Monday, February 9, 2015

How to Choose a web-based CRM for a Small Business

Make PC Health writes: There is no doubt that running a small business or start-up provides every day with new challenges.  With so many entrepreneurs striking out on their own in this economy, the number of small local businesses has grown dramatically over the last few years.  The one-to-one service possible in a local environment is what endears these startups to current and potential customers.  Getting a broader reach than the local zip code, with the same personal touch is what customer relationship management or CRM for small business is all about.
The biggest advantage of subscribing to small business customer relationship management software online, is keeping in constant contact with your customers and potential customers.  In small business, the key to growth is a strong relationship with current customers, because it is much more affordable to get repeat orders than grow the volume of orders from new customers.  Using the right software solution can increase your productivity enough to contact customers more often, more personally and more consistently.   At the same time you need to have tools within the software that let you gather new leads from online forms and turn those leads into customers.
Traditional CRM software is designed for large corporations who can throw many people at customer satisfaction, with specialized departments these solutions work fine.  For a small business the software solution should be specialized for getting the maximum contact with the minimum number of employees.  The small monthly subscription prices associated with online customer relationship software is an affordable price compared to the return on investment a small business will receive, expanding the frequency and quality of customer interaction with fewer resources.
There is no question that the biggest challenge for small business is achieving growth with limited funds and man power.  The most common situation is that each employee wears many hats, doubling up on sales, marketing, support and operations in combinations that rarely occur in large organizations.  The goal of a customer relationship software program designed for small business is to empower that structure with tools that make each person more productive.  Most people in a small business are too busy to think about adding something new like customer relationship management to the daily process.  The reality of those companies who make the change to an online crm product designed for small business is that they will save time and money compared to using tools like Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Outlook to perform the same work.
Switching to a small business CRM system structured around an affordable customer database will eliminate a lot of the sales and support fire drills that eat up time every day.   A web based contact management software with email marketing, twitter integration, help desk support, and more will help make the activities that eat up small business time speed up or become completely automated.  Having a robust database of information about customers and potential customers can become a major contributing factor in the success or failure of a small business.  In fact subscribing to an on-line CRM solution for small business may give you a huge edge over your competition.
A “cloud-based” or “on-line” contact management system that gives you and your co-workers all the information they need about each sales contact, customer or opportunity from anywhere they need to get to the information.  This means that they can know anything they need to know about a customer from their desktop, laptop, smart phone or even public computer if they need to find the information out.  Knowing purchase history, pending issues, opportunities at a glance will increase your customer loyalty and let you take advantage of opportunities in a timely manor.
Choosing a subscription based on-line software will lower your costs to something you can manage easily within any company budget.  Many subscriptions offer free trial periods and lower monthly rates than the typical newspaper subscription.  If the solution doesn’t work for you or you find it’s not a good return on your investment it’s easy to stop the subscription and try something else.
Success in small business in today’s economy means that you need to take advantage of any resource you can to get more sales from existing customers, get new customers and grow your business.  Adding a CRM software for small business can replace the chaos of using multiple computer products, card catalogs and spreadsheet printouts into a customer growth machine that gives brings you more loyal and happier customers.[END]
ExactCPA Comment: The article basically makes the case for ProsperWorks, the CRM for Google Apps (zero data entry, no training, & 10 minute setup!). You can click at the top of this page, be taken to ProsperWorks website and start a free trial.  Try it out, let us know what you think.  If you continue using ProsperWorks the cost is $19/month, simple enough?