When you think of CRM, you are likely to associate its features with large, mature businesses that require a centralized system to manage multiple processes and tasks. Of course, that is certainly one of the primary benefits of CRM, but a CRM for start-ups also has its advantages. The problem is, it’s difficult to know when the right moment to implement a CRM is. 

A CRM may seem like a senseless investment if you don’t have many customer relationships to manage. Your instinct may be to wait until you absolutely can’t go any longer without a CRM to invest in it. However, focusing on customer relationships early can help you get ahead of your competitors faster. 

Gartner found that more than two-thirds of companies compete primarily on the basis of customer experience. The sooner you invest in your customers, the bigger the early impact is. Features like automation, pre-populated email templates and clarity over the customer journey, all enhance the customer experience.

On the other hand, CRM is a financial investment. If your current customer base is manageable, and your sales team is comfortable with your existing processes (such as using spreadsheets to manage their sales pipelines) and meeting their sales goals, then arguably it may be too early to adopt CRM.

How did you know when your start-up was ready to adopt CRM? And how might early adoption benefit other businesses?