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CRM Software: Delivering Significant Value to the Small Business
December 03, 2008
 
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software solutions can deliver significant benefit to the company and the customer. When properly selected and implemented, such a solution can empower the organization and its employees to deliver a better experience for the customer and more efficient processes for the company.
 
A recent VendorGuru.com article focused on CRM and positioned it as an affordable tool to manage the customer. For a highly competitive small business, a CRM tool is a must, serving as a multi-functional system for tracking and analyzing critical data about vital information.
 
The information that is often captured for the CRM tool includes purchasing decisions, demographics and other marketing-related data. Robust CRM databases allow for the use of minimal resources to track critical trends in current business. The implementation of a CRM software solution can also track opportunities for growth.

There is a growing trend in the world of increased spending on CRM systems as a result of the growing implementation of new CRM technologies in mid-sized companies. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau reported an increase in spending from $13.48 billion in 2001 to $19.61 billion in 2005.

In addition to the growth in spending, the competition between CRM vendors has also intensified, making solutions more affordable for small businesses. These businesses now have access to customizable and cost-effective CRM software to assist in the management of the current customer base.

When implemented properly, CRM tools provide the business with front-line sales and marketing data tracking that can encompass the entire operation. In addition, the solution will store historical figures and automated features will allow the small business to effectively and efficiently forecast sales, track customer preferences and customer service solutions.

While it is true that CRM software do come with a cost, the benefits that they provide greatly surpass any cost to the organization. For instance, the CRM solution will allow the company to eliminate its dependence on direct labor to identify and analyze sales data, marketing trends, demographics and other factors.

CRM software has been proven to increase the value of the customer/company relationship as they provide instant access to a particular buyer’s history. In the competition landscape that exists in nearly every industry, when a sales representative knows a client’s history prior to engaging in the sales pitch, he or she is able to establish a rapport when interacting with the customer.

Such an approach with the customer helps to create a more satisfying experience and therefore can build loyalty and drive strong revenues over the long term.  
 
For more, be sure to check out the CRM Software channel on TMCnet.
 

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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