To be a successful entrepreneur in this era requires more than just knowing how to sell your products and services. If you are not able to maximize the most potential from your customers, they are bound to look the other way because there is no dearth of alternatives now, no matter what category of business you venture into.
This is where managing the relationship with your customers comes into play. Although businesses have been handling this aspect for centuries, a whole new dynamic has emerged in the past few years into making the entire process more effective, sophisticated, and scientific to yield better results.
Welcome to the world of CRMs!
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and it refers to the system of providing a centralized platform for efficiently managing your contacts while providing seamless customer support.
As you start your business, you rely on software like MS Excel to organize your customers, clients, investors, plans, budget, products, and services, among others. Well, you can only do that for so long before things get overwhelming. You find yourself drowned in countless email threads, spreadsheets, files, and documents sooner than later.
With a scattered marketing and sales plan, you are bound to commit mistakes and overlaps, leading to crucial business losses. Having a CRM system by your side will help in streamlining your business processes, managing your budget, and automating multiple tasks, all the while enhancing your workflow, which ultimately leads to higher sales.
Customer retention and customer satisfaction lie at the heart of CRM which is why no matter what line of business you foray into, this tool comes in handy.
But for a CRM to extract the most benefit out of the opportunities provided to you, defining the goals of your business is crucial. This helps your CRM in aligning with the goals of your business and you can map out the best possible route to reach where you want to reach.
Figuring out the Goals of Your Business
Defining the goals of your business is needed not only for setting up your business for success but for also establishing your priorities. These are the pit stops towards your end destination that your company wants to check into.
Orienting your CRM system with your goals requires an optimal strategy that can be carved only through brainstorming sessions with professional minds. A pragmatic way to determine business goals is through the SMART prototype.
- Specific – Your goals should clearly state their destination, meaning they should be specifically defined.
- Measurable – You should be able to measure your success in quantifiable terms. This means stating the set target to achieve.
- Achievable – Business goals can be ambitious but not unrealistic. They should be achievable, else it will only lead to demotivation.
- Relevant – They should be contextual and align with the pertaining issues that you want to address.
- Time-bound – You should set a time limit as to by when you want to achieve those goals.
Once you formulate your goals with this blueprint, the next plan of action is figuring out how to reduce costs and increase the revenue of your business. It is no surprise that saving manpower costs would help in closing the holes that drain the money out of your business pocket. This brings us back to CRM again.
How Can CRM Assist Your Business?
CRM is the one-stop hub for everything related to business management. If you are going to invest your money into one external force that will strengthen the inner dynamics of your business, CRM is what you are looking for, and here’s why.
The Most Reliable Storage Space
A CRM system would provide you with the most viable storage space that you have ever potentially experienced. All your contact, business plans, schedules, budgetary maps, action blueprints, and sales opportunities can be stored in a single database. Not only that, you would have uninterrupted access to them from multiple locations.
Scientific Report Management
You don’t need to invest in extra manpower for preparing weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly management reports when you have CRM in your business. Its automated nature puts every action into reports on its own and informs the concerned personnel of the status of progress.
Streamlining Sales Cycle
You would be better equipped for closing sales deals since CRM can streamline the entire sales cycle of your firm, contributing to reaching your goals at a faster pace. This is possible because the automated nature of CRM can draw quotes and order processes on its own. As such, it increases sales revenue and decreases your budget, saving up your valuable money.
No More Loss of Time in “Searching”
CRM thrives on decluttering your documents. Its segments your data methodically, which saves you hours from surfing through countless lists of data to find the one you are looking for. Its criteria-based selection methodology helps in getting to the point flawlessly.
Simplifying Customer Engagement
Since customers want to stay updated with your product or service without being constantly pestered, CRM can help derive the best possible way to engage leads and reach them. It helps in finding which medium to assort (live chat, call, email, social media, etc.) for addressing which issue.
Helping Make Customers Feel Valued
Salespeople can build a healthier and more regular relationship with their customers when CRM reminds them of their daily schedules and what tasks to prioritize. Customers feel valued instead of ignored since salespeople spend wholesome time with them, which results in ensuring a more secured customer base.
Improved Customer Retention
Converting leads to customers can only get a business so far if they don’t master the art of customer retention. CRM is built on the pillars of boosting customer loyalty. CRM encourages your customers to repeat business with you through its logistic features of user behavior tracking, automated ticketing, and sentiment analysis, among others.
Minimizing Admin Tasks
CRM eliminates repetitive actions in the admin tasks without jeopardizing profit. This serves as a major relief to the sales team since they can have way less workload and can shift their focus on areas that need more attention.
Seamless Merge of Service, Sales, and Marketing Teams
A transparent cross-team alignment between the service, sales, and marketing team helps your business to streamline every step of a customer’s experience. CRM makes it possible for multiple teams to communicate like a well-oiled machine to work as a cohesive unit.
Meticulous Sales Forecasting
CRM provides entrepreneurs with the most valued aspect they look for in their customers – predictability. With its automated sales report, you would be better equipped to identify trends and dissect what ticks and what doesn’t. As such, you can strategically plan for the upcoming period and adjust if the need arises.
How SaaS Companies are Providing Affordable Solutions in CRM?
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies were faced with a whole new ballgame as they were challenged to provide the best possible customer experience in the volatile and never-before-tested pandemic world.
With people locked down in their homes, businesses were forced to reach a tipping point to adapt to a new environment. The demand for CRM was realized more than ever and SaaS companies dished out some of the most sought-after CRM systems that provided high-end results in enhancing productivity and maintaining customer loyalty.
Growth is the only way for a business to maintain continuity and the CRM systems are built to do just that. SaaS companies are dedicated to maintaining databases, software, and servers that sanction a product to be used online. As such, users can access and use them from whichever device they prefer. CRM is among the many popular business models that SaaS provides.
Integrations are the Way to Go
Perhaps the feature of CRMs that has helped in boosting their popularity is its integrations aspect. Top-notch CRMs like HubSpot and Salesforce have integrations like that of CloudFiles which are integration-first document tools. This means that you still would have control over maintaining the security of your confidential documents even when you share them with other document recipients, all while staying inside your CRM ecosystem.
Only those who have access to the secret password given by you can view or edit your documents. In short, you can customize the security level of the document you share with others which always ensures you are in the know of what is happening with your files.
The other aspect of integrations is that, if you find your CRM limiting to your niche needs, you can simply buy and add software to your tech stack, from the ocean of choices to suit your need.
CRMs make handling the multi-faceted pillars of a business effortless. You get high-end results with precise details that are undertaken with a scientific methodology.
Even though the heart of CRM lies in managing customer relationships, its wholesome approach saves you cost, increases sales revenue, boosts productivity, minimizes time, and improves brand name. As you can entail, there is absolutely no reason why an entrepreneur wouldn’t implement it in their business.