Make Me Local’s Insightly on screen in the officeAny small business owner knows how much information they need to be able to juggle just to break even, let alone to turn a profit. So, when it comes to prioritising and assigning tasks or fulfilling client requests, there will always be something that can easily be put off for another time. Until that in itself becomes the problem.

Our business has grown quickly, and I could see that if we didn’t do something we would end up firefighting rather than thinking ahead for our clients. So we looked at various customer relationship management (CRM) systems to help us.

 

After researching the many options available on the market, we settled on Insightly because it gave us the features we needed, as well as it being completely customisable. As a result, it has helped us with:

Project management. We can now track all our projects in a single place, automatically allocate tasks with due dates and run project reports at any time.
Contact management. No longer do we have contact details stored on individual mobile phones. We now have our clients’ contact details at our fingertips and all of our team have the same, consistent data. Insightly can even gather key information from a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account.
Integration. Easy integration to our email client, Office 365, and Xero, our accounting software means we don’t have to manually input data again and again in different programmes.
Time saving. Insightly has not only helped us with storing and finding key information quickly and easily, it ensures the data we need for actioning tasks is accurate and consistent.
Training. The sheer simplicity and intuitive nature of Insightly means that the time investment for staff training has not needed to be extensive and costly.

There are plenty of CRM solutions available, so it is worth investing a little time and effort into finding the one that best fits you and your business.  I have 2 key tips for any business owner to consider, before deciding on the right software for you.

Know your processes. Once you can define how your business processes operate then you can start to consider your CRM system – not the other way around.
Get the right CRM consultant to help you. Choose the one who takes the time to get to know you and your business before suggesting the solution.

We partnered with John Pawson from No Nonsense Tech who did just that: he worked closely with us to identify our needs and understand how a CRM system could help us work more efficiently. He knows small businesses and he knows technology:

“As a small business you’ve got to deliver big-company levels of customer service, exceed expectations while maximising revenue from your existing customers.  To do this you need to know everything that’s going on in your business within a few clicks.  This is where a great customer relationship management system will deliver results.  It’s a central repository for everything you know about your customers – where you found them, when you last made contact, where they’re at in your sales pipeline, what they’ve purchased, whether they were happy, whether they’ve referred you any other customers, their demographics, their location – everything you need to provide personal and informed customer service.”

John Pawson, Managing Director, No Nonsense Tech

I couldn’t have put it more succinctly myself!

In summary, a CRM system is absolutely vital for a small business – we just couldn’t operate without it now – but be prepared for a journey… it won’t be right on day one, but it will be and it’s worth every ounce of effort.

If you would like to speak to me about Insightly and how it has helped our business, please feel free to call me on 07837 235 327 or email

Blog post by Nathan 

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