I am often asked, by small business leaders in particular, why they need a CRM application.
Many businesses simply use MS-Outlook, perhaps in conjunction with one or more spreadsheets, to manage their day to day business. Indeed, that works fine – but for how long?
In any case, lets look are some of the many pains that are cited when the issue is explored further:
- We spend a lot of time chasing leads that amount to nothing
- We have no idea which customers deliver the best returns to our business
- Our support team have no idea how to prioritise their time working on customer enquiries and complaints
- Many leads fall through the cracks and we find them when it too late!
- Getting our sales teams to work ‘together’ is a mammoth task
- There is a complete disconnect between our marketing and sales team, and so important leads are being lost
- I have no idea about the actual profitability of our products
- My sales teams are not ‘singing off the same hymn sheet’, always do their own “thing” and often working off product lists and price books that are out of date!
- Our average sales cycle time is getting longer and more complicated to manage
- We do a lot of administrative things manually, which burn time and money – and, ultimately, profitability
- We generate a lot of data, it’s all over the pace, and I never no which version of customer data can be trusted
- Customers sometimes complain they get an inconsistent quality of service from us
- We don’t know whether our processes and data management are legally compliant?
- Getting the right information in hand, when I need it, is an ambitious expectation!
- It may be difficult for us to scale our business as data volumes grow, staff headcount grows, and processes get more complex to manage
- I wish I could get access to my customer information on my mobile as I spend a lot of my time out of the office
- … and, the list goes on!
A CRM system is not, by any means, a magic bullet. But, it helps you optimise the way you and your teams work to deliver service most efficiently; it automates low-value processes, so you can reduce operational costs; and, it focuses your business activities on tasks that will deliver the best returns. This, in turn, leads to more profitable business, a more engaged customer base, and a happier workforce!
On further conversation, I’m then challenged with the perception that buying CRM software and implementing it takes a lot of time and money – often many thousands of pounds. That can be true. Many businesses have invested considerable sums in CRM initiatives, and CRM Consultants don’t come cheap.
However, many CRM packages these days cover most of the standard and most typical business requirements ‘out of the box’ and offer functionality to help you customise the solution relatively quickly. This is particularly true for most SMEs where requirements don’t tend to particularly complex.
We work with ZOHO – one of the world’s leading software vendors that provide powerful applications for SMEs. At this time, over 4.5 million users (340,000+ businesses) worldwide use ZOHO … so it’s a well loved and proven solution!
As for implementation costs – you have two options:
1 – Configure it yourself. With the right time, attention and learning, ZOHO offers a host of functions that are intuitive to use and help relatively ‘non-technical’ users construct their applications with ease; or,
2 – Use a ZOHO Consulting Partner. Many businesses who are ‘time poor’ or have limited resources opt to engage an experienced Zoho Consultant. This approach helps ensure you have a solution developed to your requirements, in a quicker timeframe, and one that accords with ‘best practice’ standards. In fact, for many businesses, this approach actually leads to a lower cost implementation!
My business, ZED Consulting, is one such ZOHO Consulting Partner. We develop applications on ZOHO that can be basic lead and opportunity management systems, or hugely complex fully integrated business automation systems.
At the lighter end of the scale, especially for those SMEs that want to discard using Outlook/Spreadsheets and embrace the power that CRM can really deliver, we offer a range of highly discounted, fixed price and fixed scope implementations that start from only £995+VAT (limited time offer).
To learn more and book a demo, call me on 07803 505211 or book a free consultation directly through this link:
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