3 Ways CRMs Help Small Businesses Automate, Grow, and Thrive

Automation is the latest buzzword in the world of small business. Simply put, automation is the process of inputting repetitive tasks – like weekly newsletters and networking follow-up – into a software or email program. Once the program is set up, it runs itself and frees up invaluable time small business owners can spend on other money producing tasks. Targeted lead generation created by customer relationship management allows you to home in on different segments of your overall target market. Think of your CRM as your umbrella corporation and the different modules of your CRM as corporate subdivisions. It's set-it-and-forget-it marketing and management at its best.

When you're running your own business, you're pulled in a hundred different directions. A CRM software system – especially one that's cloud-based – that helps you effectively multitask is worth its weight in gold. Recruiting clients is one thing. Building a relationship with them is another. A CRM (customer relationship management) system is a small business owner's right hand. It's CRM software designed to make collecting, organizing, and communicating with customers easy. Here are three reasons you should invest in a CRM system that helps automate your business operations.

1. Clarity

The key to automating anything is organizing it first. A CRM is designed to make managing, segmenting, and searching for your clients easier. Those three key things can only happen when your client list is properly populated and organized in the first place. Remember the spinning Rolodexes of years ago? Think of a customer relationship management system as a digital Rolodex that allows you to quickly organize your client list and refer to it at a glance.

2. Communication

From special sales to promo days to email newsletters to new blog post notifications, a CRM makes it easy to communicate with your customers. Because all their info is stored in one convenient place. Think of it as a customer card catalog – you can see at a glance which customer belongs in which categories and groupings. That makes effective marketing a breeze. You'll be able to cross-sell, sell updates, and promote add-on products. It also becomes easier to communicate via interactive messaging, instant messaging, and blog commenting.

3. Collaboration

When team members work together on multiple projects, collaboration is much simpler when all relevant customer data is stored in one place. Team members can collaborate on segmenting your target market into manageable groups, targeting customers based on spending patterns, creating special offers and memberships, and otherwise analyzing customer data. It's also a smart way to schedule communication, avoid stepping on other team members toes, and avoid overwhelming customers with too much (or too frequent) information.

A well-maintained CRM software gives you an opportunity to critically analyze consumer data, improve marketing methods, metrics, and effectiveness, ask for, obtain, and reward new client referrals, and create targeted lead generation for your products and services. Product-based businesses find inventory management and order fulfillment easier, while service-based businesses benefit from communication and scheduling ease.

To further ease the small business owner's workload and further enhance automation, most small business CRMs easily integrate with other software. Try connecting your chosen CRM with your newsletter, accounting, and inventory management software. Keep these important integrations in mind while choosing the CRM software that will help automate your business and clarify your operations.

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