12 Reasons Why Small Businesses Need a CRM Five CRM Jul 20, 2017 ∙ 6 min read CRM No matter how small your company is, chances are you'd benefit from CRM software. Here, we investigate 12 ways that CRMs can help small businesses thrive.CRM tools can be invaluable to any company, regardless of its size. There seems to be a certain misconception amongst micro business owners and solopreneurs that they're too small for professional SaaS (software as a service) platforms, CRMs included.However, if you have a number of clients and prospects that you need to keep tabs on, a CRM is well worth considering.Just because you're a small business doesn't mean you necessarily deal with small amounts of data. And when you keep client data in an orderly fashion, you're more able to focus on what you do best, rather than playing catch up with new client details and prospect developments.Let's take a look at 12 reasons why we feel that all micro businesses should use CRM software. Why do Small Businesses Need a CRM? CRM tools help you handle large amounts of contact details and communication history data effectively and efficiently. There's nothing worse than a spreadsheet or paper system getting out of hand, and many CRM solutions are flexible and scalable enough to provide as much or as little functionality as possible. If you're a solopreneur, most business functions are purely down to you - and you can't remember everything! CRMs can help you store contact data and schedule sales and marketing tasks, reminding your future self to take certain actions. This all helps to portray you as an organised and composed professional, giving your clients and prospects confidence in your abilities. Sole traders and micro businesses need all of the productive time they can get. They need to spend time making money rather than scrambling around for someone's order or enquiry when they call. If you're guilty of making a mad dash for scrappy notes in this situation, a CRM sounds right up your street. Contact details, communication records, queries and order histories are all kept in one easily available place. If you or your team rely on outdated paper systems or keep callers on hold while trying to find the right hard copy file, that doesn't provide the best picture of an efficient, modern service. When everything is held in a central computerised location - as with a CRM - all client information is available with a simple search, providing a much slicker and customer-focused impression over the phone. In a similar vein, when all communication history is easily available at the drop of a hat, clients who have an ongoing customer service issue don't have to tell their story each time. This minimises customer annoyance - and anything you can do to placate an unsatisfied customer and make their experience as hassle-free as possible is worth pursuing. If you run a small team who all talk to customers and new prospects, a CRM is a perfect solution to keep everyone on the same page, regardless of how small that team may be. When all customer-facing staff log their client interactions in a central database, there's minimal chasing around after one person who has the latest info on a certain case. CRMs also help to reduce client/case handover when someone goes on holiday or leaves the team. Every business owner worth their salt wants to know at a glance how things are going, and to make informed decisions with accurate data. When all sales and customer relationship matters are handled through a single CRM platform, it allows for thorough reporting, analysis and forecasting - which may be troublesome for those who have to draw that information from multiple different sources. It also makes sense for management to be aware of the quantity of customer issues coming in and how quickly they get resolved. CRMs can also be used to track the productivity of staff in customer-facing roles. Monitoring the actions and turnaround times of different team members can be tricky at the best of times, but because CRMs record all staff-client interactions, it allows you to analyse how efficiently each team member is interacting with clients. If certain problems are cropping up again and again, or if certain team members or methods seem to resolve problems fastest, this information can be invaluable to management. Being able to track trends in enquiries and complaints is also something that CRM software does well. If customer service issues are on the increase, management can easily get an idea of what's going on. Are the problems stemming from a specific reason? How are staff usually resolving certain issues? Can any recurring issues easily be nipped in the bud for future clients? In-depth analysis and a top-down approach can often point out ways to advance and improve, and also identify opportunities to scale and grow the business. Many CRM systems nowadays operate with cloud storage, so if your team all work remotely or often travel to meetings, everyone can access and update CRM data wherever they are. This is also beneficial from a data backup perspective; if a PC breaks or becomes infected with a virus, the data will still be available to other users. Creating your own systems for storing client and prospect data might seem like a good idea in terms of cost and flexibility, but developing these things takes time and resources away from important client-based work. Why reinvent the wheel when you can get a thoroughly customisable CRM solution off the shelf? It's likely that all of the functionalities you require are still available, and you'll most likely get the added bonus of technical support both from the provider and from fellow users online. If you're familiar with the concept of sales funnels and pipelines, CRM tools can help you identify how close certain prospects are to a sale, and spot what encourages prospects to buy. Once you have categorised your prospects on a scale of closeness to a purchase, you can easily market to each group differently to maximise the chances of a positive response. For more about sales funnels, check out our previous article here. If you're interested in using CRM software for your business, our intuitive and flexible platform FIVE CRM is an ideal choice for companies of all sizes. Why not check out our 14 day free trial with no obligation? If you would like to discuss your needs in detail, give our friendly team a call on (+44) 01249 566 010.