The competitive business world is driven by tech-savvy customers today. Their increased demand for personalized services has made it more difficult for small businesses to deliver their most satisfactory service as quickly as possible. Small companies have to make every effort to achieve this feat because these customers are the lifeblood, and without them, they cannot sustain and thrive in the business world. This gives birth to a need for a powerful tool to streamline their workflows, organizational processes and handle customers. That's when CRM (customer relationship management) software comes into play.
Why do small businesses need CRM software?
Small business owners (and their staff) sometimes feel at a loss due to their limited time and resources. Thus, they must lean on modern technology to gain a competitive edge over others and build strong relationships with their customers. Customer management software can perform various tasks, such as organizing contacts, fostering customer engagement, managing leads, keeping a record of customers' information, and so on.
In addition, CRMs can be tailored for any small business. From e-commerce to transport services to online education, even one industry that may not benefit from the integration of a CRM solution is difficult to consider. Customer-oriented small businesses can benefit from a CRM to store, manage and organize information.
Many business owners think that CRM software is not a useful tool, and without it, they can run their business smoothly and efficiently. Also, there are not interested in facing head-on the challenges related to implementing a CRM solution. Below are five challenges small businesses encounter when implementing and using a CRM. I also offer solutions that can help small companies overcome each challenge.
Challenge No. 1: Persuading your people to change
In your organization, you have built teams. Some staff members may be resistant to adapting to the new tool. While some people will welcome innovation and change, others will resist. CRM software can break down silos in your organization. However, the notion of using it for marketing, sales and customer service can lead to disruption in your teams and departments.
Solution: When you integrate CRM into your existing business workflow, not everyone is ready for the change. You have to steadily introduce the CRM software and conduct training to familiarize staff with the software. In the beginning, there might be some problems using the software. Once your team gets accustomed to it, functions become easy to perform and execute, and the output is increased productivity.
Challenge No. 2: Not selecting the right system
You have purchased CRM software for your small business. You also have integrated it into your existing business operations. After using the CRM solution for a while, you find that it's not an excellent match for your business. This is one of the hardest to solve as far as challenges go, because you don't want to waste time and money replacing it. At the same time, the system is not giving the results you have anticipated.
Solution: The real solution here is don't rush. Think about which CRM software best suits your business requirements. What are the main processes now, and how will the CRM take them over? Consider what information the system can manage and who, such as the sales and marketing, and customer care departments, will need to access it.
Challenge No. 3: Complicating the sales process
CRM software is designed to help your sales team manage relationships with multiple customers while building a database of information on potential leads. Today, new features are embedded in customer management software to streamline and optimize the business process. These new features are added not for salespeople, but for their managers. Some CRM software may not offer the simplicity salespeople need now.
Solution: To tackle this challenge, you need to embrace CRM software built according to your business's workflow and operation. You will want to focus on lead management and the sales pipeline to ensure that your teams don't miss a lead. The CRM software for small businesses will help you and your team keep track of every lead, set the priority of leads, and manage other things. Further, you can delegate leads to other team members so that the workload is appropriately shared.
Challenge No. 4: Data security
The data gathered about your customers' preferences and behaviors are the most valuable assets you have. Based on this data, you can modify your marketing strategies and business workflows. If this data becomes compromised, you could suffer reputational and financial damages. Because of this reason, many people prefer to store their data on a local server rather than the cloud.
Solution: You have to make sure that your selected CRM software provides you with the utmost security. There should no data leakage while importing or exporting information. The CRM tool should map data correctly with the assigned field. Moreover, you can control the access permission of each user to prevent unauthorized access.
Challenge No. 5: Scalability
At present, your business might be small, but as you expand into new markets, you invest more in sales and marketing activities to increase revenue. Salespeople will start stepping out of their comfort zones and asking questions on how to solve their issues now. Also, other teams will have issues that affect your revenue generation and growth. This means as your business requirements increase, you need a lot more from the CRM framework.
Solution: Here, you have to look for CRM software that is scalable. The system should provide you with all the necessary features and support you and your team to manage leads, deals, prospects, and sales and marketing activities.