10 signs your company needs a CRM

At CentrixOne, we’re sometimes asked by small- and medium-sized business (SMB) owners if they really a CRM. With such small teams, they figure that they can wing their sales and marketing management with spreadsheets (or worse…sticky notes!), email program or a traditional contact management system. Isn’t a CRM a complicated and costly endeavour to undertake?

But with today’s competitive markets, cultivating customer relationships is not just a nice-to-have. It’s a must-have. Aligning and managing your sales and marketing cannot be effectively carried out without a CRM.

Here are the top 10 signs that your business needs a CRM.

1. You have no system in place to centralize your data.

Do you feel as if you are spending more time looking for customer information, rather than interfacing with your customers? Hard-to-locate data, spread out in different tools, is the number-one sign you need a CRM. And don’t kid yourself, a spreadsheet or email is not a CRM!

A good CRM solution will help you simplify capturing, organizing and accessing data in one place. What’s more, you’ll never lose data again if its located on a misplaced paper or a hard drive that just imploded.

2. You cannot keep up with following your leads and deals.

Kudos if you have drummed up a lot of business! But without a proper structure or tool, how on Earth can you consistently follow-up on leads and deals? You are already pressed for time, you want to make sure that no leads or deals are left behind.

Moreover, you cannot afford to miss a dormant opportunity because you forgot about it. Effective sales pipeline management can only be achieved if you have a CRM.

3. You have no visibility of what your sales and inside sales team is doing.

What are your sales team’s focus this week, this month? Is the workload balanced or are some reps struggling with massive amounts of tasks, while others seem to be cruising along? Managing and tracking your personnel’s work is so much easier with a CRM, thanks to its time-saving features, such as tasks, reminders and alerts.

4. You are struggling with major communications issues.

From your sales and marketing staff to customer service employees, do you feel as though your left hand is not talking to your right hand? If your staff is not using a tool like a CRM, it becomes nigh on impossible to find out at what stage a prospect or customer is–and who is responsible for the next step with the account. This makes for a painful and inconsistent sales process, both internally and for your customers.

A CRM can facilitate team collaboration and communication when you set up the proper workflows. This is especially useful as teams are increasingly working remotely and on the road.  

5. You don’t know where your leads are coming from.

Quick, tell us where did your most valuable leads and profitable customers come from? A cold call? Your website? A referral? An email campaign? Pay-per-click ads? A tradeshow?

Without insight into your leader sources, you may be wasting a lot of your hard-earned dollars on ineffective or sub-optimal commercialization strategies. On the other hand, a CRM solution can allow you to quickly identify which lead sources are bringing in the moolah or breaking the bank.

6. You are generating great traffic on your website–but no conversions.

You have invested time and money into developing a website that touts the value of your products and services. But is it a mean-green conversion machine? Using a CRM’s web analytics will enable you to view your website’s traffic and activity.

Once a lead fills out a form or downloads gated content, for example, you can plan for addition touchpoints with automated workflow features (calls from a rep, email or retargeted ads, for example). Then, your website leads will enter into an automated nurturing campaign or multi-step sales process you’ve established with your team. In a nutshell, converting website leads into paying customers is simplified with a CRM.

7. You feel as though organizing marketing campaigns is way too time-consuming.

Proactive marketing does take some planning and time; however, without it, you cannot ensure customer retention and business growth.

With a CRM, you can create and deploy simple marketing campaigns, such as email promotions and their specific web landing pages, based on segmented lists (by lead, existing customer, product interests, and more). Newsletter, automated sales follow-ups and surveys can also be designed in a full-featured CRM.

8. Your sales and accounting information is in silos.

A CRM is the perfect tool to set sales goals and monitor progress. An even better CRM will integrate with mainstream accounting software and streamline coordination between your sales and accounting teams, especially when it comes to proper forecasting, improving the billing cycle, and mitigating the financial impacts of poor accounts receivables.

A huge benefit of these integrations is that data is synced so that you no longer have to carry out manual entries of contacts, estimates, accounts and other sales data.

9. You offer your customers a bland experience.

Ditch the ho-hum customer experience. Today’s customers demand personalization. Leverage the power of a CRM to help customer-facing employees access a client’s purchase history, a sales rep’s notes on a specific client’s challenges, and a wealth of other information. This way, your staff can provide a truly stellar experience tailored to each and every customer. You will then be on your way to higher customer retention.

In addition, with custom information and segmentation, your offers will be aligned with best product-service fits.

10. You lack access to simple reports and dashboards.

A CRM, with the right reporting tools and dashboards can actually solve two of your problems. Using manual methods can prevent you from being accurate or agile when need arise. For one, you will base your feelings on cold, hard data rather than gut feelings. Secondly, it eliminates mind-numbing manual reporting that does little to boost your productivity. Gather the right information from your CRM to determine your future action plans for growth and investments.

Implementing and using a CRM does not have to be akin to hiking up Mount Kilimanjaro. A simple, yet comprehensive solution can help you scale accordingly based on your business’ needs today–and tomorrow. Say goodbye to the chaos, and hello to CRM!

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