What are the challenges SMBs face in implementing CRM?
Acceptance of CRM software is growing among small businesses. It can be measured by the growing number of CRM vendors now offering customer management solutions to small businesses. But the road to implement CRM to a small business isn’t free of challenges and it is imperative for both the business owner and the provider to know about them to avoid those pitfalls.
CRMs can play a very important role in the success of a small business but it needs to be implemented successfully in order to derive the benefits out of it. We have listed the pitfall to be avoided below.
Fund: SMEs operate with limited fund and therefore, can’t make substantial investment towards IT infrastructure development. If you are an SME considering a CRM solution search for one that is friendly to your pocket. Analyze your requirements. If your business requirements are simple then you would be wasting money in an enterprise product. Rather, search for a simplified customer management solution.
Time: SMBs operate with limited resource and often don’t have enough manpower to deploy for project management and implementation. The person assigned for the role of project manager may be putting his daily job in the secondary position. So, longer the time required in implementing the project, greater will be your loss in business. SMBs need solutions that are simple and fast to implement. Web-based CRMs make an appropriate choice for small firms for that very reason.
Unavailability of User feedback: SMEs often don’t invest time in gathering users’ feedback regarding CRM products although it is easier for them to do so since they have to deal with limited workforce. SMEs can ensure greater acceptance of their customer management solution if they do a proper analysis of their requirements and incorporate the findings during CRM customization.
Blurred business process: To understand your CRM requirement you’d need a well defined business strategy. But small businesses often lack in clear concept about their operation method – work areas being overlapped and blurred. This can be sorted by organizing internal meetings in defining your existing as well as future business requirements.
Data quality: Often the data available is fragmented and of low quality in absence of a master database. Many SMEs don’t maintain master datasheet and it can cause problems with moving the information to the CRM interface. Therefore, there is a need to refine and reorganize your contact list to upload only the correct information to the CRM. You are not likely to be able to derive best results from the customer management software if incorrect data is uploaded in it. You also need to scrub off your existing system of duplicate and incomplete data before merging it with the CRM.
Identifying CRM goals: Just like undefined business process SMBs also suffer from lack of clear idea about what they want to derive from the customer management system. CRM is basically a database where the information is stored to get extracted and used for business development purposes. It can streamline your business only if you know how to utilize the data from the system for the betterment of your organization.
If you are not sure about choosing the right customer management system for your organization you can start with the free and simple versions available in the market. You can always upgrade your membership with your vendor in due course.
By, Paul Anderson is a CRM software consultant at CORELYNX based out in California. For over five years he is offering CRM consulting services to a wide market vertical. During this period he has observed what works and what doesn’t work for companies. He brings in his wealth of experience on CRM customization and solutions to his writings on webs and blogs. He is an avid reader and enthusiast blogger and engaged with many online communities. He also loves outdoor sports and often goes fly fishing with fellow enthusiasts.