Customer relations should be the core effort of every business. After all, it’s the customers who keep the business running. For small businesses, there’s a pressing need to nurture existing consumers and reach out to potential ones as well. This is where the benefits of a customer relationship management (CRM) tool come in.
With the advancements in technology, it’s a lot more efficient and doable to manage businesses and all the other facets relating to running one, and the customers are included in this. A good CRM tool enables your business to offer personalized communication to clients, save you time on customer communications, and keep track of and store all pertinent data relating to your customers. Even for a small business, a CRM tool is one of the modern-day essential must-haves.
To help you get started, here are five insightful tips on how to choose the right CRM for small business:
1. Identify Your Small Business Goals
First, it’s important to start by identifying your business’s needs and goals. By listing these, you can narrow down the options of CRM tools only to those which can directly serve as instruments to turn your small business goals into a reality.
Some of the most common goals of a small business which a CRM tool can be of help include:
- Increased productivity;
- Gain and track your leads;
- Increased profitability;
- Track your customer base;
- Keep business operations well-organized;
- Increased security for your small business.
2. Write A Checklist Of Necessary Features
Every small business has its respective needs, so there’s no uniform approach as to what the best CRM tool is going to be. You have to assess the features of a CRM tool you know are going to come in handy for your small business. Generally, your chosen features will differ depending on your business needs, goals, preferences, niche, and problem areas.
As a guide, some of the most common features of a good CRM tool include:
- Ease of use. No matter how well-made a certain CRM tool is, if it’s not easy to use, then it’ll always be a pain for your team to work through. The easier to use a CRM tool is, the better. This fact makes it more accessible to whoever needs to use the tool even if they’re not the best with technology.
- Revenue tracking. A good CRM tool also has the option of increased visibility in terms of revenue tracking. This is an advantage for small businesses to enjoy as it’ll only mean you won’t have to make use of too many different software just to perform some of your basic business operations.
- Data collection. One of the basic points of having a CRM tool is to collect and analyze customer data and information. Be sure to be on the lookout for a data collection feature, so your CRM tool serves a good purpose for your business. Going alongside data collection is data storage and interpretation, so you’re kept up-to-date with all the necessary customer information you need to keep.
- Collaboration. Your chosen CRM tool should also have an ease of collaboration feature. This means it’ll help make communications and collaboration easy across all members of your team, even those who aren’t physically in your office.
One of the top goals of a small business is always growing, and with it comes more employees or members of your workforce. In fact, you may have some employees who’d start working remotely. Whatever the setup, a good CRM tool should be accessible and makes for good collaboration across different teams and departments in your small business.
3. Test Run The CRM Tool
A part of selecting a potentially good CRM software for your needs also entails giving the CRM tool a test run. A good CRM software supplier should have this option readily available without you having to pay for it first. If the CRM tool you’re looking at doesn’t allow you to go through a test run, then move on to others instead.
Testing the CRM tool for yourself enables you to have that first-hand, practical feel of how the tool works. It also allows you to identify potential problem areas, which may be an issue for you and your small business. In sum, giving the CRM tool a test run gives you that higher assurance of getting your money’s worth for whatever amount you’re going to pay monthly just to have the CRM tool.
4. Choose A Program Which Allows You To Be Time-Efficient
One of the core reasons why businesses automate certain processes is that automation often leads to becoming time-efficient. This means having the ability to achieve and do more at a lesser time frame. Becoming more efficient is a plus in today’s competitive arena where so many businesses are demanding more products of better quality for the same time or even less. A good CRM tool should make you more time-efficient with your customer communications.
5. Keep Your Budget In Mind
It’s wrong to believe that a good CRM tool has to be expensive. If you take the time to look thoroughly, you’re going to come across tools with a lower price. An expensive price tag isn’t necessarily a determinant of quality. What you have to do instead is to weigh the features of the CRM tool and assess whether the price you’re going to pay for the CRM tool equates with its features and quality for it to be a worthy price.
The outline above encompasses everything you need to know to get started with choosing the right CRM tools for your small business. Especially when you’re still at the crucial starting-up phase of your business, there’s so much at stake. You certainly can’t afford to lose any financial resources on wrong choices.
A CRM tool is supposed to help you better manage your business and not the other way around. With the tips above, all that’s left for you to do is to get started with your search. Consider the ideas mentioned here as you assess your options.