Why Small Businesses Need a Complete CRM
Small businesses are thriving, and there is nothing more inspiring than watching a small business flourish amid the giants. Until recently, however, small businesses have lacked reasonable access to tools--like CRM and marketing automation systems—that can help them scale and realize real results from more complex yet streamlined business processes. CRM and marketing automation software previously existed for the enterprise and carried steep price tags and cumbersome implementation and on-boarding strategies.
While these pain points continue to exist today, we are seeing a growing trend toward more comprehensive platforms, which integrate and combine sales, marketing, and operations. These more integrated platforms have proven to significantly decrease the total cost of ownership over the lifetime of a business’s relationship with their sales and marketing software. With the help of these technological advancements, solid growth for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) is finally attainable.
Traditionally, we have seen businesses segregate their teams into individualized departments: sales, customer service, marketing, operations, and so on. While this may have once made sense, it is an outdated organizational structure in today’s digital environment, where lines have blurred between the roles and responsibilities of the different departments.
Due to this past compartmentalization, software platforms were built to address the needs of a singular team rather than to benefit or be functional for the organization as a whole. Take traditional CRM, for example. Traditional CRM was used primarily as a sales tool to help sales professionals store and manage their contacts, leads, and customers. The information stored in these types of applications was limited and oftentimes not shared with other departments like marketing or customer service. In contrast, today, we know that data is king. Thus, proper interconnected access to data is critical for success. Shared knowledge facilitates increased performance on both individual and organizational levels.
Then, of course we have email marketing, which plays a significant part in any marketing automation strategy. There was a time when marketers could blast out an email to a list and voila, it was considered an effective marketing tactic. Not anymore. Consumers are so desensitized to email marketing that to effectively generate leads and convert them into paying (and recurring) customers, businesses need hyper-personalization and accurate segmentation to be even slightly effective. To reach the level of personalization needed today, data is integral.
So if businesses need a CRM to manage their contacts and data, an email marketing or marketing automation tool to manage their outbound messages, and a number of other tools--social media, landing pages, signup forms, website tracking, campaign optimization, and so on—then they’re looking at a hefty investment in multiple disparate systems.
This is where the concept of Complete CRM comes into play. Complete CRM integrates all of the tools an organization needs into a centralized area to help streamline customer journeys and offer better customer experiences. You only have to invest in single platform, which results in significantly lowering your costs, opening up communication between departments, and making a good ROI on your investment more attainable.
Complete CRM: Driving Better Customer (and Internal) Experiences
Sales, marketing, and customer service all make up part of the customer experience. When those systems are disconnected, so is the customer experience, which is just not effective in today’s digital landscape. Businesses need a solution that is going to be budget friendly, but also delivers the results they want.
The idea of Complete CRM is that all of your sales, marketing, customer service, and other operational facets are integrated into one environment, and every team member is tied to the same database, with access to the most updated and accurate data they need to do their jobs more effectively.
As a result, a Complete CRM can help streamline your internal process, inspire interdepartmental collaboration, and drive performance and productivity in a more transparent and effective fashion.
When small businesses integrate their sales, marketing, and customer service data onto one platform, they reap the following rewards:
More complete data. Gone are the days when you have to constantly export and import data into different systems. Not only in this a time suck, but it also opens your data up for manipulation and errors. With Complete CRM, your data is housed in one secure location.
A 360-degree view of the customer. Access to data from different departments gives you a full view of how that lead or customer engages with your brand. You can see every touchpoint with that contact and actively offer them customized experiences based on each interaction.
Less time and money spent on training and on-boarding. If you are on-boarding the entire team onto one system, you only need to invest in training and on-boarding for that system. In the long run, you also minimize costs on additional training and software management.
More money available for your marketing budget. The money you save by not having to maintain and pay for multiple systems can be put toward business growth strategies such as marketing campaigns, sales collateral, events, etc.
Better ROI, faster. By investing in a more comprehensive Complete CRM, you can speed up the onboarding process and keep those costs low. This makes it easier to see real ROI a whole lot faster than you would with implementing multiple systems.
Small businesses have more opportunity today than ever before. Access to more advanced software solutions means they have a chance to compete on a more level playing field. But this doesn’t mean they need to break the bank or lessen their productivity by investing in on-boarding tools that may be a lot to manage and lead to quite costly overtime. Small business are still limited by available resources; therefore, a Complete CRM is the perfect solution for businesses looking to improve their internal organization and their customer experience.
Alessandra Gyben is the marketing director at GreenRope, a provider of CRM and marketing automation software. Gyben is a marketing specialist focused on marketing automation, content, and other aspects of pipeline marketing and has worked in the CRM space for the past nine years.