How To Choose A CRM Tool
(Last Updated On: May 10, 2021)
The amount of money your business generates depends directly on how well you take care of your customers.
A study by American Express proves this. According to their report:
“ 69% (Customers) say they are willing to spend more with a company that has good customer service.”
If your business is just getting off the ground, you will take care of your new customers very well. That’s because you only have a few.
But what happens when your business grows? What happens when you get 100, 1,000 or maybe even 100,000 new customers? Will you be able to take care of them the same way as you did of your first 10 customers?
The answer is probably no.
So What’s The Solution?
If you want your revenue to increase, you need to take care of your customers. The above arguments prove at least that much.
But taking care of 10 customers is easy. How do you provide good customer support to hundreds or thousands of customers?
With CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software.
Capterra provides an excellent definition of why your business should use CRM software:
“Customer relationship management software (CRM) helps companies streamline their sales and outreach processes by managing their customer database, tracking communications, and forecasting sales. All types of businesses can use CRM software to maintain and develop relationships with current and potential customers.”
When used properly, CRM can give you a wealth of information about your customers, identify the ones that are most valuable and assist you to provide high quality and personalized support to them.
These are the three main areas in your business where CRM software can help:
1. Lead Generation
CRM can help you convert your leads. It will store your whole list of contacts, which includes both customers and new prospects. You can then sort these contacts to different segments and assign your sales team to contact each individual lead. This way, you will become more effective at taking advantage of your sales opportunities and convert more of your leads into customers.
Traditionally, chances are you used to store these leads into spreadsheets. There were no reminders and your team had to manually keep track of which lead they called and what was the result.
CRM, on the other hand, has the ability to remind you when it’s time to contact a lead and you can also note down the result of each call you make.
2. Sales and Marketing
CRM can help you automate many repetitive sales related tasks. For example, as soon as you sign up a new customer, you can set up your CRM to send him/her a new welcome email.
In addition, you can also accurately segment your contacts based on who they are, which industry they operate in and how valuable they are. You can then send them various marketing emails automatically in a highly personalized manner.
This way, you’ll be able to attract new leads towards your business and get existing customers interested in your new products or upcoming services.
3. Customer Support
Your current customers deserve the most attention. That’s because it’s easy to get them interested in your new products and services. Acquiring and getting a sale from new customers is always more expensive.
Keeping this in mind, your CRM can help you provide customer support to both: your new and old customers.
You can easily create support tickets within your CRM and assign your support team to follow up on customers who have tried to contact you. Your CRM will automatically remind you and your team members when it is time to contact a customer. Moreover, you can write a note on each customer profile, so any agent who calls them, knows in advance what kind of problem the customer was having.
What Features Should You Look Out For In A CRM?
Before you can make a decision as to what CRM you need, here are five essential features you should know about (that every CRM should provide for you).
- Contact Storage, Lead Management and Profiling: The most important part of CRM – and the reason why your business should use it – is the fact that it can store every single one of your leads and contacts. Before getting CRM, make sure it allows you to store a sufficient amount of contacts in the system. Because unless you are able to store your contacts, you won’t be able to take any action or store other data about your leads and customers.
- Ability To Create Follow up Tasks and Reminders: After providing you with the necessary storage for your contacts, your CRM should give you the ability to create follow up actions and reminders. Because after you store your contacts, you’ll want to get in touch with them. That’s why a CRM should let you assign actions to your team, set up reminders and create follow up events, so you and your sales team can get in touch with your prospects and customers.
- A Bird’s Eye View of Everything That’s Happening: The first thing you’ll see in your CRM is a big dashboard. This dashboard will show you what kind of activities are happening in your company. You’ll be able to see if tasks are being completed, which activities are pending, which events were a failure or a success, which activities are delayed and other kind of information. Your CRM, in this regard, should be flexible enough to show you the exact information you require.
- Email Marketing Software: If you have thousands, or even hundreds of customers, you and your team won’t have time to call them. And anyway, frequent calls can frankly make your customers uncomfortable. That’s why you should ensure that your CRM software provider gives you an email marketing solution or allows you to integrate with one. This is important, because email can be used to acquire new leads, convert them into customers and provide them with customer support.
- Reports Which Show You The Results: At the end of the day, all that really matters is what kind of results you get. How many sales did you and your team make? How many leads turned into customers? How many customers cancelled their orders or subscriptions? What was the result of the constant follow up calls and emails? All information that your company requires, CRM should provide it and show you the results of your efforts in a visual and concise manner.
These are the five main things your CRM should help you with. While this is by no means a full list of features, it should provide you with a good idea as to what you should look for when choosing your CRM.
How To Choose a CRM Provider?
Now that you have a basic idea of what essential features you should expect to get from CRM, let’s discuss something more important: choosing a CRM provider.
