The importance of CRM for SMEs

Ask any of the several small and medium enterprises (SME) to list one of their biggest problems and chances are that difficulty in retaining customers will be on the list. While bigger and well established brands get a head start with their established brand attracting new and repeat customers, SMEs often fail to keep up the numbers in retaining older clients in today’s tough competitive business environment.

Things are however taking a change for good with many SMEs exploring the use of customer relationship management software or CRMs to allow for a better business growth and a well established customer retaining program.

Here is how SMEs are using CRM more effectively and ways in which CRMs have been aiding SMEs to grow their business successfully.

An overview of CRM: CRM is customer relationship management software that helps any company or organization to achieve its growth potential using various data tools. From attaining customer information to measurement of profit and customer satisfaction for each client, CRMs use data analysis to help businesses grow and achieve their potential.

CRMs are now cost effective: Usually CRMs have been associated with bigger companies and brands while SMEs and other small business entities did not consider using CRMs for their high cost structure. Things are slowly changing with CRMs now becoming far more cost effective and easily available for SMEs. CRMs based on SaaS or software as a service model has helped SMEs with cost effective solutions.

Five ways in which CRM’s are useful for SMEs:  Here are five ways in which customer relationship management or CRM software is useful for SMEs and can help them enhance their business growth.

Improved customer interaction: Using a CRM could help SMEs to improve their customer interaction levels. An increased customer interaction is one of the first steps towards attaining customer loyalty. CRMs are able to track all dealing the SME makes with the end user, from the advertising to the selling of goods or services, after sales etc and tracks it down to the last mile.

Compared to a company which just sells its products and services, any client would prefer a company that keeps communicating with the customer and offers a proactive help for any assistance. CRMs can therefore help companies increase their loyal customer base.

Better communication system: CRM allows SMEs to maintain a well refined in house communication system. Usually SMEs are not very active in handling various dedicated departments and have people doing a whole lot of multitasking. With CRM software in place, SMEs can track each department and help the company and its employees to be on the same page as the top management.

Data management and integration: With global outlook businesses have become all about data. From the data of the customers to those of raw material suppliers, advertising channels, after sales support team each business entity is drowning in data. SMEs have been in the past not using such an active database to their advantage.

With CRMs, small companies can manage their data effectively helping them track various trends useful for their business growth in the long term. CRM offers effective data management along with additional benefits which augers well for small business establishments.

Improved overall performance: Small businesses have usually been traditionally looking to increase their sale quantum without checking on their actual performance or growth. A growth was just considered through the prism of higher sales.  With CRMs in place, companies and SMES can now track their overall performance based on multiple parameters helping the company grow organically and inorganically.

Social media management: SMEs have been the last ones to make use of social media channels for their business growth effectively. Even today only a small percentage of Indian SMEs have a real social media presence to spread information, track sales and interact with customers. CRMs help SMEs to have a social media management tool which can offer the advantages for using social media as a platform for business growth and client retention.

Traditionally SMEs focused only on sales but now companies are also focusing on customers and overall business growth. Please share your views on this.


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