A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system may be daunting to a new potential user, but when this system is applied correctly to a small business it has proven to be of major value. In fact an efficiently implemented CRM system has a measurable and often dramatic impact on a business’ bottom line.
There are two main areas that a well-implemented CRM system should address. Apart from the expected follow-up capabilities, it should assess who a business’ customers are and should point out how its resources are allocated to reach those customers. Your business thus has the tools to attract customers to your services or product and to provide them with exceptional service. Albeit a simplification of the system, improving on these two main areas through the application of a relevant CRM system, a small business would see value in its investment and ultimately ‘impact’.
Impact of CRM
CRM expert Paul Greenberg puts forward the concept that a CRM system should help your business achieve impact – not only to maintain your business, but to grow it too. Achieving ‘impact’ is the new ‘Holy Grail’ in CRM. The annual CRM Watchlist producer explains that if a customer thinks of your company when they want to buy something related to what you sell or do, you’ve achieved impact. Similarly, when your competitors consider you as competition. And if your company is considered as the ultimate solution in your field or industry, that is impact. A CRM system can help your small business achieve impact in the following ways.
Impact Through: The Competitive Advantage
It is widely agreed that in the current business world, businesses that prioritize customer experience is sustaining their competitive advantage. The information age has given customers great knowledge on products – through customer reviews, websites, social networks and so forth. The result? Customers tend to value their purchase experience more than the actual purchase of a product or service. Herein lies the value of a CRM. It can help you manage and guide a customer’s expectations throughout the touch points of sales and in doing so, meet or exceed their expectations.
Impact through: Value
A CRM system will aid your business in assessing the value of your customer. Not just determining the value of their purchase, but also insight into their networks and the value potential referrals would add to your business. A CRM system also provides the tools to retain your customer for future purposes through providing after-sales services or managing customer dissatisfaction. In practice a CRM is a tool to help identify where to allocate resources, by matching resources to value and decreasing spend on areas that show less value.
Research shows that adoption and efficient implementation of a CRM in a small business is statistically low. To achieve the ‘impact’ that a CRM system can offer, it is therefore essential to choose the right fit and to implement the system efficiently. SmallBizCRM has developed a CRM Finder tool to guide a small business through the process of choosing the right CRM solution. It’s free to use and you can try it here: