Disclosure: CRMAdvice is reader-supported. When you buy a CRM Software through links on our site, we may earn commissions.

What is CRM? Definition & Beginners Guide to CRM

Last updated: January 2, 2021

keap-ontraport-review

Mike Markus
He is a CRM software enthusiast/analyst and the co-founder of CRMAdvice.org. He studied MC-IT Course from Melbourne University.

An appropriate answer to the question, what is CRM software could be complicated at first.

What-is-CRM

Nevertheless, a CRM software system will be simple and easy to use when you understand it.

There is hardly any marketing or technology topic aside from Internet marketing more trending than customer relationship management (CRM). It is not surprising.

Customers are taking over the buyer-seller relationship⁠, and that’s not just some marketing hype.

Running out of time? Here’s what you have got.

Whether you’re in sales, marketing, customer service, information technology, operations, or corporate management…

…reading this article should increase your chances of joining in the almost complex process of using the CRM effectively and getting the highest ROI possible doing it.

Super-user

Image Courtesy – CRMAdvice

What is the best part?

I’m going to explain what exactly is a CRM.

I will also explain a bit about marketing automation and how it can improve your business.

If you want more leads, more sales, and better relationships with your customers, so they would buy even more. You will love this guide.

Let’s get started.

I’ll start by explaining how using CRM software in the right way will make managing your business easier, more profitable, and fun.

You can find out more in our best CRM software reviews.

The Beginner’s Guide to Understanding CRM software systems:

1. What is CRM?
2. Who should use a CRM?
3. Best reasons why you should be using a CRM (we added explanations)
4. Different types of CRMs
5. What does CRM mean for a business?
6. Why is it necessary to have a CRM software in place?
7. Which are the signs that your business needs a CRM?
8. Difference between CRM and marketing automation
9. How will CRM software be essential for an enterprise type of business?
10. How will customer relationship management (CRM) be essential for small business?
11. How CRM software improves your sales process?
12. Conclusion

Our CRM Software Review Process:

  1. Using Each CRM Software for 5+ Years.
  2. Ran Businesses With All of Them.
  3. Attended their Events.
  4. Tested for Consulting Industry,
  5. Business or Life Coaching,
  6. Authors,
  7. Blogging,
  8. E-commerce,
  9. B2b Marketing & Sales,
  10. Offline Business,
  11. And for Based Sales Model Business.
  12. Compared Usability, Cost & Value.

 

What is CRM?

What-is-CRM

The one way on how to correctly explain it and how you must know that is CRM (short for Customer Relationship Management).

As you know, operataing a business has it’s challenges: every day you have to make a decision which affect your employees:

  • whether you deciding which type of coffee to buy for the office,
  • how much should you spend on recruiting,
  • which CRM software is best for managing your sales pipeline.

Customer Relationship Management – that’s pretty general, isn’t it?

Think of CRM software as a tool, which is trying to make sure that you don’t lose track of all tasks that are required for the great relationship with your customer.

Customer relationship management system is not any type of tactic, it’s a strategy.

Because CRM software systems are stored in the cloud and provided as a SaaS service (Software as a Service), they are easily accessible from wherever you are in the world.

All you need is your customer relationship management system and internet connection.

Imagine how easy it is for your team to use it, when they are travelling around the globe.

You definitely shouldn’t be taking it for granted, it didn’t use to be like that.

Who should use a CRM?

Who-should-use-a-CRM

A CRM is like your front-end office for building a relationship with your customers. It will help you retain more customers and acquire new leads easily.

You might be wondering how.

To help you understand the importance of CRM in your business, I will give you a few examples of how businesses lose sales and new leads when they operate without CRM.

Yes, you read that right.

If you do not use a CRM, then you probably don’t know your customer!

Before I go into the examples, let’s understand why some businesses have more customers than others.

Gone are the days when customers buy vendors. Today’s customers are not after what you offer. If they were after your offer, you wouldn’t have competitors out there who have better products than you do.

Today’s customer wants a personalized buying experience.

personalized-customer-experience

Image Courtesy – ARIA

Everybody wants a seamless buying experience that makes them feel important for spending their money to buy from you.

Come to think of it. You’ll agree with me when I tell you that acquiring a new customer could be 10-times more expensive than retaining a customer.

