As a business owner, you’re surely doing your best to keep up to date with any technologies that can boost your sales. But sometimes it may feel like you’re navigating a never-ending maze of unfamiliar names, acronyms, and products. In your research, you may have come across CRM and marketing automation software, which can be an invaluable tool helping you achieve business growth goals.
What Is CRM Software?
Let’s start with the basics: CRM stands for customer relationship management. This is a software programme that allows you to fulfil the most basic of business goals: attracting and retaining customers. Some of the things a CRM allows you to do are:
- Store information about leads and existing customers.
- Organise customer contact details so you can offer personalised information / products.
- Create a range of reports and gather insights into customer behaviour, which you can then use to inform changes to your sales and/or marketing strategy.
- Monitor the sales cycle monitoring, which makes it easier to track ROI.
- Collect customer data from multiple sites (your website, contact forms, social media, responses to email campaigns, etc.).
- Sales force automation: automate repetitive sales tasks like phone calls, emails, live chat, etc. This frees up resources so you can allocate them to more productive roles where human input is needed.
How Does This Benefit You?
There are many good reasons why every business owner should invest in a CRM. Here are some of the key benefits of this software:
1) The first is rather obvious: it improves the quality of customer relationships, which are the lifeblood of any business and key to long-term success.
2) It simplifies the process of managing customer relationships and saves you time, your most valuable resource.
3) It’s an organisational tool with potential to increase efficiencies and to make decision-making easier and backed by data, not hunches.
4) It can help forecast sales and improve the effectiveness of your sales strategy by identifying the customers more likely to convert.
5) It improves customer service: the more you know about your customers, the better you can respond to their questions and complaints.
In short, a CRM can help you implement and continuously optimise the best strategies to take your business forward.
Which Is The Best CRM Software Out There?
Two of the most popular CRMs for SMEs in the UK are HubSpot and Salesforce. At JDR we are a HubSpot partner and we recommend it to our customers for the following reasons:
1) It’s user-friendly and has been specifically created for owners of small businesses with no coding knowledge. The visual interface is intuitive, easy to navigate, and has a very smooth learning curve.
2) It has a dedicated app, so you won’t need to be at your desk to have access to all its features.
3) If you want or need to take HubSpot beyond the basics (which are quite extensive anyway) you can choose from several add-ons, which let you create customer personas, generate blog topics, customise reports for different departments, optimise website content for better targeting, etc.
4) HubSpot’s CRM is free and you only pay for add-ons.
5) It has an extensive learning platform, so you can broaden your knowledge at your own pace by taking free online courses.
When Is Salesforce The Right Choice?
Salesforce is the more complex and powerful of the two CRM systems, and is a better fit for bigger sales teams. If your business has (or soon will have) multiple sales teams, operating in multiple territories, and you have several sales managers who need advanced reporting in order to manage their teams – then Salesforce is the better fit of the two. Salesforce is generally an enterprise-level solution, so if you are an SME you will probably not use the features and find it overly complex and as a result harder to use and slower to adopt.
When Is HubSpot The Right Choice?
The HubSpot CRM is developing fast and their new Professional and Enterprise versions are allowing them to compete with Salesforce for the larger accounts – however at its core, HubSpot is still the best fit for SME’s and mid-market companies. So, for smaller sales teams - and for less technologically-savvy salespeople - HubSpot is easier to use, quicker to adopt, and simpler – while still retaining great reporting features
HubSpot’s key differentiator, however, is that the CRM comes with a whole suite of marketing and customer service tools – if you purchase the Marketing or Service versions, you can fully integrate your digital marketing as well as customer service/helpdesk activity in one single tool.
As a marketing agency, we love using HubSpot as a way of being able to fully measure the results of marketing campaigns and activities, and being able to track and manage the entire customer journey within one single tool – perfect for most SMEs.
Discover The Benefits Of HubSpot
Using a CRM package can elevate your business reputation and help you save money on customer support. At JDR we can get your HubSpot CRM system up and running and integrate it with your sales and marketing tactics to ensure you meet your business objectives.