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Beginner’s Guide to CRM Systems: How They Can Help Your Startup or SMB

No matter if you’re in B2B or B2C things can get busy but CRMs can help you stay on top of things. CRM systems have been around for a long time, but they are often viewed as tools meant only for large businesses. This simply isn’t the case. CRM systems can be of huge benefit to startup founders and small businesses alike. In this article, we will discuss what CRM systems are, how they can help your business and some of the best CRMs on the market today.

CRM stands for customer relationship management. CRM systems are designed to help businesses manage their relationships with customers and potential customers. CRM systems can be used for a variety of purposes, including sales, marketing, and customer service.

What are the benefits of using a CRM?

There are many benefits of using a CRM system for your business. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that it can help you keep track of your customers and potential customers. This is valuable information that can be used to improve your sales and marketing efforts. Additionally, CRM systems can automate many of the tasks associated with sales, marketing, and customer service, which can save you a lot of time and money.

If you’re thinking about implementing a CRM system for your business, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, you need to decide what type of CRM system you want. There are two main types of CRMs: on-premise and cloud-based. On-premise CRMs are installed on your company’s servers, while cloud-based CRMs are hosted by the CRM provider. There are pros and cons to both types of CRMs, so you’ll need to decide which is right for your business.

What CRM companies are there?

Next, you’ll need to choose a CRM provider. There are many CRM providers on the market, so it’s important to do your research and choose one that’s right for your business. Once you’ve chosen a CRM provider, you’ll need to set up your CRM system and start using it.

If you’re looking for a CRM system for your business, there are a few great options on the market today. Salesforce is one of the most popular CRM systems and offers a great set of features for businesses of all sizes, but it is also often a bit oversized and expensive for startups. Insightly is another popular option that’s well-suited for small businesses.

HubSpot CRM is a great CRM system for startups and small businesses because they offer a lot of useful features in their free tier already. Microsoft also provides its clients with a CRM called Dynamics which can be combined with other tools in the Office 365 ecosystem. Of course, there are many more out there but these are some of the ones you definitely should have a look at.

What are some basic parts of a CRM?

One key aspect of a CRM is to manage contact and company data. This data includes customer names, email addresses, phone numbers, and social media profiles. CRMs also track customer interactions, such as emails, phone calls, and meetings. Additionally, CRMs can be used to manage sales opportunities and deals. CRMs can also be used to create marketing lists and track the results of marketing campaigns. Finally, CRMs can be used to provide customer service, such as creating support tickets and tracking customer satisfaction.

CRM Components - Overview
Image: Christopher Isak / TechAcute (based on a graphic by Bgrigorov on Wikimedia Commons)

Tracking deals in a CRM

When a CRM is used for sales, it can be used to manage deals and opportunities. This includes tracking the status of deals, such as whether they are open, in progress, or closed. CRMs can also be used to track the value of deals and the expected close date. Additionally, CRMs can be used to assign deals to salespeople and track the progress of deals through the sales pipeline. CRMs can also be used to create proposals and track the win rate of deals.

How marketers can use CRMs

CRMs can also be used by marketers to manage their marketing campaigns. CRMs can be used to track the results of marketing campaigns, such as the number of leads generated and the cost per lead. CRMs can also be used to segment leads and create targeted marketing lists. Additionally, CRMs can be used to automate email marketing campaigns and track the results of those campaigns. CRMs can also be used to create landing pages and track the conversion rate of those pages.

When connecting to other tools like Google Analytics for website data or a social media profile for CRM data, you can start to see the complete customer journey from the first interaction until they hopefully become a paying customer. Knowing what marketing campaigns brought in the lead, how salespeople interacted with them, and any service issues that may have come up afterward helps to identify areas of improvement for your business.

How CRMs can help with customer service

CRMs can also be used to provide customer service. CRMs can be used to create support tickets and track the status of those tickets. CRMs can also be used to track customer satisfaction levels and create knowledge base articles. Additionally, CRMs can be used to monitor social media for mentions of your company and product. CRMs can also be used to create chatbots to provide customer support.

GDPR and other privacy thoughts to consider

When using a CRM, it is important to consider privacy laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). CRMs collect a lot of personal data, so it is important to have a GDPR-compliant privacy policy in place. Additionally, it is important to consider how you will protect customer data from unauthorized access and use. CRMs should be encrypted and password-protected. Additionally, it is important to consider how you will backup customer data in case of a system failure. Finally, it is important to consider how you will dispose of customer data when it is no longer needed.

When using a CRM, make sure that you are compliant with GDPR and other privacy laws. CRMs collect a lot of personal data, so you need to have a GDPR-compliant privacy policy in place. CRMs should be encrypted and password-protected. Additionally, make sure that you backup customer data in case of a system failure. Finally, when disposing of customer data, make sure that you do it in a secure way. CRMs can be a great tool for startups and small businesses, but you need to make sure that you are using them in a way that is compliant with the law.

How many people in your company should use your CRM?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The number of people who should use your CRM will depend on the size of your company and the needs of your sales, marketing, and customer service teams. In general, the more people who use your CRM, the more data you will have to work with and the more insights you will be able to glean. That said, if your CRM is not being used properly, it can become a hindrance rather than a help. Make sure that you train your team on how to use your CRM and that they understand its value. Additionally, make sure that you have a system in place for keeping your CRM data up-to-date and accurate. CRMs can be a great asset for your business, but only if they are used properly.

Do you need a CRM?

Not every business needs a CRM system. If you are a startup or small business, you may not need a CRM if you have a small sales team and you are not doing much marketing or customer service. CRMs can be a great asset for businesses that are looking to grow their sales, marketing, and customer service operations. If you are not sure whether or not a CRM would be beneficial for your business, consider talking to a sales, marketing, or customer service expert. They will be able to give you a better idea of whether or not a CRM would be a good fit for your business.

Conclusion

CRMs can be a great asset for startups and small businesses. If you are considering implementing a CRM system, make sure that you are doing it for the right reasons. CRMs can help you to grow your sales, marketing, and customer service operations, but they need to be used properly in order to be effective. When using a CRM, make sure that you are compliant with GDPR and other privacy laws. CRMs collect a lot of personal data, so you need to have a GDPR-compliant privacy policy in place. CRMs should be encrypted and password-protected.

Additionally, make sure that you backup customer data in case of a system failure. Finally, when disposing of customer data, make sure that you do it in a secure way. CRMs can be a great asset for your business, but only if they are used properly. They should be fun to use and “not just another tool” to have to put data in. Salespeople want to sell, not spent their whole day on datasheets and apps. So make sure you include others in the decision as well.

In my personal opinion, even a one-person startup side hustle can be a good match for a CRM if it’s fun to use and provides value to the processes and operations, considering that it’s either free or within a fair budget. The most important automation you can do here as start is to connect the CRM with your email inbox and you’ll simply take it from there.


YouTube: How To Use CRM Software (Marianne DeNovellis)

Photo credit: The feature image has been done by Wichayada. The graphic in the body of the article has been done by Christopher Isak for TechAcute.

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Christopher Isak
Christopher Isakhttps://techacute.com
Hi there and thanks for reading my article! I'm Chris the founder of TechAcute. I write about technology news and share experiences from my life in the enterprise world. Drop by on Twitter and say 'hi' sometime. ;)

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