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It’s no secret that the job market faces persistent talent shortages. Recruiting and retaining top talent has been a challenge for companies across the country, especially small businesses. This issue has been a hot topic for local and national media, as it has impacted almost every industry. With so many struggling, how can small businesses expect to attract top talent when they compete with larger, better-equipped and more recognized organizations?
One way for small businesses to stay competitive in the job market is to increase operational and employee efficiency by integrating innovative software, such as CRM and marketing automation. Employers who want to simplify their operations and thus reduce the workload of employees can increase job satisfaction and promote loyalty.
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Reducing the workload and simplifying day-to-day work
According to Indeed’s Report on the state of small businesses in 2022Of the 32.5 million small businesses in the US, more than half (58 percent) have between one and four job openings in the past three months. Furthermore, a third (33 percent) have experienced burnout and 31 percent have not been able to take time off or enjoy a holiday. And 41 percent say their stress level has increased significantly. To put it bluntly, small businesses are understaffed and their employees are overworked. Reducing the workload and simplifying operations is becoming imperative for small businesses.
CRM software can solve both needs. It can give employers and their employees a 360-degree view of their customer activities to reduce wasted time and enable faster collaboration. Too often a customer request, lead or important message is overlooked. Once teams realize this mistake, they have to drop everything to go back and address the problem. By giving employees a unique view of the activities, teams can quickly determine who is working on what and where extra attention is needed. This helps ensure that no work slips through your ears and avoids time-consuming back and forth email chains.
CRMs also provide time-saving tools that are essential for reducing workload and streamlining operations. Things like customer-facing self-service portals filled with step-by-step guides and FAQ pages allow customers to search and find solutions to common questions and needs. This allows employees to focus on more strategic tasks. Many of the best CRMs also integrate easily with third-party communication applications such as Outlook, Microsoft Office, and Google Workspace. Users can seamlessly share data and work on one platform instead of having to manually import and export data from one solution to another.
Combining CRM and Marketing Automation
Many companies today use separate software applications to meet all of their customer relationship needs. Unfortunately, this approach increases costs and requires employees to spend extra time switching tasks and managing a more complex tech stack. With a CRM, small businesses can combine their customer relationship management capabilities with marketing automation to get a unified view of the entire customer lifecycle. This allows teams to streamline and automate outreach strategies by targeting prospects and customers with targeted messages to drive sales.
Integrating marketing automation into a CRM also helps integrate marketing campaigns and simplify content creation. Small businesses with individual or small marketing teams can leverage automation tools to accelerate the creation and delivery of marketing communications. Many marketing automation tools also offer built-in reporting that generates valuable customer insights. Teams can target customers more accurately with offers such as:
- discounts and promotions
- welcome messages for new visitors
- pop-up, short-term promotions
- special offers for customer anniversaries and birthdays
Integrating marketing automation with the CRM software enables companies to perform critical functions such as capture more leads, improved engagement, improved conversion and better retention rates, just to name a few. All the while, these solutions help save time and allow marketing and design teams to focus on more creative activities, like building meaningful, targeted messages.
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Improve job satisfaction and promote loyalty
During the Great Resignation, more and more employees are questioning their role within the company. How it can serve their professional growth and how the company values their impact. However, a recent Harris Pollo found that employees spend only 45 percent of their workday on primary tasks. Most of their time is engaged in repetitive tasks, administrative duties, and other activities outside of their job description.
In the past, employees may have been happy with a title change. Today, it is more important to empower employees to perform critical tasks better. Employers can do just that by leveraging CRM tools, marketing automation, and interaction insights. Using cloud-based CRM applications makes business operations more accessible. This enables companies to offer more flexible and remote-friendly business models — a powerful bargaining tool in today’s competitive job market.
By using a CRM to simplify processes, reduce employee workload, and make operations more accessible, employees can focus on more focused and impactful tasks. It enables employers to offer more flexible business models that do not disrupt business operations. This will have a direct — and positive — impact on employee satisfaction and loyalty, helping small businesses continue to attract and retain top talent.
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