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If you’re a small business, you know you don’t have room for mistakes. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only around 50% of all businesses survive 5 years or more, and only about one-third make it a full 10+ years. If you want to be a success, and not a statistic, you need to work carefully.
Sales and management software are essential for cutting down on wasted time and improving the experience of customers, but most businesses are still depending on manual data entry.
Small business CRM comparison company, Software Advice, polled their wide range of small business customers to discover what small businesses need and why they’re struggling to find the right software.
When people enter data manually, important information ends up spread across spreadsheets, emails, and notes. Currently almost 3 out of every 4 businesses are depending on this flawed method for tracking their business.
Every time information gets moved around there’s a chance for human error, but one of the biggest problems for small businesses is turnover.
“To be able to have records on the notes and conversations that people have with their customers means that if you have a salesperson that walks out the door then the customer engagement doesn’t walk out the door with them,” said Amy Van Atta Slater, the SVP of worldwide sales operations for Rovi and former VP of enterprise corporate sales for Salesforce.
Not only is the customer experience damaged, but new employees take more training. Forgetting to tell a new employee one step of an important process can lead to mountains of data being lost.
Having silos of data also leads to the big picture being lost. Since no one has all the information, no one knows everything that’s going on. Businesses can quickly become lost with long-time managers and new employees both confused about what others have been doing and what should be done for success.
The second biggest pain point, besides having an efficient process, is being able to track and keep up with customers.
It’s not enough to simply have a database. Nikhil Hasija, CEO of app/data synchronization company Azuqua, wants small businesses to see their databases as living things that constantly need to be refreshed.
“Whatever’s existing in the market is just not working for people, and they’re looking for a more connected experience,” Hasija said.
Small businesses want to make sure information is being automatically updated and customer interactions tracked, but such things are impossible with manual data entry.
As a business on a tight budget, the natural reaction to the ills of manual data entry is to find free software that can help with the issue.
However, free solutions never fully cover what you need and the more you add to help your business the less you can integrate and scale them. You still end up with data hidden away and processes known only by the employees who set them up.
Thankfully, Software Advice found that “the money spent on optimizing SFA [sales force automation] software up front will likely reap dividends further down the line.” Better software leads to a better process and better customer relationships which leads to more sales. The more you can improve things from the start the more you’ll see benefits.
Now, we think one of the best solutions is using Salesforce as your CRM, and Cirrus Insight (us) as your method of automating and streamlining your system. Emails and events are automatically logged, and all the data you have can be accessed right from the inbox where salespeople work. The customer process can be logged with minimal extra work.
With the combination of Salesforce, Cirrus, and your inbox, data isn’t lost, the big picture can be seen, and your customer relationships can grow.
We aren’t just saying that either. We’re a small business ourselves. Without funding, we’ve slowly built our company from two people with an idea to a 55+ organization. The lack of resources forced us to be frugal and become experts on improving our own process.
Now, we want to pass that process onto you. You can call us up, have a chat with one of our licensed Salesforce admins, and figure out how to help your business grow.