Executive Briefings

Do Smaller Businesses Really Need CRM?

In the good old days, a business was product or service focused. It concentrated on what it had to sell. And, naturally, all its management and computer systems were constructed around this focus.
Accounting and billing software tracked product lines, warehouse inventories, sales levels. A well-run company was one that knew exactly what it had to offer, so if a customer happened along, it could lay a hand straight on it without too much rummaging around.
Of course, this product-centric approach rather relied on customers knowing what they wanted and seeking it out. But so long as enough of them found their way to the door, a business owner was not too worried.
Today, businesses are being told to be customer-centric. It can be taken for granted you know your products, so now you need to shift your focus to knowing your customers. And, more importantly, rebuilding all your administration and software systems around that fact.
Among the big corporates such as the banks and power companies, this has led to an explosion in the market for customer relationship management software, data-mining tools, and other essentials of the modern customer-focused enterprise.
But should the small business world automatically be following suit? Do they really need the gear or are they customer focused by nature anyway?
Source: CRM Daily, http://www.crm-daily.com

In the good old days, a business was product or service focused. It concentrated on what it had to sell. And, naturally, all its management and computer systems were constructed around this focus.
Accounting and billing software tracked product lines, warehouse inventories, sales levels. A well-run company was one that knew exactly what it had to offer, so if a customer happened along, it could lay a hand straight on it without too much rummaging around.
Of course, this product-centric approach rather relied on customers knowing what they wanted and seeking it out. But so long as enough of them found their way to the door, a business owner was not too worried.
Today, businesses are being told to be customer-centric. It can be taken for granted you know your products, so now you need to shift your focus to knowing your customers. And, more importantly, rebuilding all your administration and software systems around that fact.
Among the big corporates such as the banks and power companies, this has led to an explosion in the market for customer relationship management software, data-mining tools, and other essentials of the modern customer-focused enterprise.
But should the small business world automatically be following suit? Do they really need the gear or are they customer focused by nature anyway?
Source: CRM Daily, http://www.crm-daily.com