There are about 300 million entrepreneurs involved in setting up over 150 million businesses worldwide. Assuming that a third of these businesses are launched, safely 50 million startups will take shape every year, which translates to about 1,37,000 a day. US (37488 startups) holds the number one position in number of startups launched in a year, followed by India (3955), Indonesia (1569) and United Kingdom (1274).
That’s a lot of startups, however many of the make the mistake of not giving much importance to marketing and customer support, resulting in failure. History of businesses with excellent products also show a huge failure rate due to these lacunae. Statistically 14% of startups fail due to lack of customer support. That is huge and it means 5248 startups (14% of 37488) fail in US alone, every year. That’s more than the startups launched in any other country.
Most entrepreneurs build products or services to meet a critical need, but even the best laid plans fail due to poor customer service. Customers are a huge part of the startup ecosystem and they define the success of any product or service. Since startups are usually at the initial stage of customer acquisition, they need to win their trust and loyalty.
Start-ups need to work aggressively to implement a customer-centric working philosophies. This enables them to succeed and attain sustainable growth in this huge market. Here are some predictions by business leaders, across the globe, on the future of CRM and automating your marketing efforts:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is about to get a whole lot smarter
“In 2017, smart data discovery will emerge as a major force in CRM analytics, as well as business intelligence more generally. With the acquisition of BeyondCore by Salesforce, CRM vendors are positioning themselves at the frontline of new developments in smart data discovery, which leverages machine learning and other technologies to detect patterns in data and transform them into stories that humans can understand. [These solutions] will increasingly shift humans away from actually analyzing business data themselves to vetting the accuracy of machine-generated insights.” – Daniel Harris, market researcher at Software Advice
- Marketing automation will reduce the human labor required in advertising
“In 2017, marketing automation will be more important than ever before. Taking the manual labor out of essential marketing functions, such as email blasts and social media posts, marketing automation will help companies reclaim valuable time. It will allow marketing teams to refocus their energy on bigger projects, as well as monitor campaign success and customer engagement more efficiently.” – Adam Binder, founder of Creative Click Media
These predictions form a strong foundation in establishing the need for CRM software to startups. Now let us understand in detail how a CRM benefits startups:
Should startups meet certain criteria to use a CRM? Not at all. Most of the cloud based CRMs provide free subscriptions to users starting from 1 to many. Even if you are the only employee in your company, you still need CRM software to manage your contacts and establish a relationship.
Startups are at the naive stage of building customer relationships. They are constantly meeting new people. It is imperative to track any business relationship – including the interactions with suppliers, in-house staff, partners, affiliates, thought leaders, or anyone else for better managing relationships.
CRM benefits startups in building a database of contacts with their information like name, contact details, history of purchase. These contacts can be linked to tasks, organizations, opportunities, or even internal sales or marketing efforts. Good deal about CRM is that, it gives one single window on every information of consumers, for instance, you can even link prospects’ LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter profiles, tracking their social interactions.
CRM for startups helps to organize customer data, track your leads, maximise your selling potential, collaborate internally with your team members, store and manage customer data. When such information is organized automatically, start ups can focus on revenue generating actions rather than administrative tasks.
CRM proficiently organizes all client data, storing it safely in a central location accessible by all your employees. Data comes in many forms and from many digital marketing channels. Regardless of its type or source of origin, CRM always knows where it is and how to make the best use of it. All the team members can have a centralized location for information.
Here’s a scenario of a startup with 3 major products and without CRM. In such case, marketing team sends email on product A to a prospect, and sales team sends email on product B to the same prospect. But that prospect turns out to be their customer, receiving support on product C. Such communication creates confusion to the customer. If all the data is centralized, everyone is aware of the business’s interaction with that particular prospect, allowing them to take control of their actions.
CRM software also eliminates the addition of any duplicate records that may slip through the cracks. It’s easy to create custom fields and tags. Custom fields can help create buyer personas or influencer ratings. Tagging prospect profiles to particular salespeople for further actions is also very easy.
Easy way to find customers
CRM is not just a database of contact information. Instead, CRM is a combination of different features such as web forms and landing pages, automated campaigns, sales funnels etc, that help businesses become not only more efficient, but also better at selling.
Startups cannot take a chance on losing even a single customer. They need to leverage even a single sign of interest from their prospects. Web forms, which are part of CRM, capture the action of website visitors. They track on the course of a visitor, create navigational heatmaps, how much time did they spend, exit intent, page wise-time spent information etc. This is new way to understand prospect behavior and interests.
CRM benefits startups in creating lead capture forms in minutes. These forms will direct website traffic into the database so that all leads are automatically added to a list. Collecting business cards and manually updating contact list is a time consuming and inefficient process. An online form like landing page can help you get prospects details and nurture them automatically.
Automation saves time
It’s easy to understand the amount of time that can be saved through automated systems. Traditional systems, like excel sheets, only allow to include lead information, build a crude database, create multiple excel sheets for different action items, and to refer all of them, all the time is tough.
CRM automates lead management, lead nurturing, calling, deal management, and customer support. That’s like lot of tasks. Pulling prospects data automatically from portals like LinkedIn is very easy, with just one click. Whereas with lead nurturing automation, startups can send drip emails, follow ups, metrics, reports and lead scoring automatically.
Decision making using data
Startup employees are always networking, in an event, call, or meeting – sometimes the number may go up to 10 a day. It crucial to remember whom you spoke with and what you spoke about. The way startups manage their connections decide the future of their business. CRM provides all the required information of prospects and customers, guiding them to make better decisions.
Without a CRM tool, managing your ever-growing list of connections, all in one place, can quickly become cumbersome. Not to mention, you certainly don’t want your efforts to overlap with another member of your team—something that might show disorganization and unpreparedness. Your CRM can be used to quickly add notes from conversations you’ve had. This can also unlock collaboration and tracking methods you need to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
Offer better customer experience
With all your prospect or customer information on a single page, including purchase history, feedback and activity, startups can be more prepared to respond to their questions and concerns faster and more efficient.
Segmentation and profiling of prospects helps in taking better care of them. Purchase history helps to foresee items they may be interested in ordering or when they will need a new shipment.
CRM let’s an easy flow of sales process right from taking order to billing. Contact management software provides every department with the vital customer information they need to be more prepared for future events and orders. Once one department takes an order, sales and billing department can access the same information via the CRM system and process the bill, and shipping department can access the same system information and prepare to send the product.
Supports in generating sales
Salespeople, by profession, are on field during most of their business hours. They need a solution that is mobile and accessible from anywhere. Sales team needs to be equipped with a mobile CRM that offers flexibility and it is also a great way to boost your sales numbers.
Research by Innoppl Technologies shows that 65% of sales reps who work at companies that have adopted a mobile CRM have achieved their sales quotas, as opposed to just 22% of reps from non-mobile CRM enabled companies.
In addition, Nucleus Research study claims, that mobile CRM increases sales productivity by 15%. CRM helps sales people to safely and centrally store their contacts, sales opportunities, activities and scheduled plans in one place, and have uninterrupted access to the database from multiple locations. Rest assured that your data won’t just get lost.