Customer relationship management (CRM) enables small business owners to tackle operational challenges, measure marketing activities, nurture sales cycles and focus on customer service.
CRM can be critical to helping you make informed decisions for your business. I often have clients that "throw 100 things at the wall" and just hope something sticks. With a well maintained CRM system, you can measure the results your actions and campaigns have, make educated decisions about when you connect with potential customers, and gain insights on new business possibilities.
For example, say you invest in 5 different media marketing campaigns each year. Maybe 3 of the 5 produce solid leans/projects for your company. If you are not measuring where these leads come from you continue to invest in the same campaigns, even though 2 of the 5 aren't working. If you were able to measure this in your CRM database, you would be able to see that you should invest more time and efforts into the 3 campaigns that do grow your business.
If you are a small business owner, there are several ways a client tracking tool can positively help your business grow.
1. It allows you to register your leads and contacts. You never know when a lead is ready to buy from you. Probably not today anyway. Keep them warm. It is never too late to start organizing your customers and contacts. You need some basic categories to make your data efficient so that you can implement your CRM strategy to fulfill their needs. You need categories like Customers, Lost Customers, Prospects, Suppliers, Partners, Potential Partners, Influencers and Inactive Customers. You could also consider dividing customers into A-, B- and C-customers depending on different customer programs for each segment. So you might get rid of your complex spreadsheets once and for all.
2. You can track all customer interaction – from everyone in your company. Next time you talk to a customer or prospect, you get the upper hand when you know what that company is talking about. You can get the person to feel seen and important. And this history builds a long-time relationship. Emails should be in your system, and not in each person’s mailbox.
3. It reveals possibilities. How many prospects have you “not sold to” yet? Most likely a lot. I usually tell my sales team that a “no” most likely means “not today”. Most companies keep their current supplier until they are ignored. That’s why keeping them alive and kicking in your CRM database is so important. And if you have an opt-in newsletter or a great seminar plan, their business might be yours for the next quarter.
Are you using a CRM system for your business? How has it helped your company grow?