This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of SharpSpring CRM. All opinions are 100% mine.
As a speaker out on the road teaching business owners to get over their Marketing PTSD- I often joke with my students and attendees that as a Small Business Owner, we’re often put in the position of being “Team Everything”- Inside Sales, Outside Sales, Marketing, Social Media. This can be an overwhelming task! You know you should be listening about what the market or customers are saying about your brand or products, you’re pretty sure that there are some tools that can help you improve productivity, you have more e-mail coming in on a daily basis than you care to admit - and know you are busy. You’ve tried to create e-mail marketing campaigns, and have 4-7 trials of tools that you signed up for but haven’t made use of- and promise to block a day of productivity. Then you block that day, and a deal comes in – and all that effort into streamlining your sales and marketing process is shot.
A few weeks later after the deal has closed, and leads aren’t coming in, you remember you really need to block a productivity day around your sales and marketing process- but a deal comes in so…..you repeat this cycle of crazy until it feels like it’s Groundhog Day. Sound familiar? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. In fact, Marketing Insider recently shared that more than 79% of the leads for small business owners don’t convert into sales. The absence of lead nurturing and a formal tracking is the leading cause of that.
But what if you could quantify the “busy”? What if that busy could be tracked, scored, and more importantly make sure your attention is focused on what helps drive real leads, close deals, and increase sales revenue? There are even tools that can help up your marketing game - including an e-mail designer, email templates, lead forms, web visitor tools that help you understand behavior and social media tools. Would it be worth it - just for giggles to try? The answer of course- is yes. But what’s the catch? How can you really maximize a 14 day trial before being charged?
The good news is- you don’t have to.
SharpSpring CRM recently announced their free free CRM for small businesses. Users can create a free account, log in, and start transforming their business in minutes. This isn’t a free trial- it’s a bet on business. It’s one of the only free CRM’s on the market with a social media dashboard (so you can hear about your brand buzz)- Find & Filter conversations using hashtags or keywords- and engage with posts directly from the tool. The visitor tracking feature is a unique feature and game changer when it comes to having a useful tool that can help you understand which leads are engaging with your website and the number of contacts and engagements they have had with your brand. This is especially important for small business owners who might be making their first sales hires- to help keep leads up to date and accurate. There is nothing worse than 3 people calling or reaching out to the same lead.The ability to have transparency into the pipeline and stages is incredible and easy to check at a glance.
Upon signup, I found myself up and running in minutes which in my opinion is one of the attributes that puts SharpSpring CRM in a class of it’s own. The focus on user experience makes a rapid time to implement and no learning curve for the small business owner to get started. When you are in the position of having to work in your business and on it- you don’t have extensive time to read documentation or have a lengthy implementation.
One of the biggest differences, and I believe where the most value is in the tool – is the ability to have Lead Activity Notifications and the ability to score your leads- this takes the leads out of your inbox and into a system to create some action and track a pipeline. With more than 5 years in the space and 7,000+ businesses onboard, it's clear that SharpSpring has created an affordable marketing automation suite that is meant to land and expand with a company.
The best part? The company announced that they will allow businesses to try the free sales CRM solution for free without having to whip out your credit card. So, while that awesome spreadsheet that lives on your desktop might be the perfect solution today- It’s worth a shot to get up and running with the affordable marketing automation tool that could take that data you’ve collected for months and help you create action in minutes.