To Use or Not to Use a CRM System

Research by Salesforce shows businesses using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system are likely increase productivity by 30%.

Should we use a CRM or not to use a CRM? is a question many executives and business owners ask themselves.

Has your business implemented a CRM system?

There are over 350 CRM systems available today. They range in price from free to hundreds of dollars per month.  Many are available on the cloud via monthly or annual subscription.  Others are installed on the businesses own servers or via VPNs.  Some CRMs are part of other software such as accounting or Business Integration software.

Which is the best CRM for a business is very much dependent on the business’ specific requirements. We won’t discuss this today.

Why businesses don’t use a CRM

There are often 3 key reasons what a business may not use a CRM. They are:

  1. We’re to busy to use a CRM systems and enter data
  2. We know all our customers
  3. The business can’t afford the cost of implementing a CRM

These are all valid reasons for not implementing a CRM in a business.  But, what are the reasons for using a CRM and do they outweigh the reasons not to?

Why businesses use a CRM

We’re too busy

At the beginning of this post I quoted research by Salesforce, one of the largest CRM companies in the world today.

They found a business using a CRM system can obtain productivity gains of up to 30%. By most business people this is a very desirable improvement because staff can be redirected to more income producing tasks, customers can be given better service, more sales calls can be made.

If a business could improve its productivity by even 10%-15% would they then have time to use a CRM system?  Would other benefits then make it more worthwhile?

We know all our customers

Businesses not using a CRM often know who their best customers are, even who some of their growth customers are and of course they know the squeaky wheels.

However, many business cannot quickly identify:

  • how many current and past customers they have
  • how many prospects they have called on in the past 1 or 2 years who have not converted and who they all are
  • Which customers and prospects match their ideal buyer persona
  • If staff are unknowingly contacting customers or prospects who are dealing with someone else in the business
  • Who should be contacted when a sales rep is away suddenly and what the state of each lead is

A CRM system enables the management and staff of business to identify all the above.  Identifying this information enables the business it implement more effective marketing campaigns.

Hubspot, a CRM and marketing automation provider, has research which shows businesses using a CRM can reduce marketing costs by up to 23%.

Jon Ferrara, CEO of Nimble CRM says a good CRM system should
enable you to follow in the digital footsteps of your contact.

We can’t afford a CRM system

It is important businesses manage costs and not over-commit their cash-flow. However, we have already seen some of the benefits of using a CRM.

With more than 350 CRMs on the market there is one to suit most budgets. Some CRMs cost $0.00 or use the freeium model which often provides a system free although it has reduced or limited features and functionality.

There are very good systems like Nimble CRM, Agile CRM, Insightly CRM which only cost between $10 and $30 per month.  

Then there are what might be termed the “industrial strength” CRMs such as Salesforce, Salelogix, Infusionsoft and Hubspot which provide a very wide range of features and editions. These systems can be priced up into the hundreds of dollars per month depending onthe edition used..

Regardless of the cost, most CRMs will provide a return on their investment if the business develops a business case and includes the CRM in its business strategies and processes.

Hubspot has research which shows when a business uses a CRM to contact customers, those customer are likely to spend 20% to 40% more on their next purchase.

Hubspot research also shows sales reps using a CRM
are likely to increase their revenue by 41%

If you were considering whether to implement a CRM what would your decision be after reading the benefits above?  Please put your answer in the comments below.

Click here if you would like a free copy of the e-guide “Customer Relationship Management – What’s In It For Me?”