Is the time of employers, employees, and jobs as we know them coming to an end?
It may not seem like that far-fetched of an idea since automation has already replaced a lot of manual labor. The reality is that the freelancer & solopreneur era has given rise to a new market: one where it’s no longer just about service providers. It’s about entrepreneurs who are optimizing their own skills to generate profit.
Needless to say, freelancing and solopreneurship are becoming the new normal, even for Fortune 500 companies.
Having said that, while solopreneurs don many hats to get things rolling for their business, the day-to-day challenges of handling clients can sometimes be a bit too much for one person to handle. And it can lead to impeded business growth.
So, what’s the solution? A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool.
And Salesforce holding the crown for the #1 CRM for sometime now is yet to put across a CRM for freelancers and solopreneurs. Looking at Salesforce’s track record, if they do decide to venture into this new segment in 2023, we can count on the fact that they will revolutionize the freelancing world.
So, will they? Won’t they? That remains to be seen.
Let’s have a look at the current scenario of freelancing and solopreneurship and discover if Salesforce will enter a segment where its competitors already are in 2023.
The Rise of Freelancers & Solopreneurs – A Statistical Picture
Did you know that there are almost 58 million freelancers in the US[i]?
Given the number, the buzz around the rising freelancers and solopreneurs is justified. Here are a few more alarming facts about the freelancing industry that can help you understand the growth of this industry.
- According to a report, 36 percent of the US workforce are independent freelancers, which is estimated to be $1.2 trillion in its economy[ii].
- Google’s workforce has more freelancers (54 percent) than permanent employees (46 percent)[iii].
- By 2023, the global freelance market economy is likely to reach USD 455 Billion[iv].
- 53% of Generation Z workers are freelancers[v].
- The freelancing industry makes up nearly 5 percent of the total US GDP[vi].
Freelancing Industry + CRM = Better Client Relationships
‘Client relationships’ is a phrase that should always be taken seriously. It’s the backbone of any business and is arguably what makes it worth running a business. This is because client relationships are traditionally built on trust, a sense of loyalty, and understanding, which often translates into sales.
And while solopreneurs can do many things to improve their workflow and make their clients happy, they cannot do it all. For instance, you might be great at lead nurturing but struggle with lead management.
A CRM platform can be a huge help in the overall client engagement process by sending reminders, handling requests, and so on. CRM can even help you manage leads and contacts in an efficient way so you can follow up with them at the right time.
Here’s how freelancers and solopreneurs can benefit from using a CRM.
- Keep Track of Customers & Contacts
- Better Understanding of Customers
- Land New Opportunities by Analyzing Data
CRM can be a lifeline for those who manage their marketing and sales activities on their own.
Should Salesforce Invest in a CRM for the Freelancing Industry?
Salesforce is arguably the world’s most well-known CRM system, and for good reason. This software powerhouse has been instrumental in changing the way that big companies approach sales, providing them with the tools they need to track every interaction between their businesses and their customers.
But what about solopreneurs/freelancers? While Salesforce has long been a boon for large businesses, it hasn’t always made much of an impact on solopreneurs and freelancers.
With the freelance industry on the rise, an army of technologies evolving, and Salesforce becoming future-ready, it would be an absolute delight for freelancers if Salesforce decides to invest in a CRM for them.
Many businesses out there still think Salesforce best suits a large enterprise with hundreds of thousands of contacts. This is where Salesforce needs to step up and provide a better solution that caters to this problem.
While Salesforce emerges as a winner every time it launches something, this can only be achieved by expanding the company’s focus from businesses to individuals, or solopreneurs as they are better known.
On a larger scale, Salesforce should consider working with smaller businesses and help them track their entire client base across all their channels. Such a move would certainly raise the credibility of this enterprise software giant in the eyes of freelancers and solopreneurs.
Specific CRM Features That Will Help Freelancers Excel
Freelancers expect the following features from a well-designed CRM:
1. User Experience: Since the CRM will be the face of customer relationship strategies for freelancers, it should provide them with an effortless and consistent UX.
2. Integrations: A robust CRM needs to be able to integrate with multiple tools and applications for better insights and data accessibility.
3. Scope for Automation and Customization: A CRM is meant to streamline the entire sales process and keep data organized. Ideally, it should also allow for customization & automation in terms of adding and removing fields for different purposes.
4. Responsiveness: A CRM for a freelancer or solopreneur should also be responsive in terms of design. It should easily adapt to a variety of platforms such as mobile and tablets. This will enable users to track their contacts and clients while on the move as well.
5. Data Security: Lastly, it’s important to ensure that the data used for this CRM is kept safe and secure by implementing strong encryption at all times. The security measures should also be easy to implement and maintain.
Top 5 Competitors for Salesforce in the Freelancing & Solopreneurship Space
1. HubSpot: With a market share of 2.73%[vii] in CRM platforms, HubSpot is a full-fledged CRM that caters to the needs of small-sized businesses and stimulates a more personalized relationship between the company and the clients.
2. Zoho: Zoho CRM is an intuitive tool that allows small businesses to manage contacts, leads, and inquiries. With a market share of 3.20%[viii], it also allows integration with Gmail, Salesforce, Facebook, and Google.
3. Streak: Streak allows users to instantly analyze websites to manage the entire work from one place. Freelancers and solopreneurs can handle their tasks easily and efficiently for increased productivity.
4. Freshsales: With a market share of 1.69%[ix], Freshsales is a CRM tailored specifically to the sales needs of small enterprises. It helps in tracking prospect lists, sales activities, and reporting metrics.
5. Insightly: Insightly CRM is especially designed for small businesses and startups. It allows users to manage their contacts and leads and also provides access to calendars as well as reports.
The rise of freelancers and solopreneurs, along with the explosion in entrepreneurs all over the world, is showing new growth potential for Salesforce.
But, will this software powerhouse venture into this thriving space of freelancers and solopreneurs in 2023? It will surely be exciting to find out!
To wrap things up, here’s a quote by Bobby Darnell that we think will pretty much make up your mind to get on the CRM bandwagon if you’ve yet to implement a CRM system for your freelancing business –
“Saying, ‘I don’t have time for CRM’ is like saying, ‘I don’t have time to look at my GPS app because I am too busy trying to figure out the best way to get from here to there’.”
Want to Make the Management of Your Freelance Business a Breeze? Let’s Talk!
Whether you want a customized solution for your freelancing business or simply need assistance with managing your long list of clients, just drop us a line at [email protected] and we’ll take it from there.
[ii] Website Planet
[iv] Demand Sage
[v] Business Wire
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