Small Business at workSmall business owners make big choices on a near-daily basis. For example, small business customer relationship management — or CRM — is a proven way to boost your revenue, close more deals and help make your sales team more productive — but only if you select the right CRM platform.

Consider that while research shows an effective CRM can help increase sales by as much as 30 percent, reports also indicate that as many as half of all new CRM implementations fail. The latter statistic is even more significant for small businesses that are on tight budgets and count on a solid ROI from their CRM solution. Yet when it comes to ROI, reports also indicate that for every one dollar invested in a CRM solution, the average return on that investment exceeds it by more than eight dollars. Clearly, it’s a decision worth getting right.

Choosing the Right Small Business CRM Solution

First and foremost, the best CRM for small business applications will be one that your sales team embraces and actually uses to their advantage. In addition, after more than two decades of providing first-class business solutions to companies just like yours, the team at LeadMaster has noticed some key features that the best CRM for startups and small businesses share in common.

Before deciding on a CRM platform for your small business, check to see if it:

  • Unifies your customers’ data: Forget the days of spreadsheets and incompatible databases. As your team collects business leads and customer information from diverse sources such as trade shows, conferences and online questionnaires, a good CRM will centralize that information. That way, your sales team can access it quickly, and your business will never lose an opportunity to turn a new customer into a repeat customer.
  • Automates processes: If you consider the amount of time your sales team spends manually entering data, you can imagine why a CRM platform that automates those processes can be a big plus to productivity. Instead of manually filling databases with info that can be automatically extracted and stored, your people can concentrate on closing deals — something they, you and your business can benefit from.
  • Is easy to use: Take a good hard look at how much training and implementation a CRM solution will require. If it’s too complicated and comes without good technical support, it’s probably not going to be used by your staff. Don’t let the bells and whistles of CRM platforms fool you — simple ease of use goes a long, long way to being the best indicator of whether your team will actually embrace the CRM you choose.
  • Costs the right amount: Especially for small businesses, it’s welcome news that approximately half of all CRM solutions are currently available as a software as a service — or SaaS. With this subscription model, which is often scalable to the number of users, you won’t ever pay for something you don’t use. And as your business grows, your access to your CRM solution can grow too.
  • Promotes communication: While primarily used by your sales team, a good CRM will promote communications between other departments as well, such as marketing and accounting. Every aspect and department of your business should positively impact the experience your customers have and encourage customer loyalty. That’s why a good CRM that allows your teams to seamlessly stay informed and unified in their approach to your customers’ lifecycle is a worthy candidate.

LeadMaster — Take Our CRM for a FREE Test Drive

Above all, a great CRM is one you can see in action with no strings attached or financial obligations. That’s why at LeadMaster, we offer a FREE 30-day trial of our CRM platform. For more information on our easy-to-use, fully supported CRM platform, contact us and get expert answers to all of your business management questions.