Does my small business really need CRM?

As a small business consultant, this is one of the most frequently asked questions I get from my clients. The short answer? Absolutely.

According to recent studies, a fully optimized CRM can increase sales by up to 29%.

The key to those kind of results, however, is in these two words: “ fully optimized.”

Many small business owners have made the mistake of being sold on a system for it’s impressive array of features that they actually don’t need. These systems can be invaluable for some types of businesses – such as high volume e-commerce retailers – but many small businesses don’t need (and won’t likely use) all of the bells and whistles. The time it takes to learn how to utilize those systems alone can negate any value they might have.

In the end, the result is that it often ends up being nothing more than a glorified Rolodex.

How can you avoid that trap?

Start paring down the endless options by using these three key considerations:

What is your budget?

There are so many systems available on the market, there is surely a system that offers the features you need which also finding a crmfits your budget. Find a system that has what will work for you today, which offers the ability to expand features as your company grows.

How do you communicate with prospects and customers, and how often?

If your primary mode of customer communication is the phone – you need a simple, all-in-one system that automates tracking those communications. If – on the other hand – your main mode of communication is email for high volume email blasts and automated emails to customers and prospects, you’re going to need a robust email automation system.

How much time and/or resources do you have to put in to utilizing a system to it’s full potential?

While there are many other factors you should consider, if you start with these three parameters you can avoid being overwhelmed by the choices and paying for features you don’t need and won’t use.