The best part is:

Happy customers will buy from you repeatedly and recommend your business to their friends.

On the flip side, customers who leave your brand due to a bad experience will tell more people about their experience. I know that’s sad, but it’s who we are.

How many businesses have you complained about because of how they served you?

Businesses with a better buying experiences have more repeat customers and a better closing rate.

How and why?

It is because they have mastered the art of building relationships with their customers.

They know that entrusting their business processes to a powerful CRM is vital to their success.

Here’s the deal:

When it comes to knowing your customers, building a relationship, and bringing them back to your business, no tool does it better than a CRM.

Customer-relationships

Image Courtesy – SAH

Here are some reasons why your business is not achieving the goals you want.

The sales department

Let’s say you have three sales specialists and one sales manager. Since you don’t have a CRM, the first sales rep uses Gmail to store his contacts, the second rep uses excel sheets to record her contact information, and the third one uses Google sheets to stores his contact details.

Now you won’t track their activities and see how you’re losing leads.

Also, consider this: How can you determine which sales rep is underperforming without a point of reference?

These are the challenges you’ll face.

Your sales manager will have a hard time keeping a tab on how leads are coming into your business.

Worse still, the sales manager will find it difficult to prepare a report to show sales, marketing campaigns, gained clients, lost deals, and any other info your organization requires to measure progress and track performance.

Since all members of your sales team store their data differently, it will take time, and inaccuracies will set in when compiling the report since you did not closely monitor the data from the start.

Here’s the worst part: If one of the sales reps decides to leave your organization, they’ll go with your valued contacts and leads, which cost you so much to acquire.

Think about it: Some of these contacts and leads would have brought in more business if you followed up with them.

With CRM, you can monitor and allocate tasks to your sales team and observe everything it does without interacting with its members. Your CRM will also store data in your database, and losing a team member will not affect your company’s performance.

Sales-team-leaderboard

Image Courtesy – Klipfolio

Frustrated customers

If a customer gets a substandard product or did not like your services, it will be hard to follow up with them when they minimize communication with your organization.

Do you have their contacts? What if you have complaints like these coming in daily? How are you going to manage that?

Better still, how do you identify the frustrated customer from your long lists of customers?

What if 20 customers complained today? Will you remember all their queries in a week?

If you don’t organize contact information correctly, you’ll slowly lose all your customers to your competitors.

With CRM, you can easily see all the interactions, such as your customers’ notes with your organization.

This way, you’ll notice dissatisfied customers earlier and engage them to strengthen your relationship and keep them coming back.

Inability to spot trends

Sometimes you’ll have some products performing well and others performing poorly.

If you don’t have a system in place to know why customers are more interested in a particular product, you’ll have a hard time scaling.

Additionally, you’ll waste a lot of money on running non-targeted marketing campaigns.

Here’s the reason why yesterday was the best time to get a CRM:

You can easily spot the most successful products on the dashboard of your CRM by accessing reports from the marketing module.

Product-performance-dashboard

Image Courtesy – Kilpfolio

Once you have concrete results, you can focus on marketing campaigns to get more sales from customers in the geographical locations with the most purchases.

Imagine what happens when a competitor is tracking your business activities online. If they have a powerful CRM system with sniper-like marketing tools, they easily find the location where your products are trending and take advantage of it with a good marketing campaign.

When they do that, you’ll end up losing valuable customers to someone who is using a CRM.

Another thing you would be missing out on if you’re not using a CRM in your business is improved performance. Small niche businesses are now outperforming industry veterans by using powerful CRMs that search accurately for customers.

We’ve covered a few ways a CRM can solve problems in your business. Let’s now see how you can utilize it to boost sales and get more leads.

Why-you-should-be-using-a-CRM

What are the best reasons why you should be using CRM software for your business? (we added additional explanations)

1. Know your customers better

Knowing your customers better begins with storing all their information on one platform (see CRM). I know that sounds a bit weird to some, but you can store data and communicate with all your customers in one place.

CRM gives you an added advantage in sales, marketing, and customer service over those who do not know about it or simply do not use it.

Knowing the full name, email address, postal address, telephone number, and website of your customers. Knowing the social media accounts of your customers is easier with CRM.

CRM-customer-profile

Image Courtesy – GoSquared

You will also know your contacts’ job and their relationship with other contacts in your database. CRM also lets you know the birthdays and language of each of your customers.

