If your business is still alive after five years, congratulations! Half of startups don’t make it that long.
If you’ve made it ten years, even bigger high fives to you! Only one in four passes that milestone.
But think about this: You’re surviving--but are you thriving?
Whether you are a start-up entrepreneur or your business has moved into a more stable phase, going from good to great requires avoiding these five mistakes, detailed in an article by digital marketing expert Lina Lugova.
Mistake #1: You don’t have a real marketing strategy.
How are you reaching your target market? Do you know who they are? Do you know who your competition is and what they are doing to reach customers? Without this knowledge, you’re kind of shooting in the dark, if you are shooting at all. Hit and miss is not a strategy. Neither is hope.
To do: Learn to fully utilize CRM in tandem with social media marketing to reach the right contact at the right time with the right message. With a CRM like bpm’online, you can even make adjustments dynamically depending on how prospects engage with those messages. The analytics built into your CRM allow you to evaluate the success of your strategy as you make those adjustments.
Mistake #2: You market to everyone.
Without knowing who your ideal customer is, your efforts to market your products or services are like scatter-shot: You’re just as likely to drive customers away as to hit the mark. Thriving businesses don’t waste their resources – staff time and marketing budget – but rather focus them to experience the best return on investment.
To do: A CRM like bpm’online will give you insights into the characteristics of your best customers, as personas as well as actual individuals. With this knowledge, you can tailor your messaging to speak in their language and to reach them where they will be most likely to see it.
Mistake #3: You aren’t paying attention to customers after the sale.
It’s shocking that “15 percent of startups go bankrupt because of a poor customer relation process,” writes Lugova. Customers today expect businesses they deal with to provide a personal, positive experience from first contact through every interaction they have with you. The customer experience needs to go far beyond a “buying journey.”
To do: With the right CRM strategy and software, you will be able to nurture your customer relationships in ways that make your existing customers your biggest fans. And let’s not forget, it is five times less expensive to retain customers than to win new ones.
Mistake #4: Your team doesn’t have the digital tools to be successful.
Frustrated employees don’t provide good customer experiences, plain and simple. They don’t stick around, either, and staff churn is more expensive than up-to-date CRM. Motivation and loyalty shrivel when an employer expects staff to somehow perform miracles while hobbled by inefficient, outdated systems and processes. Lugova points out that “two-thirds of full-time employees experience burnout at their jobs caused by unmanageable workloads and unreasonable time pressure.” Effective management can prevent that.
To do: First, inspire your staff with your vision and how they can contribute to reaching it. Second, empower them to do their best work with the types of digital tools they’ve come to expect. If you want them to collaborate, they need a system like bpm’online that is built to be shared across departments as your single source of truth about your customers. And third, manage them well. One of the beauties of bpm’online is its fully customizable dashboard to help them as well as their managers prioritize and track progress on their most important tasks.
Mistake #5: You don’t have a plan to scale.
Sure, spreadsheets might work in the very beginning, or even that basic version of a CRM you started with. But you want to grow, don’t you? Can your systems support growth from small to medium sized? Where will your business analytics come from to guide your business development decision making?
To do: You’re going to need a CRM that can adapt and grow as you add employees, change processes, and increase your customer base. Bpm’online is designed to be easily customized even by non-tech staff, and it has capabilities to mesh CRM with business process management that has garnered awards from leading industry analysts.
Every business needs a CRM that will support its goals if it wants to accelerate growth and achieve success. You need a system that works for you, not the other way around. And you shouldn’t need to figure out what you need by yourself. That’s where we come in. Call or email us and put our experience and proven process to work to thrive. Don’t settle for good – when you could be great.
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Michael L. Otter, Senior Client Services and
Project Manager, Pinnacle Financial Strategies