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What is small business CRM software?
Small business CRM software allows small and midsize businesses to manage relationships with customers and prospects. This software helps manage client information, track customer interactions, and automate marketing and sales processes. By facilitating better management of customer business data, small business CRM software helps businesses make decisions about which products and services they should offer to each customer.
The benefits of small business CRM software
- More leads and enhanced sales performance: Automated CRM software helps small businesses showcase their products/services on multiple channels and capture more leads. It also helps track leads through their lifecycle, and convert quality leads into customers.
- Data-driven decision-making: Small business CRM software provides insights into customers and their buying behavior by gathering data from multiple sources. It deciphers trends and patterns in customer behavior, which helps businesses build strategies, improve brand loyalty, and launch customer-focused products/services.
- Improved customer management: Small business CRM software provides insight into the status of every customer/lead, meaning businesses can better manage their customers by tracking their interactions and activities at each stage of the sales cycle.
Typical features of small business CRM software
- Contact management: Store and find contact information such as names, addresses, and social media accounts in a searchable database.
- Interaction tracking: Add notes and document conversations with customers across multiple channels, including email, phone, live chat, and social media.
- Lead management: Track and manage leads throughout the sales process, from capture to conversion.
- Task management: Create tasks, add descriptions, set start and due dates, estimate required effort, and assign users.
- Reporting/analytics: View and track pertinent metrics related to customers and prospects. Generate custom reports on leads, sales figures, and sales reps in various formats.
- Sales pipeline management: View and track lead status in each stage of the sales funnel.
Considerations when purchasing small business CRM software
- Carefully evaluate your feature requirements: The features offered by different software products can vary widely depending on the vendor. While the ones listed above are some of the basic features a small business will need to support its CRM function, your organization may have unique requirements. Before investing in any tool, study your needs carefully to determine what features are essential to your business.
- Integration with other applications: Most businesses seeking a CRM tool already utilize standard systems such as accounting , project management , and email marketing software. If your business uses these or other systems, be sure the CRM software you choose integrates with your existing tools to streamline data flow between tools and eradicate redundant data entry in multiple systems.
- Total cost of ownership: With the variety of CRM software available in the market, choosing one that meets your budget and business requirements is crucial. Unlike enterprises, small businesses can’t shell out a huge amount of money for software tools. It’s important that such buyers determine the total cost of ownership for any tool they’re considering purchasing, which goes beyond one-time licensing fees or monthly/annual subscriptions to include the cost of support services, data migration, implementation, etc.
Relevant small business CRM software trends
- Artificial intelligence (AI) is accelerating automation: AI-driven software and AI chatbots are increasing in popularity, and can help small businesses through automation of tasks such as email personalization, lead management, customer service, and sales forecasting. For example, AI can help personalize emails for specific customers based on previous interactions. Statista predicts that this sector in the U.S could gain an additional $396 billion by 2021 by adopting AI.
- Social CRM will boost customer relationships: Small businesses are connecting with customers via social media and other virtual communities in a more personalized manner. This not only helps businesses gain insights into customer buying behavior and nurture quality leads, but also lets them engineer customer experiences to offer greater value and increase ROI.