CRM lets you save project sales, activities, Zoom calls, live chat messages, invoices, email exchanges, contacts, and customer service requests. These requests contain interactions involving specific contacts in the past.

CRM software, therefore, gives you a better understanding of your contacts and their needs.

2. Improved segmentation

Your job will be much more fun when you divide your prospects into different target audiences. You would hardly find a tool as efficient as a CRM software for audience segmentation.

There is hardly a better way to create a focused list which breaks down data like tags and criteria, or categories, than using a CRM. When you clearly define your targets, you can narrow your use of specific tactics, create individual sales pitches and marketing campaigns.

CRM-tags

Image Courtesy – Insightly CRM tags

To sum it up, CRM software helps you know those leads who are still interested in your offer. It also helps you find those who have not decided yet and would need a considerable follow-up.

3. Retain your customers

More than 60% of companies agree that it is cheaper to retain customers than it is to acquire new ones. Repeat business incurs less cost than first-time business. Other companies who gave their opinions note that it can be nearly eight times more expensive to acquire a new customer.

CRM is the best tool you can use to retain your customers. The benefits of CRM are numerous. Having a CRM will help you stay up to date on all your customers. The notification feature saves you from missing out on appointments, profitable follow-up emails, and important calls.

CRM-notification

Image Courtesy – Zoho CRM

One good part about CRM is that it ensures that you reach out to those who haven’t contacted you in a while. If you don’t remember CRM, or you may have been avoiding it altogether. Know it now that with CRM, you have more to gain than you could ever lose.

4. Knowing customer needs beforehand

Everyone in business knows that it is easier to upsell or cross-sell when you have an idea of your customers’ buying behavior. No one is comfortable in an uncertain situation, and CRM keeps you aware.

The unique overview offered by CRM will help you and your sales team sell way faster. If you are sure about a customer’s buying history, you can develop timely and precise offers for this customer.

5. Efficient customer service

CRM software improves customer service by offering insightful interaction history. From customer interaction history, you can understand their level of satisfaction with your product. You can also get useful feedback which you can use to improve your products or services.

6. Faster communication

Everyone wants a quick response, especially in this technology age. A quick response to a customer’s query is the wisest thing any business can provide. Sadly, there are many businesses still making this mistake.

Most CRM offers custom email templates, letters, documents, quotes, invitation, proposals, newsletters, etc. Speaking of ready-made templates, here’s one for you.

Crm-email-template

Image Courtesy – CloseCRM

Here is a sample email my sister received the last time she reached out to a business:

Maria-email-example

Image Courtesy – CRMAdvice

Reports from SuperOffice’s benchmark say that 90% of companies do not acknowledge that they have received emails from their customers.

CRM fast tracks customer service response and improves customer’s perception of businesses. It makes SMS or email responses quick and seamless.

You can make Zoom video calls, phone calls, and redirect customers to past solutions using CRM. Repetitiveness wastes time. With CRM, you can refer a customer to an FAQ for recurrent queries.

7. Secured data (GDPR)

Compliance with the new EU privacy regulation known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is compulsory.

Faced with this, your CRM must comply with the GDPR in the ways it collects, stores, and access data. An inbuilt GDPR functionality is a necessary feature of great CRMs.

GDPR compliant CRM software automatically implement policies and records your customers’ permission to store personally identifiable information. With CRM, you can manage email communication, preferences, and set up rules to update personal details for groups of contact all the time.

If you were to complete these tasks manually, you would kill time and risk inaccuracy. When you set up a CRM system to do that for you, it saves time, and it is highly reliable.

There Are Different Types of CRMs

Sales-focused CRM

Sales-focused-CRM

Sales CRM is simply a CRM software designed to sell stuff.

You can use the CRM software to manage your sales team, sales leads, and sales process. Sales CRM offers features such as automation, workflow, and pipeline management tools, which clarify sales goals for everyone.

For ease and flexibility, always choose CRM with Android and iOS applications so that you and your team can access important information on the go.

The following key features of sales-focused CRM will change the sales process for you and your clients for the better:

  • They help you build sales pipelines to give you a visual snapshot of the position of prospects in the sales process.
  • With the sales-focused CRM, you can use reports and dashboards to analyze data.
  • You can automate repetitive and demanding tasks to improve work productivity using CRM. The most common tasks which need automation are data entry and notifications.
  • CRM can also help you automate workflow and business processes to speed up scalability.

