Get organized with small business marketing automation

It’s Monday morning, and you’re staring at your computer, waiting for the coffee to kick in. Your inbox has 3,700 emails, and 152 of them are unread. You’ve got three hundred or so contacts in Outlook (or is it Gmail?) and a stack of business cards on your desk.

What do you really know about the people your business serves? Your email contacts and spreadsheets with notes (and that pile on your desk) have some useful customer information, but you don’t have a system to help you dive into your work this morning. Which leads should you contact first? Which customers need attention right away?

And how should the rest of the team divvy up the hot leads or reach out to current customers? Whether your team works in the same office with you or they work remotely, they can’t see that pile of business cards on your desk. They can’t see your emails or your contacts, and they don’t know which leads and customers are a priority either.

Yes, You need a CRM System

Now you are thinking about a CRM system and even looked at a few options. But you just haven’t had time to think about how you’d go from old business processes to figuring out a whole new system that seems complicated to use, hard to set up, and possibly expensive.

But think about what your current “free” system and lack of organization are costing you in terms of lost business and opportunities when your team can’t access or find the customer information they need. You could be saving time and money in efficiency and automation.

Function Like a Larger Enterprise

Small businesses have a competitive advantage over big corporations. They have flexibility and speed that a large organization just can’t match. To be successful, small business owners build relationships with other entrepreneurs and companies in the community. However, you can have the best of both worlds with the right technology. 

Large enterprises operate smoothly at scale and handle prospects and customers using automated processes powered by organized data. Those processes help a large team work better together to market products, close sales, and provide customer services.

Large businesses segment their customers and vendors using detailed data to provide more personalized communication to maintain connections no matter how big the company grows. You might work on a smaller scale, but a CRM system helps you better manage important business relationships to help you thrive.

Getting the right CRM processes in place can help you and your team see how relationships translate into sales and satisfied customers. And that customer data can continue to improve the systems and processes that help fuel your company’s growth.

“Getting Real” About Using a CRM System

Change is always hard. But after the first step, you find it isn’t as complex or costly as you imagined. Your business is changing all the time, and each small step requires you to adapt to market changes, evolving with customer needs to tweak operations, products, services, or employee training.

CRM systems are another necessary change if you want to grow your business. If you’ve started looking into different CRM software options, you’ve undoubtedly seen that there are dozens of vendors and many price points, ranging from free to hundreds of dollars per month.

The majority of small businesses are still resisting a CRM system based on the perceived complication of moving from their current ad-hoc methods to adopting new processes. By investing in a CRM to organize contacts and implement sales marketing automation, you’ll be ahead of your industry competitors. In an age of technology, this is an important step in your business’ future.

Only 6% of small businesses currently use CRM software. But of those early adopters, 83% are using a monthly paid cloud-based CRM.

When willing to make the change, small business owners find that their CRM system is worth investing in and that the range of features offered by paid subscription plans gives them a greater boost in sales and service than the free CRM options available. It also gives them a competitive edge against those who are reluctant to adapt.

Cost isn’t really an excuse since many platforms offer a trial period, no-cost, or low-cost product that will let you get started managing your work with a CRM. Continuing your business relationships from a disconnected set of spreadsheets, email inboxes, and piles of paper is more complex and costly. Don’t be afraid to make a change!

Once you’ve gotten over your fear, start shopping for the right CRM system to fit your business and your budget. It’s time to get excited about what a CRM system can do.

Visibility

We recently implemented a CRM for a small non-profit team, and during one of our training sessions, the development director had an ah-ha! moment. After seeing one of the early CRM reports, she said, “I am getting all these new ideas about how to use this!” Gain visibility, including:

  • Seeing what your most valuable customers have in common to gain marketing ideas
  • Identifying and tracking potential customers, so you can measure closed sales and optimize sales processes
  • Finding out who your most profitable customers are by understanding the cost of acquisition along with project costs
  • Understanding who your account managers are working with, so you can manage a growing sales team

Segmentation

Since your business operates within your community, you can use segmentation to help nurture different business relationships. When you have a detailed database of people, you can reach out to them in a more personal way.

Segments to track can include:

  • Customers
  • Potential customers
  • Referral partners
  • Network connections

Automation

If you could make everyone on your team more productive, taking the repetitive and tedious work off their plates and yours, without hiring another person, you’d do it, right?

The sales marketing automation features to help you run your business depend on detailed data to power it. Setting up your CRM system is a critical first step to automating much of your work.

Once your team has switched to using your CRM, it will be easier for everyone to identify processes that can be automated. The reports you can get from your CRM data give insight into what’s working, setting up your team and business to innovate and grow.

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 CRM systems by reaching out for a discovery session to assess your situation.

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