All growing businesses suffer from one major thing. This thing is a lack of organization. When a business transitions itself from being a small business toward hiring full time employees and support staff, it needs to be more organized. One of the major problems with many small businesses is how they are entirely structured around their founder. Most founders of small businesses control everything with a tight fist, and all information and decision-making power tends to run through them. However, when a business grows, a founder cannot be the sole decisionmaker and holder of information.
One way to relinquish this information and decision-making bottleneck is through the use of a CRM. But what is a CRM? A CRM, or customer relationship management software, is a software used to consolidate information and make data-driven decisions. As such, a CRM is a great solution for any business looking to grow and hand over some of the reins to department heads, managers, and other people who can assist the founder in making decisions.
For one, a CRM allows you to better collect and analyze customer data. This is key in creating a customer profile and better understanding the wants and needs of your customers. In collecting this information, and systemizing it into a centralized hub, a founder can use this data to make top of the funnel decisions, while leaving bottom of the funnel decisions to their subordinates. In addition to this, a founder can use a CRM to manage their customer interactions and have a record of what was said to which customers at what time. This will help the founder to be abreast of any decisions that are made while taking them out of the loop of the day-to-day operations of the business.
In addition to this, a CRM allows for greater accountability. Because of how the customer data can be analyzed and forecasted in a CRM, a founder can set realistic and targeted revenue goals. This won’t create an undue burden on the sales and marketing team to generate revenue where the customer base just isn’t there. On the other hand, it will allow founder to assess their own sales cycle and see where bottlenecks are occurring. Once those bottlenecks can be fixed, the founder can then have an understanding of how their sales team is really doing; and whether they should consider investing in more or different sales talent.
Implementing a CRM into a small business is a process. However, it is a necessary one for those businesses who want to occupy the space between a true small business and an enterprise one. While a smaller business can function with a visionary founder, a larger business cannot function with this bottleneck. A CRM allows a founder to take themselves out of the equation and focus on growing their business. All the while, their sales team, marketing department, and support staff can take advantage of all of the information housed within their CRM. They can also use the CRM to track and analyze customer data, which will lead to higher rates of customer retention and satisfaction. Without these essential elements, a small business that is trying to grow will be destined to take one step forward and two steps back, which will harm growth in the long run.