Getting good leads is a vital element in any business. A steady supply of potential customers will ensure that your business continues to grow. But what happens after you get the lead? How do you convert them into customers? And how do you stay engaged with your existing customers?
Following up on leads is one of the harder tasks a sole business owner faces. After all, owners are usually the subject matter experts, not the salespeople. In small businesses, however, owners have to do everything, sometimes all at once. And that means having a streamlined and optimized customer relationship management system so they can take care of the “other” business tasks quickly and efficiently.
Most small business owners I’ve spoken to say the same thing, “Why do I need a CRM? It’s just me.” That’s precisely why a CRM system is crucial for sole ownership businesses; it’s just one person doing everything. Spending your time on repetitive tasks takes away from focusing on your core business activities, and that can lead to lost business, work backlog, and frustrated customers.
A CRM is an essential tool for your business, no matter what business you’re in. Do you have customers? Do you offer products or services? It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, a good CRM tool can be adapted and customized for your business’ specific needs.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the tasks a CRM can do for you automatically, besides lead generation.
One of the primary jobs of a good CRM is to help you organize your customer data, including both potential and existing customers. It’s been estimated that people spend as much as 30% of their workday searching for the information they need. Being able to sift through your customer data quickly and efficiently will free up time to do more critical work.
Sales Pipeline Tracking
If you have multiple customers at different stages of your sales process, it’s helpful to know where you are with which customer, and on which customers you need to focus your immediate attention. It can also help you plan your marketing and advertising strategy for the coming quarter.
Quotes and Invoicing
Customers who need price quotes for approvals will appreciate the speed at which you can send out a price quote. By setting up a template directly in the CRM, you’ll save time copying and pasting information from the CRM to a price quote template in a word processing program.
Use your CRM to automate mailings to your customers to inform them of specials, new products, and so on. A good CRM will be able to create a dynamic list based on customer preferences that you’ve entered into your CRM.
If your business needs to supply up-to-the-minute information to your website, you can have your CRM automate the process, rather than having to enter the data in two places, which could lead to out of sync or data errors.
By making sure your CRM is doing all of the repetitive work that takes up valuable time, you can focus more on your business.