All the reasons why you should love CRM!
There are many innocent souls out there willing to duel till death for their own personal excel sheet holding their list of contacts that has served them well in business.
However most of us are in business to not just earn an honest wage, but to grow the business, achieve more in less time for less money. Aaah! The ideal world
So how does it all happen??? If I knew that, I wouldn’t be writing this particular blog! I jest!
Well first and foremost whatever CRM solution you invest in, you have to make sure it is scalable, that means it can grow alongside your business. NOT become as obsolete as the cheap, simple and easy to start with aforementioned Excel spread sheet.
Most CRM systems will come out of the box with dozens of features and modules, numerous add-ons that can be activated over time and with knowledge.
My advice, start simple! Complicate only as you need to and as your users are ready for more functionality!
So the basic bones of what a CRM System can bring to your business all with impressive scalability
1 Contact Management
That god forsaken bright pink post-it note has disappeared from your desk, though said offending desk is shining and sparkling from the thorough job the lovely cleaning team did argh! I hear you say! Wouldn’t happen with CRM!
2 Central repository for customer engagements
Avoid your customer going on the merry go round, having to repeat their situation 2 or 3 times whilst nobody bothers to take notes… Ahoy CRM, come solve this dilemma now!
3 Sales automation
I came across these statistics on a number of web blogs and articles, I know not if their validity is 100% but they are interesting figures to munch on
- 2% of sales are made on the 1st contact
- 3% of sales are made on the 2nd contact
- 5% of sales are made on the 3rd contact
- 10% of sales are made on the 4th contact 20%
- 80% of sales are made on the 5th – 12th contact 100%
Do these stats help you run your business?
Surely critical customer information for sustainable business growth!
… but with CRM you will have a visual of your pipeline and what stage that prospect, lead or sale is at!
4 Cash Flow
A CRM pipeline will show financial figures and assist you in predicting income so you can manage cash flow. The example above from Sage CRM can be customised to display the information most relevant on one screen.
5 Information sharing
Salespeople tend to keep contacts and leads in their heads, putting them in CRM means the Company benefits not the individual. You’re not renting their contacts! You own them so make sure you know about them!
6 Administration Efficiency
Less time and energy on meetings designed to bring everyone up to speed. If it’s in the CRM database then it is real!
7 Cross departmental collaboration
Sales know as soon as an e-mail lands whether they’re hearing from a valued customer or from a deadbeat that’s been ignoring the bill for months courtesy of Accounts (if you have integration with your accounting/ERP system).
COUPLE OF CRUCIAL POINTS TO NOTE REGARDING CRM FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
- CRM only works if users are accountable and everyone understands the underlying goal of using the system
- Putting the right information in your CRM database is the only way to guarantee you get the right information out.
We mentioned earlier about feature heavy CRMs and the wealth of 3rd party add-ons. I get to mention our state of the art product ‘Accelerator for Sage CRM’This product is a ‘must have’ a for an email centric business, I talked above about CRM only being as good as the data that gets input. With Accelerator for Sage CRM, you can engage and update your Sage CRM right from Microsoft Outlook, similarly with KonneX Together which integrates to Gmail. Both products definitely help with user adoption as the staff can see immediately the benefits of CRM by building the database from their email contacts and communications.
In summation, with an effective CRM system you can attach any relevant information to a customer account and retrieve everything about your relationship with that customer in seconds.
Even more so with Accelerator for Sage CRM or KonneX together in play!