What is CRM and why it is important for small businesses.

My brother owns a small photography equipment business with thirty employees in Northern India. When he realized that I work in some company related to marketing and sales (leadsquared) he approached me asking if i could help him. He said i has 7 salespeople, 1 person who handles online marketing and website and rest were in manufacturing. Like everybody else, he wanted to increase the sales with that limited staff and the main challenges he faces are :

  • He want to get more leads online
  • He wants to know which leads are good
  • He has no measure what sales people are doing.
  • He doesn’t know why the leads don’t buy
  • He doesn’t know how to get old leads to come in picture again.
  • He can not forecast this quarter sales.

Till now, they are working with excel sheets and it works ok. He clearly knew what he wants but he didn’t know he wants a CRM and I don’t blame him. because the term itself is confusing because it does so many other things than managing customer relationships. But, it wasn’t invented to do multiple things, considering the modern-day business challenges it evolved to do so many things that the definition is changing constantly. I think the term is so complex because people use it so differently and i think it has a lot to do with the history of crm. Let’s take a quick look.

timeline

Now it is evident that CRM is not just to manage customer relationships. In today’s world the key features it should have is

Small business Problem #1) Lack of Resources

Lead or Contact Management

As you can see from the history, CRM was invented for lead management. Lead management means keeping track of leads at one place and tracking them throughout the sales cycle.

What is the difference between a lead and a contact

A lead is a business opportunity, most likely the first stage of the sales funnel, which can be qualified by sales or marketing to be considered as a contact. A contact is the qualified lead which is your point of contact for a company or a business opportunity.

We are going to term lead management from now on:

 

 

 

 

 

 

To define the best crm for small business, I want to ask you what the best food for me.

The biggest problem small business face is the lack of resources (time, money and staff), the best crm would be the one which still helps you win and retain customers with the limited resources by

  • Easy to operate to compensate for lack of time. Less training time
  • Cost effective to compensate for lack of money
  • Supports multi functionality to compensate for lack of staff

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