5 signs your independent business needs a CRM

Daniel Ndukwu

Feb 27 2020

As your business grows, it becomes clear how important customer relationship management is to your success. It’s the difference between taking care of customers and ensuring they’re happy and constant complaints or cancellations.

It’s around this time that people start to look for the best CRM for small businesses. There are many options on the market and the search can be overwhelming because it’s a tool that touches all aspects of your business.

That’s why it’s important to make sure you need a CRM for your growing business before you go out and start shortlisting vendors. This article takes a look at the telltale signs that it’s time to get a CRM and ensure your company grows smoothly without losing touch with existing customers.

1. Sales analytics aren’t centralized

Whether you’re selling widgets to retail stores or high-end consulting, it’s important to have a clear view of sales performance. What industry is contributing the most to your bottom line, what kind of projects are most valuable, and who are your top reps?

You shouldn’t have to log into or open half a dozen tools to find out all this information. It slows you down and makes it difficult to make data backed decisions. For example, if you can’t see your best customer segment by revenue, how will you know if it’s a good idea to focus more attention there?

A CRM for independent businesses will make it possible to centralize your sales data. The good ones will even integrate with other tools so you can pull data from multiple sources and view it all on one dashboard.

Pipedrive is considered one of the best CRMs for small businesses. It can combine data from multiple sources, show all your sales analytics in aggregate, and give you the ability to look deeper at the information. You can see things like win ratio, best customer segments, and highest performing sales rep. An added benefit is that it’s a CRM for beginners and experts alike so everyone on your team can use it.

2. Sales results are getting worse

This is a nightmare. Your business is growing in terms of revenue and you have a system to fill up your pipeline but the win ratio is declining. Instead of closing 40% of prospects, it drops to 35%, then 30%. This could be a sign that people need to be trained better but if you don’t have a CRM, then that’s the most likely culprit.

A growing business is pulled in a thousand different directions but it’s necessary to always keep your eyes on new revenue and conversion rates. That’s not possible without a robust system that tracks and displays it in an easy-to-understand format. Without this kind of system, you may not realize there’s a downward swing until it has started to affect other areas of your business.

A CRM for independent businesses will help you and everyone on your team become more efficient. Less deals will slip through the cracks and when there is an issue, you’ll know almost immediately. Not only that, you’ll be able to pinpoint if it’s a problem with your sales organization or something else. Tools like Freshsales make this easy by providing a platform to manage clients, forecast deals, and understand your sales performance over time.

3. Teams aren’t working together well

Another telltale sign that it may be time for you to get a customer relationship management system are organizational silos. For example, someone in customer service has key information that would help a sales rep pitch a client about increasing their order size. Because there’s no central CRM for teams, that information slips through the cracks.

An even more common example would be the relationship between marketing and sales. Marketing builds the brand and generates leads and sales jumps in to close them. OR maybe there’s a long term joint initiative between teams that requires important information to be shared regularly. If something goes missing, the entire project stalls or the results don’t meet expectations.

There are countless scenarios where teams need to work together. Even though each team is responsible for different things, they should be sharing critical information that moves a deal or project forward. If you find yourself being affected by a lack of team work then it may be time to start looking for a CRM.

Monday is one of the best CRMs for small businesses because it combines the customer relationship management features with a robust project management tool. That means every department can use it to collaborate, deliver successful projects, and close deals. It’s also considered a great CRM for beginners and advanced users due to its visual interface.

4. Customer satisfaction is dropping

What does it mean when customers who loved your company before start complaining or leaving? Somewhere, something is going wrong. How do you find out the problems that are making people leave? Most of the time, clients will complain or bring something to your attention. It’s only when those complaints aren’t addressed that it opens the door for competitors to poach your clients.

With a solid CRM, you’ll be able to record information against specific clients and also quantify how often that issue comes up. If it seems to be prevalent enough then you can take steps to rectify it. An added benefit of using a CRM for this is that you can follow up with specific clients who raised the issue, keep them abreast of progress, and make them feel heard.

5. You’re growing fast

This alone may be the biggest sign you need a CRM. In the early days, there are only a few clients and team members. You can communicate with everyone and remember most things. If anything falls through the cracks, it can be forgiven. When your business starts growing fast, you need to introduce processes, cater to more customers, and hire team members.

A core benefit of choosing one of the best CRMs for small businesses is the ability to align your team and serve clients well. Few things fall through the cracks, projects are delivered on time, and you’re able to build out strong processes. In short, the right CRM makes it possible to build a foundation that ensures your business keeps growing for a long time to come.

Conclusion

A CRM is an essential tool for small businesses and freelancers but not everyone is ready for it. This article has gone through a few of the signs that make it apparent your business should consider a new CRM. Of course, even if you don’t have all the signs or any of them, there’s nothing stopping you from signing up for a new CRM to run an efficient business from day one.

Keep in mind that it’s important to select the best CRM for small businesses because many are built for enterprise companies and won’t be as valuable to you. If you need help deciding, be sure to look at our in-depth CRM reviews.

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