numbers and emails at your fingertips. It also improves productivity when someone who works with a contact is out of the office, but you still need information on a customer – it’s not stuck on some post-it somewhere in a notebook or on a desk.
3. Tracking sales – When your business grows, it can be difficult to track which clients are highest (or lowest paying), take more time to work on, or tracking your sales cycles. CRM helps you keep up with your sales people or sales team by easily uploading status updates for you to review or act on immediately, if needed.
4. Making your customers happier – CRM is a great tool for processing and tracking customer reviews.
5. Reporting tools – Running reports on a clunky CRM from the early 2000s or on your Excel spreadsheet may take more time than you’d like or give incorrect data. With a newer CRM, you’re going to utilize automation, and simple reporting tools to see the data you want to see.
6. Scaling your business – Similar to reporting, when you want to scale your business, you’ll want to base that on data. Use your CRM to find out where your business is succeeding and where it could improve.
Whether you’re an independent business owner or a large corporation, you should be investing in a CRM system. CRM doesn’t have to be expensive either, there are a few tools available for free or free trial such as:
· Zoho CRM
Stay tuned for more information about CRM systems and reviews of specific systems, but in the meantime, if you haven’t invested in a CRM, put it on your to-do list – you’ll thank me sooner rather than later.