Monday, December 24, 2007

Flexible Small Business CRM: The difference between success and failure

The marketplace is constantly evolving. So is the customer. Gone are the days when getting new customers was as easy as creating a bulk marketing program and sending out mails.

Today, the customer is more market savvy than ever. The capacity of the business to respond to change in an effective manner can well mean the difference between a successful business and a ‘trying to be successful’ one.

In such a scenario, the company’s CRM system can render crucial support in creating an agile and precise business model. It is even more important to have a completely flexible CRM model to avoid implementation failure and to keep that competitive edge.

If you venture into the market looking for a new Small Business CRM system, you will find that most vendors are selling customizable CRM solutions. But you need to understand what it really means to avoid an implementation disaster.

A completely flexible Small Business CRM system will be easy to customize, deploy, upgrade as well as integrate with your existing system.

Deeper into customization

You need to understand that there is no CRM solution that will be tailor made for your company straight out of the box. Changes will be required. While some of these changes will be anticipated and provided within the software itself, others will need technical alteration to be successful.

There is a huge difference in configuration and customization. So do not mix up the two. Configuration can be done by any employee of the company whereas customization might require a technical user. The process or workflow can be driven by logical scripts.

For example, if the collections department freezes an account, an internal mail is send out to all the concerned departments about the freeze.

Today, most CRM applications offer next level customization techniques. A graphical interface is a common sight. Not only does this enable easy adaptability but also allows you to configure and customize the Small Business CRM at multiple levels.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Get Custom CRM solutions for the best results

Today, every small business needs to have a CRM solution in place. The market is flooded with CRM vendors offering highly cost effective CRM solutions which will propel your small business into the spotlight. But before you go ahead and choose one of them, you need to know that simply choosing a CRM solution will not ensure success. The CRM solution needs to be completely customized to suit your business. There are innumerable benefits of choosing a customizable CRM solution.

Sales: Your sales department is one of the most crucial ones in the company. With the help of the right CRM solution, you can easily make it one of the main differentiating factors between you and your competitors. Shortening the sales cycle and improving close ratios, the CRM application will enable you to follow the best sales processes enabling you to win more deals. You will make the most out of every customer relationship and every new opportunity.

Marketing: The entire customer list can be refined to maximize its effectiveness. The lead quality and response rates will be enhanced via extremely personalized targeted campaigns. The best customers will be given the maximum attention thereby retaining them at the end of their lifecycle.

Service: Post sales, the customer service aspect of the CRM solution will take over. The right CRM solution will speed up the incident resolution and enhance the customer service with the help of precise and timely techniques. Self help platforms can also be set up to ensure that unwanted escalations are avoided and the service level agreement is met all the time.
The customer is changing continuously and so are his needs. It is up to the business to adapt to these changes and there is no better way to do it than a flexible CRM system. Remember, it could well mean your success or failure.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Enhancing customer Good-will with small business CRM

If you thought that being a small business is enough reason for you to avoid a CRM application, then think again. Small business CRM applications are the name of the game and no small business can be considered to be complete without one. In today’s extremely competitive business environment, even the slightest mistake or lapse in judgement on your part can lose you a customer.

On the other hand, with an effective small business CRM application in place, you can focus on creating high-profit sustainable relationships.

Each and every staff member of the company will be empowered with tremendous customer intelligence. The best practices which will guarantee you the best transactions and high profits will be highlighted.

Its customer all the way

Always keep it in mind that irrespective of what the size of your business is, it’s customers that will drive your business ahead. The customer of today is an extremely sophisticated and product aware being.

It isn’t easy to acquire new customers unless you have precise and personalized marketing plans in place. That’s not all. You need to retain your existing customers and prevent them from going to a competitor.

How are you going to do this? What is the benefit that you offer your customers? Is your customer support system effective enough? Which offers really excite your customers and will force them to stay with you?

Customer loyalty is something that needs to be earned and you have to work hard at it. And a CRM application is the only thing that makes all this possible on a single platform. The result will be an organization that knows its customers inside out and thrives on great customer relationships.

Alright, so you know that you can enhance the customer relationship with a CRM system. But how do you tailor the CRM to suit your company? That’s another challenge.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Is small business CRM really beneficial for a business firm?

Small business CRM is the most sort after word in today’s office environment. One tends to ponder as to the importance of small business CRM in the working of a business firm. Is it really needed or it is an overstated concept.

