CRM software simply means customer relationship management. And any sized business can use them. Popular ones used by SMB’s include Salesforce Essentials and Keap — formerly Infusionsoft.
Why use a CRM?
A CRM collects info from existing customers or new leads. It places them into an easy interface. Fast access to your own notes on an account helps you retain clients. Because you appear organized and attentive. CRM promises it’ll give your human memory an irreplaceable crutch.
Are CRMs Easy to Use?
No two CRMs work the same. Strong opinions about the best platform abound. In a fiery rant, CRM industry-watcher Scott Marker says CRM is a 36 billion dollar industry. But says most end users actually hate using the product. Marker contends most CRMs remain user-unfriendly. Most use platforms. This implies they’re external.
Small Business Trends spoke with Dennis Fois and Kira Lenke of Copper. They describe Copper as software not a platform. Copper alone offers full functionality with G Suite. This includes Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Sheets, Keep, Forms, etc.
Google officially recommends Copper is officially recommended by Google, according to Gsuite.Google.com. It lives inside your Gmail inbox. So Copper says it can automatically capture your email history. And it also sends associate emails to the right accounts. Users view and update leads. And they log in to accounts straight from Gmail. That happens without tab-switching back and forth.
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About Copper CRM
Dennis Fois serves as the CEO of Copper. There he commits to redefining the role of CRM. He brings over 25 years of experience developing and leading high-performing multicultural teams. He had worked at startups and public companies in tech and financial services. Fois formerly served as CEO of NewVoiceMedia. Vonage eventually acquired that company. Before NewVoiceMedia, Fois was the CEO at Rant & Rave and has held senior leadership positions at eGain, Barclays, Solera and ADP. He advises and mentors a number of technology startups and VC teams at various stages of growth and scale.
Kira Lenke is VP of Marketing at Copper. In her current role, she is responsible for directing and overseeing the marketing function at the company and driving strategy to strengthen Copper’s market position. Prior to Copper, she held marketing positions at technology companies including Aviso, DudaMobile, and Intuit. Her experience spans storytelling and brand building, product launch management, key messaging and feature differentiation, creative large-scale brand campaigns, retention and lifecycle email marketing, and segmentation through key customer insights.
How to Use Copper with G Suit
Small Business Trends: What should small businesses know about Copper? How is it different in the CRM space?
Dennis Fois: While most software designed in the 1990s has evolved with the times, CRM technology has stayed stuck in the past. Copper is a different kind of CRM, built for the modern employee. It lives in G Suite, the productivity cloud previously called Google Apps For Work which radically changed the way we collaborate in the workplace.
By partnering with G Suite, Copper is able to provide an easy-to-use interface that users are already familiar with. It also automates data from G Suite and simplifies it into useful, organized information that is helpful across multiple business departments.
Kira Lenke: At Copper, our focus is on collaboration and ease-of-use. We’re not trying to impose another desktop that users have to work from and learn how to use. Instead, we’re meeting people in a tool they’re already familiar with — G Suite. Placing Copper alongside the collaboration tools people already know and love allows for it to work seamlessly in the background, requiring almost no onboarding. Copper doesn’t demand any heavy administration and will even send reminders to you when it’s time to follow up with a prospect or customer. This gives small business owners time back to focus on what they do best — running their business and delivering exceptional customer experiences.
Marketing and Selling at the Same Time Causes Stress
Small Business Trends: Most small businesses market and sell at the same time, which can cause stress. How should they cope with this?
Dennis Fois: I often see small businesses struggle to find the right balance between short-term work while simultaneously planning for long-term goals. Both are essential elements of the roadmap to success and need to be thought of as connected.
The solution here is not to separate short-term and long-term priorities from each other. It’s easy to prioritize one over the other, but the true key to growth is to think of short-term actions as connected to long-term goals. Together, they make your roadmap.
One way to adjust to this mindset is to measure your inputs vs. your outputs. For example, if the long term goal is to grow your sales this year by 30 percent, the first input would be to consider how many conversations you’re having with existing customers and prospects every day. The next input would be planning your daily schedule. For small businesses, every day is different. Instead of sticking to a rigid schedule, consider allotting a percentage of time for certain tasks, such as responding to customer inquiries.
Do You Regret Investing in Business Software?
Small Business Trends: Why do many small business owners feel buyer’s remorse after purchasing software?
Dennis Fois: For software companies, the goal of building a highly valuable company often comes before the goal of making its customers successful. This approach leaves small businesses behind because the focus is put on larger deals and the larger customers that will get companies to the highest valuation.
Some things software companies can do to cater to small businesses is to design technology that is easy to use and deployable for a company of any size. Creating a freemium option as well as a price plan within reach for any customer is equally as important. In targeting SMBs, offering free trials or freemium versions are key for adoption. Software companies can also benefit by providing case studies for how other small businesses are using the product.
Kira Lenke: My first piece of advice for small businesses is to be careful not to fall into the trap of “app-ifying” your business. While integrating your business tools with one another can be helpful at times, there’s a chance you’ll spend more time trying to get them to connect without seeing any real value. I find it best to pick a technology stack that works for you and your team and master those.
To enhance efficiency, my personal favorites are G Suite tools such as Sheets and Docs. Finance tools like Xero and Quickbooks make it easy for small businesses to manage their accounting and finances. Another great strategy for small businesses is an email campaign. Mailchimp is an email marketing platform with a variety of personalization features. Our list of business tools is a great resource to determine the technology stack that will best serve unique business needs. While many business owners are quick to try new apps, actually adopting and implementing them into their businesses isn’t a priority. Most often, this is because software tools aren’t designed with the needs of small businesses in mind.
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