Have a look at the best sales-focused CRMs

1. Pipedrive: Pipedrive is the perfect CRM for client facing sales business who’s looking for a highly visual pipeline for lead tracking however it’s not a great tool for managing existing clients.

2. Close: For small businesses, freelancers, and startups who need features to have a full overview of sales performance (sent email, opens, the number of calls made, minutes spent talking about specific tools, and much more) of every member of your team to ensure that they are working to their full potential.

3. Sugar Sell (formerly SugarCRM): Consider using it if you need good sales automation and strong client relationship building tools. Many features are not that user-friendly so you better have a bit of tech experience before jumping on board.

CRM for Service business

CRM-for-service-business

Over the phone, through email, social media, on the Web, or physical service, CRM makes communication in a business organized and easy. It also fosters a relationship with customers.

Service-centric CRM allows users to send queries as tickets to customer service reps. The ticket contains the customer information and details about their problem. These details are ordered in a trouble ticketing system that is accessible across departments. The CRM increases conversion by speeding up the resolution and reducing waiting.

The following features are available in customer service CRMs:

  • Interactions across channels such as social media, phone calls, and physically are stored centrally. Doing this quickens resolution.
  • Using the live chat feature of service-centric CRM, customers can receive live support. Some contacts prefer live interaction, and it is possible to save the key content of these interactions.
  • Service-centric CRM also creates a knowledge pool of previously resolved problems which can be available for CSR publicly or on self-service websites.

The best service-centric CRMs are

1. Agile CRM: Unique software with features that increase customer satisfaction and result in business growth.

2. Sugar Sell (formerly SugarCRM): They offer a full-fledged service CRM functionality with case distribution workflows, tools for improving customer visibility, and collaborative tools for workflow rationalization and clear-cut task assignment. Definitely a premium service with premium pricing.

3. Zendesk: Quicker responses are the best thing about this CRM. It gathers customer questions across platforms in one place to easy resolution of queries.

CRM for Small business

CRM-for-small-business

Small businesses have multiple vendors. To win prospects and nurture leads until they convert, these businesses need easy and efficient CRM. Choosing the right CRM will help these businesses establish trust and scale.

Enterprise-level businesses used to be the only kind of businesses that use CRM in the past. The high cost of running CRM software at the time could only fit into the budget of big firms. Again, there were no affordable cloud options.

If you are looking for CRM software, you would be interested in integrations and tools like reporting and workflows. You would also want software with a simple interface that is affordable and requires minimal fixes.

Here are some helpful features provided by CRM:

  • The contact management feature of CRM allows users to store contact information such as name, social media accounts, and addresses in a database for easy searching.
  • The lead management tool makes the conversion of prospects into leads easy. You can use this tool to move the lead along the sales pipeline, identify new prospects, and rank prospects to know your priority.
  • Data provided by the reporting feature of most CRMs gives an overview of business activities and insights to improve business decisions.
  • Using the pipeline management feature, you can track the progress in stages of prospects in the sales funnel and monitor the complete sales pipeline.
  • With the workflow automation feature, you can create workflows which trigger action to automate repetitive tasks and send follow-up reminder for the next action.

A quick summary of my top CRMs for small business

1. Hubspot: For affordability, ease of use, and features, HubSpot is the best CRM for small businesses. It is also the #1 ranked CRM for 2021.

2. Zoho: Save yourself the trouble of clumsy spreadsheets with this simple CRM solution for small businesses.

3. Bitrix24: More than just a CRM, Bitrix24 offers project management, social media, and other features. It also features a variety of HR tools.

4. Freshworks: A CRM of choice for small businesses that want to enjoy the features available to large enterprises affordably.

5. Less Annoying CRM: Designed as a low-cost contact management solution. Comes with great customer service.

For full details, read our article on the best CRMs for small business

CRM for Real estate

CRM-for-real-estate

In the real estate industry, CRM prevents discrepancies and enable harmonious information and truth for all clients. With all verifiable and honest information of contacts in one place, data-driven decisions become easy.

