First impressions and in-person relationship management can make your services incredibly valuable to your clients. Making clients feel welcome and confident in your services, when it comes to operations, means in-depth Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions are a necessary part of successful small business management. According to Salesforce, properly implementing a CRM software can boosts sales by 29%, increases productivity by 34% and improves the accuracy of sales forecasting by 42%. That kind of success would seem to make CRM an obvious choice for small businesses, but less than half of all businesses have a CRM software implemented, 22% of salespeople at those businesses confess to not even knowing what CRM is, and 40% still store their data on Excel spreadsheets.
That is unfortunate because it means they are wasting time on data entry that could be spent on sales. Additionally, leads that aren’t being effectively tracked could be receiving multiple calls and emails from several different sales reps. Meaning prospects are seeing redundant emails in their inboxes and not getting the attention necessary to move them along in the buying process.
So, What Does CRM Do?
CRM gets results, pure and simple, but what exactly is CRM, and what does it do? Among other things, CRM:
- Tracks all customer and prospect interactions
- Stores all contact information, including name, phone number, and email address
- Groups multiple contacts into single sales rep accounts/client or customer lists based on service, product, interest
- Documents all prospect touchpoints, from emails to calls to voicemails and in-person meetings
- Helps salespeople understand the reasons for sales wins and losses
Why Small Businesses Needs CRM
The resistance in some businesses to transition to CRM is understandable. After all, it’s yet another piece of new software, which means implementing it, learning how it works and training employees how to use it. The question for businesses is whether it’s worth the time and effort. The answer, unequivocally, is “yes.”
Five Specific Benefits of Implementing a CRM System:
- CRM is invaluable for salespeople: the successful sales rep is the one who acts quickly and makes smart decisions in his communications with prospective customers. By putting all data related to each prospect in one place, including demographic data and touchpoints, salespeople don’t waste time scouring spreadsheets or email threads to reconstruct timelines. With CRM, sales reps can access a complete and accurate record of every prospect interaction with a single click.
- It improves communications among sales reps: if sales rep A is out of the office, sales rep B might handle a prospect call for him. If sales rep A doesn’t know about the call, he’ll seem out of the loop in his next communication with that prospect. By keeping all interactions in one location, sales reps and anyone else involved in the process will know what others are doing, and prospect communications remain consistent (and effective) regardless of staffing changes.
- It helps managers by streamlining reporting: in businesses that don’t have CRM, each salesperson is likely to enter data and track activities and prospect interactions in different ways. With CRM, every sales rep follows uniform standards for data entry and tracking, which makes it easier for managers to combine data sets to get the big sales picture.
- It enhances compliance with government regulations: financial reporting regulations encompass broad-based business-customer interactions. CRM can better track and report those interactions. For this reason, banks and other financial institutions are increasingly turning to CRM solutions to ensure compliance.
- It allows businesses to grow without sacrificing effectiveness: Optibike was doing just fine with customer communications—until, that it, they made the mistake of becoming too successful. It’s easy to track prospect and customer interactions when you have 5, or 10, or 100 customers, but the bigger you get, the bigger the challenge becomes. CRM is a scalable tool that promotes business growth.
Small and medium size businesses face unprecedented challenges, from global competition to emerging technologies to new marketing paradigms. Businesses must be agile and adaptable to meet those challenges. At Green Hills Office Suites, we believe that efficiency in business is a top priority and we work to assist our clients in their ability to be as efficient as possible with our suite of services from live call answering and screening to meeting scheduling, as well as copying and mailing services. To learn more about the ways we can help your business with a wide range of options for office space, meeting rooms and virtual office solutions, contact us today.