CRM Reading Lounge: CRM & General Articles

Big Data for Small Business CRM

In today’s data-driven world businesses of every size or kind must have a strategy in place to tackle the ‘gold-mine’ of data, analyze it and use the results from this analysis into something valuable to their business.

What is Big Data?

Big Data is a relatively new paradigm that has been gaining massive popularity. The term refers to collection, processing and usage of huge volume, huge velocity, huge variety of digitized and unstructured data to improve how organizations make important decisions and operate their business. Here the data in the form of text, video and audio files, or any other information that can’t be processed as easily like conventional database data is.

Analytics of such massive data can substantially improve decision making, minimize risks, provide timely insights on a company’s customers, enhance productivity and competitiveness of organizations using it. With superior insights into customer needs, businesses can serve their customers better than before.

Is Big Data here to stay?

Fueled by the rapid adoption of mobile devices and Internet being accessible to more and more people, the sheer volume of digital data is predicted to grow 40% per year worldwide through 2020. Moreover, according to a research by IBM, 90% of the total volume of data worldwide was generated during the last two years, the data includes personal data, experiences, preferences, thoughts etc. of Internet users, a treasure of critical information for companies. Per Gartner, Big Data will be the next “disruptive technology” and will transform customer relationship management technology.

Big Data and CRM

Most companies now have a CRM system in place to manage its leads, accounts, sales processes. These systems are being used by the sales, marketing and service teams to explore more sales opportunities and offer better services.

But in most areas CRM is still limited to be used only as contact management software, it only structures the information that is put into it, but misses out the wider perspective. Integrating Big Data to the CRM may offer bigger picture to the situation. Let’s take for instance social CRMs which capture human behavior and social interactions, this trove of information can offer in-depth insight about customers which then can be used to create personalized and tailored services for them.

Should small businesses even consider leveraging Big Data?

A mismatch Big Data and Small Business? No not at all.

Adopting and investing into Big Data is paying off for many companies, with their Big Data initiatives yielding healthy returns on moderate investments.

Let’s look at how small businesses can benefit –

  1. Superior customer understanding – The CRM solution can be applied to define patterns and correlation between various sets of data. This analytics will let a company track its most valued customers so that they receive preferential and targeted treatment to extend their lifetime value.
  2. Enhanced customer service – The right data can help you make informed and intelligent decisions on what type of content to write, what products/services to pitch and help you develop appropriate marketing offers that will drive sales.
  3. Improved efficiency – While the analytics will help in analyzing performance of the organization in offering sales, marketing and customer support services, it will also aid in determining the performance of products and services, how to sell and market them better.
  4. Better decision support – Once the statistics are in place, organizations will be able to support their decision with appropriate data. Critical decisions can be made based on how to design better products, how products are performing, how to profitably sell and market the products and generate extra revenue.
  5. Spot trends and take necessary actions – The analytical insight will help businesses in understanding changing customer trends, needs so that they can plan accordingly.

The following CRM applications have Big Data capabilities built into their products –

Nimble Social CRM

While being a powerful CRM for small businesses, Nimble has superior Big Data capabilities too. Nimble can automatically pull your contacts into one place so you can engage them across any channel be it social channels like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or via Skype, Phone, Email. It will automatically collect data that will helps nurture business relationships, provide intelligent insights, searchable signals.

Social CRM by PocketStop

A veteran amongst social CRMs, the social CRM by PocketStop with its ‘BECKY’ methodologies can help transform data into feasible, immediate action plans that start and maintain conversations with consumers. Transaction as well as lifestyle from
social networks can be fed into its social CRM for relevant and timely communication.