Simple Businesses Still Need CRM

The article below in is a good illustration at how important it is to maintain a solid understanding of the needs and wants of your customers. 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

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