“CRM” and “SaaS” Not Familiar Terms to Most SMBs


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We all know what “CRM” is, right? Well, most SMBs don’t, according to a recent study by Avidian, fielded by MarketTools. As you can see from the chart below, 70% of SMBs surveyed have little or no awareness of what the term means. And it’s worse for “SaaS.”

The top findings from the SMB study:

  • CRM, SaaS not familiar terms
  • SMB CRM is Outlook, QuickBooks
  • Strong desire to run CRM inside of Outlook
  • Strong desire to store CRM data in Outlook
  • Make it easy and customizable
  • Keep data on OUR computers
  • Run on and off of Internet

Just goes to show that there’s a lot of room for continued growth of CRM technology in the SMB market. Users tended to be most familiar with good old Outlook and even accounting packages like QuickBooks and Peachtree. Top CRM solutions in use were Microsoft Outlook (48%), Salesforce.com (24%) and QuickBooks (20%).

Why are they using or considering CRM? Well, not much surprise there — to grow/manage sales, improve customer service and improve business insight.

Top three features respondents ranked as somewhat or extremely important: Ease of use (82%), Does not require a lot of support (79%), and Customizable to existing sales routine (74%).

Avidian is a good example of a successful CRM vendor “flying under the radar” in the CRM industry. Founder/CEO James Wong says the company is doing well, with 36,000 total paying users.

Avidian’s product, called Prophet, is basically a sales automation and contact management plugin for Outlook. Recently the company introduced a SaaS offering, too.


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