Benefits and CRM solutions for Small Businesses

What would a company be without its customers? Customer satisfaction is a decisive factor when it comes to the success of a company. Customer relationship management, or CRM, plays a very important role here.

But small companies don't need CRM, do they? It's too expensive anyway and not really necessary, right?

We disagree. Nowadays, CRM systems are no longer just for large corporations.

Times have changed. Relationships with customers have become more important than ever. That's why a CRM for small businesses that lets you manage them is all the more helpful. Not only does it take the pressure off your employees, but it also helps your business grow - and ultimately increase your revenue.

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and helps users focus on their company's relationships with individuals such as customers, service users, colleagues or suppliers.

When people talk about CRM, they can mean three things:
  • CRM as technology: It is a technology product (often cloud-based) that teams use to record, report and analyze interactions between the business and users. This is also referred to as a CRM system or solution.
  • CRM as a strategy: the corporate philosophy of how to manage relationships with customers and potential customers.
  • CRM as a process: this is a system that a company uses to maintain and manage these relationships.
In this article, we'll take a closer look at CRM systems for small businesses. With CRM software, you can store interactions, data, and notes about customers or leads in a central database and share them with other employees in your business effortlessly.

What is a CRM?

A CRM helps growing businesses optimize their sales, marketing, customer service, and accounting operations. In most cases, it is a cloud-based solution. Employees from different departments can access information about a particular customer's customer journey and process it in real time.

How does a customer get into your CRM? Let's take an e-commerce company as an example. The (potential) customer looks at the website, and signs up for the newsletter. A few days later, he places an order. You should record all this information in your CRM and keep it updated. That way, the marketing team can quickly determine how best to respond to the customer's needs.

Some of these steps are tracked automatically, while other data can be entered manually. Having a unified set of data stored in one place that is always up-to-date reduces the burden on staff, speeds up communication, and improves customer satisfaction-benefits that small businesses can benefit from tremendously.

Why should small businesses use CRM?

CRM enables a business - whether it's a startup, SME, midsize company, or large enterprise - to deepen its relationships with customers, service users, colleagues, partners, and suppliers.

Building good relationships and keeping track of prospects and customers is critical to customer acquisition and retention and is at the heart of a CRM's function.

You can see everything in one place. Ideally, your CRM solution will give you a simple, customizable dashboard that tells you about a customer's past relationship with you, the status of their orders, pending customer service issues, and more.

If you want your business to last, you need a strategy for the future. For forward-thinking businesses, CRM is the framework for that strategy.

Related Post: CRM for E-commerce: Benefits and Problem Areas

What are the benefits of CRM?

CRM software is a platform that benefits both merchants and customers. Businesses get a set of tools that help them maintain lasting, meaningful and profitable customer relationships.

Customers get a personalized experience and a royal treatment that comes with it. The benefits of CRM span the entire sales cycle, from identifying potential customers to converting them into loyal customers to keeping them happy and coming back. Below, we take a closer look at the top five benefits of CRM:

1. comprehensive lead and contact management.

Given the overwhelming amount of information we collect from our customers, businesses know the importance of customer relationship management. Gone are the days when you had to keep track of contact information and other information manually on paper or in an Excel spreadsheet.

From phone numbers and mailing addresses to recording new customers or issuing a return; the best CRM software will help you consolidate, organize and synchronize all this valuable data. One of the biggest benefits of CRM is that all relevant employees can log in and use the customer management system to access customer data. This way, your small business keeps track of all sales activities and customer management.

With a few clicks, you can see where leads and customers are in the sales funnel. You'll get insights into their purchase history, past conversations, and data on their buying patterns and behavior. With all this data, you can fine-tune your marketing and sales strategy.

2 Manage effective marketing campaigns

When we analyze the benefits of CRM for businesses, we can't forget about marketing automation (also: marketing automation). With the right CRM solution, you can develop a more cost-effective marketing program. This helps to understand the needs of your customers and determine the most effective time for online promotions.

With the right software, it is possible to automate email marketing. This way, you can reach your customers at the right moment with the right message. You can also segment your customers and find out which customer group is most profitable for your small business.

