The business world loves a good acronym but don’t confuse CRM as just another ‘of the moment‘ fad.
It’s fair to say that CRM has been hijacked by the IT software industry for many years to convince you top purchase their latest sales and marketing solutions, which may well have put small businesses off, however that is a disservice to CRM.
CRM, Customer Relationship Management, is core to every successful business, big or small. Great CRM enhances customer retention, improves conversion rates, facilitates cross selling and creates advocates for your business… what more could you wish for?
Stuart Lanham, MD of Smart Cookie Marketing, suggests that “CRM is often overlooked by small businesses who find themselves locked in to chasing new leads through online and offline advertising“.
Continuing Stuart comments that “rather than spending so much time targeting ‘cold’ leads, small businesses should spend more time trying to unlock the potential of their existing customer base“.
Why? It really is as simple as existing customers have already experienced your services and have a level of trust in your products and services and so your chances of up selling and cross selling to them are far higher than to cold leads.
There are many facets to a good Customer Relationship Management programme including:
- Customer communications – making them timely, relevant and informative communication
- Cross selling and up selling - not a case of bombarding them with meaningless offers, it requires understanding your customers needs at a particular moment in time and responding to it
- Retention – it’s much cheaper to retain a customer than find a new one and using retention tools and strategies will keep your customers on board
- Lead/sales conversion – a strong lead conversion process is essential to making lead generation cost-effective, from their first contact to completed sale and beyond
- Customer experience – making all customer interactions easy, quick, memorable and, even, pleasurable…. however big or small the transaction
- Customer insight and research – to effectively manage the customer relationship you need to understand what they feel and think about dealing with you
- Advocacy – there is no more powerful sales tool than recommendation but you need to create the mechanisms to encourage it
- Plus lots more!
What’s great for small businesses, you can undertake all of these giving your business huge benefits at a small cost.
At Smart Cookie Marketing we help small businesses identify and maximise the CRM opportunities in their business. Providing inexpensive and scalable solutions for all types of businesses including retail, direct, and business to business.
While so many CRM discussions start around the IT software, we focus on what information you have, could collect AND what you can do with it to make a difference to your business NOW. We promise not to sell you a CRM system just give you some great expertise and knowledge!
- Smart Cookie Marketing, based in Shoreham by Sea Sussex, specialises in supporting small businesses with their CRM and Marketing
- Stuart Lanham is MD of Smart Cookie Marketing and has been a marketer for over 20 years
- Marketing experience includes CRM roles at Gatwick Airport, Direct Line, Churchill Insurance, Privilege Insurance, NIG and RBS Insurance.
- See our Clients