11 Signs You Need A CRM

27 July 2022

A customer relationship management (CRM) system is a software tool that helps salespeople, marketing teams, and customer service departments manage customer relationships and store customer information. When used correctly, a CRM solution is a powerful tool that helps you boost sales and improve customer satisfaction. It acts as a central source of customer information, recording customer interactions, tracking sales activity, and managing the sales funnel from one application.

Although CRM systems are increasingly common, not all businesses decide to implement one. So how do you know if your company could benefit from customer relationship management software? Here are 11 tell-tale signs you need a CRM:

1. Your team has no central source of customer information

If your sales reps and customer service staff rely on their memories or a haphazard system of spreadsheets (or worse, post-it notes!) to keep track of customer records, it might be time to consider other options.

Once your company expands and you start welcoming more customers onto your books, traditional paper-based methods like the above can make it challenging to maintain accurate data without a central system.

Manual tools limit your ability to gain insights into customer trends and behaviour and can ultimately lead to missed opportunities. A customer relationship management system is the central repository for all your customer data and interactions. It provides a place for your team to store contact information, purchase history, and other important data points related to your customers.

This unified view enables everyone in your entire company — from your sales team to your customer service reps — to better understand your customers and their needs.

2.  You have no visibility of your sales pipeline

Are you struggling to track your sales? If you can’t see where each deal is in your sales pipeline, or if you don’t even have a sales pipeline, it might be time to invest in a CRM solution. A good CRM tool will allow your sales reps to log every customer interaction and update the status of each deal as it moves through the sales process.

This gives you a clear overview of your sales funnel — from first contact to close — and makes it easy to spot any bottlenecks. With easy access to the right data, you can start to identify any patterns or trends in your sales process and make necessary changes to improve your close rate.

3.   You can’t handle your lead flow

It’s great to have a constant stream of leads coming in, but it can sometimes become a problem if you’re unable to handle the lead volume. If you find that your sales team is struggling to follow up with leads promptly or leads are slipping through the cracks, it could be time to consider binning the post-it notes and investing in a CRM platform.

CRM solutions can automate many tasks associated with lead management, such as lead assignment, emailing, and lead nurturing. Your marketing team can also use CRM to track the effectiveness of their lead generation campaigns, while your sales reps can use it to prioritise their time and efforts.

4.   You’re struggling to keep up with customer communications

If you’re getting a lot of customer calls, you want a reliable way to record all these customer interactions. This way, you can ensure that each query is handled in the timely and efficient manner your customers expect. Using CRM to quickly pull up the customer’s history and see how you can resolve their issue streamlines excellent service delivery.

A CRM solution gives you a 360-degree view of the customer relationship and how customers interact with your company. Your customer base will also appreciate the more personalised service that a customer relationship management system offers.

5.   You don’t have a clear picture of your customer retention rate

Retention is just as important as acquisition when it comes to growing your company. It costs more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one, so it’s helpful to understand how well your business is managing to hold on to its existing customers.

If you’re not tracking your customer retention rate, it might be difficult to identify issues early on and take steps to rectify them.

A CRM system will help you stay on top of customer retention rates by storing customer satisfaction and churn data. This customer data can be used to identify any patterns or trends and develop strategies that help keep your existing customers engaged with your brand.

6.   You’re performing manual reports & data analysis

As your business grows, some form of reporting and data analysis becomes essential to understand your performance and make informed decisions about where to focus your efforts. If you’re still relying on manual methods like spreadsheets, you might be finding it hard to keep up.

A CRM system can automate much of the tedious work involved in the reporting process, giving you more time to focus on interpretation and analysis. You can create customisable reports to analyse any aspect of your business and accurately assess your KPIs in real-time. This information can be vital in helping you make strategic decisions related to everything from your marketing activities to your sales team’s goals.

7.   Your marketing department is disconnected from your sales team

If your marketing and sales teams are not working together, it can lead to inefficiencies and a lot of duplicate work. Imagine your marketing department has designed an email campaign to promote a new product, but your sales team isn’t aware of it. They could end up spending time and effort trying to sell the product to customers who the marketing department has already contacted.

Alternatively, your sales reps might have useful feedback about a campaign that could help improve its effectiveness, but they have no way of passing that information on to the marketing team.

A CRM system helps to bridge the gap between your marketing and sales teams by giving everyone a shared view of your customer relationships. This way, your teams can work together more effectively to deliver a better experience for your customers.

8.   Your forecast accuracy is poor

Like reporting, forecasting can become more complex and time-consuming as your business grows. If you’re still using manual methods, you might find it hard to keep up with the demand. By implementing a CRM solution, you can start automatically generating forecasts based on your existing business activity.

This valuable data can give you a much more accurate picture of future sales and revenue and help you with everything from budgeting to resource planning and your hiring strategy.

9.   You’re finding it hard to scale your business

Scaling is a natural step for any growing business, but it can be challenging if your systems and business processes do not accommodate your newfound growth. CRM systems help you streamline your operations and scale your business more effectively.

By automating tasks and sharing customer data across departments, your CRM solution can help you improve efficiency and increase your team’s visibility of the bigger picture. This way, you can avoid the common pitfalls associated with growth and ensure your business can scale successfully.

10. Employee productivity is low

If your employees are struggling to keep up with their workloads, it can have a knock-on effect on other areas of your business. Your sales reps might be spending too much time on administrative tasks, which is not allowing them enough time actually to sell.

Your customer service team may constantly be playing telephone tag, increasing the potential for frustration among your customers. You may also be struggling to track employee performance effectively if you do not have a system in place.

CRM software allows you to monitor outstanding deliverables, so you can see at a glance if any sales rep is falling behind and where you might need to allocate additional resources and follow-up activities. It can also automate business processes that your employees have to do on a daily basis, freeing up their time to focus on higher-priority tasks.

11. Your team is complaining about their tools

Employee satisfaction is as important as customer satisfaction to keep your business running smoothly. If your team is constantly complaining about their tools, it might be a sign that you need to reconsider your technology stack.

A CRM platform can help optimise your team’s workflow and simplify their jobs. Your staff can easily house templates, scripts, and other resources in the CRM so that everything they need is just a few clicks away. By automating repetitive, time-consuming and tedious tasks and giving them access to the data they need in one central location, your team can spend more time selling or resolving customer issues and less time searching for information or doing admin.

Is It Time to Implement a CRM System?

If any of the above signs sound familiar, it might be time to consider implementing a CRM solution or reevaluating your current CRM system if you already have one in place. The good news is that there are many excellent CRM solutions on the market which can be tailored to the specific needs of your business.

Mobile CRM is an excellent option for businesses that need to empower their field sales teams. Your employees can have remote access to all their data, whether they’re in the office or on the road, so they never have to rely on alternative methods to update their records.

If you’re worried about data security, it’s possible just to assign permissions to specific team members, so only those that require access to certain data will be able to do so. Many vendors also offer free trials, so you can test out a few different options before making your final decision.

You can also pay for many CRM software solutions monthly, so you’re not tied into a long-term contract. Whatever your budget or requirements, there’s a CRM system out there that will align with your business needs.

For the next steps, read our guide on how to choose a CRM for your small business.

Related articles in CRM to support your technology adoption