Running a small business means keeping a close eye on sales, multi-tasking and limiting unnecessary costs. So, it’s no surprise that few invest in Contact Relationship Management (CRM) software. CRMs are a luxury, right? (And another unnecessary acronym!). Something that only bigger businesses can afford. And, anyway, there’s nothing they offer that your trusty (error-ridden) spreadsheet can’t handle, surely?!
Maybe a few years back you could go without, but there are products on the market now that cost next-to-nothing and better still, has been developed specifically FOR small businesses.
So, knowing that cost isn’t an issue and corporates gain heaps of advantages from them, it seems crazy that so few small businesses look into CRMs. Why shouldn’t they get the same benefits as the big boys?
Here are six reasons to get you started…
Keep details of all your business contacts together - Store together details of every single customer, prospective customer, supplier, employee, partner etc. With a CRM, whenever you need to contact someone, the information will be there waiting for you. It’s all stored in the cloud too, so can be accessed from anywhere and can’t be lost (unlike that precarious spreadsheet…). You’ll never need to search for the last email someone sent you to find their telephone number in their signature or a paper invoice that might have been filed away by your accounts manager to get a VAT number or postal address.
Track sales opportunities to bring in the dosh - Manage all your sales opportunities more effectively by keeping detailed sales information alongside each of your prospective customers. A CRM enables you to note when someone made an enquiry (or you approached them), whether you sent them a quote/proposal and when you last spoke etc. All that information is to hand if someone calls in, making it easier to progress the opportunity into a sale. One new CRM on the market even automatically stores call recordings, call logs and emails to each record. So, that rich CRM data, just got richer and hugely more informative. Choose to see an overview of all open opportunities, to see how many are in play, what their value is and when they should next be followed up. This information will help you maximise the number of opportunities converted into sales, and therefore crucial to your businesses turnover.
Keep your customers happy and coming back for more! - Stay better connected with your customers to help improve relationships and unlock hidden sales opportunities. CRMs can capture detailed information about their preferences and behaviours, which allows you to better meet their needs and therefore increase customer loyalty/retention. It also means you can tailor products/services and conduct more targeted cross-sales activities. Sometimes it’s the little things too. If a customer told you his daughter was waiting on A-level results during a conversation, you’d want to remember to ask how she got on next time you spoke. Just make a note within the CRM record and you needn’t worry about intermittent memory failure from a conversation that happened a couple of months back. It’s a competitive market out there, and offering a personal touch with every interaction, will always put a small business ahead of the corporates. CRMs are your best-friend when it comes to doing this!
Instant access to your businesses data - All that valuable data about the businesses and people you deal with is instantly accessible from anywhere. Whether you’re abroad, travelling to meetings or working from home, so long as you have a Wi-Fi connection or data on your phone, you can access it all. Anytime. Similarly, if you had a conversation with a customer about a proposal while you were out of the office, there’s no need to wait until you’re back to update the system. Do it there and then (before you forget!).
Look after the pennies… - It’s not all about customers and prospects though. CRMs help you to keep overheads to a minimum by storing detailed information about your suppliers. You can set reminders ahead of contract renewals to allow time for scanning the market for a better deal and store contracts alongside each record. Even log notes about previous promotions, discounts you negotiated or issues you may have encountered with their service. The new, Metavoxx CRM’s neat functionality means recordings of every call you had with a supplier, and email exchanges, are automatically stored too…. So, you can quickly find that conversation from 2 months ago to prove you ordered 50 not 15!
You can always rely on it - Your employees will have lots of important information in their head, as will you. But you can’t be sure they will always be around. Life is unpredictable, and people move on. Having a CRM mitigates this risk by storing all your business’s critical information about everybody and business it works with, together, securely and accessibly.
It’s 2018 - markets are highly competitive and customers are getting increasingly sophisticated. You need a CRM to help your business stand out, be more efficient and increase your revenue. It’ll give you a competitive advantage, helping you secure new customers and retain existing ones. You’ll be able to effortlessly manage opportunities and forecast your revenue for the quarter or year ahead, while keeping an eye on your supplier base. A CRM will also mitigate the risk and costs of staff turnover and will help you continuously improve the way you do so many things. Small businesses need CRMs to survive.
Take a look at the Metavoxx CRM to get a better handle on the range of functionality and benefits for your business. They’re a friendly team who will happily chat through how it would work for your businesses specifically.