Pagoda Blog


Why a CRM System is Crucial to the Success of Your Small Business

June 15, 2017

If you think your business is too small to warrant a CRM (customer relationship management) system, you may want to ask yourself a very important question: Does customer service matter to you and do you want to scale and grow your business? If the answer is yes (and we hope it is), then a CRM system is integral to the success of your business.

 

Here at Pagoda Technologies, we use a variety of online tools to help us manage client work and internal tasks. Our CRM system, however, is the most useful piece of technology in our toolbox. What we’ve found, is that as small business owners, we’re able to take the time to get to know many of our customers personally and stay in touch with them regularly. We’ve discovered their unique challenges and are constantly adapting our services to meet these challenges.

 

The problem is, it’s very hard to maintain this type of personalized service without the support of an automated system. A CRM system is the tool that will help you prioritize your customer relationships without causing you to lose focus on your product or service.

 

Before we dive into how this software can grow your business, what exactly is a CRM system?

What is a CRM System?

A CRM system is a type of software that captures, tracks, and organizes all your customer information in one place that you can access from anywhere. It can integrate with your calendar, address book, email, and other online accounts.

 

Now, let’s look at how this useful system can revolutionize the way you manage your customers, leads, and prospects:

 

Keep all your data in one place

When it comes to landing a new customer, easy access to past correspondences with your prospects and their position in the buyer’s journey is crucial. Searching through your inbox or call history to find a prospect’s contact information isn’t a productive use of your time. For instance, if you can’t locate a past email, you risk resending the same message or you may try to close with a prospect before they’re ready. Either of these mistakes can reflect poorly on your business and turn a warm lead cold.

 

The benefit of a CRM system is that it stores your correspondence history with individual prospects all in one place, ensuring you don’t duplicate your efforts or forget to follow-up with a lead who is almost ready to buy. Any team member can quickly search and find the information they need to best serve your customers, ensuring your business always puts its best foot forward.

 

Stay consistent with your data entry

When your lead sales rep goes on vacation, is it easy for the rest of your sales team to pick up where she left off? When customer data entry is stored in multiple locations, it often means that only one person on your team has access to an individual's contact info, history, and position in the sales funnel. This can be a big problem when someone is out of the office or when a team member moves onto a new job. A CRM system makes it easier for anyone on your sales team to follow-up with a lead and close the sale.

Never forget to follow-up

Following up with current customers and prospects is crucial to growing your business, but this is often where most small businesses fall short. How often do you follow-up with a prospect within 48hrs of your first correspondence? What about with a customer who has just purchased your product? Most of us forget to follow-up in a timely manner (or at all) but a CRM system can automatically set calendar reminders and notifications so that you always stay on top of your  communication with leads and current customers.

 

Focus on your product or service

Manual data entry quickly becomes tedious and unwieldy as your business starts to grow. It’s incredibly time consuming to consistently track contact information, new business meetings, correspondences, and sales pitch results into something like an Excel spreadsheet. Often this is time that could be spent on client work, improving your product, or closing a sale. A CRM system can capture a wide variety of valuable information, including:

 

  • Details about your customers and prospects, such as demographics, personal information, buying preferences and service issues
  • Meeting times, phone calls, to-do items and follow-up tasks
  • Inquiries received and emails sent
  • The status of various sales opportunities
  • Price quotes, sales orders and invoices
  • Visitors to your website

 

(The above list is adapted from a post on The Small Biz Ahead blog.)

It adapts to your workflow

Most CRM systems can integrate with the programs you use everyday, like G Suite, Dropbox, Microsoft Outlook, WordPress, Quickbooks, and Evernote. This allows you to easily capture data across the programs you’re already using.

 

The CRM system Insightly, for example, allows you to save and access important emails and customer information stored in your Gmail account. Zoho connects to your MailChimp account so you can see what links your subscribers are clicking, giving you yet a better understanding of the interests and behaviors of your customers, leads, and prospects.

 

It tracks your progress

CRM systems provide detailed reports so you can easily track your sales progress and pinpoint where you’re excelling and what areas need improvement. You can also pull out data around your customer’s life cycle, giving you a clearer picture of what your customers are buying, how much they’re spending, how often, and more.

 

Ready to incorporate a CRM system into your small business’s workflow? We recommend the following systems:

 

  • Insightly
  • Zoho
  • Salesforce
  • Base CRM

 

Looking for more ways to grow your business? You might like these posts:

 

How to Protect (and Grow) Your Online Presence

9 Useful Apps Every Business Owner Should Know About

 

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Need ongoing IT support for your business? Contact us for a free consultation. We’d love to work with you!

 

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About Pagoda Technologies IT services

Based in Santa Cruz, California, Pagoda Technologies provides trusted IT support to businesses and IT departments throughout Silicon Valley, the San Francisco Bay Area and across the globe. To learn how Pagoda Technologies can help your business, email us at support@pagoda-tech.com to schedule a complimentary IT consultation.

 




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