When starting a business, the implementation of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system may seem like an additional and unnecessary expense, but committing to it from the outset will realise a number of benefits including the development of a clear and focused sales strategy, together with the opportunity to strengthen new client relationships.
Often overlooked by startup businesses, here is the key information you need to know about CRMs, including insight into how they can be utilised to develop an effective sales strategy regardless of your business sector or size:
WHAT DOES A CRM SYSTEM DO?
Simply put, a CRM enables startups to understand and cement relationships with customers, service users, colleagues and suppliers alike.
Initial foundations are built by recording customer contact information in filing important details such as email addresses, telephone numbers and social media profiles. It can also store other information such as recent news about the company and the client’s personal communication preferences.
From the ‘admin’ processes, CRMs can be utilised to store sales opportunities, highlight potential customers, schedule plans, drive email marketing activity, create activity reports and set task reminders, therefore combining a variety of tools used by businesses all in one place to drive a cohesive and consistent sales strategy.
WHY IS CRM IMPORTANT TO STARTUPS?
Establishing strong relationships with clients whilst keeping track of prospects is crucial for any startup to aid business growth. The simplicity and highly customisable dashboards of most CRMs give users clarity on the status of current relationships and can compile all previous correspondence with the existing or potential customer, providing enough information for team members to build long-term working relationships.
What’s more, customers can easily see when a team member is not on the same page due to lack of consistent information. In their eyes, they have a relationship with the company rather than a collection of different people. Therefore, if everyone working on the account has access to the relevant information and any previous correspondence via a CRM, client relations will run a lot smoother.
When working in a small team, CRMs are extremely beneficial for employees working across multiple accounts, as it becomes far easier to jump between clients and share the workload. Furthermore, if an employee is on annual leave or leaves the business permanently a CRM prevents the issue of misinformed handovers.
HOW CAN CRM AID SALES?
Building strong customer relationships is the key to a startup’s growth, particularly when trying to develop and establish a business during the current global pandemic. When utilised effectively, a CRM system can help businesses increase and maintain a pipeline of new sales.
Capturing and continuously working on new lead generation is vital for every sales strategy. A CRM plays a pivotal role in supporting this by monitoring potential clients’ interaction with marketing tools, such as social media engagement, email marketing, form fills and website interaction.
In addition, using a CRM enables startups to easily keep an eye on sales cycles and highlight any cracks in the current approach. By documenting every lead, whether it succeeds or not, trends and patterns can be monitored, allowing the sales team to see what’s working and what areas need to be improved.
When managed effectively, a CRM also provides access to a great amount of data from lead research, meaning sales representatives can propose specific offers to potential clients based on the information available, creating a case by case and bespoke sales approach.
Ultimately, CRM solutions support the workflow of start-ups, allowing client relations to run as smoothly as possible, whilst providing the foundations for a strong and cohesive sales strategy.
By implementing a CRM system early, start-ups can tailor processes to their individual business needs and keep employees on task and in-sync, making sales activity far more successful and profitable from the outset – which in the current economic climate, will be vital for success.
This content was also published online at Startups magazine.