Keeping track of your leads and customers, as well as your team's interactions with them, is one of the more important things you can do to speed your SaaS company's time to success. Some smaller organizations, especially when they're first starting out, choose to rely on a simple spreadsheet to try and keep contacts and customer notes organized.
The Problem with Spreadsheets
While a more basic system like this can definitely do the job of tracking the bare necessities, it comes with some major downsides. Namely, this system doesn't easily lend itself to running analytics or understanding more about your customers based on a review of past interactions.
Not to mention that if there is more than one person interacting with your customers, that could create a situation where multiple people are accessing and updating the spreadsheet, which can cause confusion and errors related to which version of the doc is most up-to-date.
These issues are why most companies these days (regardless of size) use a CRM, or customer relationship management, software to help track every interaction with current and future customers.
The Benefits of a CRM
A CRM helps tie the efforts of your sales, marketing, and account management teams together. By operating off one database, the team benefits from access to a shared intelligence that keeps everyone in your organization on the same page.
Marketing teams are able to use insights from the CRM to delight customers and target campaigns, account managers can personalize service based on notes from the sales team, and sales reps have access to the newest marketing and sales collateral as well as a complete history detailing all interactions with their leads.
So you know you need a CRM, but which one is right for your SaaS company?
Choosing a CRM
There are a lot of big names in the world of CRM software, but for smaller businesses, the complex feature sets can be a bit overkill for teams that are just starting out. In addition, the price points that come with these bigger names may not make sense for a limited budget.
A great option for smaller and mid-sized organizations is HubSpot's CRM. It's a free tool that's easy to get started with and offers simple solutions for organizations that need a basic solution to keep their team's efforts organized.
HubSpot's free CRM runs off the same database as HubSpot's marketing automation platform and comes with an open set of APIs so that you can develop any integrations you need or use their out-of-the-box integration with Zapier to connect it with hundreds of other platforms.
This free option includes the ability to upload and share content from the CRM, run live presentations out of the CRM, and review analytics around content activity:
- number of shares by sales team
- customer/lead visits to the shared content
- unique visits
- median visit time for a specific piece of content
- the number of live presentations with a piece of content
- median presentation time
One Record of Communication
The content tools in HubSpot's free CRM allow your team to work from one up-to-date database for all collateral used by your company. Marketing teams can track and prove a piece of collateral's value, and your account management team can leverage one system to provide seamless experience when a lead transitions into a customer.
With one record of communication, anyone in your organization can continue the conversation in a natural way, whether they're interacting via email or the phone - so everyone stays on the same page and no information is lost.
Jeffrey Russo, the Product Marketing Manager of HubSpot's CRM, explained that the new tool is a great fit for teams that want to take a more modern approach to the sales process.
He says: "The sales content tools are best suited for an educational and consultative process. HubSpot CRM is well-adapted to the business process of those companies with an inside sales team that spends a lot of time on the phone with leads."
Because the HubSpot CRM is free, you don't need to go through a lengthy consideration process to get your hands on the tools. So if you think it might be the right fit for your SaaS company, you can sign up for an account in seconds and then take the time to get familiar with the tool and get a sense if it's the right fit for your company.
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