The biggest mistake small businesses make when choosing their CRM is no longer the CRM they choose but rather, the support team.
Utilizing a CRM is becoming increasingly more important for small businesses. The fact is that ten years ago you needed on average, six contact attempts to engage a potential customer. Today the number is 18….18 attempts to get a prospective client on the phone, creating three times the amount of work. This exhausting process is not only crippling to sales teams, but creates friction in prospective client relationships. This change is driven by several factors; the increase in real content being created by your competitors, the increase in automated bots, and the flood of spam through every point of communication.
Choosing automation allows for professionalism, efficiency, and greater sales revenue. The problem; you need the right platform and the right support team for your company. Today there are a number of options to choose from for client relationship management software, from cookie-cutter industry-specific platforms with a heavy price tag and low customization to highly customizable CRM’s, such as Infusionsoft by Keap. Software like Infusionsoft requires high levels of setup and maintenance. With such a large volume of CRM’s for businesses to choose from, that often using the same keywords to describe similar functionality, small businesses often base their buying decisions on price, brand recognition, and potential functionality. I say “potential” functionality because most companies will never utilize half of the functions their chosen CRM has to offer.
The real issue for small businesses when choosing and setting up a CRM is the underestimation for the support and management needed to implement and leverage the most out of their chosen CRM. A properly managed CRM system can create consistent high-end content that prospective clients need and want. This content can be delivered with professional design, functional automation sequences, and measured with clean and concise feedback.
Purchasing a CRM with every function and tool is exciting, with the potential for increased communication seemingly endless, if the system is organized and managed correctly. Unfortunately, all of that potential is only actualized if you can leverage everything your software has to offer and manage the system for years to come.
Key areas to keep in mind when designing, implementing, and managing your CRM:
Sales Pipeline Automation
Dashboards & Reporting
Effective Marketing Campaigns:
These are just the basic. If you are missing any of these key elements, not only will you not maximize your return, you will drive away sales! It isn’t easy to create a great singular email or campaign, but setting up and utilizing all the automation in sales funnel automation or creating marketing campaigns on a quarterly basis, is even more difficult. These types of tasks require a different level of organization and consistency.
It is clear with the increased availability of automated technology and digital marketing tools, the most important first step when choosing to implement a CRM for your small business isn’t choosing the CRM software at all. The most important step is choosing the right support team to maximize your investment in the CRM software as well as the process to transition your sales and sales support teams. This transition is crucial to generate a team that can manage your CRM set up, automation sequences, branding and content creation, as well as the often forgotten long-term management of your new system.
Find a team that understands your company, understands your goals and culture. The right professionals can guide you to the right software for your business and help design a plan for the implementation of your new sales systems. They need to understand your business and your team! Through this understanding, they will come to know your team’s strengths and weakness, how much assistance you will need during implementation, as well as providing continual training and support. Like with any project, the right team will lead to success. Start by choosing your implementation and marketing management team to better allow your small business to get the most out of a new CRM.