So, you’ve established a small business, have a product-market fit, and are seeing incoming revenues – your small business growth plan is well and truly on its way. That’s great! One of the challenges coming your way, if it hasn’t already, is that of organizing and streamlining your sales as you scale and handle larger accounts/revenues. That’s where a sales CRM comes in.
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re already seeing some of these challenges, or are already considering using a sales CRM. And if you aren’t, this may be the reality check you need.
Without further ado, here are…
- 7 Big Warning Signs Your Small Business Needs to Start Using a Sales Crm:
- 1. You Store Lead Information in Multiple Resources
- 2. You Store Lead Information in Openly Accessible Resources
- 3. Your Sales Team Spends a Lot of Time in Meetings
- 4. Your Sales Team Spends a Significant Amount of Time Creating Reports
- 5. You’re in the Dark When It Comes to Your Sales Team’s Performance
- 6. Your Sales Team Spends a Lot of Time Doing Administration Work
- 7. When You Think of Increasing Sales, You Think of Growing Your Sales Team
- The Main Benefits of a Sales Crm for Small Businesses:
- 1. You Save Time That Can Otherwise Be Spent Increasing Conversion Rates
- 2. You Streamline Your Organization’s Sales Processes
- 3. Sales CRM Help You Collaborate with an Entire Business Ecosystem
- 4. You Can Make Smarter, Faster Decisions with Better Insights
- 5. Sales CRM Helps Increase Your Customer Loyalty
7 Big Warning Signs Your Small Business Needs to Start Using a Sales Crm:
1. You Store Lead Information in Multiple Resources
As a small business, you’re probably using something like an Excel sheet to keep track of leads and lead information. In fact, if your sales team is especially disorganized, you might find them using a combination of Excel, notepads, email, sticky notes, etc….you get the idea.
This means your lead repository (or any given part of it) is only as organized and updated as the competency of the person maintaining it.
This is dangerous because all the information is not updated right away in a centralized repository, you’re more likely to lose lead information, and hence lose those leads or at the very least have them go cold.
2. You Store Lead Information in Openly Accessible Resources
Another problem with using Excel sheets – besides the disorganization of information – is that they belong to the sales resource that has created them and is responsible for maintaining them. The control doesn’t really lie with your company.
That means if your sales resource/resources leave, there’s nothing stopping them from taking all of that lead information. You’ll be facing tremendous lead and revenue loss, and as you may not be aware of it, there’s not much you could do about it.
3. Your Sales Team Spends a Lot of Time in Meetings
It’s important for a sales team to meet and strategize, and to continually update their skillsets as a team.
But if you find that your team is constantly having to meet and spend time on discussing the lead pipeline, prospects that need following up, leads that have been lost, and so on, you need to consider taking your sales game up a notch.
Rather than discussing specific leads, your team needs to be able to quickly access data about the total number of leads, total number converted or lost, and instead hold discussions that can help them improve the conversion rate.
Having sales information at hand is non-negotiable for small businesses on a growth path! This is something that a sales CRM offers you by way of configurable dashboards that represent real-time information.
4. Your Sales Team Spends a Significant Amount of Time Creating Reports
As a small business owner, you probably like to stay on top of sales numbers quite often. And – if you’re given to delegate – you must have a weekly sales meeting where you discuss the pipeline and conversions with your sales head.
If you observe your sales team or sales head spend a significant amount of time preparing for these meetings, gathering the data to present you, consider it a red flag.
Data forms the basis of informed decisions you will make with the sales head, but it’s not something that should take time to collect and stay on top of. Reporting should be second nature for everyone on the sales team, with any report – for any combination of data – easily accessible at their fingertips.
This is something that’s taken care of by a sales CRM and ensures that you have actionable, insightful data at hand whenever you should need it from your team.
5. You’re in the Dark When It Comes to Your Sales Team’s Performance
As a small business owner, you need to be very aware of how competent and productive your sales team is at work. This applies to bigger picture factors such as their conversion rates, but also everyday performance data such as the number of calls being made, demos being held, etc.
