Understanding CRM Technology For Small Businesses

Small B2B businesses, on average, rely on one or two customers for a quarter of their sales and revenue. If that one customer takes their business elsewhere, the whole or a massive part of your business may crumble down. 

The main objective for any business to sustain operations — is to grow. A business that’s not growing in 2022, is either dying or is already dead. If you find yourself in this position, the only way forward for you is to look ahead. 

Look ahead with a technological standpoint that helps you visualize your strategies and decisions more clearly. 

Welcome CRM technology. 

What Is CRM Technology

The goal of customer relationship management (CRM) software is to make the sales and customer engagement processes simpler and more effective. Since developing relationships with current clients and attracting new clients is essential for small businesses like yours. CRM technology makes that easier.  As a matter of fact, 73% of consumers consider a great experience as a purchasing factor. 

However, a CRM may not be limited to the customers and sales. Many businesses also use custom CRM tools to operate their customers, sales, management, and supplier relationships. But, as a small business, you don’t need to commit your resources to have the complex features for now. 

Let’s discuss the benefits of having a simple CRM for your small business. 

Benefits of Using a CRM for Small Business

A simple CRM can support a small business in an umpteenth number of ways. Such as: 

Redefined Customer Service

Customers expect premium support and service from the businesses they buy from. It’s true, especially for small B2B businesses. When you end up in a competitive market, it’s the customer experience that can prove to be the game changer. 

CRM technologies track every email, phone call, and interaction that your sales team goes through with each customer. With the availability of data, you can come up with the best possible strategy that needs to be pursued for specific customers. 

If your sales team has updated data on customers and leads, they can provide a proactive service that mutually benefits both you and the customer. 

It’s not about the happy customers. It’s about the ones who’ve had a bad experience with your product. Being aware of their touchpoints and offering support to mitigate the issue is the key to a successful business in 2022. 

Streamlined Sales Process

Competition in business is inevitable. Therefore, tracking your leads and reaching them faster than your competitors are the key factors in making a sale. However, when you start to scale, the abundance of sales reps and leads can become overwhelming and messy. You may underestimate or even overlook a sales opportunity. 

As a small business, it’s not very surprising to see the absence of a standard sales process. The lack of it can prove to be the cause of demise for you and your business. If you leave a potent lead hanging, they may never come back to you again despite repeated efforts through content marketing

CRM technology helps you visualize the leads and their status. It automatically lets sales representatives know if a lead was already contacted and if it’s time to follow up. A good CRM solution also increases the accuracy of forecasts about the leads or overall sales. 

As a business owner, you may also supervise the progress of your sales representatives through CRM technology. By creating profiles for each lead, customer, and employee, simple CRM tools provide accurate data on each individual. 

Improved Customer Loyalty

Customer loyalty refers to the likelihood of customers repeating their business with you. This is very critical for any business of any size. If you fail to impress customers with your products and service, you lose a giant share of revenue, not only from them but also from the lack of referrals.

Before we understand how CRM helps improve customer loyalty. Let’s understand what makes a customer happy. Personalization. Personalized offers, personalized campaigns, personalized products. Without personalization, even if you are a small third-party manufacturer, you can’t survive. 

CRM helps you get ahead of the game by sourcing data available on each of your customers. Since your marketing and service are as accurate as your data gets, CRM tools help you personalize your products, offers, and approaches based on the preferences of your customers. 

Based on their purchase history, habits, email and social media interaction, and interests, CRM tools help you bring them the absolute package that they may need at that time. 

Suppose you manufacture pet bottles for a beverage company and they’re quite happy with your performance. But, they’ve started to look for an organic replacement. After your CRM lets you know the details of their requirements, you push your design team towards fulfilling them. 

In a matter of months, you have a loyal customer with referrals and a new product in your arsenal. 

If you wish, you also can try to reward your customers through loyalty programs with help of CRM technology. Identifying prospects, tracking members, and designing offers for them can also be initiated through CRM software.  

Extensive Analytics

Spreadsheets are old news. So is emotional analysis. In this data-driven market, you can’t rely on the words of a few trusted individuals who encourage your every move. Gone are the days when you could catch a market with big billboards and expensive TV ads. 

Today, you need to utilize data and visualize the historical and predictive graphs to understand how to reach new leads or improve the existing ones. 

CRM technologies thrive on that. They offer data on every aspect of your sales and marketing. From the position of each lead on the sales funnel to the feedback they’ve left. You can visualize and make decisions depending on that. 

Most good CRM tools also recommend the appropriate measures that need to be taken to increase engagement and improve strategies to refine customer relationships. 

Better Lead Management

Lead generation often starts from a paid ad and a contact form. The interested prospects leave their details through the forms and sales executives start reaching out to them. But, it’s often not enough to have the initial details when you’ve already made the first contact. 

The communication history, their contact details, engagement time, page visit history, time spent on each page, previous purchases, and everything contributes to the future strategies. 

A prospect, who’s already been contacted by a representative, won’t be entertaining another rep trying to get the same details. It’s spammy and inappropriate. You may lose a potential client because of that. 

A CRM tool, through the detailed datasets, helps make the representatives make informed decisions about prioritizing leads and communication. 

Drawbacks of Using a CRM for Small Business

Although quite effective, it’s not all sunshine and roses with CRM tools. 

Huge Initial Investment

Most CRM technologies call for a huge initial investment. As a small business, it may not be suitable for you to spend hundreds of dollars each month to track your sales and leads. But, in the long run, only if you have a potent lead-capturing strategy and sales team, do they become cost-effective. 

Small Business Culture

Small businesses differentiate themselves from corporations in their cultural attributes. Since small teams and overlapped responsibilities are involved in the operation of your business, you may not be able to implement a CRM tool effectively if you can’t make different teams collaborate. 

Lack of Training

Using CRM technologies requires an extent of technical training for both marketing and sales teams. If your team teams are too comfortable working on a spreadsheet and too reliant on personal relations, it can become challenging. 

The Bottom Line

Small businesses are in need to implement CRM technologies in their business more than ever. The increased competition and desires of customers demand the usage of technology to manage them. As a small business, you can benefit from using a CRM by redefining the customer experience, streamlining the sales process, and improving customer loyalty. Extensive analysis and better lead management are also additional benefits of having a CRM support you. 

Although the initial investments and the requirement of training in using a CRM may hinder your growth, it’s mitigable.