What is a CRM?

Before we start, let’s introduce some essential terms that pop up everywhere.

LeadA person or company interested in your product or services.
ConversionA positive action taken by a user that usually moves them closer to a sale. E.g. when a user submits an enquiry form on your website.
Sales pipelineThe steps in your sales process, from the first interaction to closing a sale.
Customer journeyThe experiences a customer enrols on when engaging with your company.

What is a CRM?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, the practices and technologies companies use to manage leads, customers and sales.

When we refer to CRM, we mean CRM software, a system designed to make it easier for your company to process leads, sales and customer engagement.

An online CRM usually consists of a database and a web application that you and your team use to:

  • Keep a central record of all leads and customers
  • Track leads as they move through your sales pipeline
  • Report on your sales performance
  • Discover what marketing campaigns work best

Why should small businesses use a CRM?

Growth is the game for small businesses, and to grow, your business needs to be as efficient as possible.

Companies that don’t use a CRM use a mishmash of methods to track sales, such as spreadsheets, emails, and sticky notes. These methods lead to: 

  • Time wasted on accessing the correct information.
  • Leads slip through the net.
  • Lack of company-wide visibility and accountability.
  • Employee fatigue using the wrong tools for the job.
  • Poor reporting of historical data to help inform future business decisions.

These problems spell inefficiency. A CRM solves these issues, enabling you to spend less energy on the administerial process and more energy growing your business.

Did you know?

One employee saving just ten minutes a day adds up to a whopping five working days over the year*! That’s a whole week reclaimed by using more efficient tools such as a CRM.

* Assumes a 7-hour working day, 230 working days in a year.   

So how does a CRM help across different aspects of small business?

CRMs help sales teams process their work and improve their strategy.

CRMs make it easy for a salesperson to pull up a contact, find out where their last conversation ended, and action the next step to progress a lead towards a sale. A good CRM can log why a team loses deals, helping to evaluate and improve their approach.

CRMs help marketing teams get the most out of a budget.

Marketing teams use CRMs to understand what marketing efforts result in leads that convert into the most profitable sales. Reports identify underperforming campaigns early to inform future marketing decisions while minimising cost and delay.

CRMs help customer service teams track engagements across different platforms.

It’s not uncommon for a customer to start an enquiry on social media but follow it up via email or over the phone. Tracking these touchpoints across many platforms becomes difficult. A CRM records these interactions to give customer service the required context to resolve an issue, all in a single place.