Friday, 18 April 2014

CRM 101: Grow Your Business

If you’re still new to running your business, you’re probably still trying to figure out what tools are worth investing time and money in, and which you can skip. While something like billboard advertising is probably one you don’t have to bother with, customer relationship management (CRM) software is one you should consider.

Why You Need CRM

In a nutshell, a small business CRM helps you better manage client relationships. If you’ve devised your own system of keeping track of contacts, such as affixing Post-It® notes to your computer screen, you know that once you have more than half a dozen customers, it gets a little trickier to recall every conversation or email you exchange with your customers. And if you’ve ever let something accidentally slip through the cracks, like following up after an important conversation, you can appreciate a better way to manage this process.

While not every CRM platform includes project management features like calendars, task assignments, and email reminders, you’ll benefit from choosing one that does. Unless, that is, you have your own personal assistant who reminds you about everything...and these days, who does?

You Want to Grow

If your goal as a business owner -- and let’s face it, every entrepreneur has this as a goal -- is to continually grow, you need a reliable system for developing and converting prospects into sales, and a small business CRM can play a major role in making all these business processes much easier.

Let’s say you’ve been in contact with a potential lead via email. In your CRM, you can input this contact and if you think the contact has a good chance of becoming a customer then you can create an opportunity record to track the potential business.  You can attach your proposal along with email correspondence and notes on every call, so you have everything that relates to that opportunity in one handy place.

You can invite anyone on your team that might need to be involved in converting a prospect to a sale to view the opportunity in your online CRM, and you can add tasks to keep the opportunity moving down the sales funnel. If for some reason, this prospect doesn’t end up in a sale, you can close it and specify the reason it didn’t become a sale. This kind of highly valuable data shows a big picture analysis of why you’re losing out on sales. For example, perhaps you’ve lost out on ten sales in the past two months, and 75% of them said your product was too expensive. This is worth considering. Perhaps it might be time to lower your pricing, offer a lower-tiered version of your product or service, or even create content that illustrates the value your product provides to your customers.

Designed for You
Early on, customer databases and CRM were a bit overly technical for the average user. But now they’re extremely small business friendly. Our own Insightly CRM platform is designed to be simple enough to figure out within minutes.  We offer free videos on Insightly University and easy to read FAQs in our online knowledgebase.

If you’re serious about succeeding as a business owner, make sure you’re using the right tools, like a CRM. They’re designed to help small business owners like you be more effective at successfully growing your business.

Get your free account today, or try a 14 day trial of our paid plans.

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