It is hard to become a top-performing real estate agent. With CRM, however, it is much easier to become one. Let’s look at some interesting features of CRM that make the journey to becoming a realtor worthwhile and fun.

  • With CRM, you can do away with clunky spreadsheets since you can easily organize and find customer information.
  • Get quick and direct notifications as well as responses to inquiries about property on your email box.
  • Stay updated on the status and progress of each prospect you have contacted to know their current stage in the sales funnel.
  • Know your contact’s digital responses and reactions to your communication like email open rates and clicks.
  • Track your prospects along the sales pipeline as they become leads.
  • Keep in touch with your former clients to foster relationships and increase referrals by word of mouth.
  • Build an automated workflow for email follow-ups and other important functionalities.

Here are the best real estate CRMs

1. Contactually: What makes Contactually unique among CRMs is that it focuses on maintaining the pace of communication where you want to regularly re engage with certain leads and customers.

2. Wise Agent: It offers an in-depth but affordable solution designed according to the demands of the real estate industry.

3. Propertybase: An effective real estate CRM for larger teams. It may not be the best option for individuals.

4. Pipedrive: For agents who seek a sales focused CRM with a highly visual pipeline for lead tracking.

5. Close: For agents who have many sales calls and prefer Zoom meetings.

Complete details in our in-depth article on the best real estate CRMs

Free CRMs

Free-CRMs

There is hardly a salesperson who will hesitate to get a robust CRM tool for free.

Although free CRMs are limited since most can’t run a complete sales process or manage leads.

Free CRMs maintain a human touch while allowing your organization to automate repetitive processes.

Companies understand the importance of the extra features, so they don’t include those in the free version of the software.

With CRM, you can cut down manual actions using automated features like workflow automation and sales automation. Sadly, these are unavailable in free CRM. Automations are good because they save productive time. If you haven’t used a CRM before and you want to try it out, you can sign-up for the free version of CRMs.

Here is a list of features to expect in free CRM software:

  • Ability to store and track sales deals
  • Ability to store companies associated with your contacts
  • Integration with Outlook and Email
  • Limited sales productivity tools like meeting and email scheduling
  • Forms to capture leads throughout your site

Here are the best free CRMs

1. Hubspot: The tool offers more functionalities in the free version than you will find in any other software mentioned here.

2. Zoho: Zoho allows you to remove most of the manual processes in your business, offering an efficient solution to you. It does not come with email tracking which means it is hard for you to build long term engagement with specific users.

3. Bitrix24: If you have ever imagined a CRM with a social intranet, Bitrix24 is what you thought about. The free version comes with a dedicated private network accessible by users you authorize. It also features project management, file sharing, and social media, which I know is nice to have but might be too much for starters.

Learn more in our article on the best free CRMs

What does Customer Relationship Management mean for a business?

What-CRM-means-for-a-business

It is simply a way to manage leads (people who are interested in your business) and your already existing customers efficiently enough to get the best value ($$$) in return.

More specifically, it refers to a system that a company uses to analyze customer interactions and measure data throughout the customer life cycle.

CRM helps put all the information about your current and potential customers in one place, so you and your team can efficiently manage relationships and communications with those clients.

In the end, customer relationship management helps to improve business relationships.

Having-a-CRM-in-place

Why is it necessary to have a CRM software system in place?

When using customer relationship management software, you’re having better data organization, which means all customer interactions are more conveniently accessible.

With that, salespeople can see where the client in the sales process, which helps to close the deal.

better-data-organization

Image Courtesy – CRMAdvice

It helps you improve business relationships with customers through retention and acquisition.

When you can effectively manage your potential and current customers, you end up building a loyal customer base made up of your raving fans.

From a customers’ point of view, CRM offers a better experience with your company.

Sign-that-you-need-a-CRM

Which are the signs that your business needs CRM software?

One important marker is that you’re swimming in information and simply can’t keep track of it.

You lose track of your leads when they’re in different stages of becoming clients for your company. With CRM software, you can track them and see what is going on with them right away.

Another pointer that should tell you that things are not working right is when you have too many leads coming in, and you’re saving them on an Excel file. Handling all of them might get too overwhelming for you.

It means you have outgrown your lead data system and it’s definitely a right time to start using CRM software to track your leads and current customers.

Worst thing to happen is that different departments are starting making closing calls to same exact leads again and again, not having information that there has already been someone who has contacted with this client.

