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Specifically for small businesses interested in CRM and prospect management

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Simon Washbrook

Advantages of CRM in small business

The advantages of CRM to a small business are huge and let’s face it, cover many areas. But there is one specific one that I am going to discuss in this article, as it often gets overlooked, especially when business owners are focusing on all the shiny features and options that the differnt CRM can offer to small businesses.

Before I start, I want to be completely honest with you – Over the past 17 years, I have worked in corporates right the way through to one man bands and I am now the owner of CRM platform that is designed for small businesses.

In this article I will not slant it to promote my platform, as I know that if you do this one thing you will stand a far greater change of success, when it comes to you and your team using a CRM on a day to Day basis. 

The one advantage of using a CRM in a Small business

It’s simple, build your CRM it into your daily sale / prospecting activities. This may sound obvious, but so many companies I meet don’t do it properly.

Photo by Windows on Unsplash

How not to set up and CRM

I worked with a small business recently, who was moving from using multiple spreadsheets that each member of the team had copies of and could personalise / use exactly how they liked. This was great for the individuals, as they could use it as little or as much as they liked, but from a business perspective, it meant that their prospects were spread all over the place and, nobody knew who was talking to who and if quotes had been followed up on (coincidentally they were not and meant that the business was losing £1’00’s each month.

So they invested heavily in an amazing advanced CRM, they then gave the team the training that they needed and told them that they had to use. Not surprisingly, the outcome was lots of excuses, but none of them used it, as it was not as simple as their spreadsheet and they then had to enter loads of additional information to generate all the different reports.

So not only had the business invested heavily in the new software, customisation and training for the team, but they had got something that was less useful that the original process that they were trying to fix.

How to get the advantages of using CRM in a small business

Okay, so what’s the lesson they learnt from this … to be fair it is a common mistake made by small business owners – when they implement a new CRM, they are lead by the  features that are available and what they can do for the business. But when this is done it does not address the root problem and just gives your team extra tasks to do, which they will push back against (as they cannot see the benefit to them) and the outcome is that everyone just tries to do the same as they have done before, but moans a little bit more and  ‘dooms’ it to failure.

Instead they should be thinking about what they need to fix. So in the above scenario, this company is missing opportunities and losing sales because their data is over the place and no one knows what anyone else is doing.  So, once they have decided to make the move to a CRM, the first thing they need to do is review their sales/prospecting process for everybody involved, find the best bits, and standardise their process, then incorporate this new simplified process into their CRM. What they must not do is repeat what has always been done before, but just with a few extra steps. Now, don’t worry, I’m not saying that you need to re-invent the wheel, just look at what you actually do to win a sale, and then replicate the steps that you and your team take to get to the best possible outcome in your CRM. That way you will be addressing the problem, everyone will immediately see the benefits and your team will buy into it and fully engage with the new processes and CRM.

Check out this article on tips for building a sales pipeline / process, as it talks you through it all in practical steps  – https://popcorncrm.co.uk/tips-on-building-a-sales-pipeline/

Some of the Advantages of CRM to a small business include:

– An engaged team that want to use the CRM

– Having visibility on the customer/prospecting process and where everyone is in it

Joined up customer information and marketing intelligence

– Increase sales, as you and your team will never forget to follow up on an opportunity

So in brief, yes a CRM can be a little more time consuming than using a spreadsheet at the start, but the advantages of using a CRM along with a simple process that the team buy into are invaluable and will end up saving you time and money.

Click HERE to find out about how popcorn CRM helps you to visualise your sales process and join up your data so that your team love using it. And check out our onboarding packages to find out how we can set all of this up for you.

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