Does a small business owner really need a customer relationship management system? Though CRM solutions may sound like large enterprise technology, they are one of the easiest ways a small business can achieve better customer retention and faster customer acquisition. Through a CRM platform, small business owners are able to equalize their service offerings with their larger competitors. Here, we share the 5 C's of choosing the best small business customer relationship management system for you.
The 5 C’s of an Ideal Small Business Customer Management System
SMBs need affordable solutions. When considering the cost of a CRM, the total cost of ownership has to be considered, including licensing, maintenance contracts, equipment and other software integration. Cloud-based software solutions tend to be more affordable than on-premise platforms, as they don't require an investment in initial equipment or costly single-term licensing. Instead, cloud-based CRM platforms can be paid for through monthly fees.
Small business owners don't want to fight with their platforms. Instead, they need their platforms tailored to their industry and their business size, without any extraneous features or unnecessary peripherals. More popular CRM suites are able to be easily tailored to businesses in any niche, making it easier for SMBs to manage their customer information without having to learn how to work a difficult system.
Modern CRM solutions are cross-platform, meaning they can be connected to through the web, smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. The more convenient a system is, the easier a business owner and their employees will find it to continue their work from anywhere. Cross-platform, accessible CRM suites allow an SMB team to work together even if they aren't in the same office, and let SMB owners work from home and on-the-go as needed.
Advanced CRM solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM include the ability to fully manage marketing campaigns. This includes multichannel campaign management, lead scoring, sales collaboration and marketing intelligence suites. These advanced marketing tools can be easily leveraged by lean sales teams, making the sales process more efficient and providing more comprehensive marketing research and analysis.
To get the most out of a CRM, it has to be easy to integrate with an SMB's other technologies, including enterprise resource planning suites, document management systems and other logistics and planning solutions. Otherwise an SMB may find themselves spending time transitioning information from one platform to another, or operating with redundant and potentially inaccurate data. The best CRMs will be able to provide a full-service product suite, depending on which platforms the business requires.
Your customers are your company's largest asset, and you can protect them with a full service CRM. If you want to learn more about the benefits of a small business customer relationship management system, contact IES today.