Businesses that are looking to scale usually have a serious problem. That problem is usually process-oriented or organization based, and these growing pains will become apparent once a business goes from relying on a few key employees or contractors to a more comprehensive company that is managing a major and steady flow of business. The main problem with this is that the founders and CEOs of most small companies are used to running everything themselves, with employees and contractors tending to play a supporting role in the success of the business. However, as a business grows, the founder or CEO needs to step away from managing the day-to-day operations and relationships of a business, and hand them off to qualified and trusted staff.
This is particularly an issue when founders or CEOs control the flow of information. One way to help relinquish this for those who want to scale their business beyond their own bandwidth is through the use of a CRM. But first, you need to ask what is a CRM and whether it is the right tool to help scale your business. A CRM, or customer relationship management software for short, is a software that helps to store information about customers and clients. This information is typically very detailed, and can include everything from contact information, to method of acquisition, to what interactions a customer has had with your business and what products or services they have purchased with you.
Using a CRM will help you to make more data-driven decisions, which is essential for scaling a business. It will also help to democratize customer information across your organization, which can help both your sales team and marketing team better target and qualify their leads. Both SQLs and MQLs are different, and a CRM can help both sales teams and marketing teams in analyzing customer data and determine what makes a good SQL vs. what makes a good MQL for your organization.
Speaking of analysis, this is an excellent way that a CRM can help scale your business. Using a centralized dashboard, CRMs can create customized reports that can help a founder or CEO make more top of funnel decisions, leaving the more day-to-day operations in the capable hands of managers and department heads. Using this data, a customer success manager, for example, can see where customers are most likely to complain and then figure out ways to make this process tighter. To do this, they can communicate this customer bottleneck to the fulfillment team and see if there is anything that can be done to make the fulfillment process in this area smoother so that the customer complaints can be used as a learning opportunity to improve instead of a constant headache to deal with.
For any business to utilize a CRM to scale, they need to do so sustainably. A CRM, like any software, is a tool, and that tool needs to be utilized in conjunction with excellent managers and staff in order to fulfill its purpose. However, a CRM is very necessary for any business that wants to scale, as they will have access to customer data in a way that can help them forecast future growth trends and solve problems before they become reoccurring issues. It also allows for a founder or CEO to step out of the driver’s seat and hand off the data to their capable team who can then use it to better serve the business’s customers.