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Small Business CRM Software - Key Features

Small Business CRM Software - Key Features

In the past, customer relationship management (CRM) systems were geared towards big enterprises with sophisticated, multi-faceted sales, marketing, and support processes. But today, vendors have come to realize that CRM technologies can deliver significant benefits to companies of all sizes.

As a result, a host of small business CRM solutions have been introduced to satisfy the needs of those companies that want to achieve the competitive edge that CRM can provide, without the cost and complexity of large-scale applications.

Small business CRM packages are designed for those companies that have less then 500 clients, or less than 50 staff members supporting their customer-facing operations. Small business CRM is also ideal for separate divisions or business units within larger organizations, particularly those with less than 100 CRM users.

Also known as CRM lite?, small business CRM focuses on core contact management capabilities that increase the efficiency and productivity of individuals and small groups, instead of the more advanced features and functions that support the kind of cross-departmental processes that are only found within large corporate entities.

While there are several on-site or on-premise CRM applications available for smaller businesses, many of the small business CRM packages on the market today are available as Web-based or on-demand solutions. This approach eliminates the need for hefty upfront investments, making customer relationship management more affordable and cost-effective for companies with budget constraints.

Additionally, since many smaller businesses are working with limited IT resources, this hosted solution model minimizes the impact on technical staff and eliminates the need for them to oversee long implementations, or get closely involved in ongoing system maintenance.

Most small-business CRM packages offer:

* Robust contact management functionality that enables sales, marketing, and service and support staff to better manage their prospects and customers, and more efficiently execute related activities.

* Reporting capabilities that allow members of the management team to track the performance of sales initiatives and monitor key activities across multiple customer-facing operations.

* Workflow management, to help smaller businesses formalize and streamline their mission-critical procedures and create organization and structure within their sales operations.

* Scaled-down, budget-friendly license bundles to support smaller groups of users

* Flexibility and modularity, allowing companies to pick and choose only the functionality they want, so they don't waste money on features they aren't likely to use.

Many small business CRM packages also offer a high level of scalability, so they can be expanded to address more advanced needs as companies grow and evolve.

When the time is right, small business CRM customers can purchase more sophisticated features and functionality as add-on options, such as help desk automation, marketing automation, order processing and tracking, and partner relationship management. Additionally, many small business CRM customers can choose to enhance their existing solutions with forecasting and pipeline management capabilities, so users at all levels can monitor the value of deals in progress, and assess the revenue potential of ongoing sales activities.

With small business CRM, companies can empower their sales, marketing, and service staff to work more effectively, while reducing the costs associated with customer acquisition, developing more successful sales and marketing strategies, and building stronger, longer-lasting customer relationships.