New Industry Report: State of Small and Medium Sized Business (SMB) CRM Integration


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We at Scribe are excited to share the findings of our latest industry report – SMB CRM Integration, IT Pain Points and Investments in 2013. As we enter 2013, the small- and medium-sized business sector shows no signs of slowing. We’re seeing SMBs investing, looking to increase marketing prowess, and reaping the benefits of an accelerated business pace.

For me, the results are very encouraging. It’s clear that the idea that SMBs use less technology or are less sophisticated in their use of technology than their enterprise counterparts is just a myth. And it’s one we can finally put to rest. The reality is SMBs are sophisticated users and consumers of CRM; those with over 20 CRM seats exhibit similar usage patterns to CRM users at large enterprises. 

At the same time, while SMBs have proven to be strong adopters of cloud-based solutions, we know that they are less integrated than their software-based peers. Reasons for this abound – higher price sensitivity than their enterprise-level peers, go-to-market partners who have focused on a sales-only model over a professional services model, but most damaging, there have been few powerful, easy-to-use integration solutions for more than point-to-point integration. Point-to-point integrations have their place, but the approach collapses when an enterprise wants to accelerate all its processes, which naturally involves multiple applications working together to share data.  

In the past we’ve seen SMBs often stifled by their limited resources. Many software providers, knowing this, are focused on selling to the larger enterprises, in turn leading to SMBs being less educated about what they can and should be asking for. The study results show that this is finally changing.

For so many businesses – small and large – the CRM acts as the central hub for customer and prospect information. In fact, 85% of our survey respondents note that they intend their CRM to store all prospect and customer information in one place. As they grow more sophisticated in their use of CRM, they are increasingly using the technology for lead nurturing, email marketing and sales forecasting. To measure the value of CRM, SMBs look to see that it is indeed storing all information, and that it enables sharing of data among departments and can run reports from the data. 

Ways SMBs Assess CRM Value

To maximize the value of the CRM hub, it must collect and aggregate data from multiple sources. Data integration is a critical component of making this hub an intelligent, responsive data center.  For many small businesses, this is still an area for improvement; data quality and integration was named as the top IT challenge by SMBs. Only 18% report marketing data as being fully automated with their CRM. In fact, 60% of SMBs reported struggling to seamlessly share data. If SMBs can’t adequately address their data integration challenges in 2013, it will likely hamper their potential growth this year. 

Biggest IT Challenges for SMBs 

Specifically, SMBs cite challenges in their ability to share critical financial data on prospects and customers with the rest of the business. A mere 43% report seamless customer data sharing between finance and sales, 41% between finance and marketing, and finance and customer service. Prospect data sharing numbers are similar – only 40% report seamless prospect data sharing between finance and sales or finance or marketing.

It’s clear that maximizing the full potential of CRM is a journey. We salute your resolve and will continue to work with our partners in CRM, marketing, email, sales compensation, finance and customer service to help you achieve your vision. Scribe pledges to continue to make it easy, simple and affordable to move you closer to your data – all of your prospect and customer data – so you can make the right decisions and investments, and empower front-of-the-line teams to better respond to and engage the customer. 

View the full report:

Lou Guercia
As President and CEO for Scribe Software, Lou is responsible for Scribe's direction, continued growth as a leader in mid-market and enterprise integration as well as the company's entry into the cloud through integration-as-a-service (IaaS) offerings. He is a member of the SIIA Software Board of Directors and the MassTLC Cloud cluster.


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