There’s nothing new about customer relationship management, although the process has gone by many different names over the years. Thanks to technology, this important business function is easier to manage than at any time in past. Your goal is to compare the different options for CRM for small business and settle on the software that provides all the features that you need. As you look around, keep these four in mind. If they’re not present, take that as a sign to look at a different solution.
Different Designations for Contacts
Over time, your CRM database will include contacts that have varying connections to your company. Some of them will be raw leads that still need to be qualified, like those who left business cards in the fishbowl at your recent trade show exhibit. Others will be qualified leads that have shown some interest in your product line. Still others will be prospects that you are actively talking with. Last, there are those who have made the leap to customers by placing orders.
The software you choose should either have a field with these designations already in place, or provide the ability for you to add a field with these selections. You’d be surprised at how much this one feature will do in terms of helping keep the contacts properly organized.
Reminders of Pending Tasks
It’s normal to schedule tasks that are associated with different contacts. It may be the need to follow up with another phone call or email by a certain date. Perhaps the reminder is to send an email to a group of contacts. Even things like remembering to send a birthday card or recognize a work-related anniversary may be a task worth remembering.
The software you choose should make it easy to set reminders for any contact-related task. Doing so will help improve productivity and possibly aid in strengthening the rapport you’ve worked to build with each of those contacts.
Easy Management of Social Media
It’s hard to imagine a world where social media is not an effective business tool. When used responsibly, social media can increase your reach, build additional bridges with contacts, and even make it easy for them to share posts that broaden your reach. The right type of CRM for small business will allow you to create posts, schedule the for publishing, and even help track how often they’re shared and read.
This provides insight into the types of posts that tend to receive the most attention. What you learn makes it easier to use your social media accounts effectively to build brand recognition, strengthen connections, and ultimately lead to more business volume. CRM software that helps you track the progress will make the entire process easier to manage.
Tracking for Email Campaigns
Email campaigns can be effective in many settings, including reaching out to existing clients and letting the know about new products or improvements to older ones. If you have CRM software that can help track the progress of those campaigns, it’s easier to refine them and increase the response rate. It’s also a great way to keep your email lists a little cleaner, since the data will help you track addresses that are no longer working and be able to remove them.
Along with these qualities, consider what other features would make the software more useful for your business. Use that list as the benchmark for evaluating any CRM product that catches your eye. With a little luck, you’ll find one that has all the features you want, and a few more that can also be put to good use.