By and large, small and midsize businesses have the same technology needs, as well as the same ultimate goals, as big businesses have. The importance of customer relationship management (CRM) in small and midsize businesses might therefore appear to be the same also, and to some degree it is.
However, it could be argued that CRM in a small to midsize company plays a more vital role in holding it all together than is the case in some large companies. Their IT departments may only have a few employees and generally they don’t have time to spare on the implementation of new software solutions, but in many cases their competitors are companies which are much larger. Their dependence on a good CRM can be a highly important factor in the day to day running of a small and midsize business. A small to midsize business deciding to install customer relationship management (CRM) software should look ahead to the future first. Their current needs may not stay the same, which is why they should purchase a CRM with big business thoughts. This ensures a seamless scaleable capability when it is needed. However, while the CRM needs of small to midsize businesses may be similar to big businesses, their budgets are millions of dollars below that of the big boys. This means that the choice of a good CRM for a small to midsize business must be made carefully.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, few small and midsize companies saw the need to invest heavily in CRM software. Now, with hindsight, we can see evidence that those who did invest in good CRM software have profited considerably as a result of their wise decisions. Part of the reason for this lies in the fact that when CRM software first saw the light of day in the mid 1990s, it was seen– and marketed– as solutions for large companies with huge, widely dispersed mobiles sales teams. Small to midsize businesses, in many cases, saw no need for such sophisticated solutions to their relatively simple problems.
Small-to-midsize companies need to know who their customers are just as much as big companies do. They need to know the exact stage of any given sales process, they need to know their best prospects and leads, they need to know the strengths and weaknesses of each member of their mobile sales team, and they need to know all this, or any part of it, instantly. That’s where the importance of CRM comes into its own.
With a good CRM software program, such as the GoldMine software, or ACT! software, any company, regardless of its size, can keep a close track on every sales-related activity. Through intelligent reporting facilities, strengths and weaknesses can be identified. Sales opportunities can be spotted and acted upon, thereby gaining an economic advantage over competitors who do not employ similar tools. CRM undeniably has a considerable importance in any small to midsize business. In fact, those not using CRM are likely to struggle more and more as time goes on.