CRM. Customer relationship management. It’s not a new business concept nor is it rocket science. But it’s a science. Your business must manage and track its customers to realize success. And to move up the proverbial success-ladder, you’ll need to increase your productivity and reduce chaos.
Taking this next step means getting rid of post-it notes, complicated data sheets and ad-hoc emails to manage customers and track sales leads.
If you are using Salesforce, SAP, Microsoft et al… then your organization’s CRM needs were defined long ago by your company. You probably work for a large enterprise and your CRM needs are fairly complex in order to manage the growth of your sales pipeline.
However, there are many in the SMB market who have neither the budget, nor the need, to integrate a large CRM solution.
CRMs from the Past
CRM started out as a digital rolodex in the 80s. A big, complicated, feature-heavy solution to manage your sales and contacts. There was a license for each user, and each license was tied to a computer. At the office. And it was great, back then. The new “wow.” It did make work easier. It was a smart idea.
But this on-premise software was rich with features geared toward the heavy needs of big companies. Many of the original giants who dominated the productivity suite market haven’t kept up with the current on-demand needs of its SMB user-base who desire productivity on the go, and a simple and accessible CRM.
Migrating to an in-house CRM is a no-brainer for some larger companies. They have a need to communicate internally and externally to increase sales, they have the budget that makes it feasible, and they have an IT staff to help train and assist with technical difficulties.
They have everything.
You Have Nothing… Yet
You don’t have these large-company assets. Yet. But still, you’re growing like gangbusters and recently it seems like you can’t keep up.
You’re a do-it-yourselfer (DIY). You started your company not too long ago and you’re making money. Life is good. You’re small, but not so small anymore. You have a staff, you’re pulling in the bucks – but your processes are in chaos. You used to get by with yelling across the office or picking up the cell or forwarding an email.
Now, not so much.
If You Say “Yes”
If you nod in agreement to any of the following, then you need a simple CRM solution.
- Each team member doesn’t know what the others are doing
- You, as the leader, can’t check in on your sales associates in real time
- You can’t generate a progress report that reflects your company’s sales activities
- You are duplicating your efforts and nobody knows who’s called whom
- Some sales leads are in Google Apps, a ton of clients are in Gmail, and many are in your head – or in the heads of your team members
- You know you’re not following up like you should, and you’re pretty sure that the company is losing sales
Now that you’ve pinpointed your pain points, there are CRM solutions out there that will fit your needs.
Simple CRM in the Cloud
You don’t need to go big to go CRM. Recent studies show that organizations — both large and small — that incorporate a CRM system can increase sales by 29% (Source: Forbes.com).
There are several companies that offer simple and affordable customer relationship management packages. They’re built with the SMB customer in mind, and have features that your team will actually use to streamline efforts and increase sales.
Do a bit of research and find a simple CRM solution that fits your needs, and one that your entire team can support. Look for a solution that adapts to the way you conduct your business, and not the other way around.