CRM is an acronym that stands for Customer Relationship Management. It describes how a business engages and interacts with current and potential customers. Industry analysts predict CRM will be a $36B market in four years. Small to large businesses know that having long-term customer relationships is the key to having a sustainable business. So, if you’re a small to medium size businesses looking for a competitive gain do not spend another second or dime on the current CRM software’s.
Customer relationship management programs are very technical, complicated to understand, and a chore to use. This can certainly be true of even for many lightweight CRM programs. Small to medium sized business can’t afford an IT consultant to set up and get off the ground CRM software. Poor user experience and interface have plagued many current CRM software. They need a program they can put in place quickly and easily, without the help of an IT guy. A six-employee company doesn’t have the luxury of paying someone to help them out. At the end of the day, businesses only care about sales and customers, not figuring out technology.
CRM software are relatively high in price. Even paying $30/month is quite absurd. They track too many pieces of information and come with too many features that’s simply not needed. Small businesses don’t have call centers, IT departments, technical support or marketing departments. The same level of sophistication not needed. Small to medium-size businesses lack the money or assets to customize the CRM to meet their company’s needs. There should be a way to do this without requiring hours of setup or expensive visits from an IT consultant. Most CRM software come in a one size fit all and are not truly customizable.
What CRM is not
So many misinterpret the “R” in CRM. The relationships between businesses and customers are real. Many startups such as Pinterest are beginning to notice that. Sending out an e-mail blasts or tweeting promotions feels more a transactional experience and not a personal experience. Even Larry Augustin the CEO of SugarCRM said in a recent Forbes interview, “It is time for CRM to stop being so inwardly focused.” “Instead of sales force automation, CRM should live up to its name and start helping every single person who interacts with customers do a better job of serving them.”
Mobile tech: Disrupting CRM
The rapid rise of mobile device use has created major holes in CRM ability. Traditional CRM software is becoming less important in today app-driven economy. Market leaders like Salesforce.com, Oracle, SAP are pushing into the mobile space. Mobility is just one part of providing an outstanding customer experience and service.
Older CRM vendors who have been slow to move have provided a unique opportunity for small and medium sized business. In response to the trend, a couple of fast-moving startups are ready to capture this market. Startups are now using the web and mobile technologies to change CRM. Progressive businesses are understanding that they need an integrated CRM capability across every communication channel for their customers.
Here are just a few of the startups that are helping businesses, bridge the CRM gap on this new market and economy.