Yes there are benefits of CRM to SMEs!

[fusion_text]What are the benefits of CRM to a small organisation?

There is one chain of thought which takes the view that CRM is just for bigger companies and that an organisation has to be of a certain size, with so many clients, in order to receive the benefits and the returns such an investment can offer.

There is some truth in this point of view, but quite frankly, my view is that CRM and more importantly, a CRM programme and strategy should be put right at the top of the list of objectives for all SMEs. There are multiple benefits of CRM to SME’s

Getting new clients and retaining them is crucial in any business. For an SME, it is vital. Having to contend with funding and cash flow issues, masses of varied things to do with limited resources and many different calls on your time, running an SME requires you to be nimble and forward thinking, as well as having an innovative approach to customer and new business management. This blog offers ideas as to how early planning and the use of CRM can make such a big difference to the ongoing success of any small and medium sized enterprise.

1. Most SMEs have some sales people, but all SMEs have employees, so think about all the people in your company, what they do and who they talk to. They don’t only talk to clients, but they have their own contacts as well. Encourage fellow directors and others to be customer and people friendly. This is not to suggest that everyone should become a salesman, merely that they should keep their eyes and ears open and pass on interesting ‘leads’. They will become informal adjuncts to your sales team.

2. Give all your employees the occasional talk about selling (don’t inundate) and more importantly, what benefits your products provide. Incentivising may be part of this strategy, but often, just being recognised for effort can produce surprising results!

3. Keep a record of where sales come from. Remember that happy clients tell others, so make your clients happy – with you! Keep in touch with them, give them what they want, respond to their queries quickly and efficiently, answer the phone with a ‘happy’ voice. Make sure that all client facing staff are kept informed about previous client interactions and aim to deal with any issue on the first call.

4. Start thinking about the information you need to know about your clients and what you would like to know about prospective ones. Discuss with the team where your business is most likely to come from and once established, add more effort into doing those ‘things’ that will encourage more to come from that source.

5. Decide your company message and brand to ensure consistency. Be a little bold, be different, stand out from the crowd. Given your limited resources, take some time to map out how you will market for new business and decide how you want to be perceived. The plan for your website, blogs and company literature should all reflect your rationale, your philosophy, what sets you apart, as well as the benefits you bring and the targets you want to achieve. This can all be phased: start with spreadsheets, then move forward with simple to use technology, at the appropriate time.

So what has all this got to do with CRM? There are two points to make. Firstly, it will encourage you to become ‘client aware’, to put clients at the top of your agenda and to make sure that all activities are undertaken within the company, which keeps customers in mind. It means that a positive culture of sharing, collaboration, recognition and reward will be set in place throughout the company, right from the start.

Secondly, the need for technology and, by inference, the right technology will become a ‘no brainer’ very early on in your business operations. Start simply, get staff going and then add to it. A CRM system will facilitate the strategies you have developed and will enable everyone to record and share information easily and quickly, to hold all relevant client and prospect details, to generate and save all client communications and provide immediate meaningful reports; this will drive the business forward in an exciting and enjoyable way.

Fundamentally, the benefits of CRM are multiple.  ProAptivity specialize in the design, implementation, training and support of organisation’s in implementing CRM. To find out more information, contact Niall on 028 9073 5630 for your free consultation to understand how CRM can benefit your business.[/fusion_text]

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