TOP 3 Key CRM Findings from Study on Medium sized companies

Software advice (part of Gartner group) has studied what matters for medium sized companies when choosing a new CRM. The report goes through the companies perceived wants and needs.

This article summarizes the key findings from the report and draw some conclusions on what a company needs to focus on to become more efficient in their sales.

Software advice, an online marketplace for small business focused CRM systems, interviewed 200 medium sized companies over the last year in order to identify the strongest trends among CRM buyers within this 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 companies 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

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 customer interactions (80 percent), and scheduling/setting Tasks/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 with a CRM

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

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

Another factor that significantly reduces the organizational efficiency in these companies is the high usage of manual processes (lack of digitization) to keep track of customer interactions, sales and lead generation.

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

To be able to become more efficient, scalable and grow the business (become successful with sales) you most likely need to look into a digital solution that gives the…

  • Possibility to easily add and find leads & customer data  and keep them up-to-date
  • Possibility to easily track the customer interactions
  • Possibility to collaborate and share information in real-time
  • Automatically guides you forward through different processes
  • 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.

It’s also important that a CRM considers these tools and makes it easy for users to work with customers and deal information from the tools that are used to operate in the daily business (email, calendar and phone).

These issues are actually experienced in both small or big organizations. 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 doesn’t make sense 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 experience issue that follows some time later is that you most likely feel stuck and outgrow the solution you have chosen in the first place.

It is therefore important to choose a solution that both makes it easy to get started with the basics but also when the time is right, makes 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.

Andreas LAlangas Blog image

Andreas Lalangas

CEO & Founder Salesbox