Often, when someone starts a new business, their biggest clients are their friends, family, and acquaintances. Maintaining a personalised relationship with these customers is usually very easy. The small number of contacts and existing relationships make it easy to maintain great connections. These connections often result in referrals and fantastic reviews as a result of our personalized services.
However, with time, the businesses grow. Customers multiply, and it will most likely get difficult keeping tabs and feedback from every single client. It is for this reason that most growing and successful businesses require a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.
What Is A CRM Tool?
A CRM system is an automated system for managing all details and contacts of your customers and potential clients. Data stored is often determined by the business or industry. It can range from merely their contact details to:-
- their preferences,
- former communications,
- previous purchases,
- sales details,
- follow-ups, deadlines, and
- any other notes collected from your customers.
There is no limit when it comes to CRM.
With a CRM tool, you can centralise the data collected by all the members of your team, in one place. Therefore enabling you to maintain meaningful personal connections with an unlimited number of clients. While additionally allowing for the scalability of your business, generation of analytical reports, and collaboration with members of your team.
Why Use A CRM And Not Spreadsheets?
According to a study by HubSpot, about 40% of salespeople still use informal tools such as spreadsheets for CRM. While using a Spreadsheet has its perks such as affordability. As your business grows, spreadsheets will just not cut it, especially if you’re aiming for efficient and productive relationships with all your customers.
For instance, spreadsheets limit your entries for each client’s information. When working with a spreadsheet, you might find the need only to record the basic contact information of the customer. A CRM, on the other hand, allows you to keep track of every detail of the customer’s information across the sales process.
Additionally, as you hire more people in your team, you will require a system that allows all members of your team to access the information in real-time and to collaborate. Research has shown that 65% of successful businesses adopt CRM in the first five years of operations. The rate of adoption has also been proven to get higher as companies employ a larger team.
Furthermore, spreadsheets do not:-
- offer automation,
- marketing campaign options, or
- integrations with other apps such as emails.
Moreover, they do not generate useful insights and comparative reports on your customers. Therefore, it might be time you considered upgrading to a CRM system.
Small businesses find a challenge moving from spreadsheets to CRM, due to fears of complexity, integration, or cost. However, you can leverage the many user-friendly and free CRM tools for small businesses to get you started. As you continue to grow your customer base, perhaps you can invest in a premium subscription with more advanced features.
If you’re still not sure whether a CRM is an excellent fit for you, or if you need any help getting started with CRM, get in touch. As a Virtual Business Manager I can set set up an automated CRM system that fits your business needs. Helping you grow your operations, manage your current & potential customers, and assist you with maintaining a personal relationship with each one of them, no matter how many they are.