Sales marketing automation for small businesses

Jill and John own a small import-export business. They match buyers of dried fruits and nuts with suppliers and then coordinate product delivery through international shipping. Before I met them, they were managing their business contacts through Outlook and their shipments with spreadsheets.

The spreadsheets worked until they could no longer count their shipments on their fingers. As transactions increased, the spreadsheets got out of hand by adding too much data to sort through and manage, including leads, customers, various product lines, shipping schedules, revenue forecasts, and more. 

Managing all this through individual mail systems, document programs, and spreadsheets was very time-consuming and worsened as business grew. They were operating at full capacity, and orders were still increasing. No one wants to go out of business because they couldn’t scale to handle the volume.

What Jill and John needed was a robust sales marketing automation program for a small business called a CRM system. They just didn’t know it. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It’s a software or cloud application that tracks your interactions with clients. Insightly, Zoho, and Salesforce are examples of CRM systems.

Jill and John discovered what a CRM could do, but that alone wouldn’t solve their problems. Without due diligence on the variety of products and features, they became overwhelmed during the setup process. They tried to move their data into the system and use it on their own. It didn’t work and added to their problems instead of simplifying them. They needed a crash course on how databases work. There was no time to learn how to configure the CRM and implement the features to match their business processes AND keep their daily operations going simultaneously.

The only way to get past the frustration was to hire an expert who knew how to input data correctly to track specific tasks and processes. John was worried that they wouldn’t find anyone who would understand the business or their unique needs.

Enter: Small Business CRM Coach

We worked with Jill and John for three months to configure the CRM Insightly, their chosen system and then coached them on the best way to track their business processes in it. We did all this in a step-by-step approach to avoid overwhelm. After reviewing their spreadsheets, we guided them on how to customize the system. Working together, we identified the stages of their sales and process pipelines. Custom fields were added to the list of new leads and existing customers with details about the opportunity and records of conversations.

Each new opportunity field had to be mapped to corresponding project fields to collect the data they wanted, and then configure the integration with email and Mailchimp for marketing campaigns. We answered all their questions and concerns through training and support sessions to create a seamless transition to sales marketing automation.

The Result

John and Jill explain it best. “What we got went beyond what we imagined was possible. We were able to get to a level of customization that solved problems we thought were permanent. Small Business CRM Coach quickly understood our business model and the key challenges we were facing to come up with innovative and pragmatic solutions. This helped us think in a new way about the future of our business. It is energizing and motivating to see what is now possible, thanks to our customized CRM. With Small Business CRM Coach, we have a partner to help us get to the next level.”

Our secret sauce is simple. We are passionate about small business owners. They are our heroes. And we’re excited about working with CRM systems like Insightly to solve problems, promote collaboration between teams, and make it easy to access metrics to improve and transform businesses.

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.