CRM-vs-marketing-automation.jpg

Never let that happen. It ruins your customer experience big time.

What is the difference between Customer Relationship Management and Marketing Automation?

CRM software is more focused on collecting knowledge about customers you already have and managing their pipelines.

crm-automation

Image Courtesy – CRMAdvice

Marketing automation tools are more focused on arranging 1-on-1 communication with early-stage candidates. They are also great for forwarding these candidates to manage successful sales and marketing actions.

With CRM: You know your numbers

For example, you can schedule weekly email reports so that each of your sales rep knows how close they are to achieving their monthly, quarterly, or yearly goals.

By using CRM software, you can finally say whether your Facebook ads and Google AdWords campaigns are profitable or not because most sales are closed offline.

With CRM software, you can track all the back-office databases.

When talking with a customer, you can retrieve their complete profile and history with your company right as they stand in front of you. Doing this makes your conversation more personal and successful with your customer.

Here’s the kicker. CRMs also send you different notifications about your clients, let’s take birthdays for example where your sales reps know to reach out.

Imagine how much this small act benefits customers’ relationships with your company.

Three CRM stats you need to know

According to Nutshell, the average return on investment for CRM is $8.71 for every dollar spent.

CRM software applications can boost sales by up to 29%, sales productivity by up to 34%, and sales forecast accuracy by 42%. (Source: Salesforce)

81% of CRM software users access their CRM using multiple devices, including laptops, desktops, smartphones, and tablets. (Source: Software Advice)

CRM-and-enterprises

How will CRM software be essential for an enterprise type of business?

One of our clients is working in the enterprise world. He is working in a major corporation as a field technician.

When asked why he needs a CRM as a field technician, this was his response and experience:

“I would get 45 orders a day, and they spanned everything from networking problems and telephone system problems to server problems. Some also people locked themselves out of their password, and they were spreading over five offices throughout Australia.

45 sounds like a lot, but sadly, far too many of them were people forgetting their passwords, honestly. Now, it was still 45, which is 45 individual people in 45 different places every day. In a week, that was 225 work orders.

A lot of the orders that I got were simply people locked themselves out of their user accounts, or they wanted to change some key on their phone to be on a different extension – these were easy. Although, it would take several days to put some of them perfectly, or I would need to call a different department, getting permission, order parts, so on, and so forth.
Again, imagine 225 orders every week: some of them can be done quickly, but others take some time. Two hundred and twenty-five people submitted orders in different geographical locations.

Long story short, if I didn’t have some type of customer relationship management software, that number would have been a nightmare to track.

The work wasn’t so difficult but simply trying to keep track of 225 different people with different problems in different geographical locations.”

That is the reason why he is using a CRM software system.

To sum up his case.

CRM makes it all the way easier. You have all data in one place, which allows you to keep track of all the information.

Right from your couch, you can easily:

  • Keep track of all the information
  • See the open work orders
  • Click to expand orders
  • Add notes
  • Close the work order

So, if you’re sitting there and you’re looking at the work order, and you think, well, I know I did something with that before, now you can click on it and read your previous notes, and go, “Oh, I know what I did before.”

That’s just one of the things what CRM software does.

Simply said, it helps you make sure you don’t forget some of the vital things that you’ve done.

Note: Make sure you don’t redo work, which you already have done in the past.

If you’re interested, you can learn more about specific types of CRM software for enterprises here.

CRM-and-small-business

How will customer relationship management (CRM) be essential for small businesses?

The digital age has changed customers. They are more connected than ever, so expectations for the ordinary customer experience have never been greater.

I believe this to be the best time for small businesses.

You can compete with big multi-million and billion-dollar companies by simply providing a top-notch customer experience.

If we consider our previous point, improved customer experience is now a competitive advantage for small businesses.

You no longer need the biggest budget to win customer loyalty.

Delivering a great customer experience will accelerate your growth.

Even though we’re now in last quarter of year 2021, things are even more upside down, where with an overabundance of different alternatives for products with similar price and quality, consumers don’t have too many reasons to remain loyal to a specific brand.

What can you do to take advantage of this massive opportunity?

First, which of the following do you currently use to track customer information?

crm-small-business

Image Courtesy – Statista

With customer relationship management (CRM) software, you already have all the databases of customer information, and this helps you convert those leads into sales, and in ideal cases, repeat business.

