As a business owner, you are probably tired of hearing people giving you constant advice about your sales pipeline, especially by way of your sales CRM software. You’re probably more than content with your basic toolchain, especially if you are a smaller business. While it is possible to do that, just cobbling together a series of office and database tools to serve the purpose, there is no point in putting yourself through the extra work and hassle in the twenty-first century when suites dedicated to business analysis and handling not only customer acquisition and sales, but also modeling things like customer journey, churn factors and so forth is easily available.
Well, consider this. With a cobbled together toolchain like you may use now, you can’t really isolate things that cause customer loss, it’s really hard to analyze the context and frequency of customer issues, etc. That information is extremely useful, allowing you to adapt to problems with your business or changing attitudes in your target customer base. This also gives you insight for handling sales better and acquiring customers in the first place.
That’s the thing that can easily be overlooked when it comes to sales CRM technology. Sales itself isn’t really that complicated as far as what software needs to do for it. However, tracking sales and demographics, migrating the data over to customer journey handling and analysis is extremely difficult if the software isn’t designed with that in mind. You need integration and interoperability between all of your business suites, another reason why you need something designed to handle your sales pipeline along with long-term customer relations needs.
The real question is whether or not you need sales CRM, it’s the model you want to go with. There are two basic ways which the software can be implemented, local installations or software as a service. Let’s discuss the strengths and weaknesses of both in short order here, and then you can come to your own conclusions based on your existing framework, as well as your personal business culture.
A traditional implementation is something you’d be more familiar with, and has a one-time cost unless you need updates. The problem is, you may or may not be capable of being compatible with all the devices that you use, whereas the other one is independent of platform. Also, updates, reinstallation’s and so forth when there are new machines, data migration and the like can be a real headache with a local installation. But, the nice thing about it is that you own it lock stock and barrel, and there aren’t recurring costs from it aside from potential updates.
Software as a service is a different beast, but it is the future for most business technology like this most likely. Basically, it runs through a browser, and while I am personally still skeptical of browser software until some new standards are implemented in a few years, the platform independence and permanence of this sort of thing definitely has its merits. No updates, no reinstallation’s, but you have recurring fees because it’s subscription-based. I would say this is probably the best solution despite the shortcomings.
Just take a look around and see which CRM platform suture needs best, sales CRM is important, and your sales pipeline needs to be up to specs for the twenty-first century, working with all of your other business mechanics by way of software supporting them as well. Make sure you can see a demo, never subscribe or purchase software without a demo!
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