There is no doubt about it, customer relationship management software (CRM systems) offers a huge advantage to business who adopt the technology. A good CRM Software package helps you maintain regular contact with your client database and includes tools aimed at strengthening your client relationships.
As an added benefit most CRM systems offer business tracking. A customer relationship management solution with tracking enabled can show you:
- Who your customers are (i.e. demographic info, location, preferences etc.)
- Where they came from (how they found your business, the source of new clients)
- What they buy (which products or services are most appealing to your market)
- How often they buy and
- How regular contact affects their buying habits
Despite the significant advantages provided by a good CRM software systems the uptake by established businesses has in the past been surprisingly small. A few business owners allude to implementation trouble or slow software as their reason for not jumping on the CRM wave. But the primary reason business owners reject CRM systems is price.
It boils down to return on investment. CRM systems offer a lot but they used to be so expensive that the costs far outweighed the benefits. In the past if you purchased an internally hosted CRM system you had to pay for a licensing fee, internal server equipment, installation, calibration and many other hidden costs. It could easily run into the tens of thousands even for small companies of 5 staff or less. Many business owners turned to web based CRM to reduce costs but with fees of $100 per month per user it still wasn't reasonable for companies on a budget. And even then the fee was by no means all inclusive, any customization or training was extra and never came cheap.
That was all in the past. A new generation of CRM providers has exploded onto the market, bringing quality CRM software at easily affordable prices. These systems are web based, eliminating the need to buy expensive server equipment, making them compatible with your existing equipment. Most allow you to get started for free and your fees only increase with data usage. And their paid packages are very reasonable. You can get a powerful CRM system with all the bells and whistles for under $100 for up to 5 users and 4000 contact records).
They say 'you only get what you pay for'. But with the new generation of CRM systems this is just not true. Despite the lower prices they offer software which is equal to or better than the old systems. It's faster, easier to use and more powerful. By offering free training videos and easy customization options they have made CRM systems accessible to budget conscious companies.
When you can get a fully loaded CRM system for under $100 a month it becomes a no brainer. This is why the CRM sector is experiencing a surge and will continue to grow so long as new generation CRM providers continue to offer such value solutions.