Today’s small to medium businesses, (SMEs) face continuing challenges. These challenges include winning more business, shortening the buying cycle, providing quality products and services at competitive market rates, and keeping cash flowing. To do this, management and owners need visibility of all areas of their business like never before. This is why CRM is critical to SME’s.
Help is at hand. Successful businesses are increasingly taking advantage of the adoption of cloud technology, to implement low cost CRM software. However a new report by Capterra states that large numbers of SMEs in the UK still don’t see the value in investing in CRM.
CRM is Critical for SME’s
The Capterra research outlines why CRM is critical to SME’s. Less than a third of UK SMEs currently use CRM software, and 34% have no plans to introduce one. Most of these say they keep track of their customers either by using spreadsheets or good old pen and paper. However, they also state that their biggest issues include:
- having incorrect customer data,
- having difficulty tracking their customer interactions and follow ups,
- feeling that marketing is too time consuming to bother with,
The Capterra report indicates that SMEs that use CRM software understand their customers better, gives better visibility within their business and manages their relationship more effectively. Resulting in greater customer retention and increase revenues.
The business areas for CRM.
It’s vital for SMEs to track their return on their marketing activities. CRM enables the accurate measurement and return on investment of each campaign. It provides them with the insight to understand what activities generate the most valuable leads.
SMEs need to understand their sales cycle. Supporting this they need to ensure the processes in place maximise all new business opportunities as efficiently as possible. This can be achieved with real-time, accurate sales forecasts and the ability to manage pipelines effectively.
Smooth processes can help ensure a greater customer experience. Research has revealed that people are willing to spend up to 20% more on a service or product if they receive better customer service. Every step in your sales process from confirming, processing, and delivering customer orders should be flaw-less. This helps to ensure your customer has a great customer experience.
Cashflow management is an integral part of any business. Visibility of financial transactions within the CRM offer visibility on the accounting transactions including raising invoices and cash collected.
SMEs need to rely on technology to underpin and manage business processes. Yet the reality is that many organisations are operating below their capacity. They do not have the technology backbone to achieve the efficiency and transparency required to reach business goals. Low cost cloud based CRM can help overcome this hurdle.
More often than not SMEs have standalone applications to manage each of their core business processes. These include MS Excel sheets, accounting systems, manual sales records, MS Outlook and MS word.
These applications don’t ‘talk’ to each other. This can lead to departments missing key information and the duplication of information and data.
Decide – Act – Evaluate
The great think about being an SME is the ability to anticipate and react instantly to changes in market conditions and customer demand. In the time it takes one business to pull the necessary data and information together, its competitor could have already acted on its own intelligence.
How do businesses stay ahead of the competition? The answer is to consolidate all business information on to one technology platform. CRM achieves this. CRM will allow everyone in your business to have visibility of all the information that is relevant to do their job effectively. With clean data, clear customer records and transparency across the departments you will be able to not only market more effectively but also record, measure and forecast your sales and drive greater revenue.
ProAptivity focus on the implementation, training, and support of highly customised CRM software solutions for SME’s. Our CRM software provides the customer insight needed for management and control of businesses in drive greater revenue.
If you want to assess if your business is CRM ready, maybe some of our ebooks could help! Alternatively visit Maximizer CRM for more information. Contact us today on 028 9099 6388 or via firstname.lastname@example.org for a free review consultation on why CRM is critical to SME’s.