Published On: Tue, Mar 10th, 2015

Your Small Business Needs CRM, Here’s Why

Small business owners are generally familiar with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and its growing popularity, but are not sure if they should make the investment. Recent studies show that a fully-utilized CRM system can be very valuable to a company, for the following reasons:

Small Business Needs CRM

  • Simplify complex channel data – a CRM unifies the data from several marketing channels.
  • Visual representation – lists of disparate marketing data are compiled into an intuitive visual view.
  • CRM data can be paired with other systems such as accounting software packages, to streamline business efficiency further.

Many companies have found they have transformed their business through a small business CRM system. Many have experienced sales growth by as much as 29%. CRM systems leverage the contact lists of individual employees into a company-wide list that benefits all.

Break Down the Barriers

Although a CRM can be a powerful tool, a poor implementation strategy can prevent favorable results before the system ever had a chance. The following are elements of a successful CRM adoption plan:

  • Choose a simple, intuitive system – several CRMs on the market are overly complex. This defeats the purpose of simplifying a complex data system. Employees will not use management’s choice of a Customer Relationship Management system if it is overly complex. A manager can prevent this problem by sticking to the essential prospect information: discussion topics, follow-up dates, action plans, the point of contact, and the dollar potential of the opportunity.
  • Company integration – make sure that the CRM does not operate in a vacuum. It must complement the existing company systems. The most important component is intersystem communication through the import/export data process.
  • Make the CRM the standard – prevent employees from circumventing the system. Adopt a policy of no credit if the info does not come from the CRM.
  • Regular reports – make sure the CRM data is compiled into regular reports. Use them to assess sales rep efficiency, upcoming sales opportunities, and target tracking milestones.

Training is Key

No matter how intuitive the CRM, management must ensure that employees are not intimidated by the learning curve. The implementation of the CRM must be accompanied by company-wide training sessions. They do not have to be exhaustive – no need to make the new system the enemy. Show employees what they have to gain from the new system. Let them get their hands on it.

Effective training comes in regular doses. Have follow up meetings to help users deal with the issues that will arise for your particular business. Let experienced users train the newest members of the sales team.

By using these strategies and focusing on the impressive benefits of a CRM system, a company can use this important tool to enhance their sales process.