Small business owners have a lot to juggle every day. The ability to balance essential daily operational tasks with the activities that grow the business is a must. One of the keys to a successful business is attracting new customers while retaining your current clientele—because happy/existing customers are also a great source of new business.
The most effective way for modern small business owners to both attract new and keep existing customers is ensuring they have implemented a robust customer relationship management (CRM) solution. A cloud-based CRM solution - such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 – will quickly pay for itself when implemented correctly by helping a business organize information related to customer interactions and automate essential functions such as consistent onboarding of new customers or sending our regular communications. That being said, before small business owners adopt a CRM, there are some critical considerations to keep in mind. If not considered, the investment made could be a very expensive mistake.
A CRM Is Not Magic
Whether you're a one-person microbusiness or have fifty employees working for you, it's important to remember that CRM software is simply a tool. People who use CRM in your organization must commit to learning the tool and, in most cases, changing some old habits. Just because you have an icon for CRM on everyone's laptop or phone at your company won't automatically track leads and input prospect data. To get the most out of any CRM solution, businesses must be willing to:
- Institute and enforce best practices and processes for tracking opportunities with the CRM
- Set aside the time for proper training at all levels in the company
- Organize and maintain good customer data
Tracking the Pre-to-Post Sale Journey
A centralized, cloud-based CRM enables you to be attentive to your customers in a systematic way. That's important for small business owners because there are only so many hours in the day. Without systems and processes, it's easy for relationship-building tasks to fall through the cracks. A cloud-based CRM connects to all of your devices to automatically remind you of the people in various stages of the pipeline leading to the sale along with customers who are post-sale. Using a CRM means you won't forget these critical details and you can even have an agreed-upon checklist through the processes so that no key steps are missed; important when multiple staff members are touching a customer through the buying journey.
Strengthen Personal Relationships
The interesting paradox of a CRM is that the computers, data, and processes actually provide you with the means to get to know your customers better. By linking the customer data in your CRM with social media networks such as LinkedIn will help you to learn more about them. This enables you to find common interests, get to know them as a person, and create an emotional connection. People buy from people—not machines. Using a CRM can help you to organize and manage the information you need to treat your customers as people rather than just transactions.
For entrepreneurs that want to grow their companies, implementing a cloud-based CRM solution is a game changer. Whether you are just considering your CRM options or currently use CRM and want to maximize its potential, Amaxra can help. As a certified Microsoft Gold Partner, our experts have experience integrating Microsoft Dynamics 365 cloud CRM solutions into the processes and apps businesses use every day.
We also know that some companies buy CRM software and wonder "now what?" If you are questioning your investment in CRM or just aren’t sure where to start, contact us to organize an Amaxra Business Process Workshop. We offer these in-person workshops to instruct business professionals on how to think, plan, and implement successful CRM strategies within their organizations or, if already implemented, how to get in control of a CRM that is not delivering. We can then also follow through with the Dynamics 365 implementation—from the data migration to system integration—to ensure everyone in your company is trained and prepared to be successful with your new CRM.