Duncan Stockdill, CEO at customer relationship management software specialists Capsule, explains how start ups can leverage the latest app-based business technology to get more efficient and make more sales.
Up close and connected
From streamlining processes to improving performance analysis and time tracking, modern connected technologies can substantially increase business productivity and efficiency for companies first embarking on the sales growth journey.
Many start-ups may understandably not feel comfortable investing their already stretched budgets on tech solutions, but the recent move to the cloud for so much software means that many of these solutions are now available as a highly affordable, subscription-based option.
The last five years has also seen the move to mobile with a boom in the launch of business apps – there are currently around 200k available in the app store, second only to the games category. Apps such as Slack and Basecamp, for example, have disrupted the way organisations communicate, making them more efficient and removing the need for email entirely for some.
UX – the all important user experience – now dominates, with the success of apps like task planner Trello and video conferencing solution Zoom firmly rooted in the fact that they mirror consumer apps in their simplicity.
Ongoing integration is also removing the need for duplicated effort with the likes of Mailchimp email management linking to website lead forensics and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions hooked into invoicing software like QuickBooks.
Make it personal
Business growth across all sectors is built on meaningful customer relationships and doing this in an efficient and cost-effective way is always high on the agenda. CRM platforms can help keep start-ups organised and on track in the often chaotic, multiple plate-spinning, various hat-wearing early days. They provide one version of the truth – one big picture of customer relationships, sales pipelines, daily tasks and monthly reports.
Making customers feel special and understood is key to building long-lasting and loyal relationships. In today’s digital world, both consumer and B2B clients expect personalised communications that offer more than just a named addressee in an email.Staying close to a handful of customers may be easy in the early days, but a CRM system will help a young business to scale up the same personal customer experience very quickly.
Small gestures can make a big difference. But who can remember the birthday of every client or where they went on holiday? Can you recall the name of a hot prospect’s child or which football team they support? You shouldn’t have to. This is where an effective CRM system comes in.
Organising data in one place with automated prompts for recurring tasks or gentle reminders to get in touch with a customer all add up to improved outcomes in less time.
With an effective CRM solution in situ, businesses are able to build a customisable contact system which is attentive and includes thoughtful personal details alongside insightful sales and forecast reporting, calls or meeting alert and task list assignments. This means deadlines are not missed and customers feel acknowledged and appreciated.
For time-poor start-ups, the singular most critical thing to look for though is ease of use. All the sophisticated functionality in the world will be useless if no-one is prepared to learn how to use it.