CRM for Small & Medium Business

Why is there rarely any discussion for start up, small or medium size businesses?

It would be great to have hundreds of thousands of dollars to recruit specialised admins, developers, analysts and product owners, and if you could I am sure you could achieve the same success as these enterprises.

But why don’t we talk more about startups (in growth phase) or medium businesses that know they want to leverage all their existing customer data and move to a more customer focused offering?

After working in CRM marketing and Operations for over 20 years I have learnt a few things that I want to share with you if you are a small to medium sized business.

  1. CRM is not a technology, it's how you manage the relationships with your customers. Technology just helps execute your strategy, once you have a plan.
  2. CRM Platforms are not unicorns by which you put your data in and it magically starts working. You need own it and do the work up front to understand how you can: Define and monitor your customer lifecycle journey. How do you attract, engage, convert, retain and promote your customers? (Key Customer Journey)Systemise and automate business processes to ensure your customers move along your customer lifecycle journey (automation)Identify the important data and metrics you need to track to measure and understand your customers and the value they bring to your business (unified customer view)Increase customer engagement and revenue (Sales pipeline / marketing automation.
  3. Don’t let CRM Platforms vendors sell to you, own the conversation and have clear requirements that align to your goals and get them to tell you how their solution can meet your specific needs. Always include some good use cases for them to respond to.
  4. CRM Platforms are core business systems. You can’t implement and then leave it to run itself. As your business evolves and matures so will your CRM plan and need for capability. You need to have a small core team internally, and if required a great platform implementation partner to call on for more complex requirements.
  5. If you put rubbish in you will get rubbish out. Make sure your data is clean, accurate and is structured well (avoid open text fields wherever possible ), if not you will make decisions on poor data: which equals poor decisions and poor customer experiences.

For businesses in the growth stage, CRM platforms form the foundation of your customer strategy. Acting as a baseline for key customer data and insights, your CRM platform enables more advanced CRM capabilities such as marketing automation and personalisation.

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