If you’re a small business, growing is a fantastic experience. There is a new learning experience every day and sometimes it’s not easy to stay ahead of the curve. It’s a time when you start working with more people, be they employees, customers, leads, suppliers, partners and so on.
Keeping track of your business’ interactions with all of them can be quite challenging. If you were relying on managing everything from your inbox or a spreadsheet, this is the time when you start to realize that is simply not working very well anymore. How are you going to share all the data with your employees? How are you going to ensure your leads are being looked after by your employees in the same way you look after them? How can you make sure your customers are kept happy and everyone in your business adheres to the same principles that you set out for your business?
All of the sudden, you have to start thinking about data management, about visibility of data, about workflows, about business processes in general. It is time to ditch the inbox as your main business and sales contact manager and say goodbye to your spreadsheets that outlived their usefulness. There is only so much data and complex interactions that you can model in a spreadsheet anyway.
CRM systems can offer a good way of doing that. CRM stands for customer relationship management. However, CRM requires a lot of investment in technology and come with a hefty cost of customization, not to mention a full business exercise of defining or verbalizing your existing processes, and that’s not always easy, although it sounds like that.
As a small business, you’re probably best bet is to go with a simple CRM solution, more like a contact manager that allows you to track also sales opportunities, cases, task and so on. Contact management is a small subset of customer relationship management and it’s a light introduction to a new way of structuring your business for growth. It’s growth without paying a heavy upfront cost.
For small businesses, there is also a strong case for managing all your contacts online, on the web. In other words, web based contact management. The main advantage is that you are outsourcing the complex IT required to run your systems and the reducing the heavy cost that can be associated with running these IT systems in-house: think software, potentially development or customization work, hardware and qualified people. Again, instead of paying a big bill upfront, you are paying as you go, in much smaller amounts. It radically reduces the risk.
This is just a light introduction, and of course, we’re biased, so do look for a second opinion. But, since you made it this far, why not take our quick demo. We believe in simplicity that increases productivity and doesn’t waste anyone’s time, so no credit cards, no registration required, just click on the quick demo link, and you’re straight into our web based contact manager.