Many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) face the challenge of selecting the right tool for their business.
Of course, the popularity of small business CRM is gaining. However, the main question is whether or not your business needs it at the moment.
A CRM (or Customer Relationship Management) system is a set of applications that acts as a central database for all your contacts related information. It helps keep track of all leads, manage deals, and grow your business revenue.
But before you go about implementing any software, it’s crucial to understand your requirements. Based on that, you would be able to pick up the right tool and not just a CRM.
The Use of Excel Sheet
Not long ago, all businesses used to rely on Excel sheets to maintain all their information. In fact, about 81% of businesses still use Excel various tasks, such as auditing, reporting, sales, projection, and more.
Excel is a powerful tool used by businesses of all sizes, from startups to huge corporations. However, if your company is on a smaller scale, there is a good chance that Excel is your go-to tool for managing prospects and leads.
As a sales tool, though, it has its limitations.
As your leads grow, trying to assimilate them all in an Excel sheet becomes troublesome. Everything starts looking complicated, and the software doesn’t play friendly with other apps. When you can sync your calendars, you might miss a follow-up, resulting in a lost sale.
It won’t be long until Excel runs its course and your business needs a new solution.
So, what’s the best alternate option? The first answer would be a CRM solution.
But there’s one caveat: there is no “one-size-fits-all CRM.” It looks like things might get complicated.
Do You Need CRM Software?
There are several different types of CRM software. Choosing one is anything but straightforward. Unfortunately, most CRM companies tell you that their version is ideal for your needs. Yet, they fail to take into account customer pain points.
If your focus is on customer management and retention, a marketing CRM is your best bet. Its strengths lie in retargeting, creating campaigns, and storing customer information on file.
Similarly, for better customer support, you will need a CRM that supports help desk solutions and other support activities such as live chat.
However, if you are looking to increase your conversion and focus more on sales, you probably don’t need a CRM. You will find sales CRM, but then again, implementing a lead management system (LMS) could be a better option.
Lead Management System Vs. CRM Tool
A CRM tool is best suited for building relationships with customers. But prospects and leads aren’t customers. Not yet anyway.
First, you need to convince your prospects that the product is right for them.
There is no denying that customer retention is important, but you will face even more problems if there are no customers to keep.
For attracting and converting prospects into leads, the best tool is lead management software. The name is self-explanatory: a system that keeps all your leads (from all possible sources) in one place. It helps keep track of their interests as well as other relevant activities.
This allows marketing and sales teams to work together on the leads.
Focusing on sales is the most important aspect. A CRM system can essentially do the same things as well, but they are used for much more. They are used beyond the management of the complete customer lifecycle from capture to conversion — to retain the customer and find opportunities to up-sell, whenever possible.
The result? Salespeople use about 15% of a CRM’s ability while taking up to 50% of their own capacity on the tool. The numbers don’t stack up.
Keeping Your Salespeople Focused
There are several attributes that form the DNA of a salesperson, and admin skill is not one of them.
A key issue with traditional CRM is the amount of data users are tasked with entering. Before creating a lead in the system, salespeople need to enter vast amounts of information on their contacts and companies.
There are two problems here. One is that salespeople want to convert; they aren’t looking for a career as a data entry expert. The second is that it’s unnecessary to spend so much time entering details on a lead that may never convert.
This results in salespeople finding ways to bypass the process and often entering the wrong information. Basically, whatever they can do to get it out of the way, they will do it. Marketing departments, managers, and CEOs then have incorrect details, which stop them from forming future strategies.
How Much Will It Cost?
Another factor to consider when looking for CRM software is its price. If something is billed as an all-powerful tool, you can be sure those features are reflected in the price. But that can be an obstacle for many smaller businesses.
Practically every small business CRM software or a lead management tool has a free trial. But once it has finished, a traditional CRM system often asks you to commit $100-plus per month. Whereas lead management software, with its streamlined offerings directed at the sales process, is much cheaper.
So you really have to ask yourself what you need the software for.
If it’s for multiple facets, paying a higher fee and having access to many different mediums, a CRM might be the way to go. But if it’s purely for selling, what is the point of having a system with loads of features that no one is going to use?
The Importance of Adopting Technology
Salespeople and managers need the same tools to maximize their chances of converting leads.
If you are a sales rep having multiple people to contact, managing them all can become quite confusing. Having a clearly laid out process, you are more likely to focus on eagle-eye precision. Thus, it increases your productivity and results in more closed deals.
But at the same time, your sales managers also need clear visibility of their team’s sales cycle, so they can step in if needed.
Thus, every individual involved needs complete visibility into the sales process. This also makes it easy to onboard new members and easily walk them through the strategies and executions.
It is at this point the rep no longer becomes the most important part of the team. The process, which is led by software such as business CRM software, takes center stage.
Final Thoughts: What’s so Different?
The fact that your small business needs to shift from manual process to automation is unarguable.
But the challenge lies in choosing the right technology for your business.
To sum up the article, the main difference between CRM and lead management software is the clarity the latter provides.
The latter puts sales first; it doesn’t fit multiple tasks into one system. The result is something salespeople can rely on. They don’t need to think twice about using it; the software becomes an effortless extension to their daily workflow.