Make sure your customers keep coming back

And as a small business, there is a big chance you rely on repeat customers.

Doing so, you want to know and understand what is the reason why they keep coming back to your business.

Detailed CRM software database tracks this lead source of your customers and shows you what went wrong with those who move on without purchasing your products and services anymore.

Having this information in front of you allows you to improve every step of the consumer’s journey with your company.

And this means growth for your business:

more-revenue

Image Courtesy – CRMAdvice

If you are an entrepreneur and run any type of business, you should consider using some type of CRM software, but it all comes down to choosing the right one.

Some have said when shopping between different CRM software, you should find the one which fits with your personality.

Here is an in-depth resource about small business CRMs for you. We will go through all the details carefully and tell you what’s up.

CRM-improves-sales-rpocess

How CRM software improves your sales process

When you go out there as:

  • a consultant
  • life and business coach
  • speaker
  • author
  • seminar leader
  • information marketer
  • blogger
  • or when you get into the enterprise world, and you are trying to close sales.

One thing most people find difficult to learn is that the easiest way to close a sale is to act as if you don’t care if a sale gets closed.

For example, when you go up to a lead, the easiest way to close that sale is to be like:

“Hi Mrs. XYZ, I understand if you didn’t have interest in your service before. But I just wanted to reach out to you again, to see if you might be interested right now.”

The thing is, on the surface, you are all relaxed.

It seems like you could care less if they buy your service or not.

Close a Sale

The way you close sales is by having an infrastructure that allows you to do that easily.

With CRM software, once you get a lead, you will come up with a process on how you’re going to deal with that lead.

Here is an example for you:

  • Get that lead and put their information in the CRM software.
  • Start by sending them a welcome email.
  • Have an automatic set up to remind you to call them in a week.
  • Then create an automatic setup to remind you in two weeks.

An example of a message could be:

“Hey, why don’t you stop by our business.”

What makes this process powerful for closing a sale is that it allows you to remember to keep reaching out to those leads.

Notifications

Overall, it makes leads to feel impulsive. So, you can plug into your customer relationship management software a reminder on dropping something to this company’s head office in two months.

And then you can completely forget about them. In two months from now, you will get this little notification that pops up and says:

“Hey, you should drop this in this company’s head office to see if they now have the budget to buy the product or service you are trying to sell.”

Again, one of the big things you have to understand in business, a lot of times people and companies want to buy your products but they are dealing with their business cycles.

While some people and companies buy their things in summer, other people and companies decide on what to buy in the winter.

Sometimes they want to buy your product. Although, they can only buy if the project they already paid for comes in under budget, and that could take up to four months.

For example, if I contact these people and companies two months from now, they will tell me to go away. But if I contact them four months later and say,

“Hey! Did that project come in under budget?”

They would say yes it did.

You: “Oh, good to know it did… So, you want to buy my product now?”

CRM allows you to keep track of all this stuff.

If you are considering choosing the right CRM software for your organization, we have used and tested 40+ CRMs on the market to help you decide easily.

You should use CRM software if your company’s sales process and relationships with your customers are important to you.

Those days are long gone when you need to create reports manually.

The thing is, when a small business isn’t using analytics, they are missing a crucial opportunity in advance.

Salesforce conducted a nationwide survey.

They gathered information from more than 300 small business owners, and it turned out that less than half of the small businesses use analytics.

That is scary, but at the same time, it means a big opportunity for tech-savvy small businesses to outperform the competitors.

Important note: You don’t need to be tech-savvy to use CRM systems in 2021.

Conclusion

From my personal experience running a business and having those new leads and sales coming in, I discovered it’s easier to manage everything in one place.

Conclusion

There are a few downsides with customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

Perhaps the only one is the process of setting everything up, which is now easier than it used to be.

After all, when not using it, you’re leaving so much on the table.

Let me sum it up for you.

CRM software tools are just incredibly useful at running a business in a right and convenient way.

Overall, losing momentum because of missing leads is not just worth it when there are solutions out there.

Finally, don’t forget to read our short, informative review comparing different CRM software tools.

We would like to know your thoughts. Are you convinced about the idea of using customer relationship management (CRM) software? Are you thinking about getting one?

Let us know below.