Tuesday, 15 April 2014

How a CRM Can Work for YOUR Business


You may have heard that small businesses thrive as a result of implementing the right SMB CRM (Small Business Customer Relationship Management) service, but perhaps you haven’t heard WHY a great CRM makes a big difference for your business or organization. We all know that keeping customer and project management information organized is a vital key to long-term success. But how does all this apply to your small business? How can a small business CRM help you produce better results in YOUR specific field? Let’s cut the generalities and talk about your industry for a change, and how choosing the right CRM can help take your small business to the next level.

When you combine equal parts bookkeeping, event planning, fundraising and contact management, your friendly neighborhood non-profit organization looks just like any other small business out there. When choosing a non-profit CRM, be sure it not only streamlines the processes of managing and connecting with volunteers, organizing teams and committees, and tracking donations (by type, amount and donor), but that it also has the flexibility to work around difficult situations (like when that big donation falls through). Additionally, always opt for an online CRM (like Insightly) that allow you to organize your contacts in different ways, so you can quickly find the best candidates to tap as board members or to organize the project management aspect of your next big fundraising event.

Marketing or Creative Agency
Let’s face it: your marketing agency is made up of on-the-go, jack-of-all-trade types that generate leads, pitch and create campaigns and stories, ideate, churn out and promote content, and then some—and you probably need all of those things done “yesterday.” To keep it all together, your best option is a cloud-based CRM that integrates with your phone and email, allowing for constant collaboration and resulting in overall efficiency. You’ll also want to look for a CRM platform the team can learn to navigate in one sitting, to avoid holding them up with lengthy training sessions. From a sales or client services perspective, it’s also useful to track each interaction you’ve had with a lead or potential client, from first contact to the moment they sign the contract.

Many CRMs can also run reports, take snapshots or generate useful statistics. With this depth of data, you can track the success of campaigns or initiatives. Imagine the results-oriented media you could create and how far that would go in targeting potential clients. Don’t forget, the right CRM can even allow you to build your marketing agency brand!

Real Estate
Your cellphone and email are up and running before you are because every email, call or free moment means potential business. The real estate industry is in constant flux. As a trusted liaison, you need to be ready for anything. At any given moment, you may need to send information to a client about a house newly on the market, negotiate a price reduction with the correct person, or collaborate with your colleague on a proposal. The right small business CRM can facilitate all of these processes.

Much of your business is done via email and you may even have a block of time allocated for reaching out to potential clients. You need constant access to all your information and contacts, so make sure your real estate CRM allows for easy and customizable organization, imports data seamlessly, and doesn’t require you to hop in and out of your email all day.

Grocery and Goods
Whether you specialize in produce, candles, furniture or clothing, your shop was built from the ground up, and lately, you’ve really hit the ground running. You’ve made it a point to research your market and after all the expos, trade shows and markets you’ve attended, your name is out there and you’ve got lists upon lists of potential customers in the form of names and email addresses. Your ideal CRM platform will let you track orders and stages of production from start to finish. You’ll also want contact importing capabilities, as well as the ability to customize fields, including information and details such as shipping preferences and past ordering habits, adding more than just faces to names.

While industry needs vary, the truth remains that to serve the most benefit, the right small business CRM platform must be integrated and intuitive. Even better if it allows you to track your progress and successes. You should never miss an opportunity to keep your staff (or yourself) posted, cultivate and nurture just the right contact, or pump out powerful statistics to let the world know just what your small business can do.  Check out how small businesses from all industries use Insightly.

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1 comment:

  1. I'm currently using a free version of Insightly and am finding the custom fields and layout design to be very troubling. Not only can I not design my own layout for my fields, I also can't add things to custom fields on the fly.

    While I don't think that every CRM product can have all features, these two features are pretty standard in any CRM system I've used in the past.