Do you own a business, or are an entrepreneur in the making ?

Here's why its crucial your startup implements CRM from the initial stage.

As a startup, you must prepare your business for the future – once a flow sets in, you can discover the pattern of your business. To save your resources, and have a revenue-driven business, CRM software plays a vital role for startups and medium-sized companies to manage a budding list of leads and contacts.

What is a CRM system?

A CRM system allows a business to manage customer relationships better by storing and managing customer data and prospect information. CRM systems do this by compiling data from multiple communication channels, email, telephone, social media, the business' website, and more. By having this information - sales, marketing and customer support can work seamlessly and increase productivity through unity, particularly in a startup where small teams shoulder the responsibilities of a much larger workforce.

Maybe you've heard of CRM systems but are still unsure if your business is prepared to make the jump. Many business scenarios highlight the importance of CRM and why it is crucial for a startup. Let's understand a bit more in detail about how your startup can benefit from CRM software.

1. Manage and generate sales leads efficiently

Startups generate leads through various channels for their revenue cycle, such as trade shows, websites, social media, email campaigns, cold calls, referrals, online ads, and more. Managing and selecting the correct channel, and allocating a budget is a tedious process. CRM allows you to track lead history by providing accurate and consistent data with lead source origin. You can easily integrate CRM software with MailChimp, ConvertKit, etc.

Using marketplace extension in Zoho CRM, you can push leads directly onto the leads module inside CRM from an online lead generating source such as IndiaMART using API integration. You can integrate your CRM with your business email address seamlessly. With this, tracking your email outreach becomes easier.

With email tracking, CRM will notify you –

  • When a recipient opens your email
  • How many times the email was opened
  • If any attached content is downloaded
  • If any link within the email was clicked.

2. Make proper use of customer information

You should allow your CRM to also act as your contact management software. Maintain Contacts in a disciplined and centralized manner with a CRM tool. It also enables ease of accessing customer information and helps you understand the buyer's journey and customer preferences.

You can significantly boost your entire sales productivity with such crucial and operational information. A startup requires a CRM software so its sales, marketing, production, billing and customer services can access customer records seamlessly in real-time and achieve their goals with ease.

3. Collaborate and be transparent with your colleagues

A CRM software allows you and your employees to be on the same page, and dramatically increases team productivity and work efficiency, which in turn will enable them to provide excellent customer satisfaction. Startups usually have a dispersed workforce; each employee is taking care of individual responsibilities in their respective department. With a CRM tool, you can easily track your teammates' daily activities and tasks without having to manage them manually. CRM software has workflows that allow you to assign tasks, deals, and contacts to your team members automatically. You can sync every agenda, meeting, call and other schedules into your CRM and let the software be in-charge of all the activities.

4. Lessen the dependency of the physical presence of employees

As mentioned previously, CRM has beneficial functionality and workflow. Using this functionality, CRM allows you to keep your sales processes automated. You can conveniently manage and track the ownership of any contact, reassigned or delegate the ownership to someone else without any setbacks.

5. Infuse mobility in the sales process

Mobile devices have made CRM tools a bit more fun. They are of great assistance to your sales and customer support activities. Modern CRM tools allow the user with the ease of receiving and making sales calls while giving them access to the centralized database, on-the-go.

You can –

  • Easily record calls
  • Save important notes mid-call
  • Leave voicemail greetings

It is necessary for startup and small business owners to adopt a CRM software that allows them to grow and develop their business with a rapidly growing customer database. Moreover, the CRM software should allow synchronization of devices – so when you make a call using your CRM mobile app and save it in your daily activities, it will reflect in your CRM web app too.

6. Manage sales teams beyond geographical boundaries

Your sales team could be working in different geographic locations. They may not always be available in their cubicle as they need to be out in the field to bring in and close deals. With a CRM tool, they can still have access to information about major deals, activities, tasks, and contacts that are assigned to them.

Modern-day sales CRM have their usage extended to mobile apps so that every activity taking place inside the CRM is notified to them. Such applications allow your sales teams to be on the same page, even with their differences in geographical locations.

If you've launched your business and are searching for a CRM software, here are a few reasons why a CRM software is powerful for your startup.

1. You're startup now, but you don't want to remain as a startup forever

You need to grow your sales for your startup to thrive and succeed. To sell more, you must have the proper tool to keep, get and grow your customer base. CRM software logs contact details, communications and opportunities in a centralized manner and give you a 360-degree view of your customers which helps you manage customer relationships and expand your business.

2. You need a budget-friendly tool to reduce costs

Many startups face budget constraints during the early phase of the business. A cheap or free CRM reduces costs and helps you stretch your money for your new business. Core functionalities such as contact and deal management, phone, email and integrations can simplify and enhance your business processes, freeing up costs for other activities and operations.

