Six Reasons Next-Generation CRM Should Be Part of Your Technology Roadmap
Today, only 25% of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) use a customer relationship management (CRM) solution, and just another 10% report that they plan to implement a CRM system this year.1
This finding is understandable for a few reasons. First, many SMBs start off with relatively simple methods of tracking key information, such as Excel spreadsheets, note cards and manual reports. These organizations may not think they can justify a CRM investment, especially if their current approach seems to get the job done.
Additionally, many SMB leaders may not have extensive experience with technology in general and CRM software in particular. These leaders may have other priorities and may need more convincing that CRM solutions can significantly improve status quo processes.
“By understanding customers’ preferences and histories, SMBs can tailor their offerings to their needs, building long-term relationships and increasing the chances of repeat business.”
Finally, many SMBs may think they have a CRM in place, since they may use one or two third-party systems, such as a customer contact database or a specialized shipping application. Yet systems like this may contribute to internal headaches: wasted time, inefficient processes, and a lack of meaningful, real-time information.
As SMBs experience new levels of success – exceeding growth targets, landing new customers, launching a new product line, or other milestone achievements – they can greatly benefit from the efficiencies a next-generation CRM solution brings. A next-generation CRM, while not formally defined, is often characterized as a cloud-native solution that incorporates many of the hallmarks of next-generation ERP: it has robust dashboards and reporting to support data-powered sales and marketing operations; it offers automated workflows; and a platform ecosystem with globalization, including multi-language and multi-currency support. As more SMBs evaluate if a CRM solution is worthwhile, they are likely to find that a cloud CRM is indeed a positive ROI generator, and a CRM implementation becomes a component of their technology roadmap
Consider these impressive benefits realized by BSN Sports, the biggest online distributor of sports equipment and team uniforms in the United States, after they implemented the next-generation CRM, Creatio:
- Increased their sales by 10%
- Decreased case processing time by 45%
- Achieved a 99% usage rate among the company’s 10 internal teams who use the system daily
A fast-growing electrical contractor, Sprig Electric, is also benefiting from its cloud CRM deployment:
- Increased lead volume by 120%
- Closed sales deal twice as fast
- Boosted operational performance by 70%
Note that the next-generation CRM is the tool; without a strategy and defined processes in place, such results would not be achievable.
Six Ways Next-Generation CRM Helps SMBs
While there are many advantages to next-generation CRM, here are six of the most important ways these solutions can help SMBs overcome internal challenges and support their most important goals:
- Centralized customer data: A cloud CRM system allows SMBs to gather, store, and manage customer-related information, all in one place. This helps SMBs gain a comprehensive, real-time view of each customer’s interactions, purchase history, and preferences. Fast, easy access to this data promotes better customer service and highly-targeted marketing efforts.
- Better sales and lead management processes: A next-generation CRM solution helps streamline the sales process by tracking leads, opportunities, and deals. It helps sales teams prioritize leads, follow up at the right time, and close deals more effectively, which leads to increased sales efficiency and faster revenue growth.
- Data-driven insights: Cloud-native CRM systems provide analytics tools that enable SMBs to track and analyze customer behavior, sales trends, marketing campaign effectiveness, and many other metrics. This data-driven approach helps in making informed business decisions and refining strategies in response to changing customer demands or market conditions.
- Task and workflow automation: Next-generation CRM solutions offer automation features that help optimize repetitive tasks, such as sending follow-up emails, scheduling appointments, and assigning tasks to team members. This saves time, increases overall productivity, and reduces the chance of human errors.
- Meaningful collaboration and communication: Cloud CRM solutions include features that facilitate internal collaboration and communication. Team members can easily share customer information, notes, and files, leading to better coordination and a unified approach towards customer interactions and problem solving.
- Increased customer retention and loyalty: By understanding customers’ preferences and histories, SMBs can personalize and tailor their offerings to their needs, building long-term relationships and increasing the chances of repeat business.
For those SMBs who have yet to implement a CRM solution, their rationale is understandable. Yet by adding next-generation CRM to a comprehensive technology roadmap, it could lead to significant benefits in the future.
To learn more about technology roadmaps and why a next-generation CRM solution should on yours, download our complete white paper, “A Comprehensive Technology Roadmap Can Deliver a New Competitive Advantage for Today’s SMBs.”
1 Business.com, “CRM Adoption, Market Size, and Usage in 2023,” July 31, 2023.