CRM is a great tool for customer management!
However, unfortunately, many small businesses have still not started using it. Reason – A myth that CRM software is designed only for the large businesses.
And this is what is keeping most of the SMBs away from using CRM and improving their customer service.
Why is this a frightful situation?
Experts have predicted that by the year 2020, customer service will beat price and product quality and become the first brand differentiator.
That means only those businesses will survive who will be able to understand the Voice of the Customer through the CRM and provide exceptional customer service, along with good product quality and low price.
If now the SMBs do not take up the CRM then, nothing will be able to save them them from meeting the doom after a few years.
What do the small businesses need to understand?
CRM is not just a tool only for the BIG BOYS.
Although earlier CRM was designed to just meet the enterprise needs, today most CRM vendors have involved small business’s growing needs to shape up their solution. In fact this is exactly what Brent Leary, popular CRM thought leader has also commented in Software Advice –
“There are a lot more CRM choices for small businesses today than there were a few years ago. These products are more affordable, easier to use and the subscription pricing terms are in line with what small businesses are looking for.”
In fact the few small businesses that have taken the CRM have admitted of a hundred percent satisfaction.
According to Software Advice online survey (conducted over 304 large, medium and small businesses who use CRM software) – small businesses (those with 100 employees or fewer) are “very satisfied” (37 percent) or “somewhat satisfied” (33 percent) with their current CRM system.
This clearly proves how well is the CRM performing for the small businesses.
What kind of benefits do the small businesses get from CRM?
- Customer Data Management
- Customer Relationship Management
- Customer Interaction Tracking
- Lead Management
- Sales Forecasting
- Sales & Marketing Automation
- Project Management
- Workflow Standardization
- Internal & External Team Collaboration
- Social Media Management.
It is interesting to see that CRMs are delivering on so many more areas (such as project management, team collaboration, sales and marketing activities) other than customer relationships.
The reason behind this is the objective to expand the scope of CRM from just a Customer Management Tool to a full-fledged Business Management Application.
That is why, sales, marketing and project management features have been integrated to the system. This has made CRM a more significant tool for every business as it has more features and benefits that result into revenue generation and growth.
The right choice of CRM
In order to get the benefit from CRM, it is important to select the right technology. However, due to so many different types of CRM solutions available – it can get confusing for small businesses to make the right selection.
Some of the factors to take note while choosing a CRM are:
1. Ease of Use
2. Mobile functionality
5. Frequency of CRM upgradation
6. Open APIs
7. Cloud or On-premise
8. Security Measures
9. Support Service.
In addition to these elements, small businesses should also consider their own goals that they wish to fulfill through the CRM.
Example: if they are looking for CRM to automate most of their routine data entry work, then they should look for a CRM that has a robust automation module.
Michael Kristian, CEO of Asuret (business consulting firm) also has the same point of view –
“You need to get a package that’s tailored to your company’s size. At the most basic level you have simple contact management. Then you have contact management with a shared database. You can have sales tracking or opportunity tracking or customer service functionality. Match the capabilities of the software with what your business goals are.“
Once small businesses have CRM by their side, they will automatically develop a tight grip over their business process. Customer relations will improve which will result into a better and continuous flow of ROI.
It’s just that small businesses need to opt for the CRM that is correct for their business. Right? Or do you think that there is some other factor also that plays a key role in ensuring the success of a CRM?