Six ways to use a CRM system to grow your business

Blogs 2 Dec 2022

Want to scale up your small business? Here are six top tips for using customer relationship management (CRM) software in your business.

This article was first published in First Voice. Written by Simon Washbrook, Founder, popcorn.

A small business scaling up typically does not have the time or desire to take on a new system. Of those that do, many usually give up because they are too complicated and too expensive, potentially costing them lost sales and missed opportunities.

So, to me, it’s about keeping customer relationship management (CRM) simple so that you can focus on what you do best, not making a system fit around you and your business. Here are my six top tips on how CRM can help a small business scale up.

1. Keep it simple

There are loads of CRMs out there, and choosing the right one to suit your organisation is critical. To do this, write a list of all the features you want in it, then separate them into two lists – ‘Need’ and ‘Want’. Base your decision on the ‘Needs’; that way, it won’t become overloaded with features and complexity that prevent you and your team from using it.

2. Everything in one place

Bring all your prospecting together in one place so you see the bigger picture. That means every single opportunity you get; whether that is a conversation in the pub, a discussion on social media or an enquiry on your website, you should always put them into your CRM, along with simple notes and reminders to follow them up at the appropriate time.

3. See the bigger picture

Add all your prospects to a visual pipeline that matches your sales process. That way, you or anyone on your team can see exactly where all your prospects are at a glance and why they are there.

When creating your pipeline, keep it simple and ensure that it matches the practical steps in your sales process – this should include columns for when you need to do tasks or stages when you are waiting on the prospect. Doing this will ensure you never miss a sale or forget to follow up on an opportunity.

4. Nurture

Not every prospect you speak to will be ready to buy from you now. We all know that stuff happens, and prospects can move forward and backwards in your sales process. Join up your CRM with marketing tools like automation, email marketing and website tracking. Then, from your perspective, you can easily see a bigger prospecting picture by joining up online behaviours and your team’s notes in one place.

From your prospect’s perspective, you can target them with specific messages to nurture and educate them on what you can offer and your brand’s values; that way, when they are ready to buy, they will be prepared to engage with you faster.

5. Convert faster

Now that you can see all your prospects in one place, you and your team will always know exactly what is happening with each person, where they are in your prospecting cycle, and when they need to be contacted. More importantly, if they start engaging with your marketing, they will be flagged up as a ‘hot prospect’ so that you can convert them into customers faster.

6. Don't forget your customers

Often, a small business will put all its effort into winning new business and forget the opportunities that lie with existing customers. Try setting up an email marketing campaign to nurture them post-sale and ensure they initially get all the support from you and truly value the product/service you provided. Then educate them to ensure they understand every service you offer – it is 60 per cent easier to sell to an existing customer than a new one.

If you choose and use your CRM based upon these tips, you will develop a simple CRM that works for you and your team, increase your sales conversion rates, save loads of time and, more importantly – everyone will love using it.

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