Many people today are tired of working for corporate management and have decided to go out on their own and start a small business. Starting a business can be both scary and empowering at the same time–as your business begins to grow and you hire more employees, tracking everything often becomes too much to manage on your own. When there’s too much information to handle, invoices get lost, emails go unanswered, and orders get canceled.
Thirty years ago, the solution may have been hiring more secretaries and buying more file cabinets. Today, it’s about finding the right enterprise software to help your business stay organized while it grows. Let’s examine one of the most popular types of software for businesses today: Salesforce.
If you’re wary of new software, freelancer sites like Guru have thousands of Salesforce consultants for hire to help get you and your employees acquainted with the tools you need to take your business to the next level.
What Is Enterprise Software?
Everyone is familiar with free-to-use software and apps—we all have them installed on our phones and computers, and they are fantastic tools. However, these tools are only free for the individual. Businesses both big and small have to pay for the software and create what are called enterprise agreements with these companies.
An enterprise agreement is a contract signed by a business and a software provider. The business agrees to pay for the software, usually as a subscription, and chooses to pay for the software based on the number of users who will be utilizing the software, either per user or on a tiered basis.
What Is CRM, and How Does It Help Businesses?
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management—software used by businesses around the world to track interactions with their customers. As mentioned above, CRM is a type of enterprise software.
CRM software like Salesforce helps businesses by automating the tracking of customer interactions. Each time someone speaks with a customer by phone, a note can be made regarding the details of the call. If a sale is made, Salesforce can automatically generate and email an invoice to the customer and include it in monthly sales reports. This way, individual sales reps and middle and upper management can always have a full understanding of the sales pipeline. This helps these administrators identify areas that are running slowly and may need improvement
Cost and Value of Salesforce for Small Business
As mentioned above, a company will pay for Salesforce on a per-user basis. Salesforce has four tiers: $25, $75, $150, and $300. For an organization of just ten people at the $300 level, the cost to a business is $3,000 a month–the same cost of potentially hiring a new employee.
For this reason, the Salesforce cost for small businesses at that $300 level probably isn’t the right choice for your ten-person operation. The $25 or $75 level is a great place to start, and at just $250-$750 per month for ten employees, the added organizational benefits alone can pay for themselves in added productivity.
The benefits of Salesforce for sales reps come from saving time, improving customer relationships, and increasing efficiency. For a business with ten employees that generates annual sales of $500,000, if Salesforce leads to even a 10% increase in sales, that will equal an additional $50,000. Even at the $75 plan level—which would cost $9,000 annually—that’s an additional $41,000 in increased annual profit, after the Salesforce fee. As your business grows, you can begin to choose the higher-tiered plans to automate the process further so that you can focus on your business instead of pulling your hair out trying to organize things.
Once a small business grows beyond what its human bosses and employees are capable of tracking, it’s time to look at investing in high-quality enterprise software such as Salesforce. When Salesforce is up and running, even the smallest of time and organizational savings can snowball into big profits for your company and employees, helping to take your business to the next level.