It’s impossible to run a business without customers. Each year, hundreds of thousands of small businesses overlook this key point and are crushed by the competition. That’s why knowing how to meet customer needs, and in turn how to create a company that effectively builds customer relationships to drive positive interactions and sales is so vital.
“When I was brought on a year ago, I was shocked with how unorganized everything was. After talking management into choosing a CRM, we decided to go with Prophet. Instantly, we stopped dropping the ball on orders and started getting positive feedback from customers. Our revenue from last year was up by over 18%, and I firmly believe that Prophet had a huge impact on that number. I’d definitely recommend it.”
Sales Manager, Luxitive Beauty Care
Small businesses need to track work processes, share documents, and manage activities everywhere. It makes choosing the right Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software a tricky task. First, you need to know what a small business CRM platform does, how it should meet your specific sales needs, when you should make the switch to a CRM platform, and why Prophet is the most trusted name in small business CRM software.
Why do Small Businesses have Different CRM Needs?
Implementing a large–scale CRM program like Oracle or SAP can take thousands of dollars as well as years of infrastructure preparation and employee training. A small business often doesn’t have that kind of time or financial freedom. CRM software for small business must provide immediate return on investment, in addition to being easy enough to understand that it can be implemented quickly.
Small business CRM software also needs to combine and streamline the duties of several different collaboration tools like Microsoft Outlook. Unlike large organizations which can afford to have different solutions for different departments such as sales, marketing, or customer service, small businesses often need an overarching solution that can manage these different areas on a small scale. CRM for small businesses should enable employees to perform contact management, campaign management, and track their progress, all in a single solution.
In addition, today’s small business owner does not always work from an office. This makes mobile access to customers and employees a necessity. Any CRM for small business must take this growing need for mobile access into account if it is to help companies stay in constant contact with clients and coworkers.
What Customer Relationship Functionalities are Specific to Small Businesses?
In a small business, sales are the key to sustainability. Because of this, small business CRM software must do more than just manage contact information. It must be an active solution designed to facilitate customer interactions that are positive and long–lasting. The best small business CRM solutions provide a way to manage group e–mail and sales campaigns, track service requests, develop a sales pipeline, and enable customer service.
“We had been working with Contact Plus for almost 2 years. I guess I never realized what we were missing until my Operations Manager started complaining about not being able to access inventory lists from her cell phone and sales was mad about losing customers over it. We looked around and loved People's mobile access and document–sharing ability. We snapped it up right away. I’m glad we did. Now, I tell all the small business guys in my church to switch. We increased our installations by almost 40% last year alone!”
CEO, Caldera Pool and Spa
Small businesses need to personally connect with each customer in a way large businesses can sometimes ignore. Small business CRM software often tackles this crucial task holistically, making each customer the central point of focus for the entire production, sales, and service processes. These solutions allow small businesses to create accurate sales forecasts and gain a clearer understanding of how to meet each customer’s needs. In addition, new hybrid, on–premise, and cloud–based CRM solutions for small business make customer service instantaneous and manageable from almost any device.
4 Ways to know your Small Business is ready for a CRM Solution
Here are a few different factors which will tell you whether or not it’s the right time for your small business to move to that next level of customer relationship management.
Information Mismanagement: Leading to Loss The moment you start overlapping sales leads, forgetting to add pertinent contact information on the shipping spreadsheet, or failing to deliver items due to an information gap, that’s when you know small business CRM software will help you avoid customer loss and instill faith in your product.
Inability for Self–Sustenance: If you’re not around to explain how to get the information or set up a new customer, would your employees know how to do it? The inability for your business to run automatically indicates that you should streamline your processes and take the daily workings of your company off of a single person’s shoulders.
Ignorance of Key Data Points: If you are unsure of where the sales pipeline is breaking down, or why customers aren’t coming back, then you probably need the help of a CRM for small business. These solutions will will help you track and analyze customer data as well as forecast future demand based on prior customers.
Lack of Interoffice Accountability: Often, businesses in need of a CRM software solution have employees who mean well but are not being held accountable for the tasks they’ve been asked to complete. This leaves management, employees, and customers frustrated, and requires a system for disciplinary action or reward.
“Our business had been growing exponentially for almost 5 years, but we had kept the same number of staff and had been working off the same Excel and Mail Merge documents. When we opened the second location, I realized that we would need a way to manage the brand new team remotely. We chose Prophet because it made it a lot easier to design checklists for things that needed to be done, and we could send customer emails directly from Outlook. Original Skin did almost a million dollars in sales last year, up 27%. I would definitely tell my friends to try it out.”
CEO, Original Skin Leather Company
How Can Prophet Help Small Business?
Thanks to its mobile–friendly, Outlook integrated and customer–focused approach, Prophet provides the best CRM for small business available today. It improves sending and receiving e–mails with Outlook, as well as interacting with customers and documenting contact with them. Prophet helps small businesses improve productivity immediately upon use.
Prophet is also an “out–of–the–box” tool, so you can simply download the software without the hassle of a lengthy integration process. Within minutes of purchase, you can manage customers and employees while also setting up automated workflow systems which track leads, manage shipping, and collect follow–up data for future marketing campaigns. Your staff can participate in one of our short, informative online tutorials and can be fully organized within hours.
As a cloud–based CRM small business software, Prophet works from anywhere and virtually any html–5 compliant browser enabled device, meeting the demand that many small businesses have for a flexible, mobile work environment. You can share documents, create tasks lists, and interact with customers from anywhere.