When is the Right Time for Small Business to Invest in CRM
You started your own business some while ago and now it has started scaling to its fullest capacity, after the sheer hard work that you put in. Real traction, boost in revenues and a huge customer list determine the success of your business and they’re growing exponentially well. As the business grows, there are certain problems you’ve started to notice – it’s become tougher to deliver consistent customer service and there is a slight loss in the number of customers.
What are the greatest alerts that show it is high time for a CRM?
- When there are Enough Customers – Customers are the life-line of any business and they deserve the best service. So if there is even an incremental decrease in the level of customer service that’s been vented out by them somewhere, it’s time to choose a tool that would make their experience better with your company and thus develop a long lasting relation.
- When you have Started Losing Customer – No matter how many hundreds or thousands of customers you have, but if their number starts to shrink you need to gain an insight into why they leaved, what part of pipeline they leaved and if you have no answer to this, the trouble has started. A CRM would track and identify what exactly happened by identifying the customer trends and help you solve the issues.
- When there has Started to Develop a Communication Gap with Customers – Each member of your sales team should stay in contact with the customers and answer their queries as and when they arise. But when the number of sales rep becomes lower than the customers and due to this not able to communicate properly with the customers, you should buy a CRM.
- When you have No Idea about What Is to Come – How great would it be to have a crystal ball that would forecast everything about your customers and the sales team! A CRM is that crystal ball that analyses the previous performance, sets up goals for achieving the future business needs and helps you track all the trends in your business.
- When you’ve Started to Grow – When you started your business, there were a handful of team members and a few customers. But as the business scales up everything cannot be done and tracked manually and therefore comes the need to introduce systems that would lower your work burden. Here when a CRM is introduced, it becomes less excruciating to manage multiple aspects of your business at the tips of your computer.
CRM (Customer Relation Management) maintains your customer relations, communications and transactions perfectly organized to ensure that your business curve grows instead of declining. There are so many benefits of CRM software for organization.
So now that all these signs have spiked up, at what point should you buy a CRM? Well, there is no fixed answer to this, but figuratively we suggest some indications that would give you a sound notice. When it becomes almost impossible or difficult to manually make the customer calls, follow-up calls, handling them, taking up inquiries and managing the continuous churning of sales cycle becomes more difficult than the past, you’ll come to know there is a need for a CRM. It is said, ideally after getting your first 100 customers, you should invest in the CRM because by then you would be financially sound to afford one.
How would you dig up into the process of selecting the CRM?
Start from consulting everyone associated with your business. Ask the customers what they expect from you to handle or create seamless customer relations, ask your industry competitors which CRM they are using and ask your staffers their jobs, which tools that when used would help them carry out their work more efficiently, the problems that are dampening their workflow and take a note of all this. Sometimes, even your customers use CRM in their own business so they too have a sound knowledge and guide you to select the most appropriate software. Apart from this, when you talk with fellow competitors, you come to know the flaws of right CRM software and this in turn prevents you from using those and saving yourself the extra headache of choosing the wrong one.
How would you choose the right vendor amongst this tangled marketplace?
Take the help of internet; find out all the vendors and the software’s they offer and list down the services that they offer. Go to the CRM representatives, trade shows and educate yourself with the in-and-out of all the aspects of the software. Prepare a checklist of all the requirements that are needed in your business and the major services that each vendor and software offers.
Some questions that you should ask the software vendor are:
Is the CRM flexible enough to scale with the growth of business?
Will it integrate with the other running applications already adopted?
Will the new CRM be compatible with the existing ERP and accounting software?
Is it possible to update and add new features to the CRM?
Will it be compatible with your business 2 years down the line?
Is it easy to use for your employees?
Once you have shortlisted a few software’s, ask each vendor to demonstrate its working when clubbed with your customer data. Always include your employees in this process as they would be using it the most. Although adopting new software is painful for the entire company and to get used to its working takes some time, but it ultimately pays off.
Guest Author Bio:
Dhruv Patel: “Being a non-tech but technological guy, Dhruv spend most of time in managing content, SEO & PPC for SoftwareSuggest.com, India’s largest business discovery and recommendation platform. Attended BKMIBA HLBBA. Currently living and working in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.”