The following is a guest post by Sara Parker, an experienced writer and editor. Sara has made her career in content and social media marketing.
It’s a hard market for startups and small businesses. Not only do you have to compete with the big corporations, but you have to compete against your fellow small businesses. Even if you’re doing well, you have to think about the future to stay in business long term. And that means being able to scale.
Not convinced you need to grow? Small Business Trends puts it simply. It’s likely that at some point other small businesses in your industry will be acquired by larger businesses, and then you have to compete with those same companies that now have more resources. That’s going to be tough if you stay the same size.
But growing your business doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. Here are some of the tools you need to consider in areas that will help you scale your organization successfully.
Lead Conversion Tracking
Ninety-six percent of web visitors are not ready to make a purchase, according to a Capterra study. Many consumers are still in their research and information phase when they’re on your site, which means you need to know who to target and how to bring them through your sales journey. To grow your business, you need to have more people go through your sales funnel to make a final purchase. As you scale your operations, you need to increase your lead tracking efforts to smooth out the buyer journey, improve your marketing campaigns and better forecast your sales.
You need a CRM and analytics tools to help you with your lead conversion tracking. Upwork recommends Salesforce, Zoho, Insightly, SugarCRM and High Rise for your tracking. These help you organize and keep track of your email correspondence, social media, analytics and sales information. Each of these tools has a slightly different focus, so take a look at your current efforts and see where you need to fill in the gaps in your process. You also should be using Google Analytics and the specific analytics tools for the social media platforms you use. These will provide better insight into what your customers are looking at, where they enter and leave the sales funnel, and where you can improve your process.
CRM software isn’t important just for your lead conversion tracking. It also can be used to help you scale other parts of your business. Most importantly is right in the name: customer relationships. Converting new customers is time-consuming and expensive, so you should focus on customer retention to scale your business.
As you grow, you have to make time to invest in your customer relationships. A good CRM tool should help you keep track of orders and payments, organize your contact information, automate parts of your client interactions and increase your efficiency. You also need a CRM that smoothly integrates with all of your other tools, including your accounting, sales and marketing, analytics, virtual office software and documents. The more your tools work together, the more organized you’ll be as you grow.
Not only do analytics help with your sales conversions, but data can help you optimize and improve every aspect of your business. For example, you can use analytics to better predict when you need to restock your shelves, order more parts or change suppliers, explains Inc. Magazine. You also can analyze your data to see what items are selling the best, what advertising and marketing campaigns are working and why, and where you have too much or too little overhead.
Google Analytics and social media analytics are good tools for taking a closer look at your sales, marketing and advertising campaigns. If you’re not making much of an impact, use your data to see where you can improve your message and what campaigns are working well and should be amplified. This will help you bring in more qualified leads and close more sales, enabling you to scale your business. You also should look for tools that enable you to conduct AB testing, forecast sales and look at how much stock you have. Just like with your CRM, make sure all of your analytics tools work together well.
You don’t have to grow your business quickly or all at once, but being able to scale will help you remain successful in the future. With a few tools you can see where you can improve your operations, sales and marketing and scale your business at your speed.