Choosing your CRM provider is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make, because once you implement CRM in your business, you’ll be stuck with the company that provides you with it. And shifting to another provider will require a tremendous amount of time and money.
That’s why you need to make sure your CRM provider can satisfy your business needs.
Here are a few things you should check before becoming a customer of a CRM provider:
- Are they cloud-based: You should check if the CRM provider offers cloud-based services. If their software doesn’t work in the cloud and you have to download it in your computer, depending on your use case, it might not be a good choice for you. If you use cloud-based CRM, you can access your information from anywhere and on any device.
- Do they offer flexible plans: The next thing you need to check is whether your CRM provider offers diverse plans. There are chances your business might grow extremely fast or quickly slow down during the year. Due to this, you need to ensure whether your CRM provider offers flexible plans, so you don’t lose money in case of sudden shifts in requirements.
- Is the software easy-to-use: If you’re going to be stuck with CRM software for many years, you need to ensure whether it is user friendly or not. No matter how many features your CRM provider promises, never compromise on ease-of-use. While it’s true that every CRM has a learning curve, you need to make sure the user interface is easy to understand, no matter how many options it has.
- Do they offer good technical support: Your CRM provider should assure you that they can help you set up your CRM in case you can’t. In addition, they should also provide you quick technical support, in case you encounter any issues when using their CRM. This is extremely important, because no matter what CRM you use, you will inevitably run into issues, and your provider should help you solve them instead of leaving you to google your way out of problems.
- Are they within your budget: Once you’re satisfied with the above concerns, the last thing you should check is whether the price they are asking for is within your budget or not. To be sure of that, check different CRM providers and see who offers more features at a certain price point. With that said, don’t make price your only metric for deciding on CRM. Make sure to satisfy other concerns like user interface, customer support and features first.
Every CRM should provide you with these basic features. If your CRM provider fulfills all of the above requirements, then you can consider adopting their software for your business.
What Makes A CRM Such A Smart Investment?
Curated by IBM, here are 5 benefits you can get using CRM:
- Convert more leads: Because CRM keeps track of your interactions for you, and reminds you when to follow up on leads, you naturally convert more of them into customers, since your leads don’t get buried away. Businesses without CRM fail to convert 79% of their leads.
- Acquire leads at a lesser cost: Getting new leads for a product or service is not an easy job. You have to follow up on a lead multiple times for them to convert into your paying customer. Because CRM lets you automate much of your sales and marketing activities, acquiring a lead becomes 23% cheaper – all because you used CRM.
- Improved customer service: Customers, especially if they are millenials, are willing to spend more money if companies provide good customer service. Because CRM provides such a robust customer support platform, you can expect your company’s customer support to improve by nearly 50%.
- Increased revenue: CRM will automate your sales, marketing and customer support – increasing efficiency in all three areas. The result? A astounding 41% revenue increase is realized with CRM.
- Get A 5x ROI: If none of the above reasons convince you, here’s something that will: for every $1 you invest in CRM, you’ll get $5 back. That’s because of all the reasons we mentioned above i.e. low lead cost, high conversion rates, better customer service and more.
When you realize the sheer scale at which a CRM can help your business, getting one should become a no-brainer.
How Do You Know if CRM is A Good Fit For Your Business?
Most people are confused as to what CRM does. Let’s be clear:
Your CRM can’t grow your business by itself. It can’t make new leads and new customers appear out of thin air. It isn’t a substitute if you have a low quality product or service.
But here’s what CRM can help you with:
- You aren’t able to keep up with your leads: Every growing business gets new inquiries or new people contacting them every day. If you can’t manage your leads properly and keep losing them, CRM can help you.
- Your customer service isn’t up to mark: Do your customers complain that you don’t respond well to them? Or do you yourself feel your staff can’t keep up with the customer phone calls? Your CRM can help you improve your support, so you don’t lose these customers.
- You don’t have a clear way of tracking your sales: How much money did you make last month? How many new customers did you win? How many did you lose? If all of this is too hard to track, CRM can help you identify and forecast your current and future revenue.
In short, if your business is growing despite using CRM, ironically, that’s when you need it the most.
The faster your business grows, the more risk there is of it slowing down. With CRM, you can manage and monitor your growth to a path of sustainability and predictability.
If there’s any problem, i.e. low amount of leads, high number of customers leaving, decrease in profits etc., your CRM will let you know about this in advance. On the other hand, if there’s any progress, i.e. higher conversions, more customers, increase in sales, your CRM will let you know about this as well.
CRM isn’t just a tool you use to manage your business, but rather an intelligent assistant that makes it easier for you to get more leads, run your customer service and make more sales.
Are you in the process of choosing CRM for your business? Let us know how it’s going for you.
EVIE JOHNSONJanuary 1, 2020 at 9:38 am
I read the entire article. Great article! Useful and well-structured information and provides such informative information. thank you for sharing the article.