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The role of CRM in supporting women-led startups

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In today’s fast-evolving business landscape, CRM systems are crucial for enhancing customer interactions and operational efficiency. For female-led startups, using CRM can be transformative, streamlining customer data, boosting engagement, and empowering entrepreneurs for sustainable growth and competitiveness.

This piece explores:

  • How CRM can support women-led startups
  • Key features of a CRM system that are beneficial for women entrepreneurs
  • Best practices for integrating CRM into business operations

What is CRM?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is tailored to oversee customer interactions and data across the customer lifecycle.

This platform empowers businesses to trace leads, scrutinize customer behavior and preferences, and enhance communication channels with customers.

How CRM Can Support Women-Led Startups

CRM systems, particularly free CRM options, offer a lifeline for women-led startups operating on tight budgets.

These platforms provide essential tools for managing customer relationships without the steep investment usually required for high-end systems.

Utilizing CRM systems can help women entrepreneurs to:

  • Centralize Customer Data: A CRM system acts as a central repository for all customer data, giving businesses quick access to valuable information such as purchase history, preferences, and communication history. This centralized data makes it easier for startups to understand their customers and tailor their products or services accordingly.
  • Improve Engagement: By tracking customer interactions and preferences, CRM systems enable businesses to personalize their engagement strategies. This is especially beneficial for women entrepreneurs who may prioritize building personal connections with their customers.
  • Boost Efficiency: With automation features, CRM systems can streamline routine tasks such as data entry and email marketing, freeing up valuable time for entrepreneurs to focus on other aspects of the business.

Key Features of a CRM System That Benefits Women Entrepreneurs

When considering a CRM system, women entrepreneurs need to look for features that align with their specific business needs. Some key features to consider include:

Customization Options

A well-designed CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system plays a crucial role in empowering businesses. It should provide the flexibility necessary for customizing the platform to align with unique processes and workflows.

This customization capability allows for seamless integration and optimization of daily operations, enhancing efficiency and productivity across the organization.

Mobile Access

For entrepreneurs who are always on the move, having a comprehensive CRM system with mobile access is crucial.

This feature empowers them to efficiently oversee and nurture customer relationships while being flexible in their work environment. It ensures seamless management of interactions and tasks on the go, enabling entrepreneurs to stay connected and productive wherever they are.

Integrations

A well-integrated CRM system that seamlessly connects with various business tools like email, social media platforms, and customer support software can offer a holistic perspective of customer interactions.

This comprehensive view empowers businesses to understand customer needs better, personalize interactions, and streamline communication across different channels for enhanced customer satisfaction and retention.

Analytics and Reporting

Access to real-time data and analytics is crucial for businesses to track their performance, identify trends, and make informed, data-driven decisions that can enhance operational efficiency and strategic planning.

Affordability

As startups and small businesses, women entrepreneurs need to consider the cost of a CRM system and ensure it fits within their budget.

CRM systems also offer training and resources for users to maximize the benefits of the platform. This can be particularly helpful for women entrepreneurs who may not have a background in technology but want to effectively utilize CRM tools.

Best Practices for Integrating CRM into Business Operations

Once a CRM system is implemented, entrepreneurs need to establish best practices for it to be fully integrated into their business operations. Some best practices include:

  • Consistent Data Entry: To ensure accurate and complete data, businesses should establish guidelines for consistent data entry by all users.
  • Regular Data Maintenance: It’s important to regularly clean up and update data to avoid duplicates and outdated information.
  • Collaboration and Communication: CRM systems allow for collaboration and communication between team members, so it’s important to establish guidelines for using these features effectively.
  • Automating Processes: By automating routine tasks such as lead nurturing or email campaigns, businesses can save time and improve efficiency.
  • Tracking Key Metrics: With access to real-time data and analytics, businesses can track key metrics such as customer acquisition costs and conversion rates to measure the success of their CRM system.
  • Continual Training: As new features and updates are released, businesses need to provide ongoing training for employees to ensure they are utilizing the CRM system effectively.
  • Integrating with Other Systems: CRM systems are most effective when integrated with other business tools such as accounting software or marketing automation platforms. This helps streamline processes and provides a more comprehensive view of customer data.

