Small businesses make up the majority of American enterprises. In fact, there are 30.7 million in the U.S., accounting for 99.9 percent of businesses and almost half of the employees.
That is a lot of competition for each and every customer. Research shows the future battleground for them won’t be over price or even product features. Instead, 89 percent of businesses expect to compete mainly on customer experience.
How are you supposed to do that exactly? This is where CRM for small businesses can prove its worth.
You need to be able to see your entire customer cycle to identify growth opportunities and uncover weak points where you might lose customers.
A CRM such as Salesforce can help you do this.
What Can Small Business Do With a CRM
If you think a customer relationship management system is just about sales, think again.
The key element of CRM often forgotten is “relationship”. This means managing relationships with customers, past, current, and potential. Which in turn means managing every touchpoint of your marketing, sales, and customer service funnel.
A CRM is far more than a database to help you remember client birthdays. The software has developed into a complete customer experience machine, taking prospects from curiosity to contact to customer to repeat customer.
The data you collect can help you determine why people buy from you and if there are consistent service or product issues you need to address. You can slice and dice your customer list to identify which are the highest value clients and which you should consider firing.
When choosing a CRM for a small business, you want to ensure you’ll have access to standard features such as lead generation, contact and opportunity management, sales forecasting, and workflow automation.
But start to think beyond the standard to a system that gives you one-stop customer experience management and coordinates the efforts of your employees from all customer-facing departments.
There are many options out there for small businesses. So what makes Salesforce the small business CRM of choice for them? Here’s a rundown of a few reasons that make it the number one CRM today.
Salesforce CRM for Small Businesses
Wait, isn’t Salesforce for big companies? It’s true that the powerful platform is used by 83 percent of Fortune 500 companies. But that is actually one of the biggest benefits for small businesses that choose Salesforce.
Salesforce is the market leader thanks to its highly customizable system, integration options, add-on applications, and regular upgrades and innovations. You can count on it to provide all the interaction tracking, reporting, and marketing tools you need just like it does for the big companies.
So what specifically makes it a top CRM for small business?
Grow with Me
Salesforce has a variety of levels and pricing packages that make it affordable for a small business now. As that small business grows, the use of the CRM can grow and morph with it.
You start with the best CRM tools for small business right from the beginning. Some you might not use or need right away. But as your company grows, they will be there to help maintain that growth trajectory. Despite its reputation as a big company solution, Salesforce is often ranked as the best CRM for growing businesses.
Set-up and Training
The top CRM for small business doesn’t help you much if you struggle to use it. Salesforce is known for being highly customizable to your specific needs and offer very robust training and support to help you meet those needs.
Once customized, Salesforce offers an intuitive interface you’ll find easy to work with. And its Trailhead online training environment and help you as you learn your way around. You might still benefit from having an expert administrator to work with on bigger questions, but overall, Salesforce is one of the easier CRM options to get going with.
Compatibility with Third-Party Apps
You’ve already invested a lot of time and money into the applications you currently use. Fortunately, Salesforce can connect with other systems to extend its capabilities through its AppExchange store.
Integration is important as it makes your CRM system your go-to resource for all information about your customers and business. You need it to be able to pull data from other sources such as social media accounts as well as connect with your e-commerce solution. The more connections you make, the more automation you can take advantage of.
Just about any CRM is going to do a decent job of interaction tracking and sales management. But smaller software players can’t give you the advantages of artificial intelligence and machine learning to make you smarter about how you use that information.
Salesforce calls its AI Einstein. It interprets gathered data to boost sales and productivity in ways you might not think of on your own. Machine learning is being used by big companies to reduce customer churn and identify more profitable customers.
With Salesforce, data science can score leads, so you know which to respond to the quickest. The system can let you know when it is important to escalate a customer service issue or automate a task. These kinds of CRM tools for small business help you figure out what to do next.
Get Started With Salesforce
Ready to up your customer experience game and stand out from the crowd? Salesforce is a friendly choice of CRM for small businesses to do just that. Its extensive features can meet the needs of a developing company with power and functionality that can scale with you over time.
If you still have questions about whether Salesforce is the right choice for you, our experts would be happy to answer those and help you make your decision. We manage the Salesforce installations of many businesses and can draw from our everyday experience for your specific use case. Contact us today to talk about whether Salesforce is right for you.