Don’t use your CRM as a database. Enterprise-level tools are often too complex and require too many different parts to be used in small businesses, especially if you have employees who handle multiple administrative tasks or angles in the sales pipeline. That makes many small businesses use the tool as a database or informational resource, instead. But if your employees are too busy entering information, updating account details, and keeping their workflows in another program, then your business is suffering from a high opportunity cost. Here are three things your CRM should be doing to make it a natural, better tool for your employees’ workdays.
Your CRM should track sales through landing pages.
The source of your leads matters. You need to know if consumers are coming through organic searches, targeted marketing campaigns, or paid promotions. Initially, this tells you which of your marketing efforts and working and, more importantly, working well enough to warrant the cost or the hours of work.
But tracking the source also tells you where certain customers are coming from so you know what to expect each time you have a lead from a certain source. If consumers coming from your Facebook campaigns tend to buy a lot but need a lot of hand-holding, your CRM can set a task for the right salesperson when a good lead comes along. If the leads from organic searches are pretty low-maintenance, your CRM can track them and only alert a salesperson if your chatbot can’t answer their questions.
Your CRM should help ensure emailed leads don’t disappear.
Cold calling and cold emailing are nobody’s favorite tasks. But it’s an important part of growing your customer base, especially when your brand is relatively unknown. Unfortunately, a lot of people on your list won’t respond to emails, even if they’re interested subscribers. However, a growing amount of research shows that drip campaigns, or contacting the same recipients multiple times as part of single, deliberate campaign, works much better.
Your CRM can help automate the drip campaigns by automatically sending the next email to non-responders. Even more than that, it can create reports of leads that fall into the gray zone between actively responding and not even opening the emails. That gray zone may need a more human, manual touch, but there’s a lot of money to be made there. Without a CRM that knows how to keep track of them and prompt your employees with a scheduled report, those consumers might have been left behind.
Your CRM should organize your invoicing.
Every company leaves money on the table when it comes to invoicing. Sometimes big companies are too big: it’s not worth the effort to pursue the bill that smaller businesses owe them. Small companies might be too unorganized to notice unpaid invoices, especially if they use manual systems and a stubborn customer just steps answering requests for payment.
But a CRM keeps track of who hasn’t paid by tying it to their account information. Your business needs a resource that tells you all about a customer at a single glance, including their purchasing history, invoicing history, and general online behaviors. If you have one tool for selling and another tool for invoicing, it’s harder to know when a customer is buying without paying.
More than that, handling invoicing through your CRM minimizes the number of steps between their purchase histories and the line items on their bill. That means there is a reduced risk of mistakes. It also means you have more stable ground during an audit or if a customer contests an invoice.