Every where you turn the buzz is about customer relationship management or CRM and how it is the best thing for boosting your companys profits. But is CRM a reality for small business? Great news! It is affordable for all business!
First its important to understand what CRM is. CRM is more than just a technology. It is the final step in creating an effective customer relationship management system. CRM is a system that retains and analyzes customer data. Its a powerful tool that can change the entire dynamics of your business and it can increase your profits. It is a well known fact that if your business methodology doesn’t see customers as a long term investment neither will your staff so you will get little commitment from your employees.
It is critical that you invest time in your customer and make them the most important element of your business. Then its vital that you train your staff to understand the importance of the customer. Once youve got the foundation in place your CRM technology can deliver the results you need to improve the success of your business. Generally a small business begins with an idea an entrepreneur has. That idea after being tested and researched for feasibility turns into a business and the success of that business will rely on the customer.
Once your business is up and running its time to start looking at CRM software. There are plenty of excellent programs on the market such as Goldmine. Goldmine provides you with excellent database capabilities that allow all of your departments to benefit.
Your sales department can evaluate data to determine whether product lines need to be changed. Marketing can build advertising campaigns on the data thats been collected, and accounting can have a look at the numbers. Who would have thought so much power could be packed into one CRM software package. There are many options on the market but Goldmine is definitely in the top 5 when it comes to choices.
Entrepreneurs with small businesses tend to operate with fewer staff members so they are looking for solutions that are quickly deployed without interrupting the businesses day to day operations. The solution need to resolve key issues in different departments such as activity analysis, reporting, sales reporting, and contact management to name just a few areas.
A small business owner is not looking for a system that is slow to implement, or overly complex. A small business needs CRM software thats easy to install, easy to learn, and easy to use. Goldmine is a good example of such software.
We know that CRM software is a reality for small business but for your CRM software to provide you the best value you need to determine a few things in advance of implementation.
1. Sales needs to have sales methodologies that are understood and employed. Win-loss rations, forecasting, and overall sales effectiveness needs to be completely understood.
2. Marketing must understand how effective advertising campaigns are, strength of the customer database, and how to use lead sources for analysis.
3. The Service Dept. must be able to measure their service levels and know what their service level contracts encompass to make sure that customer satisfaction is addressed.
4. The Finance Dept. will be responsible for accounting procedures, provide projections, and other financial type reporting.
For a CRM system to be fully accepted there must be acceptance at all levels. For a system to be successful you need your staff to buy in and take responsibility for collecting the information that is needed. In only a short time theyll be wondering how they lived without their CRM system.
Now that you know that a CRM system is a reality for a small business what are you waiting for? Isn’t it time you got ahead of the competition?