Naturally, small businesses tend to have their sights set on one thing and one thing only: generating revenue. But often this comes at the cost of letting other areas of their business slide—namely, organization.
Organization is the key to running a successful business, and by taking some time out of every day to do some simple administrative tasks, planning and arrangement, you’d be surprised at how quickly your company’s efficiency, productivity, and—most importantly—profits, could increase.
But the question is: How do businesses go about improving their organization skills? The answer is simple, but it may not be the first thing that springs to mind. Most people think of Client Relationship Management (CRM) software as a way of improving sales, but what they may not know is that it could prove to be an invaluable tool to boost your company’s productivity, sales tracking and internal collaboration, by streamlining all your communications into one database.
Still not sold? Well, if you’re not ready to upgrade that trusty spreadsheet just yet, here are five benefits that CRM software can offer your business that may just change your mind.
1. Better customer relations
Using a CRM often leads to greater customer satisfaction. All communications—whether they’re from marketing, sales or accounts departments—can be handled in a systematic manner. You’ll also gain a better understanding of your customers’ wants, needs and preferences, which in turn will help increase customer loyalty and decrease customer dissatisfaction. And what’s more is that as a byproduct, you’ll find that your buyers will share their positive stories about your company with their friends and family members—and as any business will know, word-of-mouth is the most powerful form of advertising for any business.
2. Increased revenues
So we know that putting a CRM system in place improves customer relationships, but did you know that it could also lead to an increase in revenue? Using the data you collect, you will be able to target certain products to your customers more strategically, meaning your efforts will be more effective. With the help of customer relation management software, you can create targeted promotions to specific segments within your client base, thus encouraging more sales, and in turn, an uptick in profits. Which leads us to our third benefit…marketing.
3. Easier marketing
CRM can help you understand who’s purchased what and how much they spent when they purchased it—essential data when it comes to launching an effective marketing campaign as it allows you to pinpoint the right potential buyers. Without CRM, this is a near-impossible task—your marketing department would have to go back over old invoices and PO’s to manually track this information and pull their target buyers’ contact details. With CRM, you can segment your customer database by a number of criterion to help you refine your marketing message and ensure it reaches the right people.
4. Efficient upselling and cross-selling
Often businesses spend a great deal of time and money trying to acquire brand new customers— so much so that they neglect to pay proper attention to their best source of revenue: their existing customer base. A CRM system not only facilitates upselling, but it also allows easy cross-selling—the practice of suggesting related products or services to a customer based on their previous purchases. In order to do this, salespeople need a good idea of their customers’ requirements and buying patterns, and CRM software provides just this. Any details about your clients are stored in a central database accessible by all members of your organization, meaning that when an opportunity arises, staff can cross-promote products to customers, and as a consequence, maximize sales.
5. Improved in-house communication
A central database of all your company’s valuable customer information doesn’t just help with external communication—it improves internal communication, too. Sharing important customer data between various divisions of your company encourages teamwork—which is a much better strategy for business than operating as a lone-ranger. Not only will it enable a higher standard of service, but it’ll also increase your company’s profitability.
Before you implement a CRM system (and ideally, before you even select one), be sure to do plenty of research and preparation. Begin by thinking strategically about your company’s mission and goals, and how you will measure your progress. Then start to think strategically about your customer segments and what you are doing with each of these constituents—this will help you define what information needs to be stored in your CRM system, what types of functionalities it will need to have, and what sort of processes people within your organization will need to carry out when using the system.
Remember: CRM is a dynamic application than can be used by more or less everyone in your company, and when used to its full effect, can hold vast amounts of data to create a pool of valuable information that can be used to prospect new business, identify leads, define customer segments, and much more. So, now are you ready to ditch that old spreadsheet?
If you’re thinking of implementing a CRM system, check out Insightly and sign up for a free account.