Two of the most important considerations for a startup is how it gains and keeps its customers. Customers are the lifeline of a business, and gaining or keeping them affects how the business grows and performs.
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is software that will help your startup manage its relationships with customers. It enables you to keep an accurate detail of each customer and their preferences, keeping track of their behavior.
This data then helps you come up with strategies to turn prospects to customers, and keep them loyal to you. A CRM can also help with billing and customer support.
When Should a Startup Use a CRM?
You can use CRM software as soon as you find your first prospect. Startups often have detailed conversations with most, if not all, of their customers. This gives them an advantage over larger firms in the immediate adoption of the tool.
Who Runs the CRM?
In most large companies, the CRM is run by the sales operations department, under a project leader. The team, together with the IT and database departments, works to build and maintain it.
As a small startup, however, you may not have a team big enough for this structure. You may also not have many customers, making the management of the CRM a task that one or two employees can handle. If the employees are few, the CEO should run the whole operation and be in charge of all major decision-making on the system.
What to do When Your CRM is Outdated?
People and companies change. This makes the information you have on your customers unreliable or inadequate after a while, if you don't frequently update it. The data may also become invalid after a change in your startup's sales and marketing processes.
What are Some Top CRMs You Can Use for Your Startup?
1. HubSpot Sales Hub
TheSales Hubby HubSpot is software that helps businesses close deals, deepen customer relations and manage the business pipeline more effectively on one platform. Here's a real-world example.
US Mortgagesnoticed that their lead generation was going down. They also did not have a good way to track their speed to lead. So they had the Sales Hub platform integrated into their system with the help of Revenue River, a HubSpot partner. This helped the company to grow by allowing them to follow up on their prospects quicker and close loans more effectively and efficiently.
Startups can begin with free features on the platform and upgrade to more complex ones as they grow. This ensures that you can afford the basic features of a CRM and enjoy its benefits, even as a small business.
2. Salesforce Sales Cloud
TheSalesforce Sales Cloud softwareis an on-demand CRM platform suitable for small and medium-sized businesses. It mainly focuses on sales and customer relations.
This software helps integrate all departments dealing with the customer under the CRM platform, giving the whole team a unified view on the customer. It also automates workflows and keeps data safe for the team.
3. Zendesk Sell
Turning sales conversations to conversions can be a hard task without the right tools. TheZendesk Sellsoftware offers a platform for the startup's sales reps to easily get this done by giving them the full context of a customer account.
The software has automated data capture that helps to keep track of customer information, making conversations with customers easy to convert to sales. It also ensures that the sales reps, agents and customers are always on the same page.
Get and Keep Customers with an Effective CRM
The need for your startup to integrate a CRM has never been greater. About 43 out of 10,000 adults become entrepreneurs every month, according to a Kauffman Foundation survey. Competition for the limited consumer base in a crowded market means that the business that knows its customers best has a higher chance of success.