CRM for small business is equally helpful in increasing productivity as it is for a large enterprise. CRM and Case Management Solution can help the Small Businesses in multiple ways. Businesses with less than 100 employees, and a yearly turnover of less than 10-15 million dollar, are generally categorized as SMBs. A good CRM for small business can greatly help in improving its efficiency and productivity. Let’s first see how SMBs work without a structured system like CRM or Case Management Platform. This will help us better understand the usability of CRM for small business.
How do Small Businesses Operate without a CRM / Case Management Platform?
Most of the SMBs have similar structure. They have multiple small departments and employees report to the respective department managers. The manager reports to the Business Head or the Proprietor of the company. Generally, most of the SMBs carry their business processes manually, that is without using any kind of unified platform like CRM or Case Management. They generally use outlook or something similar for their email communication. This implies that there is no standard platform where the employees can record and track their work. Everyone maintains his own way of managing and tracking records. While one employee may be using Excel sheet, the other will rely on Google docs. Some will also maintain hand-written records in diaries to note down the pending work. This gives rise to an unstructured work environment.
There are many potential problems that arise due to this unstructured way of working. The managers cannot get a regular and consistent update on issues like – whether Cases are proceeding in the desired way, whether employees are following the process, whether any employee is cutting corners and skipping crucial steps, whether any Case needs special attention or higher manager’s intervention. All these questions remain unanswered. Although, it’s a norm for the managers to take periodic updates from the employees, they have to rely on the data provided by the employees. This data is presented to the manager either in excel sheet or power point. Over the period he will have a directory full of these excel updates with multiple versions.
Further, if the higher manager or CEO wants an update, he also has to rely on the data provided by the managers. The data which is presented in the form of excel or power point does not help the CEO perform a comparative analysis. The CEO might be knowing the internal business in detail (afterall he is the one who built the business), but there is no mechanism to help him get a top view of what is going on in each and every department. So, the lack of structured approach leads to inefficiency and loss of productivity. Moreover business managers and CEO always feel lack of control.
CRM Provides a Centralised Platform to Small Businesses
Finally Most important benefit of CRM for small business is that it provides a central platform where all cases can exist. The dashboard of a CRM provides a clear picture of the ongoing Cases. The dashboard also shows how the users are progressing on the Cases assigned to them. Here the manager can easily track multiple aspects of the sales or support activity going on in the company. Aspects like how many number of cases each user is handling? Which Cases are not progressing? Whether the user is taking the right steps to close the Case successfully? Based on these information, the manager can have detailed discussion with the user on every aspect of the Case.
The CRM helps the managers in doing a comparative analysis of the employee’s performance. Using the dashboard, the manager can evaluate which user closes most of the Cases successfully, or which user takes relatively more time to close the Case. Manager can also intervene in Cases that are not progressing in the desired way. The CRM also helps the higher management in viewing critical details like the sales pipeline.
So CRM for small business acts like a single repository where the Cases are recorded, tracked, and analyzed.
CRM Brings Consistency to Small Business Operations
Every business has the objective to provide consistent quality of customer service and at a constant rate. But consistency and constancy cannot be established in an unstructured environment where there is no CRM for small business. Once a centralized platform of Case management is implemented, it creates every Case with pre-defined tasks associated to it. Each of these tasks need to be performed within the stipulated time frame. By adhering to the time frame, users can deliver consistent performance. Moreover, the top management can get a better overview if there is a CRM used by small business.
CRM Brings Clarity of Tasks in Small Businesses
Employees should have clarity about the tasks to be completed and the priority in which they need to be performed. In absence of this clarity, there will be chaos. A CRM for small business, will establish clarity by defining Task Templates for various Cases. Employees know which tasks are to be completed by what time, and thus work progresses in an organized manner.
A CRM for small business, can manage the complexities that are bound to exist due to lack of systematic approach. CRM provides a common platform where all the employees can work together, their performance can be monitored in a structured way, and users are clear about deliverables.