Why Small Businesses Are Scared to Invest in CRM Solutions
What I have found is that most small business owners watch their cash like a hawk and they protect it with their life but they still need new clients.
There are a lot of companies who market to the mid to small businesses and spend a lot of money on advertising and talk a good Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Sales Force Automation (SFA) game, but remarkably, there are few who can actually deliver results which is what the small business needs. The bottom line for small business owners is to generate more revenue coming in than going out. This takes an affordable process that will increase the number of leads, referrals and more sales. Most CRM companies just don’t get it because it’s all about the results not about software or customization.
But in their defense, it’s not their fault. Most CRM/SFA software manufacturers and consultants have good intentions, but lack the complete understanding of all the skill sets required for a small business to be successful. Those skills are: (Sales + Marketing + Copy Writing + Human Nature + Technology + Process). They are very good at some of the skills, but not experts at all of them, and that is what a small business owner needs.
What makes matters worse for you as the owner, is that most CRM or SFA vendors (consulting firms) are in the pocket of one or more of the large software manufacturers. Manufacturers leverage the good will of consultants who direct you under the guise of consulting, as to which products you need to buy to better manage your customer relationships or automate your selling activities; based on which software they are aligned with, not the process you need.
Here’s an example: Most small businesses use some form of accounting software; Peachtree, QuickBooks, MAS90 etc. and the accounting software has automated processes built in that maps the whole accounting system out for them. The ability to produce accurate accounting is not as dependent on who you use as your data entry or accounting person, it’s controlled by the process.
So why shouldn’t it be the same for the sales and life cycle of a prospect to client to repeat client?
Please understand, the goal of the “consultant” is usually to get you to purchase more software, and most of their consulting time is spent configuring that software for you. (It takes months and years and can get quite expensive).
There are two basic types of CRM solutions available; the big expensive solutions and the affordable solutions. Some of the affordable solutions available to you can be found at http://www.salesforce.com http://www.plumtreemarketing.com and http://www.netsuite.com
What you should be looking for is someone that has a proven turn key system that is inexpensive and comes with a high degree of “certainty” that you will increase your sales and better managing your customer relationships, using inexpensive off the shelf contact management software
Remember, it’s all about one simple fact: You need to be making more money coming in vs. going out. Keep this in mind as you investigate the different solutions. Ask the vendors how they will accomplish this and demand they help you calculate a return on investment (ROI) to make sure you can recoup your investment within 1 year.
George Ishee is known as the sales funnel guru and helps mid to small businesses implement a sales automation solution. To learn more, visit http://www.plumtreemarketing.com or review the on-line brochure at http://plumtreemarketing.digbro.com