Running a small business in the 21st century can be as challenging as running a 100-year old global company. The advent of technology has made it a fair game for any type of business to compete in an almost parallel way. An existing company cannot survive if it still uses outdated technology. A startup company will not even make it to the other side of the door if it does not introduce something new or radical to the world.
Once you do make it and launched your first product or service, the novelty of the invention process starts to wear off. One day you’re brainstorming ideas and continuously discovering and rediscovering. The next day, you’re getting worked up about the legal paperwork, hiring employees, paying salaries, getting funded, and all the other unexciting things about operating a real business. This is where customer relationship management or CRM comes into play. CRM integrates various sections of your operations so that you can focus your time and energy on idea generation and making sense of customer insight. Here are the top three reasons why small businesses need a CRM.
- Organize Your Data and Get More Things Done
Compared to big corporations, small business or startup companies tend to have a lesser bureaucracy which in return, helps with implementing innovative solutions. Using a CRM system for small businesses can only help with data management so that essential tasks can be prioritized accordingly. When you start to expand or add more products to the mix, your business operations tend to grow as well. You will have more entries in your accounting books, new market niches to target and analyze, and additional distribution methods to take advantage of. Things can get out of hand before you know it. To manage growth, you have to hire more people or utilize systems that can optimize and streamline your process. A CRM is a useful system that provides a central database for both employee and customer data, integrates email and instant communication functionalities, and offers productivity tools.
- Provide Customer Support
There is no doubt how vital customer data is for small businesses regarding product development. The faster you can get your products to the users’ hands; the higher is your chance of getting valuable and actionable feedback. This helps with testing the functionality and usability of a prototype. A CRM in your business will help you keep a close relationship with your customers. As a business owner, you can efficiently handle customer concerns and answer queries efficiently. Customers will appreciate the added value knowing that the products or services that they purchased or subscribed to came with after sales support.
- Improve Workflow Automation
An organization that works in a silo is not something that you should aim for when you are operating your own small business. When the systems used to collect, process, and analyze data do not talk to each other, progress becomes slower, significant information is lost, and success is difficult to measure. On the other hand, using an integrated system like a CRM gives you a single point of entry where there is flexibility to handle information. The CRM creates automated workflows to segment, apply modeling, and send out information to different areas of your business.