While some small businesses may be able to get by with documenting customer history manually, this practice could be holding them back from truly growing their business. More than just customer history documentation, when fully utilized, a CRM system can fuel productivity that significantly impacts a small business’s bottom line.
When considering using a CRM system, businesses should move past the misconception that all CRM systems are geared toward large enterprises. CRM systems for small businesses are readily available and they specifically cater to small businesses. While the purpose of a CRM system for a small business and enterprise is the same, a small business doesn’t need all the horsepower as an enterprise.
According to Webopedia, the definition of CRM for small businesses is as follows: In CRM (customer relationship management) terminology, the phrase small business CRM is used to describe a lightweight CRM application that is designed to meet the needs of a small business.
Customer relationship management solutions provide you with the customer business data to help you provide services or products that your customers want, provide better customer service, cross-sell and up sell more effectively, close deals, retain current customers and understand who the customer is.
Some of the benefits of a CRM system for small businesses include visibility, accountability and scalability. Even with a small sales team you need insight into each customer interaction to provide the best possible service. For example, knowing what stage of the buying cycle your prospect is in and whether or not the prospect is using a competitive product can impact the way a prospect is approached. If this information is not readily available because it is stored on a salesperson’s personal computer or not documented at all, you risk losing the deal for reasons that could be avoided.
Another important factor for small businesses to consider is scalability. If your business experiences rapid growth, the processes you have in place must be able to scale to accommodate the complexities that come with a growing business. CRM systems for small businesses give the visibility into customer accounts that may be critical for your technical support team and its new customer onboarding process.
In short, small businesses shouldn’t shy away from CRM systems for fear of cost or technical capabilities. The benefits of having a system in place that helps to streamline processes and improve information sharing, often outweigh the risks.