How to know when your small business needs CRM software

It’s common for a small business to think CRM is just for big companies. But a CRM is one of the most important tools that a small business can implement! How do you know when your small business needs CRM software?

Half of all small businesses fail in the first year. Having a clear understanding of all aspects of your business is key to being in the half that survive. Making the most of the information you hold is a huge advantage in making your business thrive.

CRM systems can benefit small businesses in several ways

  1. Improved customer service: A CRM system allows businesses to keep track of customer interactions, including phone calls, emails, and social media messages, in one centralised location. This can improve the speed and quality of customer service by providing employees with all the information they need to assist customers.
  2. Increased sales: A CRM system can help businesses identify sales opportunities and track customer interactions throughout the sales process. This can help businesses close more deals and increase revenue.
  3. Better marketing: A CRM system can help businesses understand their customers better by analysing customer data and identifying patterns. This can help businesses create more targeted and effective marketing campaigns.
  4. Improved efficiency: A CRM system can automate many of the tasks involved in managing customer relationships, such as sending follow-up emails or scheduling appointments. This can free up employees to focus on more important tasks.
  5. Better collaboration: A CRM system can make it easier for employees to share information and collaborate on customer interactions. This can help ensure that customers receive consistent service across different channels and from different employees.
  6. Access from anywhere: CRM systems are usually cloud-based, which allows employees to access customer data from anywhere. This can be especially beneficial for small businesses with employees working remotely.

How do you know if your small business needs CRM?

The most common catalyst for switching on some form of CRM usually comes in the form of something negative. Here’s a list of common scenarios and see if any resonate with you.

  • Your top performing sales person leaves the company to a competitor and takes all their contact information with them. You are left in the dark with what’s in progress, what was pipelined, what needs to be built.
  • Your customer service team is trying to resolve an issue with an unhappy customer, and at the same time your sales team contact them to upsell a service extension or new solution. Your customer does not like this and decides to take their business elsewhere.
  • Your finance team spend many hours setting up each new customer on their invoicing system. They frequently input different information and contacts that the sales team use. 12 months later you realise a customer hasn’t been billed for large chunks of work. All due to invoices going to the wrong business.
  • You bump into a potential customer at a networking event. A brief conversation reveals they signed with a cheaper ‘new kid on the block’ after last month’s networking event. You first met this lead 6 months ago. At the time they were keen to move forward but other projects got in the way and they were forgotten as there was no way to aggregate interactions.

Does any of this sound familiar? How have you tackled them in your business? What impact did any of them cause?

10 questions to help you decide if a CRM will be useful

  1. Do you have one single source of truth for all your data? One place it is stored, edited, accessed, updated and cleansed. More importantly can they be accessed both in and out of the office, at any time?
  2. Are all your customer interactions and information (letters, emails, forms, call archives, documents, etc) stored together. Can they be accessed by everyone in your business?
  3. How can you be sure all the leads you generate are moving into your sales pipeline and being followed up?
  4. Can you aggregate your leads, connect them to specific marketing campaigns and supply these to the sales team?
  5. Are you able to generate accurate information on sales forecasts and pipelines at short notice with recent, relevant information?
  6. Can you view all sales activities and results in one click?
  7. Do you have access to reports that identify stages of your process when sales are won or lost?
  8. Do you know how many deals you lost in the last quarter and evidence as to why?
  9. Have you any insight into your customer service issues, how they were resolved and how quickly?
  10. Are you happy with the amount of time your teams spend on administrative tasks?

If you answered ‘no’ to any of these then perhaps a CRM will be useful. Maybe you answered more ‘no’ than ‘yes’, perhaps it would be a good idea to take a look at our product page for Zoho CRM, today. If you answered ‘no’ to all of them give us a call today and we can help you survive your first year in business and give you the tools you need to thrive.

Got a question? Get in touch

We know we can’t answer all of your questions here, but feel free to get in touch via our contact form, or call us on 01323 409950