– My sales support system helps me to be credible as a selling party, I am always fully committed to what we talked about before and I always come back as we agreed, says Olof Löfgren, who runs a consulting company in the areas of business development and customer focus.
– My job is largely about helping my customers take better care of their customers. So for me, it would be unsustainable to tell my clients to keep track of the customer if I don’t have it myself. I have a hard time imagining how I could work without a crm, it would go against my whole business idea.
Since he started his company almost a year ago, Olof Lövgren has used the CRM system Kontakt fån Lundalogik.
– As a small business owner, you are often very busy and it is difficult to keep everything in your head. How many quotes do I have out, when have I promised to get back to the customer – there can be a thousand questions to keep in order, says Lars Andersson, marketing director at the company Lundalogik and continues:
– And once you have time to, for example, call or follow up on a case, it is important that you are efficient and have a clear workflow.
In other words, the business benefit of a sales support system is that it helps the small business owner keep all the balls in the air – at the same time.
A common sales support system, or crm, has tools for, among other things, keeping contact details and other relevant information about the customers, activity history, collecting and following up quotes and producing different types of reports. Many crms are also available via the web and can be connected to other parts of the business system, such as the financial system or the e-mail system.
Lars Andersson estimates that there are between 15 and 20 different crm systems on the Swedish market that might suit the small business owner. So it can be difficult and time-consuming to choose. The systems are very similar to hiking and most are built based on the same needs and principles. So what you choose is largely a matter of taste, but also factors such as price and whether you want the option to connect the sales support with the rest of the business system. Many suppliers have demo variants or let potential customers try the systems so that you have the opportunity to test yourself until you find a system you are comfortable with.
Olof Löfgren’s working day is largely governed by the system and what he previously noted. He starts his working day by checking what is entered in the system and continuously entering new information during the day.
– I note everything that happens around a customer, from every single phone call to hours worked.
But the system is not a self-playing piano, he warns:
– A crm does not create better business by itself, but discipline is required. And everyone who uses the system must respect and agree on the value if it is to pay full dividends.
He looked around and compared various similar systems before deciding on Kontakt.
– On the one hand, I enjoy the environment and the flexibility of the program, and on the other hand, I had good experiences with Kontakt in the past, he explains.
He advises anyone who is going to buy a crm not to buy too much at first:
– Think about what you really need, it is better to have the possibility to scale up than to have an expensive system that is not used.
Another tip for the beginner is to be a bit restrictive with entering new contacts. There is no point in having a large customer database if it does not contain real customers, he points out.
You will find more tips and crm systems for the small business owner in the fact boxes on the right, higher up the page.
2. Engage your employees. Make sure that everyone is on board and that you agree on what you will have your crm system for.
3.Identify your processes. In order to get the maximum benefit from the system, you should be aware of how the customers contact you, what information should be sent and who should be responsible for it being done.
4. Take one thing at a time. Don’t rush off and try to solve all the problems at once, adapting and building a working system that suits your company is allowed to take time.
5.Educate. Make sure that everyone who will use the system has the opportunity to learn the system properly.
Source: Lundalogik’s blog about crm.
Here are five systems that suit the slightly smaller company. Click on the links and you can read more about the systems on the respective company’s website.