Customer relationship management (CRM) vendors once only catered to the big players when they developed a CRM solution. The solutions were complex, some still are, and were difficult and time consuming to implement. Its obvious, and has been for some time, that small businesses can get value from a quality CRM system, which is why more vendors are making their solutions compatible to new markets.
You need a way to track contacts, keep a schedule of your sales opportunities and organize your tasks, which has been the traditional role played by CRM for many years. You should expect more out of your CRM though. You should be able to use it not only for tracking contacts, but also for improving relationships with them.
Now that you have a choice of solutions from which to choose, you need to ask yourself some questions about what your needs are now and what theyll be in the future. You need to look into opportunities where your CRM can help you organize data about your clients and that help you draw conclusions that lead to better sales opportunities.
Vendors offer a variety of options today for your CRM solution. To find the one that is right for you, you should put together a team that can make a wish list of functions that will assist them in doing their jobs. Perhaps automation is important to your company? Pick a CRM solution that offers automation in the areas you need it. Maybe your sales team doesnt work around the typical goals related to sales successes, which means youll be looking for something other than the typical CRM. You can find CRM that allows you to customize and work the way you need it to.
Another tradition among the typical vendor is a lack of attention to the sales department needs. Sales departments have historically been left out of the CRM conversation, particularly in the area of reporting. Its obvious that most vendors arent lead by former sales reps because the tools involved with sales reporting are inconvenient at best, which is why the salesforce equipped with the wrong CRM solution will rarely send back reports.
Even with small businesses, the salesforce has a massive impact on the viability of the company. Since the salesforce is highly mobile, they deserve a mobile application that allows them to send reports from their mobile devices, whether its a smartphone, tablet computer or both. These reports need to be easy to generate, include automation so they are sent to the right individuals, and include camera functionality so specific information from signatures to displays can be sent easily along with the report. Companies like Front Row Solutions are currently working with clients with excellent mobile CRM solutions.