Customer relationship management (CRM) has been growing steadily for years, and by next year, the industry is expected to hit $36.5 billion worldwide.
Sharing information is critical to business operations. Silos of information create loss—both in knowledge sharing and in bottom line profits—because they create gaps in your business that your customers feel.
CRMs provide consistency in the way information is captured and stored. Whenever someone calls a customer, sends out a marketing email or survey, or receives a customer inquiry, that conversation or interaction is recorded in a standard template, providing a clear path for anyone in the future to both access and contextualize the interaction.
Why become a CRM-believer?
If you are new to the idea of a CRM, don’t be intimidated. A CRM system, at its core, is really just a database. The difference is, rather than everyone having their own individual list of contacts in their email system or a spreadsheet, they share this information in a company’s system. That typically includes data about prospects, customers, vendors, partners, as well as mailing and e-mail addresses.
New research published by GetApp, the largest cloud-based business apps marketplace, addresses a significant disconnect between the benefits of CRM versus the belief within the small and medium-sized businesses that their operations are simply too small for a CRM solution. In fact, the top 4 reasons small business owners either shy away from or don’t consider using CRM are:
- My business is too small for a CRM (31.86%)
- What’s a CRM? (21.88%)
- I think CRMs are too expensive (16.99%)
- I couldn’t find one that fits my business (13.91%)
Look at the bigger picture
It’s important to overcome these barriers. A CRM can make the difference between delighting or disappointing both your customers and employees. Case in point: Customers expect that speaking to one person in your company is the equivalent of speaking to everyone. Any employee who picks up the phone should know what a customer has purchased, what promises have been made, what communications have occurred, and what goals they want to achieve using your product or service.
CRMs accomplish that goal by providing a single source of real-time data about each customer. Changes are captured immediately so that there’s never a conflict or loss of information, thus enabling individualized service to be provided to the people who matter most: your customers.
The secret to CRM success
The secret to CRM success is that everyone is on the same page. A CRM system provides security for your customer database. Everyone knows exactly what information has been communicated and exchanged with every customer. Having a reliable single source lets an entire organization—no matter how large or small—be consistent in external communications and messaging.
About the author
Insightly was designed as a simple to use yet powerful Web-based CRM system for small businesses. With integrations to widely used applications such as Google Apps, Office 365, MailChimp, and Dropbox, Insightly CRM keeps you connected to the right information at the right time—including contacts, sales information, project activities, and more. Because we handle all of the technical issues like server upgrades and security fixes, you can focus on growing sales, not maintaining an IT support staff. Insightly CRM helps you concentrate on what matters most, running your business.