“There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else” Sam Walton, Walmart’s founder, was a man ahead of his time. His prescient insight customer relationship management was second to none. Customer satisfaction is the epitome of a successful enterprise. No matter how many customers you may have, no matter how profitable you might be, there’s always room for improvement. You need new clients, better ways to manage existing and potential customers and a scalable customer relationship management (CRM) system.  You might be thinking: “why do I need a CRM in the first place?” Short answer, every business needs an easy-to-use and scalable CRM platform.

Being a small business means that you have limited resources, and in order to maximize productivity you need to make the most of your available resources. The market is awash with CRM solutions, but here’s the rub- not every customer relationship management system fits your needs; what might work for another company may not work for you and vice versa. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Before you take the plunge, you should ask yourself some questions, such as: “What is my vision for the future? How can I gain insight into my business? How can I boost sales and increase efficiency? Is there any way to personalize the relationship with my customers? “Fortunately, there’s an answer to each and every question. CRM platforms are designed to help companies increase sales, cut costs, win new customers and achieve an overall better customer experience management.

Below are five ways a CRM can help small businesses thrive in today’s ever-changing business landscape:

1. Gain immense insight into your company

No matter the type of industry you’re in, your business generates data all the time. How does one make sense of vast amounts of data? Raw data is worthless. You need well-organized, up-to-date and specific data. A CRM platform will keep track of every customer, all contact information is stored and no data is ever lost. Real-time and updated analytics will keep you informed and alert all the time. You will get to know whether a customer came to you from your website, your app or through other channels. All the data you collect on a day-to-day basis will be stored and analyzed on a granular level, helping you make intelligent decisions based on data, not random assumptions.

2. Boost sales

The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, applies to almost every field. Sales managers have long known that 80 % of sales come from 20 % of the customers. Does it mean that 80 % of the customers are left in the dust? Absolutely not. A CRM system treats each and every single customer as a unique opportunity for growth. By keeping track of every customer, you can nurture them with personalized content, promotions or other offers through the whole cycle. Once you implement a CRM, you will expand your customer base, you will increase brand awareness and you might also look for ways to cross-sell and up-sell.

3. Increase efficiency

By automating most repetitive tasks, you free up time for other pressing matters such as crafting original content for your existing and potential customers, devising new ways to increase sales, etc. Nothing is left to chance. It may well be the case that some small businesses suffer from lack of efficiency, which is sad given the huge opportunities the market offers. CRM platforms are designed to help every business- small, medium-sized or big, thrive in a highly competitive market.

4. Cut costs and increase productivity

Running a small business may be time-consuming and exhausting, but at the end of the day what really matters is how you feel about it. If you cut costs, maximize productivity and make the most of every opportunity, you will stay ahead of the curve. A CRM system does just that: it automates boring tasks, allowing you to concentrate on growing your business. No more lost contacts, less time spent on repetitive tasks, more efficiency, reduced overheads and more productivity. A CRM does that and much more.

5. Foster a personalized relationship with customers

Everyone wants to feel appreciated, that’s human nature. Customers buy feelings, not just a product or service. If you want people to do business with you, you have to show that you really care about them. A CRM platform is the perfect tool to build a personalized relationship with your customers. By nurturing customers throughout the whole sales cycles with personalized content, you show genuine care for them. And remember, if you take care of their needs and preferences, they will talk to their peers and friends about your business. Word-of-mouth is very powerful.

While there is no silver bullet for every challenge that small businesses face on a daily basis, the right CRM can help you gain an edge over your competitors. Show that you care deeply about your customers, and the rest will fall into place. Genuine care trumps everything.

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