What Is a CRM System?
Get ready to learn about all things CRM, including what it is and why you need one for your small business.
As small business owner, you’re probably used to wearing many hats, all at once. Whether it's managing daily operations, hiring team members, training new hires, or paying the bills, most small business owners do it all. With all these tasks, it can be difficult to find the time to connect with customers and still manage sales and marketing. But there is a not-so-secret solution at your fingertips: a CRM system.
“What is a CRM system,” you ask? CRM stands for customer relationship management, and a CRM system tracks all customer-related aspects of a business: sales, contact management, marketing, customer service interactions, and more.
What Does a CRM System Do?
Often small business owners regard CRM systems as something only enterprise-level organizations need, but that is far from the truth. Many small businesses attribute their ability to grow and manage their customer base with greater ease to a handy CRM system. Let’s dive a little deeper into what a CRM system actually does and what it can do for you.
Store Customer Information
With a CRM system, you can keep track of all customer or client information in one place—no spreadsheet required. Names, contact information, and more are located in the system, making it easy to follow up with or reach out to specific people.
But you can also manage prospective customers or clients from the moment of inquiry until the point of sale. If a potential customer fills out a contact form on your website—voila. That information heads straight to your CRM system. You can then track all interactions and eventual sales for that customer.
Manage Marketing Campaigns
The more customer information you have, the better you can tailor your marketing campaigns. With a CRM system, targeted campaigns are easier than ever because it provides an all-in-one solution for customer information, preferences, and social media interactions at a glance.
Many CRM systems can be integrated with other applications, like EZ Texting, to provide a cohesive marketing strategy across various touchpoints.
Because CRM systems store all types of information about customers, they can provide a full view of where the customer is in their journey. For example, sales teams can see which customer has clicked on a link but not completed a purchase. They can send a targeted message to the customers as a little nudge to make that purchase. Similarly, the system tracks all sales for a better view of who’s buying what.
Track Customer Service Interactions
CRM systems are all about the customer, so one of the most important features is tracking customer service and support. From the CMS dashboard, business owners, support teams, or whoever manages the customer relationship can manage customer inquiries across various platforms, so no question or issue falls through the cracks.
How Does a CRM Help Small Business Owners?
We wouldn’t be talking about the wonders of a CRM system unless it would be helpful to small business owners (that’s you!), right? Right. Now that you understand the answer to “What is a CRM system?” and “What does it do?” it’s time to get the scoop on how it can benefit your small business.
- Build relationships: Create campaigns for different demographics and for customers in different stages of the sales funnel. Remember that you can utilize all the data stored in the CRM system to target these campaigns, leading to a more curated relationship with current customers and a better connection with prospective customers.
- Win new customers: They say nothing in life is easy, but that’s not totally true with a CRM system. Learn from the data tracked in your system and use it to gain insights on potential customers. With targeted marketing strategies and knowledge of customer preferences, you’ll be on the right track to making more sales and winning new business.
- Streamline processes: Your CRM system is your point of truth. Every piece of information about your customers’ cycles is in one place, so there are fewer apps and software platforms to keep track of. Everyone on your team has the same data for every customer.
- Be more efficient: Just because you’re an Excel wiz doesn’t mean that your company’s efficiency should falter. As your business grows, you need more than a static sheet to keep track of customer info. A CRM system updates information automatically, so you don’t have to enter data into column L, row 19.
- Create better products and services: Use customer insights and preferences to update products and services or create something new.
- Save money: It might seem like paying for yet another service won’t save you money. We get it. But with a CRM system, you’ll be able to hire fewer customer support reps, lower IT costs, and activate marketing campaigns quickly — because when you’re a small business owner, time is money.
What Are Some Popular CRM Systems?
While many CRM systems are intended for enterprise-level companies, there are quite a few that are designed to benefit small businesses. Here are some popular picks:
Hubspot offers a free version of its CRM software that includes contact management of up to 1 million contacts, email tracking, engagement notifications, and more, with no limits on the number of users (aka your team members). This is an amazing deal for the cash-strapped small business owner.
If you want more robust features, consider subscribing to the Starter CRM system. It starts at $45/month and includes everything in the free version, plus automation, conversation routing, sales rep productivity performance, and goals.
Monday’s CRM software is perfect for small businesses in different stages of growth. There is a free version, but it only allows up to 1,000 contacts and up to two users.
What’s nice about Monday is that there are three levels of paid subscriptions, which you can select from based on your business’s specific needs. If you only want contact and deal management, choose Basic, at $30/month. For automated sales, streamlined communication, sales analytics and more, select Standard ($42/month) or Pro ($72/month).
Copper is a popular CRM system because of its Google Workspace integration, so if your business already uses Workspace, Copper will be an easy transition. However, Copper is a bit more expensive than Hubspot and Monday, and it doesn’t offer a free version. Plans start at $29/month per user.
How EZ Texting Can Grow Your Business
Now that we’ve showered you with the wonders of CRM systems, it’s time to choose the platform that works best for your business. But wait! Don’t forget to select one that seamlessly integrates EZ Texting so that your marketing campaigns and messaging are cohesive across customer touchpoints. Try a no-risk free trial to find out for yourself how our text marketing platform can help your company.
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