CRM for Small Business Key Concepts

When you build your competitive positioning and brand strategies, you may decide that you need a system that helps you better manage your customer relationships and information, driving you to look at CRM. You may also decide to evaluate CRM after developing marketing campaigns or a marketing plan that will require better lead capture, reporting and other marketing capabilities. Once you have a defined sales process, you’ll enter it in the system so your reps can track the steps each account goes through.

Analyze your needs

If you’re new to CRM or have a system that could be improved, define what you need.

    Decide what information your team should be able to access and how they’ll use it.
    Identify who needs to use the system and where they’re located (i.e. in different offices).
    Determine what reports you’ll want to generate, particularly your revenue and pipeline reports.
    Identify the marketing programs you’d like to be able to run and how that information can help you better manage your accounts.

If you’ve outgrown your current system, you may be able to purchase add-ins to give your existing system more power. You may also decide to evaluate new systems to give you the true functionality you need.

Evaluate and compare CRM for small business software

Once you’ve defined your requirements, look for a CRM package that meets your needs. Remember that many systems come in several versions; you can start with a basic version and upgrade as you grow, but make sure the upgrade process is seamless.

Implement and monitor your system

When you’re nearing the end of your selection process, get ready for implementation.

    Create an implementation team.
    Develop a schedule for key tasks: configuring fields, migrating data, creating reports, training users.
    Create a solid training plan.
    Launch the software.
    Do followup training to ensure that your team uses the software as planned. Most implementations fail because employees don’t use the software properly. Gather feedback and modify the software configuration as needed; make it as intuitive and powerful as possible.

After Implementing CRM for Your Small Business

CRM software can dramatically improve your sales management, so make sure your entire team understands how to effectively use the software to make selling easier.



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