Before the integration of a CRM system, customer information and leads were manually captured using old school tools like Excel spreadsheets or even handwritten notes. Although these techniques technically work, they fall short in terms of scalability, consumer intelligence, and cooperation across collaborators.
However, when your company grows to the next level and your team and customer base start expanding; figuring out how to store essential information about your staff, customers, and overall company growth, becomes increasingly difficult – spreadsheets just won’t do the trick.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software combines all of this data in one location, giving your teams more time to build, maintain, and monetise your most important customer connections. CRM software also allows a business owner to quickly identify shortcomings within its practices and improve upon them.
How to Choose a CRM for a Small Business
Consider the following 3 factors when looking into CRM software:
1. Determine what Your Business Needs
Before you can begin exploring CRM software, you must first determine your company goals and what you want the software to achieve. Let’s say you want to invest in software that will give you access to qualitative insights on how your salespeople connect with their clients at all stages of the sales journey, then the most crucial feature to look for is how the system records lead activity.
2. Find a Long-Term Solution
Your business might be small now, but obviously, as an entrepreneur, you have to think big. In five years from now, your business could have gone from 10 employees managing a few accounts, to 100 employees managing 500 accounts, and you need to be prepared.
Assume your staff has more than tripled, and you’ve reached the maximum user capacity on the CRM system you launched just six months ago; how challenging will it be to implement a new CRM software? How long will it take to retrain your employees to learn a whole new system when they have only recently mastered the existing software? What effect will this have on the company? Choosing a scalable system is likely to cost a bit more, but it may result in fewer interruptions down the road.
3. A Mobile Accessible CRM Software is Crucial
If your sales team spends lots of time away from the office, it’s crucial that they can access the CRM software while they’re on the move.
Whether they need to access a customer’s sales history prior to a meeting, or they’ve just sealed a deal and need to update the system quickly. Ensuring that your team has mobile access means that your employees can still get things done no matter where they are, and you can get real-time updates on how your sales team is doing.
Is a CRM Worth It for a Small Business?
To determine if CRM software is a worthwhile expense for small businesses we can take a closer look at some of the benefits CRM systems can provide. These benefits include, but are not limited to:
- Optimised Marketing
- Data-Driven Decision Making
- Targeted Lead Generation
Read more about what benefits CRM software has for a small business on our blog.