6 Signs a Small Business Needs CRM

This has been reposted from InfusionSoft CRMs blog by Joseph Manna.

There are times when keeping Post-It notes doesn’t cut it for sales tracking. And there are times when using a solution like Salesforce is overkill. To help put things into perspective, here are six signs your business might be ready for a small business-grade CRM solution.

1. You can’t easily add people to your marketing database.

When a new prospect is in your hands, how do you add them to your database? Is it in your email app? Is it in your Outlook? Is it a text file? Using disparate solutions like a separate email system mailing list or lead management system, you will face challenges later. If you don’t have a consistent and scalable method of adding people to your marketing system, it’s time to invest in a CRM solution.

2. You can’t tell where people are in your ‘pipeline.’

Ask any salesperson and they’ll admit to you they hate cold calling. Make their job easier by delivering them hot leads that are ready to buy and have their basic questions answered. If you can’t differentiate between a cold lead and one that’s ready to buy, it’s time to get a CRM.

3. You want to send a promotional offer out to people who are warm leads, but can’t figure out how.

Most CRM solutions available today require you to build a custom integration for sending emails. This causes frustration when you want to send a targeted offer to folks at the right time. If you’re using a CRM, make sure it’s easy and simple to send marketing messages from it without needing to call a software engineer.

4. You are unable to associate which lead generation activities are resulting in sales.

The old phrase in marketing, “I know that half of my advertising budget is wasted, but I’m not sure which half,” can be addressed if you have accurate tracking on leads and sales. If you’re not tracking your marketing activities with every contact, you’ll have more difficulty making informed marketing decisions later on.

5. Your sales team finds it difficult to quickly access prospects and update them.

As a business, you want your salespeople to educate and sell – not waste valuable time messing with your software solution. Your salespeople should see their lead nurturing and tracking software as the conduit to their success and not a barrier.

6. Your data is not accessible remotely.

If your customer database is on your hard drive, it’s time to put your data in a service that is reliable and takes necessary steps to secure data (such as PCI Compliance). In the event of data loss or theft, think about how you would recover? Most web-based CRM providers offer solid reliability and data integrity that you can rely on.