3 reasons why Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is important for small businesses

Katherine Young, Marketing Director, Dance Direct
Katherine Young, Marketing Director, Dance Direct

It’s true what they say, when they say “Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are powerful tools when used correctly!” Understanding CRM, the features available and how it can help you is just the beginning.

CRM is essentially giving leads and customers exactly what they want, rather than what we, the company, think they want. For instance, when a lead goes to a website and fills out the enquiry form, they will provide their requirements. Once this information has been received it will go into a database and this is where the sales pipeline begins. It is down to the sales team to then follow the lead through and to convert them into a happy customer.

CRM is vital to build and maintain strong, loyal relationships with customers and prospects. It allows a company to monitor their interactions with their customers and prospects, which will mean their team will always know where they are with the customer or lead, what they want and what the next stages are within the sales pipeline.

We believe there are many reasons to why CRM is important for small businesses, but here are 3 which are fundamental reasons why implementing the correct CRM for a company is important to their success, these are:

  • Increase profitability
  • Increase productivity
  • Improve customer service

Increase profitability

A CRM solution can help an organization to increase profitability by building and maintaining strong relationships with their customers and prospects. By retaining customers there will be less need to spend money on marketing to find and acquire new customers. Therefore, it is important for a business to retain and nurture customers as this will lead to a reduction in their marketing spend, which ultimately means more profit for their company. CRM solutions allow a company to maintain relationships with customers by knowing what they want and when they want it. Using the data collected from website traffic and enquiries allows a company to be able to strategically target certain products and services to the correct prospect or customer. By knowing what a customer or prospect has been viewing on the website, the company will be able to provide content or a follow up call offering them the services or products they are interested in – thus leading to a higher possibility of making a sale. Therefore, targeting the correct products or services to the correct customer or prospect could potentially lead to an increase in sales and thus increase in profits. It is also vital to recognize the importance of building new relationships with prospects to bring in additional revenue. A CRM can help with both, nurturing existing relationships and acquiring and building new ones.

Increase productivity

Automation is key to increasing the productivity in a team. Where a team was/ is manually inputting data and searching through different files to find the information needed, a CRM solution will automate this all for the organization, all by a click of a button. Therefore the time a team have been wasting doing tasks manually, can now be automated, allowing teams to make more efficient use of their time – for instance, following up and warming up leads.

With a CRM solution an organization can have all the information needed about customers, the interaction they have had and the sales pipeline information all in one place. Therefore there is no need to manually search through different documents to find the information needed, as it will all be in one place. CRM solutions will also allow teams to create reports across many different databases with the information required, in a few simple steps, rather than having teams to create reports themselves. Consequently this means that time can be better utilized, for instance, spending more time following up leads, converting prospects into customers and making more sales.

Improve customer service

Did you know, only 7% of organizations follow their web leads within an hour. The sooner a lead is followed up the higher the possibility in converting them into a customer. The result: a lot of wasted leads. It’s all about first impressions and getting to your prospects in good time, because the chances are they have contacted your competitors too. In fact, according to Forbes, 71% of organizations waste their web leads by taking up to 47 hours to follow up with them.

A CRM system will assist a sales team in following up leads in real time, as and when they come in. A CRM will give reminders to prompt when a lead or customer needs following up with, allowing the sales team to nurture a relationship with their prospects and customers. Having these reminders will allow an organization to contact their prospects and customers at the right time, meaning time won’t be spent bombarding them with unwanted phone calls and emails or they won’t go unattended for an extended period of time. Simple features such as screen pop and real time customer engagement within a CRM greatly improves customer service.

Screen pop is when the team receives a call from an existing customer or prospect already in the system, the account and contact history will pop up on the screen. The team member will know who is calling and will have all the information to hand allowing them to project a professional and confident image from the outset, increasing customer engagement and satisfaction.

Real time customer engagement is about giving the customer an experience as personal as possible. By keeping up to date with a customer’s industry news and updates a company will be able to deepen an existing relationship or ensure that prospects feel like they understand their business. A CRM solution will provide links and live feeds to the customer or prospects social media platforms, whilst also being able to utilise google news for updates.