by Luke Moreland
Published on 7 October 2014
In the SmartCompany 2014 Small Business Technology Survey 56 percent of small to medium-sized enterprises reported being reluctant to use a CRM. The overall trend does still show an increase from 36 percent using CRMs in 2013 to 41 percent in 2014. That indicates that businesses are increasingly harnessing new technology to grow their business. But the question remains:
Let's take this one at a time…
This is a legitimate concern when you are in survival mode and scrambling to keep afloat. Put your head down and get as much done as possible. That might work for a while.
But imagine you are a car mechanic struggling to make a business changing tires and all you have is an old jack. You are under the car covered in grease and outside is a salesmen selling a hydraulic lift? And you are too busy to waste your time? It may be an investment, but think of how much faster you can change tires.
Awareness about what technology can improve your business can really pay off down the road and sometimes almost immediately.
Many small business CRMs do not even demand much time or money at all. They are designed for the needs of entrepreneurs with a scarcity of both of these resources. Just start using it and start selling more efficiently using practical tools. There's no need to learn a complicated new system.
Start relating to your customers with more personality and soul at the same time you take the pressure off yourself to remember all the details of every professional relationship.
Bring all of your team's contacts and sales interactions in one place. And make it available to you wherever you are. It is in the cloud and on your mobile giving you access to the workings of your business whenever you need it.
If a small business CRM doesn't fit into your strategy of how you want to expand, then maybe you don't need it. Like many technologies, CRMs are tools that work well only if accompanied by thoughtful use and planning. Implementing a CRM in an effective way requires a plan for growth suited to the scale of your business. Simply paying for a CRM and expecting everything to be done for you is a mistake. Ideally, you should know in advance what you want to get from the CRM and how you want to use it.
The more stellar your strategy the more excellent your CRM becomes.
Sometime long-term strategy is hard to come by in the ever-changing world of business. If you can't see exactly where on the horizon your business will be in six months, much less 5 years, the decision about a small business CRM can seem daunting. Many founders of the CRMs out there draw on years of experience in the business world. And they design their CRMs to suit the trajectories of businesses starting at under ten employees and moving to 60 and then 300.
Whether it is delivering first-rate customer service to 100 clients or ten thousand, small business CRMs are available that anticipate how your business will grow and provide great tools to get there.
Many CRMs cost less than $10 a month per user and come with 30-day free trials. Over here in Barcelona a menu at McDonald's costs around $10 after converting from the Euro. Any CRM you can find on GetApp is worth more than a monthly meal at McDonald's. Seriously, there is a lot of competition out there and prices have been driven to a reasonable standard. Again, if you have a little bit of money to spend, many of these technologies could provide a substantial ROI.
We're curious. If you have a different reason why your small or medium sized business is not using a CRM please comment below and let us know. We'd learn from a lively discussion.
Relationship Intelligence that will make you and your team become more sensitive sales reps. Nurture the business relationships that matter, manage leads more efficiently and sell more. An extremely intuitive interface that lets you know exactly when you might be about to lose a lead. It is just the kind of technology based intelligence that fills in for our natural limitations.
Made by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs this CRM/ERP solution includes an array of practical features to help small and medium sized businesses get organized. Sellsy makes it easy to set up CRM pipelines, invoicing, time tracking & billing, tasks management for the whole team, a helpdesk ticketing system, purchases and inventory management and more.
If you feel overwhelmed by your inbox, your excel spreadsheets, and your overflowing contacts, it might be time to try something new. Insightly small business CRM is a customer relationship and project management software that puts everything in one place and lets you roam free on the device you choose. Designed to integrate flawlessly with other applications like Evernote and Dropbox, this is one CRM that doesn't make you start over and helps you start saving time from the beginning. Use it for $7 a month.
A customer service product from Salesforce specifically made with SMEs in mind. It is easy to set up and easy to use and offers multi-channel support including a natural way to engage customers reaching out on social networks. Set up communities so that customers get involved in answering each other's questions. And when your business scales Desk.com integrates perfectly with Service Cloud, another CRM from Salesforce for companies with more complex needs.
You could run an entire business with just this software. NetSuite CRM+ includes sales force automation, marketing automation and customer support and service. It covers the complete customer lifecycle and helps you customize and manage every stage. The service comes with detailed analytics that breakdown the efficiency of the entire process from lead generation to the closing of a sale.
A communication tool that helps you connect. If your relationships are the foundation of your business you want to maximize the potential of every contact. That's what Contactually does for you. It is a system that reminds you of the people that you need to reach out to and even offers you help in crafting a message with context sensitive email templates. It is a way of automating the complexity of your business network, but the result is not robot like communication. It gives you an opportunity to give more of yourself to the highest priority relationships.
Give your small business a hydraulic lift with a CRM that boosts your sales and nurtures your customer relationships. Take a look at the tremendous variety of options of customer management software on GetApp.