You're running a small business. Thousands of things clamor for your attention, not the least of which is keeping track of your customers and your relationships with them. If you have CRM software, you're ahead of the game, but how do you get the most out of it? What should you be watching for?

Those of us here at TopTenREVIEWS know this feeling well, and we've compiled a list of five essential progress indicators for you when you're managing your relationships with your customers. We hope this helps you increase your outreach campaign's efficiency and prioritize your responsibilities as a small business owner. If you like this article, talk to us about it on Twitter or Facebook.

Relationship Freshness
Are you current with all of your customers? Have they been contacted in a provable way (i.e., with a resulting action) in the past month or week? Maintaining a relationship with a client or customer can be tough when there are so many things you need to do as a business owner. Luckily, most CRM software packages give you tools to track your last interaction with each customer.

Actions per Engagement
When you're maintaining contact with a potential customer, do you know how often they respond? Once you start measuring how often your customers respond to your outreach, patterns in their behavior will start to emerge.

You'll get a good feeling for about how many times you have to reach out to customers before they'll make purchases. You'll start seeing when the average potential customer stops replying to you on Twitter, unsubscribes from your newsletter, blocks you or simply ceases to respond.

Use these patterns to increase your system's efficiency; if customers stop responding after four contact attempts, you'll know to spend less time on customers who've been unresponsive that many times.

Response Time
If you've integrated your CRM with a lead-generation form or something of that type, how quickly do you contact customers and interested parties with a sales call, a non-automated email Or by live chat? Depending on your industry (real estate comes to mind here), your conversion rate may drop off dramatically after a short period of time. In the above-mentioned case of real estate, that period of time could be as short as twenty minutes.

Conversion Rate
How often do customers respond to your efforts with a purchase or action? You have to track how often your outreach efforts result in a measureable action to know if they're effective. If your objective is to generate sales for a new product and you're only getting a lot of page views, you need to re-evaluate the product, the page, the list you're targeting or any one of countless other factors.

Funnel Drop-off Rate
How often do people unsubscribe from your newsletter? How many read the emails, click on the links or actually end up purchasing your product? Knowing when and how often your potential customers abandon your funnel to a sale is crucial for diagnosing problems and seeing the efficiency of your sales funnel go up is not only a great way to feel accomplished, but it also has a significant effect on your bottom line   I know; crazy, right?

Monitoring these data points is essential to gauge the efficiency of your outreach campaigns, and CRM software makes this incredibly easy to do. Happy selling.

At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don't Have To. 

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