Published on: August 19, 2013
Today’s small businesses are facing new and more complicated challenges, and they need to retain more customers with fewer resources than ever before. As a rule, smaller companies have been slower to adopt customer relationship management (CRM) software. However, as the importance of customer retention has risen, many small companies are realizing the value of CRM software to their business. It is a cost effective way to help businesses build solid relationships with their clients.
As small businesses grow, they may not be able to maintain the same level of personal contact with their clients as when they first started out. Customers might start to feel like they matter less to the company and begin to look elsewhere for products or services.
Some small-business owners think it is more affordable to utilize free solutions, such as spreadsheets and email, but this can lead to disorganization. CRM is often a total business solution for small companies, and it can help businesses streamline their operations and identify new prospects.
CRM can also help small business owners improve their relationship marketing and maintain personal connections with customers. Many companies recognize the value of building a loyal client base instead of focusing all their attention on attracting new customers. CRM can make it easier for small businesses to market to their existing clients, as well as help sales managers identify frequent customers (and sell more to them), focus on the best clients and find new prospects easily. CRM software can also make it easier to stick to sales timelines and perform customer calls regularly, which will build company loyalty. As small companies grow, they can still maintain the same level of personal interactions with their customers.
How should small businesses choose CRM?
When deciding on a CRM solution, small business owners need to focus on the following qualities:
- Product features
- Price adaptability
- Customizable options
- Backup solutions
- Vendor reliability
Most small business owners focus on the price alone; however, they need a CRM solution with the right degree of functionality. CRM is sometimes seen as an IT decision, but it is important for the sales and marketing teams to have the features they need to be more productive. Since small companies usually have tighter budgets, cloud-based CRM solutions can be more affordable and offer the capabilities managers need.
Small companies need to consider their present and future needs when deciding on a CRM solution. If implementing a CRM solution would cause management to completely realign the business strategy, it might not be the right software. A CRM with a variety of customizable options can make it easier for the small business to get the solution up and running, and it may be easier to adapt for future needs. Having a range of adjustable features can reduce the time small-business owners need to spend to make CRM work for the company.
Implementing a CRM solution can seem challenging for small businesses, but the software can help them place a greater emphasis on their growing customer bases and have better connections with existing clients. Companies can measure how well they are performing and gain new insights into consumer behavior.
If your small business is in the market for a CRM solution, check out Sage CRM. Designed to integrate with your ERP solution, Sage CRM equips you with the tools you need to find new customers, close sales faster, and build lasting, more profitable relationships across all channels of your business. If you are interested in Sage CRM or would like to learn more about the solution, contact us today.