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How a CRM system can help small businesses grow

Regardless of size, businesses around the world are turning to customer relationship management (CRM) systems to gain a stronger foothold in the marketplace, attract more customers, and grow as a result. But why is a CRM system so critical to today's business success?

WHY IS A CRM SYSTEM SO CRITICAL TO TODAY'S BUSINESS SUCCESS?

The trick is that CRM takes care of the most important aspect in business - the relationship between a company and a customer! CRM helps companies build and (most importantly!) maintain long-term relationships with customers.

CRM helps businesses improve the quality and consistency of their customer relationships and increase customer loyalty. Since 2017, CRM has been the fastest growing software market, says a study by Gartner.

6 benefits of a CRM system for small and mid-sized business

If you are a small to medium sized business, a CRM system can help you cover some of the most important bases.

Let's take a look at the things you can benefit from as a mid-sized business when you invest in a CRM system:

1. Get more out of your customer database

All businesses have a contact list of potential and existing customers that they use to sell their products or services. But a list of names and addresses alone won't help you make money. You need to make it work for you!

A CRM system not only stores all customer data in one central, easily accessible location, but also allows you to track and analyze all customer interactions, purchases, orders, and inquiries by providing a panoramic view of the customer. Everything from calls and emails to service requests to closed or lost deals.

With all conversations and activities logged in, it helps businesses stay on top of what's going on and know when to follow up.

FACT: "74% of CRM users said their CRM system has given them improved access to customer data." (Software Advice)

2. More customer loyalty through improved customer service

For smaller companies, customers are everything. The more customers they keep, the better their chances of competing.

One of the surest ways to keep customers is to provide great customer service. And CRM can help you stay ahead of the game.

Having easy access to all information about a person, including all past interactions, allows you to get a more detailed picture of the person asking for help. You know who they are, what their previous experience was, whether or not they were satisfied with the offer, what type of product they currently have, etc.

All this information, accessible in just a few clicks, will help you act quickly and efficiently.  

Moreover, a CRM system can automate the assignment of customer service requests and shorten response times. This means you can help your customers in a timely and competent manner, making them feel valued and important. And if you make them happy, they'll stay - as simple as this.

FACT: "47% of CRM users surveyed said their CRM had a significant impact on customer retention, and the same percentage (47%) said their CRM had a significant impact on customer satisfaction." (Capterra)

3. Offer more targeted and personalized services

One thing that sets your business apart is personalization. Customers are more likely to buy if they feel they are treated like individuals.

CRM is a rich repository of very specific information about each customer. You get to know their habits and preferences by looking at their purchase and sales history. And that, in turn, allows you to create targeted offers, propose customized solutions and offer personalized services. 

Just by analyzing a few months of customer behavior data stored in a CRM system, you can begin to better understand the decisions that led your customers to buy or not buy your products. This means that you can extract more detailed customer personas and sharpen your marketing efforts.

You can also monitor your customers' changing needs and service requirements and adjust your behavior accordingly - all to increase their satisfaction with your brand. Because a brand that listens is the brand that survives.

FACT: "62% of consumers expect companies to provide personalized offers based on items they've already purchased." (Salesforce)

4. Sell smarter and increase your sales

Modern sales is all about who makes it smarter.

CRM can help small businesses improve their sales capabilities by providing access to all sales-related information and automating sales processes.

Simply put, a CRM system gives you an overview of a customer's buying behavior, guides you in your sales process by prompting you on what to do and when. It helps you know what the status of each sale is, visualizes your progress, shows results, notifies bottlenecks and forecasts revenue.

Not only does it notify you when to send a quote or proposal and when to follow up with a potential customer, but it also lets you know when a contract expires and when a customer has expressed interest in new products.

What does it mean? An opportunity to up-sell or cross-sell! In this way, you can maximize the value of each customer with the help of a CRM system....

Finally, CRM eliminates the problem of storing information in multiple places and with all systems, such as email, calendar, contact information, project management, and data analytics, integrated into one system, selling becomes a simpler affair.

FACT: CRM applications can help increase sales by up to 29%, sales productivity by up to 34%, and sales forecast accuracy by 42%. (Salesforce)

5. Stay mobile and do business on the go

Mobile and cloud-based CRM systems are especially helpful for small and medium-sized businesses that are often on the road exploring new market areas, finding partners, meeting customers and making sales.

And it's not just the mobility that helps SMBs run their business no matter where they are or what mobile device they're using, it's also the ease of setup.

With a cloud-based CRM system, all you need is the Internet. You don't need to buy, install and maintain expensive hardware, own a server, worry about updates and system backups or software licensing costs. Everything is taken care of by the CRM provider. Cloud-based CRM systems are also easy to scale as your business grows.

A mobile CRM system lets you use all the features of a desktop CRM system on your mobile device, with full access to critical data and real-time updates, saving you time to focus on your business.

FACT: "24% more sales reps achieve an annual sales rate with mobile access to their CRM." (Aberdeen Group) "Sales reps saw a 26.4% increase in productivity when they added social networking and mobile access to CRM applications." (Nucleus Research)

6. Refine your lead generation methods

Companies go to great lengths to attract hot new leads. And a CRM system can be a big help!

Instead of buying lists of potential customers and cold calling, why not track actions and have a conversation with those who already express interest in you by visiting your website?

A modern CRM system can help you create integrated web forms that your website visitors can fill out. This way, you can capture important information such as name, phone or email address. A modern CRM system is also able to track the actions of website visitors and see which pages they viewed and spent the most time on.

All this information is then automatically stored in your CRM database and available to your marketing and sales teams. This way, you can capture leads faster, work with comprehensive company profiles, and refine your lead generation methods in general.

FACT: "Using a CRM can reduce a company's marketing costs by 23%." (Cloudswave)

CRM as a means to grow your business   

Being a small business has its advantages. But there is hardly a business that doesn't really want to grow.

A company may want to grow for several reasons:

- To take a stronger position in the market and become more competitive,

- To reduce costs and achieve more buying and negotiating power,

- To reduce business risks and weather market fluctuations,

- To increase profits and grow sales,

- To attract and retain more customers.

But being ready to grow is not enough. You need the tools to help you become stronger, more sustainable and more impactful.

CRM is a secret ingredient that drives growth and helps companies transform from the startup phase into a dynamic and growing business with a strong customer base and improved sales performance.

When chosen correctly, a CRM system can do much more for SMBs than just be a central contact database. It can help you better qualify your leads, increase your sales, organize your promotions, provide insights into trends and - simply - save you time.


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