TOP 3 Key CRM Findings from Study on SMEs



Software advice (part of Gartner group) has studied what matters for SMEs when choosing a new CRM. The report goes through the SMEs perceived wants and needs. This article summarises the key findings from the report and draw some conclusions on what SMEs needs to focus on to become more efficient in their sales. 

Software advice, an online marketplace for small business focused CRM systems, interviewed 200 SMEs over the last year in order to identify the strongest trends among CRM buyers within SME segment. Here are the key findings from the report.

Key Findings

  • Sales force automation remains the backbone of CRM, with the vast majority of buyers requesting it as the main feature of a new CRM software system.
  • As CRM systems become more diverse and offer more features, businesses with specific needs (such as real estate and manufacturing) are turning to software, often from manual methods, as a solution to their CRM needs.
  • Many SMBs are expecting to pay around $70 to $75 per user per month for a robust CRM system, but they may be overestimating both their own needs and the price they should pay for CRM.

Most wanted CRM features for SMEs

Sales force automation is an important benefit that many businesses require from a CRM software. Although only 8 percent of the interviewed companies directly state that “sales automation” is something they require, the top three features they request—contact management (88 percent), tracking interactions (80 percent), and scheduling/setting reminders (75 percent) — are all important parts of sales force automation functionality.














The fact that email marketing (32 percent), sales pipeline/funnel monitoring (31 percent), reporting/analytics (28 percent) and integration with other platforms (20 percent) fall behind is a clear sign that many have problems to get the more basic parts of sales force automation in place.

These features are natural to start focusing on once the basic parts are in place and actually used by the sales reps.

But to get that you need to get your sales rep actually using your CRM. Here is an article about why most sales rep dislikes their CRM.

Common problems to solve for SMEs with a CRM

Most SME experience issues with efficiency and the possibility to track customer interactions (calls, emails, activities, deals etc.). Another important issue they experience is the lack of information sharing.

This dramatically slow these companies down in their decision making and potentially make them fall behind the competition.













Another factor that significantly reduce the organisational efficiency in these companies is the high usage of manual processes to keep track of customer interactions and sales.














Still in 2016 the most common used tools for sales are email, excel spread sheets, the phone, calendar and pen- and -paper. These are however not sufficient tools to grow the business.

Way forward for SMEs

To be able to grow the business and become successful with sales you most likely need to look into giving the following to your team

  • Possibility to easily store and find customer records  and keep them up-to-date
  • Possibility to easily track the customer interaction
  • Possibility to collaborate and share information in real-time
  • Get relevant reminders on next steps
  • Possibility to work and be on-top everywhere through mobile solutions
  • Possibility to work with CRM in tools already in use (email, phone, calendar)

If you are stuck with the same tools as email, excel spread sheets and pen- and -paper your business is going to suffer and start falling behind the competition.

Its also important that a CRM considers these tools and make it easy for users to work with customer and deal information from the tools they are used to operate in the daily business (email, calendar and phone).

These issues are actually experienced in both small or big organization. Its therefore important that the CRM makes it easy or even automatic to do the basics to be able to move on to more advanced usage with email campaigns and advanced follow up reports.

It just don’t make since to have advanced reports if you don’t get all the information added to your CRM in the first place.

Since many companies need to get the basics in place first its often easy to choose a CRM platform that only solves that part of the problem.

The experienced issue that follows some time later is that you most likely feel stuck and have outgrown the solution you chose in the first place.

Its therefore important to choose a solution that both makes it easy to get started with the basics but also when the time is right, to make it easy to start using more advanced features like pipeline management, multiple processes, email campaigns and advanced reporting.

If you choose a solution that is possible to scale down/up both feature, usage and cost wise depending on your needs, you will be able to both give value to the sales reps, management and also your financials.

Read more about Salesbox here.

Read the full Software advice report here.


Andreas LAlangas Blog image


Andreas Lalangas

CEO & Founder Salesbox

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