Before we delve into reasoning about why startups should use CRM in 2018, let’s take a look at the past. Here are some trends that affected the advancement of CRM technology:
- Dotcom burst: When the world experienced a dotcom burst in early 2000’s, CRM saw a huge hit in sales.
- Cloud-based CRM: With the rise of smartphone business after 2007, there was an upgrade to cloud-based CRM solution.
- ‘Pay-per-use’ CRM: From 2007-2010, we saw startups budding so quick, and they couldn’t afford a CRM solution that cost them a pretty penny. As a response, CRM was integrated cloud technology and was offered as pay-per-use.
- ‘All-in-one’ CRM: Post 2010, startups started expanding, they looked for a CRM solution which is not siloed to single department, but should club together multiple departments
- Social CRM: Post 2013, social media started serving customers and is potentially used by customers and businesses to interact. Hence the development of social CRM software.
As businesses expanded and startups raised, CRM transformed itself from top dollar to a ‘free’ solution. And it’s not viewed as a mere customer relationship management solution, but integrates multiple departments, marketing, sales, and customer service, raising the bar to a much comprehensive solution - an all-in-one CRM. Every customer touch point needs to be pondered upon to create a better businesses, and pave the path for expansion.
Hence, startups are looking for a CRM solution that not just handles different teams but also sets itself up for the coming future - an integrated super rich solution. They need a complete solution that can:
- Provide information
- Integrate multiple departments
- Incorporate behavior-based selling
- Contextual selling
- Incorporate social data
Having said that, let’s look at the top 5 reasons for startups to use CRM in 2018:
1. Provides high-quality information
The future is filled with data science - artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, customer journey analytics, a platform which can integrate email, mobile and social networks. Today’s CRM solutions do every bit of this and more to make customer-business interactions smoother and smarter. They gives a 360-degree view of the customer - a single accessible view of the customer/buyer journey - holistic customer information.
There’s a difference between data and information. Startups are not looking for data anymore but useful information, that’s organized and aid in decision making. CRM provides a 360-degree customer information, which is the inclusion of customer data across channels, aggregated to give a view of customer insights, to help businesses develop a personalized customer experience.
A single page of the customer profile in CRM includes contact information, communication history, social media profiles, interests, engagement traction, lead scores, web analytics and related tasks. That’s a mine of information of your customers. It’s up to you how you use it.
2. Integrates startups’ growing dimensions
As startups, you might be focused more on doing more closures and increasing the ROI, so you might just need a sales automation tool at the moment. But, as you grow, there will be different departments and have a sales automation wouldn’t suffice. Hence, a company should evaluate a CRM solution that can support growth - one that seamlessly supports the complete journey of a customer right from prospect to customer and delights in customer support.
Modern startups rely on mobile devices and your CRM solutions need to be aligned to the mobile too. A mobile CRM includes an intuitive dashboard where you can manage the contacts, track deals, view events, manage tasks, and sync your calendar. Mobile influences CRM in 2018 to make employees more productive, provide smarter and more personalized solutions.
3. CRM based behavioral selling
Today’s startups are keen on understanding the emotions and behavior of customers more than ever. They need a solution that can process large volumes of customer and prospect data to enhance customer intelligence - which can be a combination of demographic data with real-time customer behavior. How does that benefit? It helps businesses to segment their audience and build campaigns based on these ideal segmented profiles.
It’s seen that customers are defined better based on their behavior rather than demography. Behavioral data could be a number of customer/ prospect visits to websites, their interaction with emails (open, click-throughs, signups etc), mobile app (opens, time spent, pages visited per page), social network. Each action is a digital footprint for you to understand their behavior and pool up similar customers. CRM solution includes email tracking, web engagement, social listening as an integral part to study customer behavior.
4. Aid in contextual selling
Contextual marketing is the trend of the era and startups should catch up with this trend and leverage its benefits. Contextual marketing is serving your audience with target advertising based on their behavior. Contextual marketing helps you to cross-sell or upsell to the targeted audience. Behavioral intelligence guides you to sales or marketing tactics that you are working and based on that you can retarget your ads.
According to the Pareto-principle, a startup can expect 80% of revenue from just 20% of their customers through cross-selling. CRM highly triggers contextual based selling because it deepens understanding of customer preferences, more accurately identifies customer interests and purchasing patterns.
5. Incorporate social data
Social CRM is nothing but adding a social dimension to your existing CRM and getting customers social interactions right before your very eyes. Social CRM helps you to track and monitor brand - customer communications and lets you take the right move at the right time. Customers can prefer their mode of communication rather than being persuaded to use your channel.
Social CRM can be used to:
- Deliver immediate customer support on social engagement channels
- Communicate to customers in real-time
- Resolve customer issues faster
- Identify most loyal customers and influencers
Startups strive to keep their customers at the heart of their business and what better than to have a CRM that helps keep your customers as close as you want. Let us know your reasons for startups to use CRM in 2018.