The world is getting more and more automated- for the most part, it seems like a good thing. Google has driving cars, we can ask our mobile phones where we should eat lunch and it will usually give a good answer. There are even machines that make coffee for us! Well, that one has been around for a while.
It’s not just our personal life that is getting easier- the business world can be simplified by incorporating the right technology like customer relationship management software for small business. Adopting a CRM is a great way to make your business life easier- however, it can’t do everything for you. Let’s look at some of the best strategies for using CRM to its fullest potential for small businesses.
Access from anywhere
Our business lives are getting more and more mobile. Cloud-based CRM is now capitalizing on this more than ever before. Make sure you select a CRM that can operate on different platforms, and once you do, encourage your employees to actually use these platforms. This can be anything from employees bringing in their own laptops to work or bringing a tablet or even a smartphone directly to the client.
Taking the CRM software directly to the client brings a few crucial advantages with it. For starters, sales people can have access to vital information like inventory counts or customisable options. Sales quotes can be created right on the spot, and more importantly, deals can be closed right there. Access to mobile CRM gives increases of 15% to sales reps according to Salesforce. This eliminates unnecessary trips back to the office or phone calls to different departments because everyone is accessing the same up to date information.
Customise your CRM for your individual business
One of the biggest benefits of custom software lies right in the name itself: the fact that it is custom. While CRM comes in many different varieties, some of them custom and some of them off the shelf, to get the most out of the program you will want to make sure it is adapted to your specific business. If you choose a CRM intended to work within a construction business but your field is in retail, there might be some drawbacks.
Luckily, most CRMs can be customised to work within many different industries. To get the most out of your CRM, ensure your the most vital information your company needs is integrated. Do this with the developer or your in house IT department- if, as a small business, you don’t have an IT department, don’t fret. Your CRM developer will be able to customise it for you and you might even be able to do it yourself. Is your business built on established contacts or new prospects? Quantity of sales or quality? In any case, make sure your chosen program works with you.
Use the CRM for the customer and not just your own business
Yes, CRM is intended to grow your business, grow your sales, and grow your profits. Under no circumstances should it be used to provide a customer with a worse experience. In fact, it should provide them with a better one. That’s right- you should be using CRM to make your own business life easier and also to make your customers’ lives easier as well. After all, 70% of a customer’s buying experience is based on how the customer feels they are treated.
Many larger companies are even employing Chief Customer Experience Officers, or CCEOs. As a small business, you likely take on this role already- along with CEO, CIO, CFO, and any other “C” and “O” job. Use the CRM to your advantage. Streamline the ordering process for customers and clients and eliminate frustrating mistakes. How many times have you tried to purchase something at a store or restaurant, only to find that it is out of stock or even a different price than advertised? When many customers experience this, they don’t wait for the item to come back in stock- they simply take their business elsewhere. CRM is tailor made for getting rid of these mistakes and making sure the customer has an easier time receiving, and paying for, their service.
Keep organized by actually using the CRM
Here comes the most important way to get the most out of a CRM: actually using it! Not just using it sparingly, either. It needs to be used for everything. There is a ton of data that your company is creating- everything from sales numbers to contact info to inventory. In order to get the most out of this data, it needs to be readily accessible by the program itself. However, the program can’t have access if the data itself was never input.
The solution is easy. Use the CRM for everything. A complete changeover is necessary- require your employees to stop using some programs for some functions and the CRM for others. Instead, everything needs to be run through the CRM. That way, everyone will have access to the right data exactly when they need it.
Remember: as much as a CRM can help your business, it can’t do everything itself. Make sure you’re helping it help you!