Conclusion

CRM systems are indispensable tools for businesses of all sizes, including women entrepreneurs. By integrating a CRM system, female business owners can efficiently handle customer relationships and propel business expansion.

To ensure CRM success, it is crucial to establish optimal practices for data input, upkeep, teamwork, and automation. Continuous training and system integration can further enhance CRM advantages. By implementing these strategies, women entrepreneurs can leverage CRM to forge stronger customer bonds and accomplish their objectives.

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Canadian insurer launches partnership to support women’s health

Members of the Canadian insurer Medavie Blue Cross will have access to a dedicated women’s health platform

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Angela Johnson, co-founder and CEO of sanoLiving

The Canadian insurer Medavie Blue Cross (MBC) has partnered with the virtual health platform sanoLiving to support women on their menopause journey.

Currently, more than 10 million Canadian women are navigating menopause, often with little support and misinformation about treatments.

With sanoMidLife, sanoLiving’s online menopause platform, Medavie Blue Cross members will have access to a national women’s health platform tailored to provide care and services for women going through the menopause.

The service includes personalised assessments, access to clinicians, treatments, educational content, peer support and AI assistance.

“Many women lack support for their menopause transition due to the misunderstandings of what is ‘normal’ and misinformation about treatments,” said Angela Johnson, co-founder and CEO of sanoLiving.

“Women are seeking solutions that allow them to thrive during midlife. We are thrilled about our alliance with Medavie Blue Cross, and our shared commitment to providing access to care that empowers women.”

Anita Swamy, senior vice president operations at Medavie Blue Cross, added: “We’ve heard first-hand from our members about the need for more menopause-related services.

“Our partnership with sanoLiving creates an innovative way to increase access to care for our members as we continue to focus on the support women need to navigate their benefits and provide forward-thinking options to support their health.”

Studies report one in 10 women exit the workforce due to unmanaged symptoms. Early onset of menopause and symptoms before age 45 can elevate the risk of health issues like heart disease, diabetes, dementia and osteoporosis.

With this new service, Medavie Blue Cross and sanoLiving are aiming to open up the conversation around menopause, reduce stigma and work towards giving women the access to the care they need.

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US start-up raises US$2.32m to address pelvic health concerns

The Flyte intravaginal device aims to treat stress urinary incontinence and strengthen pelvic floor muscles

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The US women’s health start-up Pelvital has raised US$2.32m in funding to address “unanswered” pelvic health issues.

Minnesota-based Pelvital aims to restore pelvic health with its first product Flyte, an FDA-cleared intravaginal treatment for stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and weakened pelvic floor muscles.

The device, originally developed by physicians from the Arctic University of Norway, uses mechanotherapy, a treatment modality that when paired with an active pelvic floor contraction stimulates tissue regeneration and the creation of neuromuscular memory.

The company will use the funding to speed up the commercialisation of Flyte and raise awareness of pelvic health issues.

“Completing this round is an important step in continuing Pelvital’s unwavering dedication to provide women with innovative solutions for pelvic health, including the treatment of SUI,” said Lydia Zeller, president and CEO of Pelvital.

“This funding will play a crucial role in accelerating our commercialisation of Flyte with a strong emphasis on expanding payor coverage and enhancing clinical education and clinician awareness.”

With this final close, Zeller said, Pelvital would welcome new investors including Pier 70 Ventures, Life Science Angels, Tech Coast Angels Orange County, and Blue Pacific Fund.

Preetha Ram, managing partner at Pier 70 Ventures, would join the Pelvital board of directors.

“Joining Pelvital’s board alongside this investment round is truly an honour,” Ram shared.

