4 Ways a CRM Can Dramatically Increase Your Startup Chances of Success

4 Ways a CRM Can Dramatically Increase Your Startup Chances of Success
a startup needs a crm title

You just launched your startup, you are focused on thousands of tasks simultaneously and you work over the clock with your team every day to stick to the visual plan hanging on the office wall. To track things like contacts, notes and to-dos you are all set through your smartphone, some spreadsheet and tons of post-its sticked in every possible place (even on your laptop screen). Why would you need a CRM?

4 Reasons why your Startup needs a CRM

Well, the simple fact that you don’t have any time to waste on trivial activities (such as finding business cards and remembering a past conversation) should be a reason enough to advise you to adopt a CRM. But let’s see 4 main reasons that will make you clearly see how a CRM can improve your life (and the chances of success of your startup).

1. Enhance your network.

One of the most valuable resources for your startup are the people who you met along the way. Not only the first customers and beta testers, but also potential partners and other startuppers, investors and business angels, people who work in accelerators, mentors and business advisors you met at some event. Saving their contact data on your smartphone is not enough: a CRM allows you to catalog them quickly and easily, saving the emails and messages you exchanged with each other and even attaching notes about what you talked about.

Sellf, that was designed from the start as a smartphone application, offers you the freedom to add new contacts in a second wherever you are (while editing the information more comfortably from your tablet or PC once back in the office) and allows you to plan follow-ups from the start to help you keep the relationship alive.

2. Boosting the contribution of the team.

In a startup, everyone sells your product/service without even meaning to. Every time someone on your team is asked: “What do you do?”, the answer is always a pitch of your startup (more or less convincing) and the result may be a further interesting contact or a lost opportunity. That’s why each person on your team should be able to make its contribution, adding their own contacts to the startup contact base! A mobile CRM makes it very simple and allows you to empower the whole team, making everyone feel part of a common cause even more.

Sellf allows everyone to contribute by adding their own contacts to the startup contacts database, while leaving the possibility to structure the team permissions as you want. To keep everyone updated, it automatically collects calls and emails exchanged between contacts and team members (avoiding awkward situation of more people calling the same person) and it is integrated with Google Drive and Dropbox to simplify file sharing within the startup. In addition, it is also integrated with Slack: everyone is immediately notified when a team member managed to close a sale, boosting motivation. Then, reports on the work of the team show the contribution of each one and the obtained results.

3. Manage the funding process.

Even more than customers, investors should be given the white-glove treatment before closing the so aspired investment. There are several stages to go through: many meetings, documents to be sent and other formalities. Following-up at the right time is vital: from personal experience, I can assure you that a meeting can be canceled simply because you forget to confirm you presence again the day before. A CRM helps you trace the steps of the investment processes, from the first contact, to the negotiation phase, to investment closure, helping you to have a clearer view on your chances, on the timing and on the activities you need to complete. The same could be done for applications to acceleration programs or startup competitions.

Sellf is perfect for this activity because the sales pipeline can be totally customized, creating more than one pipeline and changing the stages names at will; for example, for the investment pipeline the stages can named as: “first contact”, “follow up”, “business plan sent”, “preliminary meeting”, “inquiry”, etc. The same can be done for big partnership, creating a pipeline where the goal is not money but the closing of the partnership, and  where the phases labels are relevant to the process. Then, Sellf will remind you follow ups and to-dos syncing with your Calendar, to increase your chances of a happy ending.

4. Set the basis for testing and growth.

The public beta launch could seem far away, but by collecting in your CRM the contacts of people who prove potentially interested in your product/service along the way, when the times come you are ready to invite them to test your product/service and track their feedback. Then, when at last your product/service will be ready, you will be able to monitor them more closely, so that to understand their needs, to close the first sales and to estimate the monthly turnover.

Thanks to the focus on sales goals, Sellf is perfect to accompany your startup also when it grows up, allowing you to intuitively understand what will be the estimated monthly turnover. You should simply state your monthly goal and assign a value to each potential customer, then Sellf will make you understand at a glance how far away are you from reaching your goals. Then, statistics on deals won/lost will allow you to understand how to improve, such as which customer acquisition channels work best and  what are the most critical phases of your sales process.

Ready to start?

As you can see, these activities are a bit different from the more sales-oriented ones of normal businesses.  Precisely for this reason, not all CRMs are suitable for startups: most of them are very focused on sales processes and on billing, are difficult to use on the go and can also be very expensive. At Sellf, on the contrary, we are still a startup and we know your problems and dynamics very well. We created Sellf app first to use it ourselves, and for this reason we are sure it is the perfect app to accompany small businesses like yours… from birth to success!
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