There are many tools available that were made specifically for the needs of small businesses. These include customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation tools (MA). When applied properly they significantly improve efficiency, sales and marketing activities. Things to consider when choosing the right tools for your business:
- What are your goals? Is it revenue, building channel sales, increasing awareness of your products and services, or all of the above? Clearly define your goals.
- How complex do you need your CRM to be?
- How much marketing are you planning on? Do you have a marketing or business plan?
- Are you allocating a budget to invest in the tools for your business and your people?Consider your budget; is it realistic?
Here are a few tips to consider when answering these questions. This will help you make the most informed decision for your team and your business.
- When looking at CRM solutions, there are plenty of options so think about how your sales process actually flows. Also think about which tool would be most user-friendly; if it’s too complex it won’t be utilized and will just be a waste of money.
- CRMs come with some established settings. Take the time to understand the different fields, which data you want to capture, and which output you are looking for. For example, will you need reporting? What kind and how often?
- MA tools are similar and typically have even more bells and whistles, so understanding marketing goals are important in choosing the right tool. Are your goals focused on email marketing, social media, lead generation, lead scoring or qualifying? There are different MA tools for all of these areas.
- Use these solutions for their intended purposes:- to make your team more efficient at sales and marketing. We frequently see companies try and use these solutions a one-stop solution for sales, marketing, accounting, product information and so on. Avoid this because it results in a slow and cumbersome set of tools that often go unused.