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Small Business Sales #101:
   It's All About Relationships

The old adage, "It's not what you know but who you know that's important," has held true for decades.

This is particularly true when it comes to starting and growing a small business. One of the ways to manage who you know efficiently is by using a small business Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software application.

Small Business CRM Learning Topics:

What is CRM?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) | CRM is all about managing business relationships and well managed business relationships are key to growing sales. For a small business this includes knowing who to talk to - why, how to reach them - where, and what to say to them - when to ultimately close the sale. Collectively, this information profile represents a sales lead.

Managing the Sales Lead | Sales Prospects, or leads, come from many different sources. You can purchase prospect lists by criteria relevant to your target market audience. Your website, social media and other online marketing activities can be used to generate leads as well. Face-to-face venues, such as trade shows, conferences and business networking events can be rich hunting grounds for generating sales leads. Your sales team may also be proactively engaged in research to uncover qualified prospects.

There are other ways to identify highly qualified sales prospects to grow your small business. However, once you have all of this great information, what are you going to do with it?

CRM is All About Data | Converting sales leads to small business customers is at the heart of CRM and a quality CRM system is all about managing the data.

  • Sales Prospecting Data | On the front end of sales development, data may include a prospect's name, title, email address, company name, address, type of industry and other qualifying sales lead features. In short, it's about knowing who qualifies and how to reach them.
  • Sales Development Data | Once a prospect is contacted, data becomes about tracking. When did you contact them, what did they say, did you send them something to support your pitch and when will you contact them again, are some of the key activities that you'll want to track.
  • Customer Management Data | Depending upon what you sell, once a customer is closed, data becomes about managing customer satisfaction. Similar to project management, the customer becomes the "project" and their satisfaction becomes a "management" activity.

Managing Small Business CRM | One of the most common ways that small businesses manage customer relationships when starting out is by using email software and spreadsheets. While this is a great way to develop an understanding of the different types of data fields that you want to capture and track to increase sales, this approach can quickly become inefficient. Particularly today when generating sales leads often happens "on the go" wherever you happen to work at the time, and "in the clouds" through numerous social media and other Website networking channels.

The fact is that smart CRM practices have been around for years. You not only have access to comprehensive CRM Software with proven built in features for relationship management, but as a small business, you have the option of using a state-of-the-art CRM solution for free!

Did you know?

Insightly "...that Insightly is the #1 online application for small business Customer Relationship Management (CRM)? There are many reasons for this high level of adoption including great Contact Management features, robust integration with Google Apps and Gmail, mobile access on iOS and Android devices, and comprehensive Project Management tools to track prospects from the beginning to closing the sale and managing the long-term relationship."

Learn More:     Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5                 • • •                 Go to Top of Page

Other CRM Learning Topics:
Sales #101 | CRM & Project Management | CRM Features & Benefits | Free CRM | CRM Training

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Note: This information has been compiled by the Knowledge Institute for Small Business Development (KISBD) for educational purposes only in order to convey a general overview of the options and related services available to small businesses in the subject areas introduced. Content is provided on an "as is" basis and is not intended to be an exhaustive representation, nor does it provide advice or create a customer relationship between KISBD and its sponsors,, its affiliates and any other organization named herein, and any reader.

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