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Do you think a CRM is important?

sksmithsksmith subscriber Posts: 2
There are lots of talks and discussion these days about CRM`s. Are they really that important for a small business? I`m curious for people`s opinion. I obviously think they are really important simply because I am in the CRM industry. That`s what I do for a living. But I just want to know what the rest of you think about CRM`s and their importance to you specificallyhttp://consideredsales.com


  • smootssmoots subscriber Posts: 0
    CRM`s are needed for any size business. Now with that said a company has to look at what features "they need" vs. "ones they want" to choose the correct CRM product.
  • keyconkeycon subscriber Posts: 34
    Craig, Craig, Craig ... I know you better than this. Let your fingers do the walking (seeking/searching).
    Customer Relationship Management - one of the BIG Boys (not a plug - just reference).
    PS - to answer the question ... "Yes"keycon2007-2-14 22:55:50
  • keyconkeycon subscriber Posts: 34
    So why have people walk away scratching their head, when it`s easy enough to just spell out the acronym one time? I went to the Web site and didn`t see the spell-out anywhere
    Craig - if you`re talking about the salesforce.com site, it is spelled out on the first line on the home page:
    The Leader in On-Demand Customer Relationship Management
    Actually, they are not a wholesale site. SF.com caters to large and small companies alike. Very responsive company. Excellent partners. Most varied solutions-oriented company I have dealt with in many years. Are there very good smaller companies that do the same? Yes. And some smaller CRM providers are right here at SuN. And have had some great successes with smaller CRM providers, too. Choice depends a lot on cost and solution required. IMHO.  
    PS - Craig ... do you not like acronyms? If not, why? Have you sought therapy for this condition? keycon2007-2-14 23:26:24
  • keyconkeycon subscriber Posts: 34
    Explain the differences, please.
  • keyconkeycon subscriber Posts: 34
    In our high-tech, automated, "crackberry", iPod, computerized world today, I find many pre-computer aged people tend to forget that every business process now being run by computers was done for many, many, many years by hand, pad & pencil, and pure brain memory. Sometimes I wonder if it wasn`t some how better then.
    CRM has been around since the first business/customer relationships started. Successful business people have always found ways to track and measure sales and better serve their customers. And truly, no CRM software - big or small - is worth a slug nickel if not used properly. When you get right down to it, there is still a human behind the business relationship.
  • CSPURGEONCSPURGEON subscriber Posts: 10
    Hey all, thanks for the discusion. I now know what a CRM is and how it would benefit me.
  • AdvisorGarageAdvisorGarage subscriber Posts: 10
    For a small, young company - I would probably use Act as its only about $200 from Staples etc.  Salesforce is an option but starts getting expensive as you grow.  Oracle may still have a free version for a small (5) number of users which can run on a regular computer.  But for the startups out there...I would use Act.  Its also possible that some of the Peachtree accounting type softwares have embedded this customer relationship functionality into their software...that way you get accounting software too. Not bad.
  • ChristyDirectChristyDirect subscriber Posts: 0
    this whole topic has my ears burning - anyone listening in on my conversations this past 2 weeks? I now have invitations from 3 different vendors (insidesales.com, salesnexus.com and salesforce.com) to test drive their online customer tracking platform for 30 days. I particularly appreciate the post from you beibeijt - I`ll give this one a whirl. As a small business consultant (currently on assignment with a franchise to implement a Business Direct sales system and therefore acting as Business Direct Manager for the time being) I`m crazy about tracking not only "customers" [defined as people doing business with our store] but also "prospects" [people who could be doing business with our store]. I want to track them by category, by date, by how they found us, by how much they buy, and a number of other things. I want to keep in touch with them weekly by email (via an e-bulletin) that goes out in various versions for different kinds of customers.... I want to know when they haven`t purchased in 30 days or more..... I want to know when they`ve referred a friend..... I want to know when its their birthday..... etc. etc. This is "CRM" to me. Any suggestions beyond ACT? I`m dealing with about 1000 customer base right now, in the 4th month of business.
  • enlightDanenlightDan subscriber Posts: 0
    Another great CRM is SugarCRM - it`s actually really functional - and it`s free!http://www.sugarcrm.com/crm/You might need a techie to get it up and running for you, but it`s great web based software that can help you manage your correspondance w/ customers.
    enlightDan2007-2-22 18:47:52
  • ChristyDirectChristyDirect subscriber Posts: 0
    Thanks, enlightDan. Does anyone specialize in microbusiness to small business sales management systems - in the way of getting a system in place, and optimizing it for a specific business? I see a great need for this in the small business community. Its hard to make the time to research the options, test them out, get the data in place, and find the optimal process for leveraging the available applications. In one sense, I`m spending way too much time on this, and it would be so valuable to just be able to sprint forward right now. In another sense, its great experience that will benefit my clients and networking groups.
  • a2theba2theb subscriber Posts: 2
    To add to the list of free CRM apps is vTiger. It`s similar to SugarCRM but doesn`t limit you to the extensibility of it. If I recall, to get the good features of Sugar, you need to pay. Actually ZOHO CRM mentioned above is based on vTiger.The downside of Open Source software is the amount of time required to customize it to meet your needs. I`m 2 weeks into customizing vTiger for my consulting business and it`s not fun.
  • KahanaluBoyKahanaluBoy subscriber Posts: 0 Member
    Hello Everyone.  I`m new to all this CRM related software stuff.  The venture I am starting up is a "business referral service", which would entail coordinating the connection/tracking of customers to service providers across the whole spectrum of business.  (Most services focus primarily on home improvement contractors--I`ve set my sights much higher.)  I need to be able to coordinate three separate databases.  1)  My service providers;  2)  My customers;  3)  The specific jobs that result from connecting them together.  I don`t want to OVERburden the process by obtaining software that has features way beyond what I need.  I have looked at Help Desk software/Service Desk software examples and I cannot determine if they would be adequate for the task.  Most of the CRM demos I have viewed seem to be overkill for what I need.  Any help would be appreciated.  Thanks
  • saravanansaravanan subscriber Posts: 389 Silver Level Member
    In using CRM to target specific groups of customers, or even potential customers, you can improve your offering. This can, ultimately, help to boost sales and growth, whilst driving customer loyalty.
  • Jessie HookieJessie Hookie subscriber Posts: 351 Silver Level Member

    Customer relationship management is crucial because:

    • Creating a bond with the existing customers ensures that you won’t have to work on getting them again like new traffic.
    • Having a bond with customers increases the chance of them making numerous purchases so a bulk of that first-time buyers is not limited to just that before perishing.
    • When you make your customers feel welcome even after the purchase, they too start feeling some loyalty towards your brand.
    • Since the brand image is already created before all this even begins, customers will have something to relate to or look up to when they make multiple purchases.
    • When you maintain a strong bond letting the customers know they are valued, the customers become your friend.
    • With prolonged good customer relationship management, customers feel obliged or happy to advocate your brand to others and that’s how your business rises to success and permanence.

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