As a growing business in Asia, you need to make sure that you understand what makes your customers connect with your brand. The interactions they have with your brand, whether they are positive or negative. You need to make sure that you have access to that data so you can analyze where your company can improve.
At the end of the day, it all depends on improving the little things in your business that amounts to a huge success. And I’m assuming you already know that. That is why you are reading this article.
Mistakes Most Businesses Make
Most businesses don’t think they need a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform because they can compile all that data themselves and improve upon them.
The problem with that approach is that it is time-consuming to do that, not to mention, it can be inaccurate most of the time. Unless you hire a full-time software developer and develop your own CRM. Which in itself has a huge price-tag.
So what is the alternative?
You want to have a CRM platform that doesn’t cost a lot to the company and provides all the data you need to improve your customer interactions.
And in 99% of the cases, a premade CRM is more than enough.
But before we jump into the things that you should look out for when buying a CRM software, let’s first talk about what exactly is a CRM.
What Is Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software?
In other words, what is CRM?
As I alluded to above, a CRM is a piece of software that can be used to compile all the data for your company and make sense of it.
Think about it this way, with a CRM software, you are able to visualize your business cycle and also keep an eye on your sales and marketing returns.
Not just that, you will also know exactly which marketing avenues are getting you the most returns so you can invest more in those avenues.
You can set up targets for your sales department to hit while also making sure that your business is as profitable as you want it to be. And you can set up a goal for that too.
Imagine being able to dial things down to a level where you know exactly what your profit per cent is for the entire business. Most people just do this math on an excel spreadsheet or write things down in a notepad.
And the problem with that is those things don’t have live data. Things are always moving in your business. You need to know exactly how much revenue is coming in and what the profitability is with every new source of revenue.
You can’t do that with an excel spreadsheet or a notepad.
Things You Should Look For In a CRM Software
Now that you know the importance of owning a CRM software, you need to make sure that you are choosing the right CRM for your company.
And yes, I know every company is different and has different needs. But we need to make sure that whichever CRM you choose meets the most important parameter for your business. If not, you just don’t go with that software.
This is a given. The CRM you choose should have built-in marketing tools that you can use to market your business. This means things like email templates, being able to create an email marketing pipeline/follow-up sequences, and even SMS marketing capabilities if your business does that.
And not just that, it should also have proper tracking of those things so you can tweak things and optimize them based on what you think is working.
Sales and Lead Management
This is a big one. Once you start finding new customers through your marketing efforts, you want to make sure that your staff is able to handle all the leads and sales that come from that.
Your CRM should be able to help you keep track of phone calls, including inbound calls, website visitors, newsletter sign-ups, etc.
What if your sales staff needs to follow up with a lead? The CRM should have the option for them to schedule follow-up calls/emails with leads.
This will allow your sales staff to nurture your sales pipeline and keep things moving.
And at the end of the pipeline, you should be able to see how many leads are being closed by every staff. That will give you an idea of how every salesperson is performing in your organization.
Reporting functionality is crucial. This is where you will be able to make sense of all the data your CRM compiles. So you want to make sure that your CRM provides you with dynamic reports so you can interact with them.
This is another important feature that the CRM you choose absolutely needs to have.
As a growing Asian business, you want to make sure that the workflow of your staff is simple and easy to follow.
The best one is where the workflow has a checkmark-style setup where once your staff completes a specific assignment, they check it off. That way, everyone knows that the task has been completed.
But it can be used for more than just that.
Your project manager can create different workflows for different departments of your business. It all depends on what product or service you are providing as a business.
At the end of the day, you want to make sure that your staff has a clear understanding of what they need to get done on a specific day. And you also want to make sure that they don’t feel overwhelmed on days when there is a lot of work that needs to be done.