From a few years to date we have seen great growth in the world of entrepreneurship and startups. Possibly due to the rise and mass of information technologies, we see startups in industries that used to be dominated by large companies. This allows smaller but high-capacity teams to compete against the largest in each industry.
It is worth stopping for a moment to answer the question “What are startups?” Since the terms entrepreneurship and startup are often used as synonyms.
Although a startup is one of the types of successful entrepreneurship, if we understand it as a business that starts, not all ventures are startups, since a company that wants to consider itself a startup must offer innovative services or products, with a customer-centric philosophy that satisfies a tangible need.
Other characteristics of startups include operating with minimal fixed assets. Their great adaptability and the support in technological tools allow them to resort to multiple accelerators to take the startup to another level. Achieving an exponential growth of the company.
There are subtle but big differences in the structure and in the way of relating to clients and prospects. This opens up important areas of opportunity for startups in the face of large companies.
Customer service: the key point of online business
The client-centric philosophy is one of the great differentiators in the startup world. From this perspective, the customer, the service and their experience are the core of the company. And that will help create a true differential.
We are currently experiencing a boom in startups. The amount of information that we can receive per second allows entrepreneurs to obtain enough insights to make the leap. That makes it very likely that people from different parts of the world will come up with a similar startup idea.
So how do you differentiate yourself if the competition is global and the products are similar? The answer is in customer service.
A customer with a great purchase experience will repeat and recommend our company. That is not up for discussion, but how to achieve it in a digital world that apparently depersonifies us?
If we lived in a world of totally face-to-face commerce, we would talk about having the best sales team in our branch. But in the digital world, our sales team must have more capabilities. That is why it is important to implement a CRM to improve the customer experience.
What functions can a startup CRM perform?
The definition of CRM gives us the first key: Customer Relationship Manager. Their roles can span the entire customer sales path. Therefore, a CRM can be of great help to all the departments that make up our company.
From marketing to post-sale service, they can benefit greatly with the implementation of a CRM. This is very useful for startups, by working with an essential team they can centralize efforts and discover critical points.
How to manage critical points from a CRM for startups
One of the great advantages of CRM is the creation of records for each interaction with customers and prospects. In this way, you can monitor critical points. And discover the moment when sales close or fall. In addition to identifying why all this happens.
That is very important, especially when looking for people who want to invest in startups. The numbers can give an overview, but monitoring will allow us to find opportunities for improvement. And give us sales pitches when it comes to presenting the idea in an attractive way. Especially if we are looking for angel investors or other types of investment funds.
Marketing is essential for businesses. No matter which size, we need to let everyone know about our services and our capabilities. In addition, we need to show the reason why our company should be considered as the best option against the competition.
In this case we can take examples of successful startups that used marketing brilliantly to attract their customers.
For example, Cornershop knew that its potential customers were people short on time. And for those who go shopping at the supermarket represented a tedious task. That is why all their communication was focused on asking the client “What will you do with all that free time?” And the guideline was specifically targeted to a certain demographic profile.
From a CRM, the marketing team will concentrate on developing this type of striking campaigns. While the work of guideline, renewal and segmentation will be managed by the tool.
Additionally, the CRM is capable of centralizing the Call to Action of the multiple platforms. So it will not matter if it is on Messenger, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or another social network. All communication will be available from the same platform. And for all members of the sales team who want to serve potential customers.
Attention to potential customers in the CRM for startups
Once the potential client has made contact with the company, it is vitally important to provide prompt, precise and concise attention to all their doubts, concerns and comments.
There, two critical points arise that startups must attend to: schedules and customer service capacity.
If the marketing campaigns are attractive and work thanks to CRM, it is possible that the sales team saturates in the attention of clients and prospects, or that time zones play against us.
By implementing a CRM we have the possibility of automating the responses according to the keywords and thanks to the creation of forms and FAQs that help to solve all the doubts of our potential clients.
In addition, by having a centralized and registered communication, the members of our sales team can give attention to a prospect without having to be the one who made the first contact with them.
Prospects and potential customers who receive immediate attention to their doubts have a much better chance of becoming real, active, and repeat customers.
Closing sales with a CRM for startups
No matter what industry we are in, the sales funnel always has different steps. When we talk about a startup it becomes more complex because many times they offer an innovative solution to a recognized need.
In more colloquial terms, when customers meet a startup they say “I didn’t know I needed it until I had it.” That makes it essential to create a system capable of following up with each client or prospect and, even more important, closing the sale.
The closing of the sale is the most critical point, and the CRM will allow any member of the sales team to punctually monitor the needs of each prospect, understanding their needs and knowing their requirements as if they had been the first to attend to them, they will be able to know the relevant information, the products in which they were interested and resolve any additional questions.
Some CRM solutions have the ability to link with different payment methods, so the client does not need to get confused with cumbersome procedures. There are extensions that allow making payments from different platforms with a simple link.
By using a CRM, the records of these invoices are automated. Additionally, by having all the centralized information we can realize the best-selling products or services and follow in detail the fluctuations of our sales at a historical and geographical level, in order to make marketing and business decisions.
One of the great benefits of using CRM for startups lies in the post-sale service, since the recording of interactions with customers presents fantastic opportunities. At least three possibilities open here:
1. Technical support
If after the purchase the customer has a complaint, doubt or concern, your team can provide support as needed. Thanks to the possibility of automation, the CRM allow us to provide help with the most common doubts and concerns.
2. Satisfaction surveys
At the end of the entire process and knowing that the client has received the product or service in a timely manner, we can request an exit survey to find our critical points and implement improvements. The CRM can manage all this information and generate periodic reports that allow us to make informed decisions.
3. Cross selling
Some products or services that we offer can be accompanied by complements or renewals. From the CRM we can monitor clients and offer promotions or complementary articles in an assertive and minimally invasive way.
How can you benefit from a CRM for startups
CRM is a fundamental tool for startups, because it allows concentrating all customer interactions and profiles in one place instead of having dispersed information. Not only that, the automation of customer service and the possibility of monitoring interactions allows a cycle of continuous improvement. Billing and all the information we obtain from it becomes relevant at the level of business planning and forecasting of market trends.
The CRM obtains data and turns it into relevant information. Information is power and startups that implement a CRM are empowered against the competition and against much larger companies whose size prevents them from being so agile in their adaptations.
From marketing to after-sales service, they can benefit greatly with the implementation of a CRM.
One of the great advantages of CRM is the creation of records for each interaction with customers and prospects.