How useful is CRM for SMEs?
Reasons and background for a promising implementation of CRM in medium-sized enterprises
Software for the management of customer relationships (crm software for short) has long since ceased to be a matter for the big players in the business. But where is the great potential in CRM for SMEs (short for: small and medium-sized enterprises)? In order to answer the question “How useful is CRM in small and medium-sized enterprises”, it is worth first looking at its current challenges.
or small and medium-sized enterprises
With increasing competition from large corporations and medium-sized competitors, the pressure for digitization is growing. The difficulty of competing is increasing, not least because of the price comparison options added by the Internet and the changing demands of customers.
Expectations tend to increase individualization and proactive support. Sales and service must be ready to respond to the customer at all times. As a result, mobile work and the corresponding technology are also of increased importance.
So the strengths of medium-sized companies should still lie in knowing, understanding and knowing what the customer needs. Good advice, good service – that’s how the company stands out and for that the customers are willing to put a few more euros on the table.
Benefits of CRM for SMEs
Today, however, employees are dealing with a growing number of customers. In order to be able to meet the growing customer expectations at the same time, it is worth resorting to CRM systems.
There, correspondences and activities with the customer are centrally documented, so that all relevant information is always at hand – even if a colleague fails. From such information, patterns can also be identified by targeted analyses and measures for targeted customer support can be proactively derived.
Last but not least, a suitably configured CRM software takes annoying work steps away from your employees. Well-coordinated processes with associated automation save time and nerves. Examples of this are e-mail integration in CRM or intelligent process of quotation creation. In addition, templates and integrated workflows ensure a uniform customer approach and end-to-end communication measures.
Well-informed employees – whether in-house or in-field service – are provided by functions such as computer telephony (CTI) in the office or a CRM app for mobile devices. Thus, immediately with the incoming call, all information about the customer is visible. When visiting the customer, the field service simply accesses all relevant customer data via a smartphone or tablet.
Index For SMEs 2019/2020
According to the Digitalization Index Mittelstand 2019/2020 (German language only), collected by techconsult and Telekom, medium-sized companies currently reach 56 index points – 100 points are awarded if all fields of action of digitalization are assigned the highest relevance and maximum satisfaction in implementation.
As many as 51 of the representatively examined companies now see digitalization as a strategic project. The main focus of the efforts is the improvement of customer relations as well as data protection and security.
The study also asked for reasons for delaying digitization projects. High investment costs, the fulfilment of data protection and security, lack of time, integration into existing system landscapes and, last but not least, the lack of qualification of employees were often mentioned here.
Funding programmes for CRM in small and medium-sized enterprises
The Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) recognises the difficulties faced by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), but also the need for digital transformation for SMEs. With the funding programmes “go digital” and “Digital Now” it offers support in the form of consulting services and financial grants (for more information, please visit our Page Digital Now Apply for Grant.) (German language only. Support programm for Germany only)
CRM for SMEs as a Helper in the Corona Crisis
Last but not least, the current Corona crisis sheds a strong light on the importance of digitalization for companies. Home office and mobile work have probably never been more popular and in demand than they are now. The move towards CRM for SMEs and digitized business models and work processes will be a major part of entrepreneurial resilience in the future.
This is what you should pay attention to in the CRM project
However, it does not have to be the complete change of business model. A CRM project also means a comprehensive investment in the future. This should therefore succeed right at the first attempt. For this, it is important not to give in to the illusion that only a CRM system is installed here and then success is brought in.
The basis is a strategic approach: from the identification of the corresponding goals to the selection of the right system to employee motivation. All participants must be on board, their needs in the choice of software must be taken into account and the individual requirements of a flexible, medium-sized company can be illustrated in the system.
Advice at eye level
Accordingly, it often makes sense to rely on medium-sized providers in the search for the right advice and technology. There is often much more scope for individual adaptations to specific business processes and requirements. This is because the large software companies rely less on comprehensive individual configuration than more on standardization.
Software providers from medium-sized companies can identify the more suitable partner there through close cooperation and adaptability as well as advice on an equal footing.
… After reviewing more than 40 competitors, the decision was made on GEDYS IntraWare. It was not only the high degree of automation, the mobile usability and the 360° view of the software that counted. Above all, the decades of experience in medium-sized operations, mutual sympathy and trust as well as the conversation on an equal footing spoke in favour of cooperation with GEDYS IntraWare. Read more in the customer reference Hurco!