Small business CRM is a powerful suite of integrated sales, marketing and customer tools delivered online on demand from any place at any given point of time. It further facilitates the management of sales, customer service and marketing tasks in a user-friendly web application technique.

Small business CRM enhances the following functions with minimal time and effort:

  • Collection and analyzing of customer information.

  • Preparation of customer centric reports and documents without duplication.

  • Track record of each individual customer’s present and past relationship with the firm.

  • Automation of sale transactions.

  • Marketing techniques – budgets, advertisement.

  • Forecasting – demand and sales.

Small business CRM is no longer a strategy for a business firm, it has become the strategy in itself. Whether it is essential or not depends on the firm’s perspective to earn profit in the long run as well retain and maintain a credible amount of customer loyalty. It helps streamline the business communication strategies and open new avenues for expanding business with its marketing expertise. Small business CRM is definitely the most sort after business software helping in promoting customer goodwill which is the essence of any business firm.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

CRM the need of the hour for Small Businesses:

CRM application is an essential tool for small businesses. Most common misconception amongst small businesses is that CRM is only needed by the Big Business Houses. In reality it enables you to sell more effectively to your customers with specific unique customer-centric services. It guarantees installation, maintenance and up gradation at zero costs without changing your infrastructure.

The need for CRM Application for small business:

  • Analyzing customer information in the most efficient manner.

  • Free accessibility of information from a simple single server anywhere anytime by the management.

  • Streamlined approach which ensures automatic sales management enhancing the ROI.

  • A cost effective approach to achieve successful marketing campaigns.

  • Innovative web-base fully scalable anywhere any time.

  • Professional security levels maintained at all times ensuring a low risk data base.

CRM application provides world class technical expertise in combining, consulting and analyzing your critical business problems. It is no longer a part of the business strategy, it is the business strategy today. A good CRM program can assist you with efficient customer services, automatically track sales and forecast the market trends improving your over all turnover. Hence CRM is very essential for any small business and no longer an option.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Host CRM. Am I making the right choice for my business?

Check out few areas where Hosted CRM scores over traditional on-premises CRM:

For one, hosted CRM, or on-demand CRM, as they are commonly referred to be highly cost-effective compared with the on-premises applications. For small businesses, investing huge amounts on CRM application may not be a financially viable option. Hosted CRM’s on the other hand are extremely cost-effective. For just minimum monthly subscription amounts, and without investing in expensive hardware and custom software, you can access and use the suite of feature-rich CRM tools as per your business requirements.

Cost-effectiveness does not mean that you compromise on the quality of the solution. Hosted CRM solutions generally come with all the high-end features of an on-premises solution. Also, you have the additional benefit of anytime, anywhere access, without time of space confines.

Hosted CRMs serve as comprehensive collaboration tools, using which you can streamline your key business functions; sales, marketing and customer support. You can track and manage sales tasks, marketing processes and improve business-customer relationship without being physically present at your business location.

On-demand CRM solutions are hosted and run on a secure server maintained by the provider. This relieves small business owners from additional responsibilities such as application maintenance, upgrades, system security, etc., which is taken care by the provider itself.

Lastly, hosted solutions do not have extensive deployment and customization requirements. Also, the applications generally have a user-friendly intuitive interface, which makes it extremely easy to access and use.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

How to choose the right CRM solution for your small business?

So how to make the right choice? – Firstly, Don’t fall for all the hype put across to you. You need to focus on finding the right kind of solution that is simple, cost-effective, and yet provides the right blend of powerful features to manage your business customers

Gaining an in-depth understanding of your company goals is perhaps the first step to buying the right CRM solution for your business. Study your business nature; identify how important your customers are to you, and how you want to manage them. This influences the customer service levels, and to a great extent helps to identify the kind of customer support system you specifically require. Always bear in mind that your customer database is continuously growing. Look for a permanent solution to manage your entire customer support functions.

Can the CRM be easily integrated with your existing business structure, is perhaps the next question to ask yourself. Don’t forget cost effectiveness. It is advisable not to overdo the cost aspect. The right solution should definitely fit within your budget confines.

Quick deployment, ease of use, inexpensive installation and maintenance, rapid customization, reliability, assurance, redundancy, protection and choice, are few other areas you need to focus upon while choosing a CRM for your business.

Remember, choosing the right small business CRM solution is definitely not easy. There are literally hundreds of competing vendors to choose from. Worse, they all appear to be similar at a glance. Focus to find the right CRM solution that will help you Find, Keep and Add customers to your growing business.