You also have a million other aspects of your business to look into, however, and things like looking into day-to-day performance tend to understandably fall by the wayside.
However, that leaves a high probability that your sales and revenue numbers will suffer, or at least not meet their potential. Especially because in a small business environment, most employees’ performance is motivated by your involvement.
A sales CRM helps you stay aware of your sales team’s performance by sending you periodic performance reports, allowing you to stay on top of performance without having to spend a significant amount of time looking into it manually.
6. Your Sales Team Spends a Lot of Time Doing Administration Work
It’s a common trap for most sales teams to fall into – rather than spending most of their day making calls, following up with prospects, and actually selling, they get stuck doing administrative work such as updating their lead lists, updating lead statuses, creating reports, compiling proposals, and so on.
While all of these tasks are essential, they’re not necessarily a good use of your sales resources time, who in the end have one goal: to up your revenue. Spending time on administrative work means lesser time spent directly on revenue-generating activities.
A CRM helps you cut down on this time by automating a lot of the tasks: lead lists are easier to maintain, updating lead statuses comes down to a one-click job, creating reports and proposals comes down to templatized work, and so on.
7. When You Think of Increasing Sales, You Think of Growing Your Sales Team
Your sales team does not need to grow in exact proportion with your sales targets/revenue. In order to scale, you need your team to be able to more efficiently handle a larger number of leads with time.
This requires setting up the right sales processes, automating manual work, closing gaps and loopholes in performance.
While it isn’t an easy exercise to undertake, it’s one that every small business must go through in order to grow their revenue numbers without needing to invest a proportionate amount in sales resources.
A CRM is one way to bring these actions to light – automating work, setting up automated processes, measuring performance, and so on are common practices of a growing company that are usually aided by a sales CRM.
The Main Benefits of a Sales Crm for Small Businesses:
Contrary to popular belief, sales CRMs are restricted to businesses of a certain size…there’s no “if…then” that applies to using a sales CRM. What we mean by that, is that you don’t need to start seeing these warning signs before you decide to make the leap with a CRM.
Most businesses will start out using Excel sheets for lead lists, but even small companies – say, of 3-4 people – who have the vision to scale quickly will start out using a sales CRM almost from day 1.
That is because a sales CRM is not meant only to handle the volume, but to reduce redundant and manual work and to increase efficiency.
Even with one person on your sales team, you’ll see a lot more revenue when she/he is working efficiently with a sales CRM rather than haphazardly with multiple tools.
Here are a few benefits – immediate and long-term – that you’ll see:
1. You Save Time That Can Otherwise Be Spent Increasing Conversion Rates
For all small businesses, time = money.
Every minute you’re investing in your company has a compounding effect in the future, so all small business owners are constantly looking at maximizing the use of their and their team’s time.
This is most true for the sales team: the main focus for the entire business in the founding years is sales and revenue, so you want your salespersons to be spending every minute working on maximizing conversions.
Here’s how a sales CRM helps you save time that can be spent actively selling:
a. Data Entry:
Without a CRM, entering lead information is a manual and time-consuming task, often prone to error or the whimsy of the salesperson in thoroughness. A sales CRM, however, can link to your lead generation touchpoints to automatically pull in lead data.
Plus, most CRMs allow for the one-click upload of data, which means all your sales representative has to do is upload an excel sheet into the system and the platform will pull data from it.
b. Task Automation:
One of the biggest reasons behind cold leads or lead loss is a lack of timeliness – either the salesperson forgets about a particular lead/task, or is too inundated with work to be prompt with his/her follow-ups.
As we mentioned earlier, a sales CRM allows you to automate redundant administrative tasks and also create reminders and notifications against leads so you don’t let the lead go cold.
This not only helps you save time but also improves conversion!
We’ve observed that leads who receive a follow-up call within a few minutes of registering are much more likely to convert into customers.
You’d be surprised how much of your sales team’s time is spent in discussing, delegating and sharing lead-related work or information. While it seems like a small area to save time in, it ultimately adds up to a lot of time that can be more efficiently spent on the leads themselves.
