Many of us only realise that spreadsheets are not as efficient as they used to be when we bring on more business processes, or simply grow beyond the infant stage. Suddenly we have a whole host of customer data to manage, process and respond to in a timely manner.

But for many Business owners, the idea of committing to a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool can be a daunting and heart racing affair! What if it doesn’t work? What if my team doesn’t use it? Do I really want to get rid of all my spreadsheets? These thoughts can consume many unnecessary hours, not to mention your weekends too!

The three most common symptoms that would indicate that you may want to start looking for a CRM is:

  1. Lack of visibility into your customer data - unable to track all correspondences, purchases and service requests against one profile.

  1. Siloed databases within functional teams, which make finding one single-source of truth almost impossible. This can result in you being more reactive and less productive.   

  1. You still can’t interpret your data, even after creating painstakingly time-consuming pivot tables. Meaning that the thought of generating a forecast, or a product or service category report, or a marketing report on your return on investment (ROI) from that yellow pages ad, or google adwords, or tradeshow makes you physically ill!

If you feel your business has one or all of these symptoms but you’re not sure how to evaluate all the different CRM tools on the market, then the latest report from CRM software consultancy Software Advice may be a helpful starting point to getting you on your way.  

The report titled, CRM Software Small Business BuyerView | 2014 is Software Advice’s latest research paper, which analysed small business owners interactions to understand buyers’ most desired applications, features and integrations, as well as outlining their most common reasons for seeking new software. Three key takeaways from this report are: 

1. The vast majority of businesses (60 percent) that decide to evaluate a CRM offering is to increase efficiency and productivity. Many of our own Salesforce customers on average increase productivity by +32 percent on our Salesforce1 Platform

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2. Many small-business buyers (37 percent) seek an integrated suite of multiple CRM applications, up from just 7 percent in 2013. Our Salesforce1 Platform enables you to run your business from the one centralised platform which can simply integrate across multiple applications and existing systems. 

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3. Most small-business buyers (71 percent) prefer a cloud-based over on-premise CRM system—up from just 48 percent in 2013. One of the many compelling benefits to running off our Salesforce cloud-based CRM, is that financially it is more sustainable and predictable than an on-premise solution. For example, with 3 seamless free new releases per year, our customers always run on the latest technology with no hidden maintenance costs that are notoriously associated with on-premise solutions. 

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At the end of the day, change is inevitable for any business, no matter what size you are. Customer’s needs change, the marketplace changes and the only way to stay above the waterline is to evolve and adapt. If you feel ready to take that next step towards a CRM, then why not consider your needs today and then some to ensure you make the best decision for your business. Trust me, the day you say farewell to all your spreadsheets, is the day you get your life back!

For more information regarding this report get the full load down here

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