Why growing SMBs and startups need to use CRM

Why your small business needs to invest in a CRM solution

Many small business owners have concerns about how they need to prioritize their technology investments. Since a good majority of companies start with limited budgets, the portion kept aside for IT infrastructure (both hardware and software) will be under great scrutiny. However, there are some technology platforms you simply cannot ignore in your small business because they are crucial in enabling long term growth and success. One such platform is Customer Relationship Management or CRM. The global market for CRM software is expected to reach $81.9 Billion by 2025 and this is proof of how important businesses see this as a path to success.

Related Reading: 6 Benefits of Using a Cloud CRM 

In the initial days, it might be easier for you to keep a spreadsheet or document having details of customers and leads and follow-up with them occasionally for new business. But as time grows, your business will expand and so will the list. Missing out on tapping and monetizing the huge potential of your accumulated customer and lead data will turn out to be one of the biggest mistakes you will make as a small entrepreneur. A CRM platform can solve all these problems in one go. If you are wondering how here are 5 reasons why every growing small business or startup must on-board an efficient CRM solution:

1. Managing contact and relationships

Over the years, your sales guys or business development folks may change. But the customers or leads with whom they have interacted will still be a potential business opportunity for you to explore further. If there is a place where their data can be stored and organized for easy discovery in the future by your salespeople, then your business can continue to build and nurture relationships with customers even if people handling the operation change over time. It also allows sales personnel to track the progress of each customer relation like the context of the last conversation that was reported for the customer, their preferences and behavior as observed by the previous or sub-ordinate salesperson and many such insights.

2. Forecasting business opportunities

A good amount of success in your business depends on how effectively you can predict revenue for the coming months or an entire year. For this,  there is a need for clear visibility into the sales pipeline as well as insights about customers that frontline staff can use to nurture and close deals at the earliest. A CRM platform is a perfect choice for this situation as it helps managements identify business opportunities, forecast revenues based on relationship status with prospective leads.

3. Engaging responses

Today there are multiple channels through which customers or potential customers interact with a business like social media, in-store visits or through any digital and physical channel. Sales personnel need to have accurate information about the services or products that are up for grabs and need to know the preferences and interests of the customers they are handling. By tailoring responses suitable for each customer with a tinge of personalization, they will be able to engage them better and ultimately have greater chances of a sale. 

A CRM solution can bring about this level of engagement by acting as a medium to dispense information for use by the sales personnel. The information will include details of what to sell, how to sell and whom to sell. A CRM can bring about social conversations with customers to improve brand loyalty and bring in long term business prospects by allowing folks to respond to queries and sentiments posted on social media channels as well.

4. Improving team productivity

CRM software can create a virtual platform for different employees in customer-facing and support roles to collaborate efficiently for better customer service. It helps divide tasks between colleagues or departments such as marketing and sales, assign the responsibility of customer engagements with respective regional or area representatives, provide relevant support and progress measurement for leadership and so on. A huge amount of sub-tasks within these collaborative scenarios can be automated through the digital capabilities of a CRM solution. With automation, teams can focus their energy and effort on core sales and customer service activities thereby improving productivity levels considerably.

5. Empowering intuitive growth of sales process

Your sales strategies need to accommodate market trends over time as consumer demands are very dynamic. With a powerful CRM solution at the heart of your sales and marketing activities, you have an engine that can constantly supply rich information on how your customers and potential customers react to market trends. This allows your sales team to modify rules, policies, and strategies accordingly and garner support from other divisions such as marketing. In short, your sales team can sell what the market demands at any time.

Related Reading: 5 Digital Capabilities Every Small Business Needs To Invest In 2020

A CRM solution is an inevitable component of the growth strategy of a small business today. Having an effective digital enterprise platform that offers you a data-driven business infrastructure accommodating even CRM capability is the need of the hour. This is where Infince can be the solution. Get in touch with us to know more.

6 Benefits of Using a Cloud CRM

CRM systems have come a long way from their origins as contact management systems for storing and retrieving contact information. Enterprises across-the-board now regard it as a valuable and indispensable tool to not just manage and improve relationships with contacts but to manage the entire gamut of customer relationship management.

The nature of CRM has also witnessed a tectonic shift. Cloud-based CRM now dominates with 87% of the total market share, a big jump from just 12% in 2007. The overwhelming preference for cloud-based CRM is for good reasons.


