Small business CRM solutions are typically designed to meet the day-to-day requirements of an SME. They provide the opportunity to remove manual processes and error-prone spreadsheets from being used as a database to store customer information and increase the visibility of critical information across departments.
Regardless of the industry you specialise in, your business will have its own strategy, target market, products, services and sales cycle. Therefore, an SME needs a CRM system that is unique to its requirements. Businesses recognise the need to have a CRM system in place, although it’s not uncommon for an SME to see CRM systems as an expensive investment with modules that are deemed overkill for their requirements.
CRM for small business doesn’t have to be complex with modules that go unused. It also doesn’t have to be expensive and problematic to maintain. Many small businesses just need a CRM solution that is unique to them, easy-to-use and one that can grow with the business.
Why do you need CRM software?
Small businesses are turning to CRM software to improve the management of customer information. Customer relationship management improves relationships with customers and drives company growth. It increases the visibility of customer information across departments and influences the way in which a business interacts with them.
Many small businesses often use a spreadsheet as a customer database. This can lead to error-prone, manual processes, which can result in miscommunication and out-of-date information. A CRM solution helps to remove any process bottlenecks that may occur so that a business can enhance customer communication and relationships.
Successful businesses rely on their customer base to help them grow. If customers are not looked after they will leave and move to a competitor. CRM software reduces this risk by helping an SME to better manage information, sales pipelines, lead management, targeted marketing activities and customer services.
Common uses for small business CRM include:
- Small business sales tracking e.g. tracking lead activity, managing sales pipeline and scheduling follow-up activities
- Marketing e.g. targeted marketing campaigns, social media
- Management e.g. assigning leads and tasks, monitoring customer status and follow up activities
- Accounting e.g. customer placed on credit hold
- Customer Services e.g. support tickets, customer surveys, social media
What to look for in small business CRM software
There are many mainstream CRM solutions that can cater for a multitude of business processes. While they offer standard functionality and features, small businesses can find that out-of-the box CRM systems are too expensive, and contain modules that they will never use. Business processes and requirements can change frequently, which need to be reflected in the way systems and applications are used. However, some CRM systems are not capable of customisation and can restrict the progress of the business.
In many instances, a small business just needs an easy-to-use CRM application that can remove error-prone spreadsheets. A solution to better manage customer information and relationships with the ability to customise modules and workflows when the business needs it.
Common requirements for small business CRM software include:
- Cloud-based with mobile access for remote users
- Customisable to exact business requirements and processes
- Integration with other business software and applications
10 considerations when buying or building CRM for small business
CRM software helps small businesses manage their customers and prospects, improve workflow processes and streamlines day-to-day operations. Because there are many CRM solutions on the market it can be a minefield to find a CRM system that is the right fit for your business. To help you start your research into CRM software, here are some helpful points that need consideration:
- Why do you need CRM software?
- What features does it need? e.g. sales and marketing
- How much are you willing to pay?
- Can you easily add more users if the business grows?
- Is the CRM solution flexible and customisable to grow with your business?
- Can you easily integrate the CRM system with other software e.g. accounting/ERP, email marketing solution or eCommerce web store?
- Is it cloud-based? Can it be used on a desktop and remotely on a mobile device? e.g. smartphone, tablet
- Is it secure? How is customer data protected?
- Is it easy to maintain?
- Is it easy-to-use?
Benefits of cloud-based CRM for small business
There are many business benefits that a CRM system can deliver. A CRM system increases the visibility of critical information to help the company grow, it can remove repetitive manual administration tasks and make your employees work more productively.
Common benefits achieved through CRM software include:
- Increased visibility of customer information across the business
- Reduction of error-prone, manual administration tasks from employee workloads
- Improved sales management processes e.g. lead tracking, sales pipeline and lead allocation
- Enhanced marketing campaigns due to improved customer and prospect profiling
- Streamlined communication processes with customers and internal departments
- Enhanced customer service levels and customer satisfaction
For more information on how CRM for small business can improve your customer relationship management processes, download the brochure below, or call us on +44 (0) 330 99 88 700.