The key to turning a small business into a sales powerhouse is customer relationship management (CRM) according to a new infographic from SalesForce and Intuit.

Why CRM?

Knowing who your customer is, what their interests are and having tools to monitor social engagement is an important part of any successful business. Customer relationship management or more specifically apps that are designed for this purpose, can help give small businesses valuable insight into their customers that also, when paired with the proper processes, can improve the productivity and efficiency of a company.

In short, CRM is how businesses become customer companies,” says the Transform Your Small Business into a Sales Powerhouse infographic.

With this in mind, there are two areas CRM apps focus on that can improve customer relationships and small businesses: CRM Apps and Customer Interaction and CRM Apps paired with Accounting Software.


graphic provided by Salesforce sales software

Learning Opportunities

CRM Apps and Customer Interaction

A CRM app’s primary function is to provide marketers and their companies withcustomer engagement data from a mixture of different social channels, such as social media and email and present this information on a singular platform. According to the infographic there are seven key components of a successful CRM application:

  • Real-time Feed: With this tool, information about customer engagement is presented in a newsfeed-like fashion.
  • Email: In order to be worthwhile, a CRM application must give marketers the option of responding to customers as quickly as possible. A good CRM app will effectively collect and synchronize engagement and trend data with a user’s preferred email client.
  • Leads: It’s not enough to convert a customer, a business has to make sure that this person becomes a repeat customer. This is where leads come in, as they give marketers the chance to organize data into a singular platform, manage and track social channels and manage lead conversion making sure that a business is up to date on what their current and potential customers are doing.
  • Social Media: In recent years, social media sites have become advertisement and promotional platforms, so a CRM tool should not only be able to monitoras many channels as possible and find out relevant personal data about a customer, such as their location, but track a customer’s social media interactions by looking for questions they may have, conversations they are having and other relevant information.
  • Task Management: Being organized is a key to being successful and this doesn't change when it comes to CRM. According to the infographic, a CRM app should enable users to quickly and easilyorganize and add or delete tasks.
  • Performance: Not only should a CRM app allow users to track customer data, but give a business the tools to monitor their own performance by being able to compare customer data with sales projections and manage client information and adjust it accordingly when changes are needed.

Pairing with Accounting Software

On their own CRM apps are effective tools, but their effectiveness can be improved if they are used in conjunction with other products. For example, with accounting software a company will be able to see important datasuch as customer’s account history and communications, but overall having this data in one place is a time efficient solution to improving employee productivity.

Merging this datawith accounting software can helpusers not only gain insight about past trends, but also helps them create a more accurate forecast for the future".

By adapting a CRM platform or application, a small business will not only be able to better their customer engagement efforts, but use this information to improve their company as a whole.