If your business has customers, it needs some kind of customer relationship management (CRM) system.
A CRM system is a way to manage all of your customer interactions, from past sales information, to communication, to contact details, and much, much more.
Some small businesses will start with nothing more than a basic spreadsheet saved to a desktop, but big businesses live and breathe CRM software, knowing just how beneficial it can be for nurturing existing relationships and growing new ones.
There are a myriad of ways that good CRM software can improve your business. Here are five of the best:
1. Retain existing customers.
You’ve done the leg work and made the investment in nurturing a lead until they become a paying customer. Now is not the time to let that hard work go to waste by letting the relationship fade away.
You can use your CRM software to identify past customers who haven’t made a purchase in a specified period of time, then reach out to that group with a more personalised message. A simple ‘reaching out’ message will help to re-engage them with your brand, but you could also offer a deal, share new products or services, or ask for feedback on their last purchase so you know what you need to improve on.
2. Identify (and target) your most valuable leads.
Without a CRM system, leads can get jumbled and start to all look the same.
Yet with an integrated CRM system in place, you can quickly identify which leads are more likely to make a purchase in the near future. You could do this by analysing leads that have recently signed up for a trial and used it, requested a quote, spent a certain amount of time on your website, or practically any other data point.
This way, you can direct your focus to the leads that are most likely to result in a sale.
3. Invest more in what’s working.
With CRM software collecting large amounts of information, it can be hard to know what to focus on, but one of the areas you should look at is where your converting leads are coming from.
For example, perhaps your software shows that most of your leads are coming from a PPC campaign, with another portion coming via social media work.
With that information, you can double down on these strategies.
You might invest more into your existing PPC campaign, or expand it to target more keywords, for example.
You will also be able to see the sources for leads that aren’t performing as well. With this information, you can stop investing in those areas or adjust your strategy for better success.
4. Make more upsells and cross-sells.
Upselling and cross-selling are tried and trusted methods of improving the average sale profit. Upselling being what a car salesman does when they suggest the more expensive leather-seated version of the model you’re looking at, and cross-selling being what a shoe salesman does when they suggest a bottle of shoe polish with your new pair.
Research suggests that cross-selling and upselling can result in 10-30% more revenue, which can be make or break for a small business.
The good news is that a CRM system can help to encourage more of it.
For example, you can use your existing data to see which products or services your customers are already buying in tandem. If there’s a noticeable trend of customers buying product X when they order product Y, you can suggest product Y as a cross-sell for future product X sales.
5. Predict the future.
No CRM software can truly predict what’s around the corner, but it can do the next best thing – use past sales data to give you an idea of what you might expect.
Instead of trying to remember what sold well last spring, or how much stock you might need in the lead up to Australia Day, for example, your CRM system can give you an idea of what kind of numbers you might be looking at, based on historical data and your current trends.
This can help you ramp up a marketing campaign for when you know sales might dip, or stock up and prepare for busier months.
Learn more about CRM software.
When used well, customer relationship management software can seem like magic, but if you’re not sure where to start, it can look more like rocket science.
Download our free eBook, The small business guide to customer relationship management (CRM), to learn the basics of CRM tools so you can make this software work wonders for your business.
To ensure you get your CRM system right, download and print our CRM fundamentals checklist by clicking on the image below.