This blog post was updated on August 12, 2020.

As a small business, in order to grow, you need to invest in the areas that deliver the biggest dividends. That’s why more and more businesses are implementing a small business CRM,or “customer relationship management” system. CRM software not only helps you stay organized and build better relationships through contact management, it pays back $8.71 for every dollar spent. That’s a 774% return on your investment. And, if you have three employees using your CRM, that’s an annual return of $20,799 for your small business. 

Choosing an automated CRM software is not just a smart business practice. CRM tools can transform your operations by boosting sales through lead scoring, helping you understand and support your customers, and creating optimal processes for your teams.

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Still need more persuasion? No worries, check out some big reasons why having a CRM solution is a must for your small business:

1. It Boosts Sales and Nurtures Leads

The primary benefit of any CRM for small businesses is that it helps streamline sales and boost your revenue. How?

Well, it starts with lead nurture and management after the initial lead generation. An online CRM allows your small business to capture more leads from your website and track them throughout the entire sales process. With your CRM stocked full of new contacts, you can nurture prospective buyers in your sales pipeline with targeted email campaigns until they are ready to buy.

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That means your sales team can prioritize leads, spending less time on unqualified people who are never going to pull the trigger and more time closing deals.

Another big bonus of a small business CRM is that it delivers key insights so you can make smarter sales decisions. It can tell you which lead sources drive the most sales so you can allocate more time and money where it’s more beneficial. It can indicate which sales reps are struggling to hit their numbers so new strategies can be tested. And it can shed light on what your short and long-term sales forecasts look like.

Did you know that following up too late is one of the biggest reasons that companies lose customers and fail to convert prospects? A CRM software helps your sales team provide appropriate, automated follow-up to turn existing customers into long-term purchasers with ease. 

2. It Helps You Understand Your Customers

The best way to serve your customers is to understand exactly what their wants, needs, pain points, and preferences are. But short of calling each client to pick their brain, this can seem like a monumental task. With a CRM, however, you can automatically gather information about your customers at a granular level and analyze that data to gain valuable insight that will help you make more intelligent customer-centric business decisions. Track trends, assess behaviors, and identify opportunities, all with a few clicks of a button.

Small business CRM software is particularly useful for companies selling complex products or companies with longer sales cycles. The constant data collection allows you to continuously perfect how you interact with each and every customer. Months of customer behavior data can be effortlessly recorded and analyzed, which lets you better understand the different decisions that guided customers throughout their entire journey.

You can use this information to improve your small business marketing, tweak your email marketing and email campaigns, website design, and sales approach until you find the optimal way to reach your target audience.

Another way you can leverage the insight gained through a CRM is to create more personalized customer experiences. When you have accurate oversight into the behaviors and preferences of your clientele, you can tailor your messaging and improve your products or services so that they are more closely aligned with their needs and expectations. Better, more personalized service is the key to differentiating your brand and developing deeper, more meaningful connections with your customers. This promotes loyalty and increases the chances of customer referrals.

3. It Improves Workflow

No matter how small your business, your sales and marketing process always has room for improvement. The reality is that most businesses have a ton of manual processes in place, such as sticky notes and spreadsheets, that kill productivity.

Small business CRM software removes the bottlenecks and makes it very easy to create workflows your team can stick to on a daily basis. Whether it’s automating follow-up on a new lead or delivering a consistent new customer onboarding process, a CRM can improve your entire team’s efficiency, from sales to customer service, which leads me to my next point. 

4. It Increases Customer Support

Customer support is the backbone of every small business. It not only impacts customer retention but also your revenue. 

So how do you deliver an extraordinary customer experience? By giving your support team instant access to detailed information about each and every customer. Let them discover their online history, their order information, and their past interactions with your company to ensure they really understand what each customer has gone through. A huge plus of CRM software is that it collects customer data in one place, making it easier to segment your customers based on their specific needs and interests.

5. It Maximizes Resources

Small business owners are all too familiar with the challenge of wearing multiple hats. Even mid-sized organizations struggle to make the most out of limited resources. Marketing automation and a robust CRM allow companies of any size to do more with less because technology does the heavy lifting. As a result, even businesses operating on a skeleton crew can deliver high-level service and remain competitive with organizations of every size.

With technology today, much of the sales and marketing tasks that used to be done by hand can be automated in a personalized manner. As mentioned earlier, CRM software can take care of the majority of administrative tasks, keep records, and make follow-up with contacts for you. You have more time for the activities that have the most impact, running your business and meeting with clients that are ready to buy.

6. It Enables You to Develop Best Practices

Small businesses must find a way to maximize productivity and efficiency to keep costs down and operate as profitably as possible. The best CRM software can help you identify and implement best practices to ensure that every employee remains on the same page and that the business is run like a well-oiled machine. Having these best practices in place can also make it easier to onboard new employees, bringing them up to speed faster and providing them with the marketing tools and information they need to do their jobs more effectively.

With customer relationship management software in place, your small business can drive more sales, delight your customers, and be more productive. With everything a CRM can do for you, can you really afford not to have one?