Startup life is usually associated with Silicon Alley, angel investors and mainly Zuckerberg-like geniuses. According to Small Business Trends, 69% of U.S. entrepreneurs start their first business at home, aiming for success.
The ugly truth is, that the reason for startup success or failure is not solely leader or money, but the mix of team talent, ideas, and values under one metaphorical roof.
Managing a startup requires precise accuracy in handling incoming leads and staying on the same page with different people in your team. And it’s exactly when a CRM software steps into the stage.
What is CRM?
CRM system is a software that may bе used to store customer data and make use of it. They help employees manage client relationships, gain valuable insights into business processes, and facilitate cooperation in а team.
The arising number of startups develops severe competition among startup owners. The most popular startup industries include:
Key Benefits of CRM for Startups
Your startup needs CRM if you’re dealing with clients on a regular basis and want to understand their needs better. You can’t underestimate the importance of the CRM in tracking your clients’ data: every interaction is gathered in the unique customer record and the full history can be seen by any member of your team.
Salespeople can add custom notes from their Skype calls or demos to the existing contact information in CRM software and use it later in their emails and promotions to make them more personalized. By nurturing clients base and collaborating within a CRM interface, you will increase customer retention rate and acquire more loyal users.
The data and reports from your CRM will help you define the online advertising strategy for your startup by analyzing the most convertible traffic sources and make accurate sales forecasts. According to Salesforce stats, sales teams who use a CRM reported increased productivity by 34%. Even if you don’t have any sales reps in your startup yet, a decent CRM can decrease the manual work and ease your daily routine.
To sum it up, the main reasons to implement a CRM in your startup are:
- Get your clients’ database organized;
- Turn incoming leads into clients with timely responses and followups;
- Synchronize marketing with the sales processes;
- Provide better customer experience;
- Store and access every customer interaction with the sales team across multiple channels. A good example would be NetHunt – our CRM software for G Suite – storing customer interactions from Gmail, Calendar, Hangouts chats, etc. in a single hub;
- Create and schedule personalized follow-ups and bulk email campaigns;
- Generate custom reports and track metrics that influence your revenue
Reasons to Implement CRM in Your Startup
We’ll dive deeper into the reasons to implement CRM software in your startup and make this integration smooth and convenient for every team member.
Generate and manage your sales leads
Spreadsheets can’t track your leads, while CRM can do far more beyond it. After implementing CRM in your startup, you can easily track your lead journey down the marketing funnel and personalize your emails to convert them into customers. You’ll be able to see the traffic source, country, and all the interaction history in the CRM within your Gmail account.
Make good use of the customer information
If you’re new to the CRM and can’t make the best possible use out of its functionality, start with analyzing your incoming leads and existing customers. The CRM provides visual pipeline which helps to sort out users on every stage of their interaction and develop a unique communication strategy for each group.
If users are on the awareness stage or haven’t finished the registration/purchase on the website, you can tailor re-marketing campaigns to bring them back to the stage where they left and convince them to make a purchase by offering a bonus or extra-discount.
Collaborate and stay transparent with your colleagues
There’s no better tool for marketing and sales alignment in a startup than CRM software. Marketing usually blames sales reps for neglecting their leads, while the sales team consider them to be hopeless or low-quality.
The lead evaluation process in a startup has become much easier with a CRM system. Marketing reps can check out on every incoming lead and see if it’s perspective for the startup and adjust their marketing strategy to acquire leads from the best-performing channels rather than wasting their ad budgets. Sales reps can save money on interaction with low-quality leads and focus on the important ones.
No physical presence of an employee required
Running a startup sometimes feel like riding the bicycle in fire – you’ll never know what else is there beyond the corner to finish you off. When you’re a team of five and someone’s going on vacation, the CRM is the most important tool to keep the rest four of you sane. Especially when the client calls and mentions some special offers you have no clue of.
Manage team across the globe
Times when a startup was limited to one city, or even one district has long gone. You may need a buddy from the block to help you run a startup, but you don’t need a full-time employees to grow it. CRM is an important chain between your team members across the globe which helps you stay on the same page.
Optimize the sales process in your startup
If you’re not able to measure your sales efforts, what’s the point of having a sales team in your startup? You can’t rely solely on words or Spreadsheets: the outreach process is crucial when you’re growing your customer base. CRM software usually comes with extensive analytics to show the percentage of won customers.
With the CRM, your startup will be able to forecast sales, calculate the average sale cycle length and see weaknesses in their sales strategy by analyzing the amount of bounced users.
Customize responses and follow-ups
Even the wolf from Wall Street can fail under the rapidly growing customer base, not to mention sales rep in a small startup. Gauging customer’s true intent may be a guessing game to a certain extent, but with the help of the CRM, they’ll complete the puzzle into a comprehensive picture.
In your CRM account, you can set up timely follow-ups and tailored bulk emails to keep your leads warm.
How to Choose Best CRM for Startup?
Define main startup goals
The first question you have to ask yourself before choosing а CRM system is what you would like to achieve with its implementation. It is best to focus on the problems that your startup is facing at the moment and start from there.
Remember: select only а few goals that can bе achieved bу implementing а CRM, don’t spread yourself too thin.
Choose free or paid CRM
If your startup journey has just started, you don’t need to overpay for the features you won’t use in the nearest future. Start with the Gmail-integrated CRM: it’s the best option for a startup who operates with a G-suite. To startups with 2-5 employees, an overpacked CRM can be very frustrating since they’ll need more time for on-boarding and integration.
The upgraded CRM functionality is needed by a bit larger startups with 5+ employees to efficiently manage incoming leads, monitor sales pipelines and create custom reports within their Gmail interface.
Identify must-have features
Create а list of must-have features that you’d like to see in your future CRM software. These may include necessary integration, automation opportunities, etc. Again, don’t think of the must-have features on your own, consider the opinion of all team members and make the final decision together.
Read the reviews
Even the best-marketed CRM may not fulfill your startup needs to the fullest. Go to Capterra, G2Crowd and find the reviews on CRMs. Remember that CRM giants like Salesforce, HubSpot and more usually lack flexibility and are not tailored for startups.
Take a closer look at CRMs for startups and small businesses, that have functionality and great support team like NetHunt, CRM software for Gmail.
Want a detailed guide on choosing a CRM for the startup? Download our CRM Guide (worth $500) for FREE.
NetHunt CRM for Startups
NetHunt is a Gmail-based CRM software created for startups and small businesses in mind. It’s the best built-in productivity tool inside Google Apps that has full suite of features that help startups nurture customer relations and manage leads, monitor sales progress, and close deals right in the inbox.
Test-drive the powerful CRM for Gmail NetHunt to see for yourself how can it boost your startup performance.