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You run a small- to medium-sized business and you do your best to maintain good relationships with your customers. After all, they’re your bread and butter. But, have you ever thought about improving your customers’ experience even more with a Customer Relationship Management tool (CRM)? We know what you’re thinking: Why would I need a CRM? Well, in this new era of social media & social selling, word-of-mouth has become a lot more sophisticated than just chewing the fat with your neighbor over the backyard fence. The buyer’s journey starts from the moment the consumer learns about your products and doesn’t finish until well after he makes a purchase.

To better nurture the customer relationship, SMBs like you need a tool that will help them keep track of their buyers’ activities. A CRM will help you cut costs and increase profits. It will give you enough insight into your company so you can increase sales, standardize business processes, maximize productivity and personalize customer experience. Here’s how it works.

1. Gain insight into your business

No matter what kind of business you run, you deal with your customers’ data all the time. On the surface, it might not seem like much. But, did you know there are ways of processing this data that will give you even more insightful information about your customers? Having a CRM with analytics can help you stay ahead of the curve by tracking trends and events that will allow you to gain the information you need. Also, by collecting customer information at a granular level you’ll be able to conduct analyses and execute business decisions that are driven by intelligence, rather than guesswork.

For example, using Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, you can easily visualize your sales funnel for the upcoming months and see which opportunities have a better chance of being closed. You can also see which marketing campaigns are bringing in the most qualified sales leads. This will help you readjust your marketing investment to get a better ROI.

2. Accelerate growth

We’ve all heard of the 80/20 rule: 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your customers. You might be focused on that top 20%, but if you want to diversify revenue and accelerate growth, you have to pay close attention to that 80%. This approach will help you access untapped revenue you might be ignoring! By adopting a CRM, you’ll be better able to track all your clients and scope out opportunities for cross-selling and up-selling.

Not only will a CRM help you grow sales, but it will also help you maintain your customer base to manage churn. Did you know that it’s 6-7 times more costly to acquire a new customer than keep an existing one? That’s why it’s vital to retain those existing customers to minimize costs and maximize your company’s growth. Implementing a CRM is crucial to boost the return from your limited resources.

3. Replicate best practices

A CRM will make it easy to guide your employees through best practices so they can be more effective. By developing checklists that include key actions for each phase of a specific process, you ensure that nothing slips through the cracks. You can also onboard new staff and get them up to speed a lot faster. We don’t have to tell you how tough it is to find great employees and keep them for the long term. With a CRM, you can give your staff the tools they need to do their jobs better. They’ll also be a lot happier. By taking away the mundane aspects of their jobs, you’ll free them up to do what they do best – sell to your clients!

4. Maximize your productivity

If you’re running a small business, one of your biggest challenges is to make sure you’re making the most of every business opportunity. We’re all trying to get more done and we have limited time and resources to do it. Sales teams need to know that they’re focusing on opportunities with the best potential and that they’re managing their sales pipeline effectively. That’s why organizations are focused on opportunity management. They have to make it easier to maximize opportunities, provide excellent customer experiences and grow the business.

5. Personalize customer experiences

You don’t have as many contact points as you used to, so you have to make every one count. It’s how you differentiate yourself, how you win and keep customers that will define how you grow your business. Studies show that consumers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. In fact, 65% of consumers surveyed said once they had a negative experience, they wouldn’t hesitate to give their business to a competitor. The increasing popularity of social media has shown that companies no longer control the customer dialogue. Customers will turn to their friends and peers to help them make purchase decisions.

Technology can make all the difference in driving your company forward. In a recent study, the Boston Consulting Group found that technology leaders far outperform their peers in the market place. Not only do they create jobs twice as fast, but they also increase annual revenue 15 percent faster than their peers. Sherweb offers three CRM Online plans that integrate with Office 365 to raise productivity, refine processes and help people work more intelligently.

Don’t miss the boat — Get a CRM today!

There are plenty of options out there for SMBs looking for CRM. If you’re always on the go, you might be looking for a CRM that’s always available, no matter where you are and which device you’re using. Sherweb has recently launched CRM Online. If you want to implement CRM in your organization, we encourage you to take a look at our offering. All our plans come with access to our industry-leading free customer support.

Written by Sasha Kalevar Employee @ Sherweb

Sasha is a Product Technician at SherWeb and he spends most of his time helping our Product Manager with Office 365. Sasha has Finance and Economics degrees from Bishop’s University. He first came to SherWeb as an intern doing market research for our partner network. When he’s not researching the fine points of Office 365, Sasha spends his spare time on the golf course or tennis courts. Word has it he’s a tough opponent on either a clay or hard surface tennis court.