1. The Cloud Facilitates Big Savings in Cost and Effort

On-premises CRM entails huge upfront investment in hardware and servers. The cloud CRM vendor absorbs such investment and offers a pay-as-you-go payment model for clients. Businesses pay only a monthly charge, converting their capital-expense (CAPEX) costs into an easy attributable operational expense (OPEX.) Still better, the CRM becomes easily scalable, with the ability to add capacity easily as and when required, and scale-down during downtime.

The spillover monetary benefits of hosting CRM in the cloud includes hassle-free maintenance, no troubleshooting, and freedom from having to upgrade the CRM periodically. These tasks are done by the vendor, and the enterprise can, in fact, do without single IT personnel in-house.

Cloud-based systems are quick and painless to deploy as well. The set-up is as simple as paying the subscription fees and logging in. Cloud-based CRM systems tend to prioritize ease of use and accessibility, meaning easier learning curve for end users and lesser training costs for enterprises.


2. Cloud Enables Anytime, Anywhere Access

The biggest advantage of cloud-based CRM is anytime, anywhere access. The data and the software reside in the cloud, and accessible through convenient mobile apps or other front end software, without constraints of geography or time. The ability to access the CRM through intuitive mobile apps is arguably the single biggest benefit of cloud-based CRM considering 65% of employees achieve their sales quota when using mobile CRM, and only 22% of employees achieve their sales quota when mobile CRM isn’t used.

The anytime anywhere access make cloud hosted CRM ideal for today’s fast-paced and highly competitive world, where opportunities exist only for a short while and have to be seized at the instant. Opportunities come knocking rarely. With a cloud-based CRM ready, the executive is ready to seize the opportunity by having all information and resources in his smartphone, regardless of whether he is at the airport, a spa, a business meeting or out for lunch.


3. Cloud Brings Integrated Data Management

A cloud-based CRM not just centralizes data in one place, but is also handy to integrate information from external, disparate sources, such as media activity, project management information, accounting information, and more. Dedicated cloud integration tools facilitate the seamless sharing of data from disparate sources.

The integrated and consolidated processing of information prevents gaps in information or understanding when dealing with a customer across multiple touch points. Marketers and other users have access to real-time or latest data, synced from the cloud server whenever online.


4. Cloud-Based CRM is Always Updated

Upgrading on-premises CRM is a hassle, requiring modification of the code, and provisioning everything again. With a cloud-based CRM, the vendor takes up the task. The vendor is more likely to upgrade the CRM and co-opt new features very fast, to pre-empt losing customers to competitor products. Cloud-based CRM vendors are also more likely to innovate, to offer better features and functionality, to differentiate themselves from competitors.


5. Cloud CRM Facilitates Seamless Collaboration

A cloud-based CRM doubles up as an effective collaboration tool, offering remote and off-site employees a reliable and robust medium to connect and collaborate with their team and customers alike. The Cloud CRM offers a common interface enabling team members to share data and updates that contribute to the end objective of increasing sales and customer satisfaction. International teams especially can collaborate effectively across time-zones.


6. Cloud Offers Robust Security More Often Than Not

Security is the literally the million dollar question staring at enterprises in the wake of heightened security breaches. A 2018 study by Juniper Research estimates cybercriminals to steal an estimated 33 billion records in 2023, up from an already whopping 12 billion records in 2018.

Contrary to perception, the cloud is more secure than on-premises systems. Any decent cloud-based CRM offers robust security, free from the usual suspects of out-of-date software. The CRM is the bread and butter rather than an appendix, the vendor is more likely to and is able to take the proper precautions, with dedicated staff looking to discovering and closing weak security points.

CRM also lessens the risk of system failure, with dedicated servers and redundant databases minimizing the risk of loss of data or downtime. Businesses have the flexibility to negotiate an SLA service-level agreement with an agreed upon level of service, including the acceptable “downtime,” beyond which compensation sets in.

While the cloud-based CRM offers several advantages, it is by no means a magic wand to success. Success depends on the skillful implementation, overcoming challenges such as retaining control of data, effective collaboration with the vendor’s support system and provisioning adequate bandwidth to access the cloud seamlessly. With INFINCE make it all possible. Call us today to learn how INFINCE can help you battle business challenges with infinite cloud.