A CRM suite isn’t just for the biggest Fortune 500 enterprises anymore.
More small and mid-sized businesses are adopting Customer Relationship Management systems as a key part of their overall customer outreach and retention strategies.
A CRM is a powerful way to make sure you’re capturing and centralizing all the important details that have to do with each one of your customer accounts, whether new or established.
Without a CRM, sales pros usually fall into one of two camps:
- Trying to remember everything with Post-Its and other, shall we say, analog tools.
- Using a range of different programs to store info, including email and spreadsheets.
Both of these techniques have some obvious drawbacks.
Sales pros who are taking handwritten notes in 2018 are at a huge disadvantage against competitors.
They can easily lose vital information or simply forget about the most crucial facts when they need them. Needless to say, this traditional method is falling out of favor fast.
Using several different programs to gather and store information is still common, though – especially in sales departments with between 2-10 people.
The huge adoption of chat services like Slack for work has given some teams the idea that all their data is tied together, when in fact it is still floating loose.
There are lots of pitfalls here, too. It’s very easy to waste time duplicating information, but also easy to lose it. If you find yourself spending a lot of time combing through threads looking for exactly the factoid you need to move forward, you’ve seen the problem firsthand.
Luckily, a good CRM does away with all of that – and adds much more value besides.
Let’s run through the top benefits of a CRM for your company:
1. A CRM Means Better, More Effective Follow-Up
For all the other things a CRM does, this deserves to go at the top of the list.
Follow-up is one area where a lot of teams fall flat, even if individuals perform well. We all know that the first time you talk to most leads, they won’t be ready to make a buy – but it’s harder to accept that it might take three, five, or even seven contacts to make it happen.
Still, being persistent with people already in your funnel will pay off in the long run. It’s also a lot easier – for you and them – than expecting to close an agreement perfectly the first time. Let your inbound strategy work: With good follow-up, leads can steep in your Web content until they’re ready.
2. A CRM Centralizes Everything in One Location
With a CRM, you’ll always know where to find what you’re looking for.
Since CRMs sort everything in terms of accounts, you can see the capsule overview of an entire relationship in an instant. That includes when and how “first contact” was made, what other major milestones have happened (and when) and what client info you’ve gathered in research.
3. A CRM Is More Cost-Effective in the Long Run
A Customer Relationship Management system calls for an upfront investment, but it will pay for itself if used wisely. Sure, it might seem like a CRM can’t compare in cost to a patchwork of free or low-cost tools, but you have to look at the sales strategy’s big picture.
A good CRM will do all of the following, often within the first few weeks of adoption:
- Let you cut out other software you might be using and licensing at premium prices.
- Accelerate your sales cycle by weeks or even months, especially in the B2B world.
- Help you cultivate and close on new business that would otherwise be left behind.
All in all, your CRM should add a substantial amount of sales revenue to your pipeline within a relatively short time.
Not only will you have the chance to cut some overhead and complexity, but you’ll find it easier to identify and act on the biggest opportunities available.
4. A CRM is Scalable (Especially Versus the Alternatives)
If you have more than five prospects in the pipeline, you’ll quickly see how easy it is to drown in Excel spreadsheets and Notepad files.
No matter how sophisticated and consistent your own filing system is, a software-based system will simply grow better with your business.
Even the stress relief you get from the added ease of use is worthwhile.
5. A CRM Delivers Much Better Data
Ultimately, you can only refine your sales techniques if you’re getting enough data. Inbound sales (and marketing, too!) rely on crafting your approach and message in accordance with the known facts about your prospects and leads.
The more concrete data you have, the easier it is to make a genuine connection.
Like your website’s data analytics suite, your CRM is always chugging along, building up new data in the background.
That data helps you understand what’s working well and what you could be doing better, ideally fitting into an end-to-end data-driven strategy.
6. A CRM Leads to Easier Collaboration
With a CRM in place, you can assign particular leads to particular sales reps or allow all sales reps to follow the process as a lead develops.
This is a great teaching tool, but it also ensures that everyone is on the same page at all times. Leads are much less likely to slip through the cracks, and you can plan and coordinate within your group when progress on stalls out.
CRM implementation is on the rise, but there’s still time to get in on the trend before it goes from “nice to have” to “must have.” Here at BluLeadz, we stand by the free HubSpot CRM for both our own team and clients who’ll benefit from the boost it can offer.
No matter which option you pick, the sooner you get started with a CRM, the better. The benefits will be noticeable fast and they’ll only build with time – equipping your whole team with competitive advantages that spreadsheets and Post-Its just can’t match.