CRM For Small Business: 5 Smart CRM Features Every Small Business Must Use

By January 19, 2016Sales
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The idea of implementing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is incredibly overwhelming for a small business owner. Yes, it is an extra investment you need to make—but when done right, a CRM for small business can easily help manage business relationships & all the information associated with them to build stronger customer loyalty and generate lasting business.

In short, a CRM system can help small business owners in centralizing and streamlining all their tasks.

Here’s how:

1. Social View of Prospect

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CRM is a tool that is designed to build a 360-degree view of all prospects, contacts and accounts of the business. It should provide a variety of detailed communication history in the forms of emails, calls exchanged and other related activities.

From the first email exchanged to the final purchase and beyond, CRM archives all the data that should assist the sales managers in managing their contacts by performing tasks such as dropping follow-up reminders and providing calendar updates.

However, “social integration” is the most important feature of a good CRM. In fact, a CRM system without it is not much of use, in this age and time. It must be able to identify and integrate social media and professional profiles of prospects, besides sharing company insights when a contact or his business is in the new via alerts.

2. LinkedIn Integration

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CRM should integrate with the largest pool of leads and prospects, i.e. through the professional networking site, LinkedIn. It should make it easy for the business owners to get access to insightful prospect data from their profiles.

From gaining information on the work experience and location to keeping a tab on their daily updates and activities, the CRM must provide 100% assistance in being able to understand prospects and build stronger business relationships.

3. Simplifying Data

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CRM collects and archives massive amounts of data. But to be able to draw insightful conclusions from the data volume, it should offer an easy-to-customize dashboard and reports. This lets the sales manager create analytics reports on-the-fly, thus increasing his or her productivity.

In other words, CRM needs to be able to refine the data into something that is actionable. It should enable the sales manager to easily mine the information, analyze and create a clear-cut report that can present a way forward for future sales decisions.

Since the data is already simplified, the sales manager can utilize his or her time to strategize the sales actions required for results. Hence, a CRM system should be designed for user intuitiveness, delete duplicate data and promote a simple navigation system among many other things.

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4. Mobile CRM

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Sales managers and reps can no longer just log off. Most sales reps are mostly on-the-move, but they need to be in touch with their leads at all times. It is in these situations that you need CRM on mobile.

Having a robust mobile version of the CRM you use assists the sales reps in optimizing their productivity by offering full access to important customer details—be it their profile details, contact history or level in the pipeline, from absolutely anywhere.

The app must also be able to log calls as soon as they are made by the sales reps, in order to save data entry time.

In addition to this, it should also be able to leverage the social features highlighted by networking sites—such as real-time feeds, status updates, and other information of the prospects. This will help the sales reps understand the prospects better with reduced research time, thereby increasing their productivity.

5. Integration With Other Apps

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A day in the life of a sales rep is dominated by toggling between email and CRM screen. A ‘smart’ CRM should minimize toggling between apps to save time. Hence, it should integrate with multiple apps that a sales rep commonly uses. The strength of a CRM system lies in its ability to download and run multiple apps as conveniently as using an iPhone.

AppExchange is exactly what an app store is on your phone, for Salesforce. It is customized to cater to all the needs of a sales team by offering hundreds of integrable apps to download. This ability to integrate with other apps further boosts the sales team’s productivity by offering them a seamless platform to work on—even when they are not in office.

The right CRM solution helps small businesses build and maintain customer relationships by optimizing the efforts of their sales teams in an extremely efficient and organized manner.

In today’s competitive world, the pressure to perform exceptionally well in sales is as important as any other growth effort. Choosing the right CRM definitely brings you a lot closer to your end goal.

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by Asavari Sharma

Asavari is a content specialist at SalesChakra. She comes with a background in marketing communications and social media.