A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is an online cloud-based tool that collects and stores all your lead and customer data. It keeps track of you and your sales team's interactions and efforts to turn leads into customers, providing actionable insight to grow your business.
What are some examples of commonly used CRMs?
- HubSpot (free!)
- Salesforce ($25-300/user per month)
- Zoho ($12+/user per month)
- Oracle ($75+/user per month)
- and many more
I used to think CRMs were only beneficial for large teams and companies that couldn't keep track of their leads. But the truth is, these systems can be beneficial to teams of all sizes to fuel growth and increase productivity.
Whether you're an entrepreneur, startup, or small business, here are 7 signs you need a CRM:
You Don't Have Persona Profiles
A persona is a fictional representation of your ideal buyer that includes details like their:
- Job title
- Geographic location
- Pain points
- Preferred source for information
- Favourite social media platforms
- And much more
It's pretty common for businesses to overlook building out persona profiles because it takes time, research, or it could be something they just aren't aware of doing as something beneficial for their business.
If someone were to ask you who your ideal personas were, you'd probably piece together bits and pieces of information based on your current customers but there are gaps and holes in your profiles. Maybe you have data about your customers and leads but it doesn't live in a centralized hub.
Using a CRM helps you understand more about your leads and customers without needing to ask them or do research.
The more you know about your personas, the easier you can find more of them and be more responsive to their needs.
Leads Aren't Converting into Customers
You're getting traffic and consistently getting new leads, but it's not impacting the bottom line.
You might be experiencing bottlenecks in your business that are tricky to identify without a CRM. Using one helps you visualize how your leads are moving through the buyer's journey, allowing you to pinpoint where prospects are dropping off and not converting. If you can see that after 10 sales calls only one lead became a customer, it's time to revisit your sales call strategy and any steps that happen afterwards.
Other common reasons why your leads may not be converting (and a CRM can help you spot the problem) include:
- Poor targeting. Leads are getting the same types of messages regardless of where they're at in the buyer's journey
- Leads are getting neglected
- Your leads are unqualified in the first place
You Don't Have a Sales Process
You might not think you have a sales process, but there are likely a series of steps you go through to handle an inquiry, push the lead along the buyer's journey and nurture into a customer -- you just haven't identified it yet. A CRM allows you to visualize your pipeline, spot inefficiencies, and ensure you have a clear path to follow that works.
You Don't Have Time for Sales + Marketing
Operating your business alone or with a small team means you need to have a strong sense of accountability in terms of your marketing and sales efforts. A good CRM will help you ensure that leads are being nurtured and no one is forgotten about. You can typically create custom notifications to let you know when a lead takes a specific action or hasn't been followed up with to hold you accountable.
Your Sales Efforts Aren't Automated
If you don't have time for sales and marketing efforts it may be because you're not automating your tasks. Logging phone calls, sending follow up emails, contracts, and filling out reports may be tasks you're doing manually -- and wasting a lot of time. With a CRM system, you'll be able to see your sales efforts at a glance and identify where common tasks like these (and more) can be automated.
You Want More Sales
Without a system to remind you and keep track of your sales efforts, you risk neglecting your leads and losing out on new business. If your CRM is holding you accountable to converting more leads into customers, the greater your chances of actually making those sales!
A solid CRM will help you identify your most valuable customers and identify ways to cross-sell and upsell. Further, a CRM will help you identify common attributes among qualified leads and customers, allowing you to find more of them.
You Can't Keep Up with Lead Flow
If you can't keep track of your leads and where they're at in the funnel, it should come as no surprise that it's time to invest in a CRM.
Do these signs ring true for your small business? We recommend the HubSpot CRM. It's free!