Managing your leads and customers effectively seems like an impossible task. Once you have a steady stream of new leads, and new customers, coming into your business, keeping track of all of them soon becomes an impossible task. For any business that has a sales cycle, whether it’s B2B or B2C, keeping your pipeline managed takes a lot of time and effort. This is where a Customer Relations Management System (or CRM) comes into play.
What is a CRM?
A CRM is essentially a way to manage your leads, prospects, contacts, account, customers, employees and more in one centralized database. Depending on the provider that your business uses, you’ll most likely be able to fully manage your sales cycle, send quotes, take payments, keep track of communication and much more. Most CRM’s nowadays are stored in the cloud and can be accessed from any device at any time. A CRM uses data analysis about your customers and prospects to improve business relationships with customers, and ultimately driving sales growth.
What can we do with a CRM?
A CRM will soon become your, and your team’s new best friend. Your CRM will hold and track all communications your business has with customers and leads. Think of it this way, if your business gets 5 leads per day, where will you keep their information during the sales cycle? How will you record who you communicated with, when, how, and what you talked about? How will you know who to follow up with and when? Once those leads turn into customers, how will you track how their experience was, what services/products they purchased, what they may be interested in and their demographics? Well, you need a CRM to do that.
When will I need a CRM?
You’ll need a CRM as soon as you begin dealing with leads and customers. If you’ve just started out and have a small number of leads and customers, you might be able to get away without using a CRM and storing your leads and customers in a spread sheet. But, as soon as you begin working with a larger number of leads and customers, you’ll need a more modern way to store all of the information. Our rule of thumb is that if you receive more than 20 leads per month, you need a CRM.
How much is a CRM and where do I start?
Like many business softwares, there are literally thousands of CRMs out there. Depending on your business, you may want to consider a CRM that is designed for your industry. At Alpha Bravo Design Group, we use Salesforce Enterprise to power all of our sales and account reps. If your business is ready for an extremely feature-rich, powerful and customizable CRM, we would highly recommend Salesforce. While Salesforce is significantly pricer than other CRMs, you’ll certainly get your money’s worth, if used correctly. Typically, Salesforce Sales Cloud costs anywhere from $75-$300 per user per month. That means if you have 10 employees who need access to a CRM, your monthly cost would be anywhere from $750-$3,000. However, if you are a smaller business and have under 5 employees, there is a Salesforce basic plan for under 5 account that is $25 per user per month.
*DISCLAIMER: We are not in any way affiliated with Salesforce. We are just great advocates of their product since we use it everyday and love it.