Quick question: what is or was the most difficult part of starting and growing your small business? We’d venture the guess that more often than not, the answer to that question is “getting the money.” You don’t have to watch Shark Tank to realize just how difficult it can be to get investors for a great idea, especially considering the fact that it can take years for your business to actually become profitable.
Fortunately, raising money is becoming increasingly simple for small businesses in the digital age, thanks to the power of crowdfunding. You may know it as the tool that your Facebook friends used to raise money for a good cause, be it a social issue or a relative needing money for medical expenses. But in 2015, crowdfunding has also become a powerful tool for small businesses to leverage.
In fact, crowdfunding is scheduled to surpass venture capital raising for the first time next year! Here’s how you can take advantage of the concept for your own business.
Managing customer relationships is something that seems easy when a business is small, but once the company experiences a good amount of growth, it becomes obvious that something must be done in order to keep up with increasing demands. The best thing to do in this case is improve your efficiency. Thanks to CRM software, it’s surprisingly easy to achieve such an improvement. Here are a few ways you can get more done every day by using CRM software: (more…)
Fresh leads are the lifeblood of any business – provided you can convert them into paying customers, of course. Your ability to do that depends in large part on how you cultivate and manage those leads.
If you’re trying to maximize your conversion rate, it’s time to consider implementing lead management with CRM software. This software allows you and your sales team to quickly recognize where a given lead is in a sales funnel, and take action to usher them towards a buying decision.
If you’re looking to better manage your leads and prospects, here are a few reasons why CRM software is exactly what you need:
CRM. Customer Relationship Management. Stop and think about this for a moment. There are three words, not two. Sometimes relationship gets lost in the rush toward a well-greased sales funnel. Yes, you want to convert a stranger into a customer but first you have to do a little schmoozing. CRM is really nothing new. Your neighborhood mom and pop grocery, favorite restaurateur, and hair stylist are masters of CRM. It’s why you patronize their small business instead of a big impersonal chain. Likewise, a carefully chosen CRM system can help your small business win over prospects and keep in touch with them once they become satisfied customers.
The idea of a sales pipeline is a relatively new way of visualizing the sales process. Many companies are still uncomfortable with the idea and many feel they are not good at managing their sales pipelines. According to a survey with the Sales Management Association, nearly two-thirds of executives feel their management of their sales pipeline was ineffective. Many executives waste a lot of time staring at pipeline metrics but don’t know how to make the knowledge pay to improve sales performance.
Remember when lead management consisted of a little stack of cards kept in a Rolodex organizer on the desks of each member of your sales staff? While that bit of nostalgia may bring a smile to your face, it is not the image of a successful lead management strategy in the Digital Age. Today, business is global, with information about your products and services streaming into the consciousness of consumers through all forms of social media. Your prospective pool of customers is virtually limitless. In light of this fact, how can you mine the vast field of the internet and manage the leads that are generated efficiently?