Sales are all about customer relationships, so maintaining a database of your leads and clients so you can develop those relationships is a no-brainer. After all, you invest a lot of time, effort and money into getting leads into your business, so failing to keep in touch with people who have shown an interest in your goods and services is a waste of that investment.
There are many Customer Relationship Management (or CRM) systems on the market, some with inbuilt marketing tools and sophisticated scoring systems for your contacts. These can be hugely useful, but can require a substantial investment of time, training and funds to get up and running, and so may not be right for some businesses. For a very small or start up business, something as simple as an Excel spreadsheet could be the answer in the short term. But whatever is right for your business, you need something to ensure that you have the data to enable you to track progress with prospects and keep in touch with customers, so your business in their minds the next time they’re looking to buy!
Here are 5 signs that you need a CRM system for your business:
You can’t keep on top of your leads
If you’re lucky enough to have loads of leads or sales enquiries coming in and are struggling to keep up with the volume or your conversion process has many steps and takes time, a CRM system is a must. By enabling you to log, track and prioritise your leads and tasks you can ensure you respond to them in a timely and efficient manner, thus maximising your sales conversion rate.
You can’t find your customer data quickly
If your CRM system is based on information from emails, hand written notes, spreadsheets etc, it may be difficult to find all the latest information you need on your clients and prospects quickly and efficiently. In a growing business with a team of people, you need a central source of complete and up to date data that all your staff can access to effectively service your clients and keep in contact with your prospects. You could risk losing your hard-won customers by giving poor customer service.
You have valuable, long-term clients that need TLC
You have some great customers, and it makes sense to nurture your relationships with your biggest and best customers, as these are the ones that will spend the most with you, recommend you to others and give great testimonials over the years. A CRM system can be a useful tool for identifying and helping you to give your “A Grade” customers the personal attention and appreciation they deserve.
You don’t know how your sales team are performing
Key Performance Indicators are important in determining how your business as a whole, and your individual team members, are doing. Do you know what your sales conversion rate is? Who are your best performing sales people? What is your best source of leads? Or does it take an age to get performance information, because data must be manually entered? CRM systems can produce reports more quickly and in more detail, to give a useful snapshot of how your business is performing.
You’re struggling to scale your business up
You may be confident that your business could handle a lot more sales enquiries, but are your tools and processes up to the task of scaling up? Once a CRM system is set up, scaling it up is simple – it just grows with you, and many systems have workflow and production tools that can help your business in many more areas than just sales. In fact, the CRM system could be the central database for your business.
So maybe it’s time to look at investing in a CRM system and planning your future growth!