How often does one thinks of CRM and think of a simple easy to use platform for single-person business or a small business? Many of us think of a complex, cumbersome system devoted to use by a company’s sales team, the sales team could be larger than your company.
Thankfully, progress and innovation in the technology has led to such thoughts as thing of the past! No longer does finding the right CRM for your company have to be an illusory quest with no end in sight! In actuality, CRM can be a very broad nebulous term inclusive of everything from a simple spreadsheet to a complex platform requiring an IT team for integration. However, in this context, we refer to CRM for small businesses that are agile, easy to use, and affordable. No matter what the size of your small business, there are myriad of options to choose from. However, when choosing a CRM, there are few things to consider:
When your business is just starting out, you may require a CRM solution that is simple, cheap, offering limited features. However, as your business grows, hurdles will need to be overcome – maintaining homogenous relationship with all customers, effectively managing a larger customer base without hiring a larger staff, more effective customer and sales process management.
A CRM platform that ensures that as your business grows, the CRM can cater to your needs is very critical. For example, does the CRM support features for automated follow-ups or reminders, effective task management, etc? You may not need such features initially leading you to opt for simpler option; however, as your business grows, how will you handle such a situation? Transfer to another CRM, upgrade, or remain as is?
Scalability is also like ‘force multiplier’, a good CRM will enable greater management without significant increase in workload or workforce – manage more with less.
A friendly CRM that is user-centric is very critical for small business. Depending on the size of a business, you might have just a handful of sales and business development members in your company with little time to understand the complexities of an intricate CRM with mind boggling number of features. Details such as how your dashboard/home page are laid out are very important to maximize growth and reduce time spent within the CRM.
If you as the small business owner oversee business and sales operations then you might not have time to go through an expansive CRM with its many layers. Another important capability is to analyze the mobile app features, having the capability to manage on the go with ease is very critical.
Analyze your operational needs and see what is critical for your business and sales operations. Do the reporting features meet your needs? Are reports simple to generate? Do you require third-party integration? If so, what other softwares are you trying to integrate?
What about email integration? What about data stratification? What about automatic lead generation? What about project management?
These are just some of the things to think through when opting for the right CRM system. Although, it almost seems like a daunting task, finding the right CRM for your small business is easier than it seems!