Do you really need a CRM? How is it likely to help your business grow? If your business is small, say just 2-3 people (or only you!), then you might not think that a CRM is right for you. Maybe you have a few leads, a really brief sales cycle, repeat business is almost zero and the very few large customers that you have, you already know well. But what if your business is larger, B2B, or just a truly small business that’s finally getting serious about growth? How do you decide when you need a CRM?
How to Know if You Need a CRM
CRMs aren’t like they used to be. They now target the entire customer lifecycle. If any of the following points are important to your business, then a robust CRM solution is the single most crucial tool you can buy. And if your current CRM doesn’t address these needs, then it’s time to fire your CRM and find one that will support your business processes. Life is too short for the wrong CRM solution!
Marketing is one of your top priorities
If your business runs email campaigns, either simply to send out company newsletters or to run drip marketing campaigns and other more refined segmented marketing, then you need a CRM system both to store the data and, ideally, to channelize communications with your customers, individually and automatically. In today’s business environment, personalized content is the key differentiator. Without a dynamic CRM, you’ll be stuck personalizing your marketing manually.
You want to forecast sales
If you’re interested in sales forecasting (Opportunity Management) then you need to record the values, probabilities and estimated close date of each deal, and a report to sum them all up for you, spread across the months & quarters. CRMs are designed to track and forecast sales of any size, in any time frame.
You’re a B2B business
Do you do business with other businesses and not with individual consumers? The largest and best known CRM products were initially built with a B2B (business to business) data model with Contacts (people) belonging to Accounts (businesses). Now with integrated marketing automation solutions, the right CRM can support B2C businesses, too, because they can help you treat those consumer relationships as if they were serious B2B accounts.
You have too many leads and the numbers are growing
You can never have too many leads…or can you? If you are handling more prospects than you can remember, you absolutely need a CRM system so that no prospect gets left out. With a CRM, when you do contact a lead in the sales cycle, you have the history of previous interactions in front of you, automatically up-to-date, and you can set automatic alerts for the best time to follow up after a sales call, demo, meeting or email campaign.
Your sales team is expanding
If you have a sales team, then you want the details of their prospective clients under your control, both so that you can monitor what they are doing, and also to ensure that if they decide to leave, their sales pipeline stays right where it belongs, in the organization’s records. Also, your CRM should be able to track your sales team’s performance, both on an individual as well as at a team level.
Your prospects have multiple points of contact
If prospects and customers are interacting with multiple points of contact within your organisation, and you need to see its unified impact during the sales cycle, then a CRM system is a requisite. Contact data in modern CRMs goes far beyond simple details like names, phone numbers and email addresses, to include social media, email, web and even SMS mobile messaging.
You have a long sales process
If you have a sales process that takes long, say a month or more, then you know how difficult it is to remember where each prospect is in the cycle and what happened during the last call. Especially when there are long gaps in communication during the sales process, a CRM becomes essential to help track where leads are in your sales pipeline. This doesn’t just help close individual deals, it also lets you compare deals and pipelines against each other so you can constantly improve your sales process for higher ROI.
If any of the issues I’ve mentioned are serious priorities for your business, then a dependable CRM solution is the answer. It will improve efficiency and streamline your sales process. If your current CRM doesn’t address those needs in a way that is easy, transparent and seamless, then take my advice and fire your CRM today!