3. Customer relationship management is more holistic with built-in email and phone

You communicate with your customers through phone and email. As a business, you can lose the transparency of your customer's needs if interactions with customers aren't stored in a single place. CRM software with phone and email features track your conversations and link it to the customer record, so you don't lose communications over other mediums. A holistic CRM improves your relationships with your customers with the right conversations.

4. You want to maximize your startup's productivity

Keeping your team focused and productivity high is essential for your business. But when the customer base is increasing, and teams are expanding, it is easy to get overwhelmed with routine work. It can be challenging for a salesperson to perform repeated sales and data entry. CRM as a productivity tool enhances workplace productivity and saves time. Replacing tasks like adding contacts manually with options to create them from emails and web forms automatically, and centralizing customer and sales information are effective ways your CRM helps your sales teams be more productive.

5. Know your hot leads and prioritize sales efforts

Finding the right leads will save your team a lot of time if you're a startup. Not being able to differentiate if the prospect is a hot lead or a cold lead in your sales funnel makes it likely that you take a long time to initiate contact with your hot prospects. CRM with lead scoring features help you identify leads that qualify instead of going after those which don't have any buying power. It scores leads so you can focus on correct prospects faster, engage with them and improve your conversion rates.

6. Never miss follow-up tasks

A startup needs to build long-lasting relationships by communicating with their customers throughout their journey. But it's easy for sales representatives to drop the ball on communications when things get a little busy. When this happens, customers feel forgotten and become less likely to buy from you because they think that you don't care about them.

It's a bad idea to lose business and one that's unaffordable. Amidst all the hustle and bustle, your team needs a little help with managing tasks. Get your follow-ups done with task management tools like task reminders with your CRM. Whether it is an email, call or a coffee appointment, reminders in your CRM software will prompt action items and help you stay on top of your task list.

7. The streamlined process to close deals much faster

A consistent and defined sales process will make sure your sales representatives take the right steps to close each deal for every single one of your customers. A sales CRM streamlines the process and helps you to become more effective at prospecting and closing more deals. It increases visibility on open opportunities so you can focus on where to steer your efforts to close a deal successfully. Deal management capability helps you optimize your sales cycle, increase revenue and close more deals.

8. Offer better customer experience

Businesses have sales and support teams working for the same customers, but the use of separate tools results in data silos if they both work independently. Syncing customer data across products is vital for a business to operate efficiently as a whole. CRM, combined with a customer support platform, is designed to improve overall customer experience and increase customer retention. Satisfying a customer even after their purchase is essential to acquire customer loyalty to your business. After all, a happy customer is a loyal customer.

9. Integrate business apps to foster and maintain collaboration

Apart from a sales CRM, startups use a set of tools like marketing, accounting, messaging google apps, etc. to achieve their business goals. Integrating your CRM to other such tools creates a centralized dataset which allows you to take a collaborative approach to grow your business. E.g., A Gmail user can use a Google Chrome extension to have your CRM inside Gmail. Startups can unlock potential up-selling and cross-selling opportunities with an integrated CRM system.

10. Find information faster and better with smarter search

Search in CRM is essential for your business, as employees spend 1.8 hours a day on average every day searching and gathering information. You can look up information using their name, email address, phone number, or any custom fields. What's even better is a CRM software shows recent searches, just in case you need it again. Don't feel overwhelmed by your data overload. Let the CRM software search what you were looking for.

11. Track and manage sales on the go

We're always on the go in today's fast-paced environment. The possibility to handle transactions and customer relationships on a mobile handset play a substantial role for startups in their growth and further success. Having all contact information at the tip of your fingertips allows you to quickly enter and view data, and conduct business from anywhere, on the go.

12. Your data remains safe and secure

You face the responsibility of handling your customers' data. As a startup, the last thing you want to deal with is a loss of data. Modern cloud CRM software secures your business information against any cyber-attacks and mishaps. Your data is encrypted and consistently backed up compared to storing data in excel sheets.

13. Your business grows, but you don't outgrow your CRM

Once your business grows, you will acquire more customers, and your business will also evolve. You'll need more out of your CRM. The right CRM software builds your startup and grows as your startup grows. CRM software is equipped with functionalities for small and medium-sized businesses and provide scalability for your team as it multiplies your business as it expands.

If you want your business to be successful, your database to be compiled systematically, your routine tasks automated, and have the option of getting insightful reports while seamlessly managing your overall sales - getting a CRM system is your best bet.

You can sign up for a free trial of Zoho CRM here.

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