By John Oechsle, President and CEO of Swiftpage
The holidays are just around the corner and for many small or midsized businesses (SMBs) that means the potential for big sales. Small Business Saturday (held the day after Black Friday) has become a beacon, driving shoppers to seek out and support local small businesses while on the hunt for the perfect gift. In fact, Small Business Saturday continues to grow more popular each year, with 2018 posting records in both participation and spend with 104 million shoppers spending $17.8 billion. These numbers are astounding—and what would be even better is if you could turn Small Business Saturday traffic into consistent sales all year.
And with that thought in mind, here are five ways your customer relationship management (CRM) system can help you turn Small Business Saturday into future sales.
Not an island
When Small Business Saturday drives customers to seek out your product, it’s vital that you take the opportunity to collect their contact information and log it in your CRM. However, the right CRM doesn’t exist on its own separate from sales, customer service, marketing and product development. Instead, the right SMB CRM will have integrations to work for, and with, all of these teams and support important functions like email marketing and marketing automation to help you turn valuable Small Business Saturday leads into not only holiday sales, but year-round customers.
Establish a relationship
Small Business Saturday is all about supporting and connecting with local small businesses. The customers who participate truly care about your business and want you to succeed. They also want to hear from you, but it’s imperative you make the effort to learn how, when and where to reach them. And don’t feel limited by geography. Social media provides an opportunity to reach a targeted audience for your products and services at a key time of year when customers are particularly receptive to purchasing from a small business. Build a relationship with these customers through lead nurturing and follow up with email marketing and promotional information
On average, 61 percent of customers report wanting a promotional email at least once a week, but that drops to 15 percent when asked about daily contact. The trick is to figure out what’s right for your business and customers. The right CRM will help you capture critical information about open rates, click-through-rates (CTRs), unsubscribe rates and more—and allow you to share this data across your sales and marketing teams. Reviewing this information and adjusting accordingly will ensure you’re communicating with your customers in a way that will help drive future transactions and establish a positive relationship.
Actionable customer information
A comprehensive CRM can not only help you capture customer information such as how your clients found you and how they prefer to receive communication, but the right SMB CRM can also utilize predictive technology to help you determine the best course of action moving forward. Predictive technology uses trends to identify which email marketing, content and offers will perform best and will even be able to identify which types of offers generate the most sales. This type of analysis could be used to present appealing offers outside of the holiday season, allowing your Small Business Saturday leads to become regular customers.
Customization is key
When it comes to sales and managing customer relationships, SMBs will want a CRM that’s highly customizable, offering the flexibility they need based on their industry, business size and the volume of transactions they see throughout the year. For example, you may generate more revenue during the holiday season and find that summer is a bit slower. A CRM that offers customizable options and allows easy integration with your other sales and marketing tools will help you grow revenue in both your busy and slow seasons.
Taking it on the road
The beauty of Small Business Saturday is that the customers are seeking you out. The reality is that for the other 364 days of the year you need to be the one seeking out leads. The right SMB-optimized CRM will give you the flexibility and mobility tools you need to take your most important customer information and contact features on the road via your mobile device. As a business owner, you can’t be tied to your desktop, so being able to access the customer insights you need to close sales on the road is a must-have feature.
That’s a wrap
Are you ready to turn this holiday season and Small Business Saturday traffic into future sales? By finding the right CRM for your SMB, you can start cultivating customer relationships that will lead to sales all year. Look for a CRM that offers powerful features such as marketing integration, actionable data and customer analysis, as well as the customization and mobility you need to fit your business’ style.
H. John Oechsle joined Swiftpage (www.act.com) in July 2012 and currently serves as president and chief executive officer. John came to Swiftpage with a 30-year track record of building highly profitable and sustainable revenue growth for emerging companies and established global leaders. John is an advocate for technology and education in Colorado and has been an active contributor to the Colorado Technology Association (CTA). John has received numerous recognitions, including the Technology Executive of the Year in 2006, the Titan of Technology in 2009, the Bob Newman Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Community by the CTA in 2011 and the Nancy J. Sauer Philanthropy award in 2016. In 2015, John was appointed to the Business Experiential Learning Commission (BEL) by the Governor of Colorado and continues to serve on that commission today. In 2018, John joined the Rutgers CX Advisory Board for the Customer Experience Certificate Program at Rutgers.