I’ve heard it countless times from IT solution providers: “small businesses do not need a customer relationship management (CRM) system.” But I disagree—I think that it depends on how one looks at a CRM and, of course, how one plans to leverage the software.
When you think of CRM as software that simply consolidates customer information and documents for business users to access, it’s probably not hard to see how managed service providers (MSPs) discount the value of a CRM to a small business. After all, why pay for expensive software that is basically a glorified rolodex? On top of that, it’s easy to see CRM as a “heavy rollout”—meaning a major overhaul to the company’s business, which implies a significant time and cost investment.
But CRM today can be so much more and so much less…at the same time.
Two-thirds of American consumers use social networking sites. And an estimated half a billion tweets are published on Twitter each day, with an incredible number of these tweets from prospective customers interacting with brands and brand advocates—the complete reverse from the traditional CRM-driven outbound call and email routine. Information and power is shifting to consumers. But the really good brands, both large and small, are interacting with potential customers through genuine responses that result in an honest and balanced exchange.
So Much More: Knowing that customers are prospecting companies just as much as companies are prospecting them, CRM gives smaller businesses a different approach to engaging customers. Evaluate your company’s digital footprint. Identify what social media content (if any) is being shared and how that can bring customers to you. Social media and other marketing tools are included in many CRM tools and have helped to align with the shift in how customers go through their decision making process. Customers are no longer thought of as a business card, but as someone that you’re having a meaningful conversation using your CRM tool. Social media activation is the tipping point of value for CRM in small business environments assuming…
So Much Less: The traditional price model for CRM installations doesn’t translate very well to small business. But the power of the cloud can be the great equalizer. Gone are the days of massive CRM implementations that often result in lackluster usage from the intended software users. They have been replaced by the opportunity for a small business to leverage a powerful SaaS-based CRM platform that is the right size and price, yet still delivers the functionality required to engage with potential customers in powerful ways. One great solution that’s part of Tech Data’s Microsoft ecosystem is Rapid Start CRM. Rapid Start CRM offers the basics to get organizations up to speed in a hurry with Dynamics 365, giving them rapid deployment plans at a fixed, competitive cost. It’s easy to customize, navigate and—most importantly—adopt, as there isn’t a need for a technical resource to implement it. Want to learn more about Rapid Start CRM?
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