Challenges of working without a CRM in an SMB

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For all kinds of businesses, large conglomerates or small and midsize ones, CRM is a familiar term. Anywhere you go, you get to learn about different kinds of CRM software in the market.

So why is this craze for CRM that seems to have upsurged in the past few years? What is the need for CRM for a small and midsized business (SMB)? How did the entrepreneurs run before the emergence of CRM?

Well, business owners were able to run their companies successfully I am sure before the rise of CRM, but seeing the digital outburst in every field now, CRM is a blessing for all. However, I won’t say that this software is magical and doesn’t have any challenges or it will solve all of your problems and your company will never face another challenge again.

Challenges of working without a CRM in an SMB -- AhaApps

What I will tell you is, that a CRM solution for SMBs will remove a lot of those challenges and may even make it easier for you to solve new challenges as your organization grows.

There are still a few small and midsize enterprises, who believe in the archaic form of doing their business sans CRM. Such companies do face a whole lot of difficulties without a robust CRM solution. Let’s take a look at some of those issues that they encounter:

  1. Customer data frenzy

Without CRM, an SMB might have a marketing team with customer information and a sales team with customer information, and yes, the customer service team with a completely different set of customer data. Three strong pillars of the company, with three different sets of data! It would make so much more sense if it was all in one singular pane and all departments could see exactly where each customer was in the pipeline. That’s exactly what a CRM would do.


  1. An invasion of manual updates

Daily, an SMB owner or a team member might perform certain tasks manually, which can easily be done through automation with a scalable CRM in place. For example, a contact form from the website doesn’t have to be entered manually into a database. CRM can actually take that data from that form submission, create a record, and even send them a custom email response. Minimizing human intervention.

  1. ROI guesswork

Predicting your returns will be less of a hassle or guesswork. The challenge of going through pages of reports, huge amounts of data to understand if a sale was associated with a specific marketing campaign or not, is over. With CRM, one can track digital marketing campaigns, associate leads to specific campaigns, and follow that lead through the sales/marketing funnel to evaluate the ROI (return on investment).

  1. Wasting resources

Imagine the amount of time, energy, and resources being spent in gathering data, especially if you’re pulling it from multiple internal applications, systems, and external websites like Google analytics. Finding all the information in one place will be a blessing and you could easily create and share reports with just a few clicks with CRM and a powerful business intelligence solution like Power BI.

  1. Scattered data

A lot of SMBs still believe in spreadsheets that are manually updated and saved in different places. Some employees may even be saving it locally on their laptops and forgetting to upload it to the server. There are times when you do know where everything is located, yet it doesn’t relate to one another seamlessly. CRM is the call of the hour. You can upload all your data in CRM; save it in the cloud and access it from anywhere.

  1. Customer Service gets side-lined

All businesses are customer-centric and keeping them happy should be on the top of the priority list. Especially with today’s technology, most customers expect a speedy response when they have an issue. When they meet with a cold response, they will take their business elsewhere. With a company that doesn’t rely on CRM, one can imagine the to and fro activity an agent has to perform to get a piece of information about a customer. In such cases, CRMs are great for customer service. They help your customer service team to manage client issues or feedback within the CRM. You can also get notifications when there are responses from the customer.

  1. Challenges finding and retaining customers

If an SMB entrepreneur is too busy doing manual tasks and pretty much everything else, I mentioned above because of the absence of a CRM, it’s going to be very difficult to find the time to reach out to new customers and then retain them through lead nurturing and exceptional customer service. With the added time and the valuable insights CRM will give you regarding your leads/customers, there’s no way you will lose it when it comes to customer satisfaction.

  1. Growing pains

I have kept this at the end because if a company without CRM faces so many challenges that have been mentioned here (and also the ones that aren’t mentioned) then where is the time to focus on proper pipeline visibility, marketing, improving your product or service, and nurturing leads? CRM isn’t just a solution to keep all things in one place, readily available for all to view and use, but the main reason that it has gained so much popularity is that it saves time. And let’s face it, in the business world…time is money!

To sum up

In Walden, Henry David Thoreau had said, “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” Thoreau has a good point for entrepreneurs, keeping the deeper philosophical interpretation aside, you’ve already got a great business, but you need a support structure to keep it standing and a strong, scalable CRM will exactly do that for you.

If you want to know more about how CRM can transform your business, do connect with us.

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