Using the best CRM tools for your small business

Small Business CRM Coach has worked with many small organizations using Salesforce that didn't take the time to customize the system and fully align it with their business processes. Some of them set up Salesforce simply because they understood the company and its products to be an industry leader. While that's very true, without a plan to configure the CRM to follow the stages of their operation, they weren't accessing all of the features correctly to experience the total value.

At the time of subscription renewal, the continuing cost prompts them to rethink whether Salesforce is necessary for their business. This common problem became even more significant during the financial hardship and uncertainty many organizations faced when COVID -19 hit. Now more than ever, it’s important to know if you’re using the best CRM tools for your small business.

Skepticism usually takes hold when a small business doesn't see the results they expected. Some organizations benefit from starting over with an entirely new CRM. They may need to select CRM software that is easier to configure and is a little more user-friendly. Some organizations need autonomy and don't want to rely on third-party admin to make small changes to their system.

Don't Get Me Wrong

Salesforce is a great platform. I am Salesforce Admin Certified, and it is one of my favorite CRM systems. Several of my clients continue to use Salesforce in a way that brings tremendous value to their business, but Salesforce isn't the right fit for every business.

In reality, there are many other choices. Several CRM systems focus more on the small business market rather than larger enterprises. They may be easier to use and configure, and often have a variety of subscription plans with various features and options to suit your needs at an affordable price.

Here are a few examples for you:

Pipedrive is a perfect example. Over the years, Pipedrive has evolved its features to include workflow automation options and is a strong presence in the CRM marketplace. The business-to-business market (B2B) is their primary focus.

Zoho has been continually updating its platform over the years and now has an entire suite of business applications that you can pick from to create your "Entrepreneur Operating System" through Zoho One subscription.

Insightly has also stayed current with updates and offers a marketing automation platform today that allows you to fully customize your customer journey.

These are just a few of many CRM products out there. They all have tutorials on basic use and customization. Moving from Salesforce or configuring your current system properly takes time and patience.

Changing CRM systems

If you are reconsidering the CRM you're currently using, it is essential to know that changing systems is not a simple task. Take the time to make an educated decision that is certain to simplify processes and improve the business. I have compiled a short list of steps and what you need to consider before you move away from your Salesforce or other current CRM:

  • Be sure to review and document all of your marketing, sales, and project activities
  • Evaluate which ones you are currently tracking
  • Review those that are not being tracked in the CRM and decide if you want to add them

Start the process of selecting your new CRM system. You want to choose a CRM that can help track your business activities faster and more accurately while reducing costs.

Don't forget to communicate with your team about the potential transition. Let them know that you are looking to implement a new system. They might have feedback and personal experience to consider as you look into the best CRM tools for your small business.

Implementing Your New CRM

Once you have selected your new CRM system, you want to make sure that you customize it to suit your business. This might be something you avoided or never finished in Salesforce. Do it right this time to make your CRM user-friendly and get the most out of it. 

Critical steps to take:

  • Begin by creating user profiles and give them access to the records they need.
  • Determine how you will segment the contacts in your database by separating your small business partners from your potential and existing customers or clients.
  • Configure the various stages of your sales pipeline to match the sales cycle for your products and services.
  • Integrate your new CRM system with your email, marketing platform, and accounting system.
  • Host training sessions with your users to help them understand your business processes and how to track your sales pipeline in the new system.
  • Validate the system with your team by doing a round of tests before importing your data from Salesforce or another CRM.

Importing Data from the Old CRM System

It is now time to import the data from your Salesforce app or another old CRM system. You can start to build dashboards and reports to give you the visibility and access you need. Most products include pre-built reports that help you right from the beginning. You can review and customize these based on the metrics that are important for your organization.

Your business will thrive with a CRM system that is better suited for your industry and processes with user-friendly features to keep your team engaged as they learn new habits.

We recommend that you share the information being tracked in the CRM dashboard during team meetings. Your users will see how the system works, the purpose behind tracking specific data, and its value to the organization and their jobs.

You likely don't have the time to implement or learn a new system, but that shouldn't be the deciding factor when you're reviewing whether you should stay with Salesforce or not. This is how Small Business CRM Coach helps. We know you're busy. We have the experience to help you through the entire process more efficiently, from start to finish.

How are you tracking your clients and potential sales? Is your business growing? Do you need a better system, or are you having a hard time figuring out how to use all your current CRM features? Contact us for Small Business CRM Coaching and Consulting to help you choose between desktop applications or cloud-based solutions with more data storage options and access across digital devices. 

Get the most out of your CRM by reaching out for a Discovery Session to assess your situation.

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