In our previous blog, we explored the primary benefits that startups and small businesses can derive by implementing CRM. A good CRM software organizes customer information systematically, creates positive experiences for customers, automates routine tasks, provides insightful reports, and helps in the overall lead management as well as sales management.
But, did you know that your startup or small business can put CRM to several other different uses to witness growth? Let’s take a look at these uses.
Facilitate Open Dialogue and Collaboration
Customer relationship management is not a standalone function. It involves all teams of the organization, right from sales and marketing to HR and operations. In order to be able to deliver excellent customer service, it is imperative that all functions work in tandem. However, lack of interdepartmental communication and collaboration can often do more harm than good to customer service. In case of startups particularly, the collaboration can go haywire as everyone is multi-tasking and processes are hardly defined.
Since CRM consolidates each and every little piece of customer data in one place, it makes it easy for every individual or department to access the most accurate and updated information at their fingertips. It eliminates the ambiguity which might occur if the there is no transparency with respect to the communication trail via emails, phone calls or paper documentation. Apart from being an effective sales lead tool, CRM also makes sure that it builds camaraderie between teams and keeps everyone on the same page with respect to the information on existing and potential contacts.
Reduce Dependency on People
How often does it happen that you are left clueless when an employee quits the company, calls in sick for the day or takes off for a vacation without handing over the charge? CRM for startups ensures that such incidents do not occur as the entire database and updates are maintained in the software itself. It becomes convenient to monitor who is/was doing what, and the ownership of that particular contact can be reassigned or delegated to someone else without any hitch. Basically, CRM software enables startups to become person-independent and establish an automated backup system to retain ownership of the customer information.
Manage On-field and Remote Teams
Sales people are usually away from offices, but they need to stay connected to the office. So, do the remote teams which are quite common these days in the case of startups. Communication with on-field and remote teams is not as easy as with those present in the offices. So, it requires smoother collaboration. At the same time, such teams need to have the flexibility and accessibility that they can use irrespective of location or time barriers. They don’t have to waste time coming back to the office to retrieve customer information, complete paperwork, give updates or prepare quotes. Instead, through CRM, they can stay in touch with their prospects and colleagues even while on the go. If your startup is having employees at multiple geographical points, CRM can present dashboards on their activities for every location and compare the results.
Boost Networking Efforts
Networking is the lifeline of any startup. You never know when a contact will transform into an opportunity. Entrepreneurs and their teams work relentlessly to go networking and generate new contacts. Networking can happen through email campaigns, trade shows, webinars, cocktail parties, lunch meets or any other medium that has a scope to touch base with potential customers or investors. However, tracking every connection and every interaction could become a cumbersome task.
CRM for small businesses can push networking efforts in various ways:
- Feed contacts and leads, their phone numbers, addresses, email ids and more.
- Attach notes from the conversations so that there is no need for manual recall.
- Track feedbacks, experiences and opinions of contacts.
- Share the contact data across the organization and create a searchable database.
- Follow-up with leads and investors for the next round of meeting.
By capturing all networking information in one single place, CRM also prevents overlapping or duplication of contacts, and thereby, avoid any chaos in the organization and conflicts within teams.
Enable Lead Source Tracking
Organizations generate leads from several channels – trade shows, websites, social media, email campaigns, cold calls, referrals and advertisement. How would you find out which channel is generating the maximum or minimum leads, which ones are converting the best, and how channels are performing vis-a-vis each other or as compared to previous years? How would you allocate a marketing budget to each channel? Well, CRM can come to rescue here as well. CRM software usually has a field called ‘Lead Source’ which helps to track the history of lead like a pro. It provides access to dynamic, consistent and accurate data with respect to lead source origins.
CRM can be also integrated with Google Analytics through Google URL builder tool through which lead source of all email visitors can be tracked. The Google URL builder enables to add lead source and campaign details with each link, and put those in the email content. When CRM is integrated with email marketing platforms such as Mailchimp, ConvertKit, Constant Contact, etc., you can run highly targeted and automated email campaigns based on the lead sources.
As you must have understood, CRM has several standard and unique uses. However, to get the best results, it is advisable to choose the best CRM tailored to your specific business needs.