Business GrowthCRM BasicsCRM Best Practices

Best Customer Relationship Management (CRM) for Small Businesses

What is the BEST CRM system for your small business?

Regardless of the size of your company, you need to take full advantage of the tools and technologies that can fuel your business’s success. That means using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. You need a CRM that is easy to use and has the full functionality of an Enterprise CRM-without the complexity and the huge price tag.

So if your small company needs a CRM solution, which one should you buy? Should you get a simple CRM that only focuses on small businesses? What about a CRM system that specializes in your industry and for small businesses? Or maybe you only need a small business marketing solution? Should you have a cloud-based CRM or one that is on premise?

The answer is simple, you need the best CRM system that fits your growing small business.

Don’t limit your options based on what you need now. Find a CRM solution that fits your current needs and that also allows you to grow to use the total solution. Look for tools that aren’t too complex, that have the flexibility of selecting features and pricing for what you need today.

 

Four Key Areas of CRM

Your customer-facing teams are the core users of your CRM. These teams include sales, marketing and customer support. Your business may not have all of these teams now, or you may have people that wear multiple hats, and cover several roles. You will need to decide what features you need now, but also consider what you will need in the future. The categories below explain the four key modules of all best enterprise CRM systems.

1. Contact Management – organizes client and prospect information and interactions

2. Marketing Automation – lead tracking, email marketing and event management

3. Sales Force Automation – track sales opportunities, pipeline reports, quotes & contracts

4. Customer Service – support tickets, issues tasks & escalation

Overlay features include email integration, mobile app, workflow automation, email and business intelligence. You may not need all these features and functions today, but if your goal is to grow your company, you will need these options at some point. And rather than looking for a good solution now and then do the same research again later, find one that will work for you long-term.

What CRM features do you need now?

Contact Management

Every company needs to centralize and communicate important information about your customers and prospects. A lot of small companies allow their employees to keep track of their own customer data with spreadsheets or other simple solutions. But what if they leave? They will take that data with them. And what if you need that information right now? You’ll have to wait for them to email it to you. You need a CRM contact center that organizes all your clients and future customer’s data. And then be able to share this data real-time and run reports on this information.

Benefits of Contact Management for Small Businesses:

  • Centralize details about customers & future customers
  • Share information internally
  • Real-time access
  • Create tasks or reminders for yourself or others-escalating when necessary

Marketing Automation

Once your data is centralized in one location, you will need to communicate with your clients and future customers on a recurring basis. You need a marketing system. You need a tool that sends out custom emails based on past purchases (warranty information or up-sell related products). A tool that informs others of new products and services. A good marketing component of a CRM will also show opened and clicked links and then report your ROI.

Benefits of Marketing Automation for Small Businesses:

  • Ongoing personalized email marketing
  • Lead scoring & lead nurturing
  • Reports of emails opened and links that are clicked

Sales Force Automation

If you have a sales team with lots of opportunities to track, and manual sales processes, then you need a sales automation system. This allows your sales teams to work from the same templates keeping your data consistent for forecasts and pipelines. Most CRM offerings provide sales quoting tools with contract and project management. Having this data in one place makes it easy to get updates and last minute changes automatically. And with CRM dashboards, you will have your important details at your fingertips.

Benefits of Sales Automation for Small Businesses:

  • Real-time access to forecast reports & sales pipelines
  • Sales quoting tools
  • Sales activities in a central location
  • Bring together sales and marketing
  • Pipeline charts and graphs

Customer Service

Customer Service applications are also part of a complete CRM system. This is critical for tracking customer’s questions and issues. Your teams can quickly answer questions by looking up resolutions in a knowledge base or escalating to the right team member.
Having immediate access to solutions will keep your customers happy long-term.

Benefits of Customer Support for Small Businesses:

  • Helpdesk ticket management-customer portal, emails, and phone calls
  • Quick access to knowledge base resolutions
  • Automatic escalation for problem tickets
  • Project management for post-sales process tracking

Invest in a Quality CRM that Grows with You

Get the best solution for you now and add on users and features as your small business grows. Overlay features include mobile CRM, workflow automation, email integration, and business intelligence. You may not need all these features and functions today, but if your goal is to grow your company, you will need these options at some point. And rather than looking for a good solution now and then do the same research again later, find one that will work for you long-term. Get the best solution for you now and add on users and features as your small business grows.

Conclusion

If you have a small business, you need a CRM system. It won’t take a large investment for you to get a complete CRM management system that can grow with you. Look for solutions that have a low user minimum that also allows you to buy only the modules you need now.

If you are looking for a CRM with free plans, you will get what you pay for. And then, you will eventually pay a substantial amount when you need more features and users. Focus on CRM companies that care about your business and have the software that fits your processes and not the other way around! Read more on our CRM SMB page or contact us at 972.304.7100.

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