3. improve customer support.

90% of Millennials expect companies to respond within a day or even faster to comments or private messages on social media. 44% want a response within an hour or preferably immediately. With such a high demand for fast customer service, the importance of customer relationship management in your business is critical to success.

You need to make sure your team is able to keep track of complaints and inquiries. A CRM can help with task management and improve workflow automation by analyzing complaints. You can run a report to see where and why you're not doing well, and make informed business decisions to deliver fast and exceptional customer service.

4. customer loyalty

With a CRM system, you're not only targeting your new customers, but also your existing customers. If someone has already bought from you, they're more likely to come back. But you need to target your customers through the right channel when you run marketing campaigns.

CRM also provides a smart solution for marketing teams to upsell and cross-sell products based on purchase history. With automated email campaigns, you can stay in touch with your existing, loyal customers. With personalized and relevant messaging, you'll increase customer loyalty, driving more sales.

5. support the sales team

With CRM tools, sales teams understand their sales pipeline better and they get further support thanks to sales automation. CRM systems are therefore also important for lead management and lead scoring. Sales managers can access reliable information about the progress of individual team members in achieving their sales goals and see how well individual sales teams, products, and campaigns are performing.

Sales reps benefit from reduced administrative overhead, a better understanding of their customers, and the ability to spend more time selling and less time entering data.

What should you look for when choosing a CRM?

Your small business's processes, customer base, and growth dynamics are unique.

Therefore, it's not advisable to settle on a set of standard, basic or inflexible features. What you need is a scalable CRM solution.

As your business grows, so will your CRM needs. That's why you need to make sure that the CRM solution you choose can be easily upgraded to the next version up.

CRM features

CRM software often comes with a very broad set of features that are meant to appeal to a wide range of businesses. However, small and medium-sized businesses don't need some of it (yet). So what are the most important functions that every CRM tool should have? In addition to a clear user interface, the following features should be available:
  • Reports and dashboards are essential tools for any CRM app. They allow users to view statistics, customize reports, and see real-time data updates.
  • Sales analytics: thanks to this option, users can easily create more effective sales campaigns.
  • Mobile CRM: so that your employees have access to all customer contacts even on mobile devices and on the go.
  • Sales forecasting: This allows you to estimate which customer is ready to buy and when.
  • Email customer integration: This supports marketing automation by allowing you to send targeted messages to your customers at the appropriate moment.
  • Sales data: You can organize your sales into clear, manageable chunks.
  • Sync and share files across multiple devices and users.
Before you decide on features and functions, ask yourself first: does everyone in your company really need all the features this CRM can offer?

The same goes for the number of users in your company. Maybe different users need different user plans. For example, the sales department might need a CRM with advanced features and the ability to use the CRM on their mobile devices, while your communications team might only need to use the marketing-related features.

We recommend you choose a CRM that you can customize to fit your needs.

Integrations and tools

This is one of the most important things you need to consider when choosing a CRM for your business.

You're not buying a CRM as just another item in the collection of different work systems. You're investing in a CRM to streamline your business operations.

Therefore, the CRM system must be compatible with other applications you already have. We're not just talking about integrations with Office 365 or a Google G-mail integration.

Of course, those integrations are important - but your CRM software should also integrate seamlessly with: an ERP or other accounting software, HR software, your own website and web forms to import new leads, billing and e-commerce platforms to register transactions, and marketing solutions.

Even though more and more apps have APIs, when choosing a CRM system, make sure it's compatible with other software solutions you already use.

The right CRM for small businesses

There are a number of useful tools to help you run your small business, such as marketing and lead generation tools, automation tools, and useful spreadsheets. But if you don't manage and keep track of your customers, these tools won't help you much. That's why CRM plays a critical role in the success of a business.

Regardless of the size of your business, it's always a good idea to determine your needs and requirements along with your budget to find the right solution.

While your business may not need all the features of a CRM system initially, that doesn't mean you won't need additional, more advanced features in the future.

It's also easy to get caught up in all the wonderful things CRM can do for your business, but be careful. The most important thing to remember when choosing a CRM: start small and expand as your business grows.