Long gone are the days of the little black book or the rolodex. We live in a digital world, and our contacts are often scattered across spreadsheets and inboxes.
Many businesses have either been resistant to or have misconceptions about using Contact Relationship Management (CRM) tools - and for good reason. It can be time consuming, hard to get your team onboard with a new tool, and a struggle to get the buy-in you need to get the leverage you have to have to justify the expense.
That said, it doesn’t have to be that way. We’re here to debunk some of the common misconceptions surrounding CRM solutions, so you and your team can be more effective using CRM tools today.
1. CRM Tools are just for building and maintaining relationships with customers
While it’s true that CRM tools were initially created for the tasks of building and maintaining relationships with your existing and future customers, today’s CRM tools can do much more.
CRM tools such as Salesforce, Hubspot CRM, or Insightly can help you manage the data flowing into (and out of) your business. Tools like these can help you track your sales cycle and build customized email templates that help streamline communications as well as manage your contacts and interactions. Believe it or not, a CRM can actually shorten your sales cycle.
Managers, reps and assistants can all have access to information that will help your team to function more efficiently. Cloud based CRM tools are perfect for busy reps who spend a lot of time on the road. You can pass information back and forth easily and even access it on any device. Have an impromptu meeting or call with a potential customer? Pull up their info immediately and start building that relationship.
2. My business is too small to need CRM
Small businesses work hard – and are always looking for a leg up on the competition. CRM tools can help, enabling smaller teams to do more work in less time.
These tools can also help to ensure the integrity of your data. How many times have you gotten a bounce-back from a client who had recently changed jobs? It’s a waste of valuable time, which is a finite resource for all of us, and even more important for smaller teams.
In fact, Harvard Business Review estimates that bad data costs the U.S. an unbelievable 3 trillion dollars per year. Using CRM tools contributes to improved data integrity, because it sets a standard for capturing data that becomes part of your company’s best practices.
If you're curious about how CRM can help small businesses, you can read more of our research here.
3. CRM tools are an unnecessary cost.
Some of the best CRM tools out there, including HubSpot CRM and Google Contacts, are free to use. You can always try out one of the CRM platforms that is free to use and upgrade to premium features once you find them necessary. Other CRM apps are anywhere from $9 - $75 per month, and several have custom pricing options that you can fit to your business.
Check out this article for 9 cost effective CRM platforms alternatives to the more expensive CRM tools. Chances are, you’ll fall in love with the functionality - and find that the cost is far outweighed by the benefits.
4. Data entry is too time consuming. CRM will just slow us down.
Even the most old-school of sales teams must have a way to track their progress. This often means using a system involving a series of spreadsheets. Sure, you’ve got a system, everyone knows how to use it, and it’s working just fine for you. But, what if you could be even more productive?
Some of the best CRM apps will data mine for you. Enter a domain name for your contact, and it will pull in relevant information both from their website and your email inbox. You can build robust data on potential customers with just a few keystrokes. A spreadsheet can’t do that.
If you’re considering migrating from a spreadsheet-based system that you’re currently using, it can be useful to hire a virtual assistant to help with data entry. Once your data is in the system, you’ll have the entire picture at your fingertips in moments instead of minutes.