A sales CRM helps you share, delegate tasks, attach notes to lead information, and so on, so you spend less time on the details of the collaboration.
2. You Streamline Your Organization’s Sales Processes
Having a sales process is not just about helping increase sales – although it no doubt does that, by standardizing procedures and practices that aim to maximize productivity and the effectiveness of each sales activity.
Besides these immediate benefits, sales processes help set you up for success in the long term. By standardizing practices, you’re creating an organized platform upon which to constantly improve for years to come.
Let’s take a very basic example: Consider the simple process of which data fields are required when setting up lead information. While it’s a small decision to be made, it affects the data you collect and the insights you derive. When working on Excel, there’s no ensuring that the data fields you want filling are actually getting recorded by the salesperson.
In a sales CRM, these data fields become a mandatory part of the lead records and ensure that all the lead data you need is at your fingertips for years to come.
The same thought can be applied to other processes such as the method of allocation of leads, grievance redressal or approval processes, and so on.
Such processes that can be complicated and prone to confusion/delay become straightforward when made part of the sales CRM system.
3. Sales CRM Help You Collaborate with an Entire Business Ecosystem
Businesses – even small businesses – are rarely run without an ecosystem. Most of the time, this gets put in place over the first year. We’re talking marketing teams or marketing vendors, sales partners, and so on.
All of these collaborators and vendors need to be able to easily access information and stay up-to-date with what’s going on, and you will certainly not have the time or bandwidth to do it manually.
Marketing vendors benefit by getting a clear idea of which channels are actually delivering results in terms of qualified leads, without having access to the actual lead information. Sales vendors or channel partners might need access to actual lead lists or sales numbers.
A sales CRM helps you build the infrastructure to pull all these players together in one place and create a long-lasting ecosystem that’s working to increase your conversions and revenue.
4. You Can Make Smarter, Faster Decisions with Better Insights
One of the most powerful parts of any sales CRM is its reporting functionality. In fact, it’s one of the features you need to compare when choosing the right CRM for you.
As we mentioned earlier, as a small business owner or decision-maker you have a large number of decisions to make every day and not a lot of time to go asking for the right data.
A sales CRM collects a whole host of data: lead information, pipeline information, deal statuses…reasons for closure/lead drop offs, lead qualification/disqualification reasons, salesperson performance, and many more such bits of information that influence much larger decisions.
It’s on the basis of this data that you make decisions such as types of client businesses to focus on, how to optimize your go-to-market strategy, whether you need to hire more sales resources and what to look for in future candidates, and so on.
And because the biggest purpose of a sales CRM is automation, the data for the insights you need can come auto-delivered to your inbox as often as you need it.
5. Sales CRM Helps Increase Your Customer Loyalty
A sales CRM is chock full of your most important asset: customer data. This customer data is the biggest source of information for your sales team and customer satisfaction team because it gives them insight into each customer’s profile and preferences.
With it, your team can proactively reach out to customers and offer help, pitch new products for upselling, or even just check-in and make sure they’re happy using your product.
This is especially important for B2B companies that earlier relied on an in-person sales network to go talk to customers and keep them happy.
For B2C companies, it offers a huge opportunity to upsell and cross-sell to customers and keep the brand top of mind.
At the very least, the sales CRM allows you to automate regular communication to customers and stay in touch so you can keep the brand conversation going and increase brand affinity.
Now that you know when and why you need a CRM, allow us to introduce you to the Kylas Growth Engine – a sales CRM designed for growing businesses. Right from its all-encompassing features to its flat-rate cost plan for unlimited users, Kylas goes above & beyond other sales CRMs to help small businesses.
As Vikrant Kulkarni, CMO, Meliora Technologies put it, “We have used a couple of CRM tools earlier- Bitrix & Hubspot; I found Kylas UI & UX very user friendly; The team was highly empathetic towards my requirement and we received excellent support; Very easy to use tool and features.”
If you’re ready to take it for a spin, you can sign up for a demo right here!