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Why Your Business Needs a CRM System

Why Your Business Needs a CRM System

A Development article written by Mike Whitehouse

Having a CRM System is a vital tool for Sales Force Automation. CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, is a widely used system for companies to manage interaction with customers. The primary goals of a CRM system are to reach and acquire customers, enhance the customer experience through customer service, and to retain customers by refining their target market and initiating relationship marketing.

There are a number of benefits to having a CRM System, not the least of which is money saved. By integrating performance enhancing technological solutions, implementing specific, efficient workflows, and having tight logistics management inherent to Sales Force Automation, a business can effectively save time and use fewer resources, while at the same time provide their customers with better service, and deploy more effective marketing.

Social media is a significant aspect of many CRM Systems. Sites like Twitter and Facebook offer a unique window into the voice of the marketplace, and can be used very effectively as part of a CRM research strategy. As social media isn't controlled or censored by mainstream media such as news sources, it can have any kind of feedback from individuals about products and services, positive or negative. Because of this unprecedented source of information, companies are looking to use social networking as a marketing resource to gain a business advantage. Beyond a source of information, social media can be used to 'crowd source' business solutions, allowing the public at large to provide specific information, or even assist with client support issues.

Business Software is often hit or miss. There are many notable historical examples of business software that did not meet the needs it was intended to. Fortunately, there are many CRM systems today that have a proven track record of effectiveness. Technology has come a long way since the days of manual phone operators; billions of transactions and interactions are completed every day for negligible cost, because automated systems have been put in place to handle them.

The biggest issue with Business Software, in particular SFA software, is convincing your workforce to use it. Nine out of ten Fortune 500 CEOs report that their biggest challenge is convincing their staff to use SFA software that they have had installed, and 72 percent of workers report not being adept enough at the software provided to use the majority of its functions. Specialists recommend making every effort to address and overcome these issues. By choosing systems that are easy to use, businesses can ensure that their employees at least have the benefit of a user friendly system. Providing training is another way to increase adoption; familiarisation and support is a prerequisite given the difficulty in changing the way people work.

Despite the challenges, CRM promises great dividends. Its proven success is reflected in its market; between 2007 and 2008, it grew from 8 billion to 9.15 billion. The largest CRM vendors are SAP and Oracle, owning a combined nearly 40% market share. Increasingly, businesses agree: CRM Systems are necessary to grow and remain competitive.