Simple Businesses Still Need CRM

The article below in CRMBuyer.com is a good illustration at how important it is to maintain a solid understanding of the needs and wants of your customers. http://www.crmbuyer.com/rsstory/71550.html. The author illustrates the importance of understanding the customer using Mr. Hooper, the friendly store owner from Sesame Street.

For the most part, I agree with the opinions of this author…with one exception. The author says, “Mr. Hooper could do this without the need for software because, as a very small business, he saw all his customers face to face.”.

My business, NetWise Technology, is very small. I have a handful of employees, under 50 customers (half of those being a signficant majority of our revenue), a few important referral partners, and just a few vendors. My business would seem to be pretty simple to run and in all reality, it is relatively straight-forward.

But I don’t know what I would do if I was not managing my business using an Enterprise CRM system.

We use ClientSpace, of course, to manage just about all apects of NetWise with the exception of a few basic accounting functions that are totally vanilla. We have customized ClientSpace for our needs and like most of our clients, we can always think of a new feature that would make our business even easier.

We keep track of our schedules, tasks, communications, sales activity, prospective deals, documents/images, client service issues, project specifications and plans, customer accounting, contracts, employer functions and a few other odds and ends all using ClientSpace. Nothing I need to know is more than a few clicks away and available anywhere I can get to the Internet.

Most people that I expose to my internal company management are amazed. Somehow they get by in their own businesses with a conglomeration of email, fancy spreadsheets, network folders, and if they are really cool, maybe a basic contact management system like Goldmine or Salesforce. I guess I used to get by as well.

I am amazed when I learn about new leads and how they manage their business. Some of these companies have >100 employees, hundreds or thousands of clients, and revenue that would absorb my business as a rounding error. Yet I look under the covers and see the same mish mosh of spreadsheets, sticky notes, checklists, and files strewn across the network.

Five years ago I would have thought it would be impossible to compete without considering technology as a strategic component of operating a business of any size. The day of the dinosaur seems to be hanging on but I expect extinction is not more than a few more years.

Call me if you are an evolutionary minded dinosaur.

Randy Wadle
(866) 474-0922 x701
rwadle@netwisetech.com

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