“Pier 70 and I are thrilled to be part of this transformational opportunity, as Pelvital’s mission aligns beautifully with our dedication to support disruptive technologies that shake up the status quo in healthcare.

“Pelvital’s pioneering work is shaping a future where women’s health receives the attention and innovation it deserves with novel medical devices like Flyte.”

Oscar Moralez, founder and managing partner of Boomerang Ventures who led the investment round, said: “We are thrilled for the successful completion of this round as we aim to tackle the most pressing healthcare challenges.

“Our participation aims to address the chronic underfunding in women’s healthcare. Investing in Flyte, a truly groundbreaking treatment, addresses underserved pelvic health issues like SUI and contributes to raising vital awareness.”

Two published clinical trials have validated Flyte’s safety, efficacy and durability of treatment effect for women with SUI.

Most recently Pelvital published a paper in Therapeutic Advances in Urology, showing that 71 per cent of study participants achieved dry or near dry conditions as evidenced by a reduction in 24-hour pad weight after using Flyte for between two and 12 weeks.

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Cleveland Clinic launches new women’s health and research center

The programme aims to address women’s unique health needs during midlife and beyond

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From left: Cleveland Clinic CEO and president Dr Tom Mihaljevic, Maria Shriver and Dr Beri Ridgeway / Source: clevelandclinic.org

Cleveland Clinic has launched its new Women’s Comprehensive Health and Research Center, an initiative dedicated to helping women during midlife.

The center, which will focus on access, connectivity, education and research and innovation, aims to empower women to navigate their health journey with confidence and clarity.

Maria Shriver, founder of The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement Prevention and Research Center at Cleveland Clinic, will serve as chief visionary and strategic advisor.

“I’ve always believed our nation needed a first-class comprehensive women’s health center, and now we have one,” said Shriver.

“Over the past several years, I’ve been honoured to work alongside so many talented and passionate doctors at Cleveland Clinic to bring this vision to life. This is a place for women at every stage of life where they will feel seen, will get the research they need, and the care they deserve, from their brains to their bones.

“I am thrilled that today the WAM Prevention and Research Center expands, as it deserves to.”

Dr Tom Mihaljevic, Cleveland Clinic CEO and president, said: “Maria’s unwavering commitment to raising awareness and driving meaningful change aligns perfectly with the mission of our new center.

“Her passion for advancing the quality of care for women is remarkable and will help us transform how we deliver care for women today and into the future.”

The population of women in midlife and in need of healthcare continues to grow. According to US Census Bureau 2020 data, more than 63 million women in the US are 50 years of age or older, and approximately 6,000 women enter menopause each day.

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 80 per cent of women aged 55 and older have at least one chronic condition, such as arthritis, asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and diabetes, which strengthens the need for more comprehensive medical care for women in this stage of life.

The new Women’s Comprehensive Health and Research Center will bring together specialty care in various areas, including behavioural health, breast health, cardiovascular care, center for infant and maternal health, endocrinology, menopause, osteoporosis and metabolic bone density, wellness and disease prevention.

Through initiatives focused on streamlining appointment processes, enhancing outreach programmes and prioritising health equity, the center will seek to ensure that all women can readily access the care they need.

“Midlife is an important milestone and a time to empower women to address health issues and focus on future health,” said Dr Beri Ridgeway, chief of staff at Cleveland Clinic.

“Taking a holistic approach, including menopausal and hormonal health, reproductive health, mental health, chronic conditions and preventive care, is critical to optimise health outcomes.

“Our priority is to help women in this stage of life make educated decisions about their health and have access to the services they need to thrive, while also feeling seen, heard and supported.”

The center, Ridgeway said, will offer support groups and resources to help address health disparities, reach diverse communities and bridge gaps in health literacy.

The institution’s ultimate mission, she explained, is to advance research and innovation specific to women during midlife.

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