When you start a business, the sheer number of things you need to purchase can be overwhelming. Just getting your operation off the ground is expensive. From business licenses to product purchases, to employees, to marketing, to general operational purchases, you probably started your company feeling strapped for cash. Then, you research only to realize that every blog has a different “must-have” software solution for growing businesses.
It can be a lot. So, many companies bogged down by costs and too many options, end up saving the CRM, or customer relationship management system, for later. However, how do you know when the added cost is really necessary? You’ve operated this long without it, why do you need one now?
Or maybe, you already have a CRM, and you keep feeling like things could be better. However, it’s been working for you, so is it worth upgrading?
How do you know when it’s time to get a CRM or upgrade to a better one? Here are five signs that it’s time.
#1 Your Information is Everywhere
Your leads, your accounts, your vendor information, accounting information, and marketing campaigns are everywhere. You have correspondences with clients sitting in email chains, notebooks full of follow-up notes, and contact information saved on various sticky notes. The problem isn’t that you don’t have enough information. The problem is that it’s disorganized and all over the place. This disorganization makes it hard to locate and easy to lose. If your company is in an information-overload state, with no clear way to keep it all organized, it could be a sign that your business needs a CRM.
#2 Your Customer Satisfaction and Experience are Lacking
Now, a CRM isn’t going to fix all your customer service issues. However, a CRM helps keep the entire customer experience in check. You’re able to see what’s going on in the customer process, and that insight helps improve the customer experience. Salesforce, one of the leading CRM’s, has an entire trove of applications dedicated to enhancing the customer experience and overseeing customer interactions. So, if your company is struggling to identify customer service problems or is lacking in the customer experience department, it could be a sign that you need a CRM. Or it could be a sign that you need to update your current CRM.
#3 Lack of Collaboration
If your departments aren’t communicating effectively, it’s time to get them on the same page. However, getting your marketing, sales, customer service, and executive team operating on the same wavelength is no easy feat. You have to ensure that everyone is speaking the same language and seeing the company from a similar perspective. While many businesses employ communication software solutions like Slack to improve communication between departments, there’s still a fundamental thing lacking. If you aren’t all able to see the leads, accounts, customers, and profit from the same point of view, it’s hard to keep track of what’s going on.
Moreover, task management and keeping up with customer interactions is hard if everyone is operating inside of their own systems. CRMs like Salesforce have communication software integrated into the platform, while also offering the ability to manage the customers from the same perspective. If your departments are struggling to collaborate, a CRM could be the missing link.
#4 Missed Sales Opportunities
If you’re consistently missing out on sales opportunities, there’s a big problem. Identifying what that problem is can be tricky if you don’t have an in-depth view of the customer process. Is it follow-ups? Is it a lead nurturing issue? Is it a retention problem? Without a place to collect and organize sales data, there’s bound to be several missed sales opportunities. If you don’t know what’s happening to your leads, don’t have an easy way to track follow-ups, or if you lack sales oversight, then a CRM could be just what you need.
#5 You’re Rapidly Growing
If your company is growing quickly, it’s easy to lose track of what’s happening. When you’re in a period of accelerated growth, organization and ease is critical. Your reporting needs to be seamless. Your communication needs to be flawless. You don’t want to lose any customers during this period of growth. If you’re experiencing growth, there’s no better time to invest in a CRM.
Conversely, if you aren’t experiencing growth, it could be the lack of the CRM that’s hurting you. If you’ve been stagnant, and other fixes aren’t working, it could be time to look into getting a CRM to give you better oversight and insight into what’s happening inside your business.
How to Get Started with a CRM
Whether you’re ready to get started with a CRM or you’re ready to upgrade, there are several options on the market. Do your research to determine which fits your goals and budget. If you’re looking for the best CRM on the market, you’ll probably want to go with Salesforce. They’re the CRM used by 83% of Fortune 500 companies, and they boast over 3.75 million users worldwide.
If you decide to go with Salesforce, be sure and use salesforce consulting services because it’s a lofty software to implement. While it will help solve all the issues above, it’s incredibly technical and requires expert implementation and integration. Even if you don’t go with Salesforce, many CRMs benefit from expert installation and deployment.
Running a business is challenging. CRMs make automation, organization, communication, and customer management so much simpler. If you see these five signs in your own business, do yourself a favor and invest in a competent CRM solution.