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Every business experiences its share of growing pains. Some of which undoubtedly are in the field of customer organization. 

During the early days of a company, spreadsheets and shared Google documents may be all employees need in order to store and organize customer data. But at some point, particularly for those companies angling for repeat sales or fine-tuning their sales funnel, these minimal effort tools become insufficient.

Below is a look at some of the more common challenges a growing business without an organized customer system will run into. These challenges or growing pains are the warning signs indicating that it is time to get serious about integrating streamlined and scalable Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. 

3 Signals It's Time to Get Serious with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software

1. Employees spend more time with data entry than sales and customer service.  

Small and growing businesses can't afford the lost opportunities that result from low productivity. Two primary causes for low productivity are poor organization and time-draining data entry. There simply is no room for manually organizing and maintaining standard spreadsheets as well as manual approvals that require offline signatures. This is particularly true when other viable options exist, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.

CRM replaces those manual processes by automating data entry and repetitive tasks. Instead of hunting down specific computer files, paper documents, or scrolling through a mass email for customer information, all customer accounts and related team communication gets streamlined into one shared interface that is readily accessible by any authorized device. This greatly improves efficiency to the tune of CRM paying back $8.71 for every dollar spent.  

2. A company is missing out on key lead and sales opportunities.  

Buyers are going to shop around. An integral aspect of a company's marketing and sales division is attracting leads, nurturing them, closing them as sales, and blossoming them into post-sales opportunities. But businesses that do not have an effective method of tracking both individual and group buyer's journeys will frequently find themselves losing out on key lead and sales opportunities. 

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is customizable and can use automation rules to notify sales representatives when specific customers need follow-ups. Additionally, representatives can store key communication and customer information here so that all employees know exactly where a given customer is and what type of experience they need. This is especially important for those businesses specializing in high-value goods and services wherein a strong and personal customer-business relationship is critical.

3. Previous customers aren't returning or existing customers are dropping out of service.  

Again, the core component of CRM is relationships and ensuring a business maintains positive relationships with their current customers. As businesses grow, they will undoubtedly expand their employee team in order to keep up with an expanding customer base. However, the more customers a business has, the harder it gets to manually check in with each contact and their brand interactions. Even if a business is seeing an increase in new sales, they should give serious pause if such booms come with a notable drop-off in existing customers.  

According to the business research firm Garter Group, 80% of a company's future revenue comes from just 20% of their existing customers. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is the ideal customer retention tool to ensuring those successfully transitioned leads stay with a company for repeat sales. It does so with fully equipped workflows and sales force automation that ensure consistent customer experiences and enables businesses to quickly track and respond to customer issues. New employees can easily see past information and build on that while teams are empowered to collaborate on a lead, campaign, or support ticket. Even in growing businesses and teams, studies show the average CRM system can improve customer retention by 27% and directly increase customer satisfaction by 66%.

A Great Business Team Needs Good Quality Tools

A quality Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program is not the end all be all solution to tracking and maintaining positive customer relationships. Nothing can replace the time-tested principles of one-on-one customer sales conversations and the delivery of top-tier products and services. However, even the best teams can only grow so much with broken and impaired tools. A responsive CRM software solution is simply one of the best tools a sales and marketing division can have in its toolbox.

Businesses that are growing or otherwise have an inherent need to track leads, maintain pre-sales relationships, and follow-up post-sales will see the value in CRM software the moment they log-in. Plus, with software-as-a-service pricing models, businesses can select a CRM to scale with them. So whether a company has two employees or 200, the platform grows as they do in order to meet, mitigate, and overcome challenges as they arrive. 

For more information about how to determine when to invest and how to select the right CRM for your business, contact us today. 

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