Business has changed more in the last 20 years than it has in the last 500 years, the internet and now cloud computing changing the landscape forever. Business processes have streamlined and you can reach more customers with far less effort. Years ago the cost of starting a business was too much for most people to bear since setting up the infrastructure was so expensive. Most small business reached a certain plateau and growth stopped, they couldn’t afford the servers and technology to allow the business to grow. The cloud and the affordability of resources changed everything. It was a new tech model and managing the business could grow with ease.
Using a CRM
Now most companies are taking advantage of cloud hosted and feature rich CRM services. It allows business to streamline and automate much of customer acquisition. It is a business tool that allows you to manage all the information relating to customers and the sales cycle. You can see exactly where your sales team are when it comes to meeting targets. The cost of acquiring a customer and where you are as far as delivery of goods and services, you have all that information at your fingertips.
More than Just Sales
A good CRM does more than just track sales the marketing department can benefit from it just as much as the sales department. If you do any kind of inbound marketing and building of a sales funnel it will allow you to split test and track which campaigns are generating the most leads. The customer service department has the ability to track billing and shipping information as well as every part of the process. You can integrate just about every part of your business into your CRM. It incorporates, email marketing, cloud and mobile services all in one. Here is a video of InfusionSoft, a very robust CRM system just so you can see it in action.
A CRM can ran the gamut in price, all the way from Zoho, which has some basic feature you can run for free. You won’t be able to do much beyond adding customer contacts and assigning them to a sales rep. However for small consulting firms that may be just fine.
Big call centers or businesses with a large sales team will opt for a scalable CRM such as SalesForce, InfusionSoft or Five9. All of them can accommodate thousands of users and integrate with other programmes, but they won’t come cheap. Most will have a fee per user in excess of $100 or more.