Why should SMBs use a CRM? What are the advantages?

With a plethora of CRM’s in the marketplace, how can an SMB choose one that is right for them to help their business grow?

You’ve probably heard of complex and expensive CRM platforms that target large companies. Today, more platforms are designed for small and medium businesses that are simple to use, cloud-ready and very affordable. You no longer need to install equipment, maintain software nor require IT resources which can be expensive and time-consuming. CRM on demand provides real value for your business quickly with easy to use interfaces for users.

CRM, productivity and agility

CRMs have great qualities. Sales teams can be more productive and agile by having information and important details collected throughout the prospecting cycle at their fingertips. This will address client needs and contribute to relationships of trust. Real-time access to account data and related contacts allows timely interventions that can potentially shorten sales cycles. If a sales rep leaves, your client details are in your CRM and not scattered, which will make it easier to have a smooth transition to another rep.

Today, companies and customers work at an accelerated pace. Procurement decisions are taken quickly, and that’s why companies that adapt to this reality succeed, while others fail because they are too slow or at risk of losing sales.

Healthy customer relationship management practises

The customer experience contributes to the success or failure of businesses. Customers are increasingly demanding and sophisticated, and they will take their business elsewhere if you don’t deliver superior service they expect and deserve. Today, companies are challenged by efficient and transparent customer life cycle management in order to win and retain highly qualified and most profitable clients.

Sales forecasts at your fingertips

To be competitive and agile today, companies must have the means to access analytics quickly and easily. The company’s health requires constant monitoring to determine what works well and what needs attention. Adjustments to improve operations and increase revenue must be made based on reliable and accurate data. It’s easy to say but not so easy to do without the right tools. Managers are well aware that it’s often difficult or impossible to obtain the desired analysis on time to effectively run your business.With traditional enterprise software, getting tailored reports usually requires IT involvement along with delays taking up several days or weeks. With a cloud-based CRM, business intelligence is finally available in real time. Executives and managers can finally have instant visibility. Dashboards are available with sales performance information, pipeline forecasts, and a host of other marketing data.

A centralized database with current data

Business data is a vital asset to ensure success. Consider this scenario: your sales representative’s customer data is scattered across multiple Excel files, basic contact data in Outlook, conversations in their email tool and on their mobile phone. What happens when they leave the company? What will happen to the information about your customers?

A centralized CRM is critical to your business and is insurance that your customer data is secure along with history and current information. However, data quality is critical for success. Make sure your employees maintain good habits of routinely updating customer data and important business information such as opportunities, relevant documents such as contracts and proposals, etc.

So how about considering a CRM on demand and get your project started?

My next article will focus on tips to help you evaluate and select a CRM on demand for your business. Follow my blog! 

Andrée Des Lauriers

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