A topic that comes up often from new entrepreneurs is, “what is a CRM and what does it have to do with me?” Well, a CRM (also known as Customer Relationship Management) is software that helps an organization keep track of interactions between their prospects and customers. It collects useful information such as:
- Phone number
- Email address
- Social media handles and much more!
You’re probably thinking, well why couldn’t I just track all of that information in Excel? If you’re just starting out, this is an especially good question because you may not have a whole lot of customers yet. However, here’s why you may not want to just track this information in Excel….
- Excel and Google Sheets are wonderful tools, but it can become quite messy when there are a lot of users adding information to one document. One change can disrupt the entire form and make it difficult for the next person who enters information. Imagine losing all customer data because someone made a mistake! This is less likely to happen in a CRM tool as it’s designed to support multiple users. It also automatically tracks who entered what and when, which is a feature Excel doesn’t have (at least not at the same capacity).
- A CRM can provide you with multiple types of reports to help you see what’s working with your customers and what’s not. You can quickly observe what customer acquisition methods are making an impact in your business. Wouldn’t you like to know that a certain sales approach sucks sooner than later? My guess is YES!
- A CRM can help you see where there are opportunities to upsell and cross-sell to your customers, which can help you customize your marketing campaigns.
- What a CRM can do that Excel cannot is help you streamline processes between marketing, customer service, and sales. They should all be working together to keep the customer satisfied and help the company grow. Think about this…when a customer speaks to one person from the company on the phone, they feel like they’ve spoken to them all. They don’t want to repeat information just because they’re in contact with a different individual or department.
Based on those few reasons above, I hope you can see why it might be worth it to try out a CRM system. For a small business, it can be quite advantageous and also affordable. Many of them are free for one user and others may start as low as $9.99/month per user.
Here are a few CRMs that other start-ups use:
Are you using a CRM? If yes, which system do you use?