Ever wondered what small businesses like yours look for when buying a CRM system?
Well wonder no more, as softwareadvice.com have done all the hard work for you! They evaluated interactions with hundreds of small business buyers in the US, UK and Australia to understand buyers’ most desired applications, features and integrations, as well as their most common reasons for seeking new software.
The key findings were:
- Over half of CRM buyers (53 percent) currently use manual methods, such as paper and spreadsheets—up from 44 percent in 2013.
- Many small-business buyers (37 percent) seek an integrated suite of multiple CRM applications, up from just 7 percent in 2013.
- Nearly all CRM buyers (88 percent) want a sales force automation application; only 10 percent want a customer service application.
- Most small-business buyers (71 percent) prefer a cloud-based over on-premise CRM system—up from just 48 percent in 2013.
- CRM buyers in the U.S. are over three times more likely than U.K. or AU buyers to request social media functionality or integrations.
Jay Harvey ,market research associate at Software Advice says
“The vast majority of small-business CRM buyers are still looking for basic contact management, with 62 percent seeking a standalone application for sales force automation (SFA). That’s no surprise. SFA is typically the first step for businesses to organize their customer data and track customer interactions across the sales funnel. As such, it’s long been the first thing small businesses look for when it comes time to adopt a real CRM technology strategy.
Many Australian buyers (34 percent) are also beginning to request an integrated suite that combines SFA with marketing automation. So small businesses are increasingly looking to implement a full, end-to-end CRM solution. They want to better aligns marketing and sales. They want to enable sales reps with access to lead nurturing data and interaction histories from across the sales pipeline. This means growing opportunities for vendors that offer a broader small-business-centric suite of sales, marketing and service applications, and for vendors of standalone solutions that offer integrations with popular services such as Gmail, MailChimp and Zapier.
When we asked small-business CRM buyers why they were evaluating software, the most common response was that they were simply interested to learn more about how CRM software in general could help their business, or about how more robust systems might improve upon their current solution. This is consistent with Gartner’s research, as well, which suggests that an increasing majority of buyers are citing “self-driven information search” as their most preferred method at every stage of the buying cycle.
This highlights the need for CRM providers to ensure that they’re in a position to be found when buyers research potential options—whether through search engine optimization, content marketing, driving B2B software reviews or other inbound marketing efforts.”
Here are the statistics below
1. Prospective Buyers Current Methods to Manage Clients/Customers
In 90% of our encounters with small businesses in Australia, spreadsheets are typically their current method of managing their customers. They come to us when they can no longer keep track of everything in an efficient manner.
2. Nearly All Buyers Request Sales Force Automation (SFA)
Sales force automation is the ability to track potential sales and interactions and schedule automated follow ups thus keeping track of the sales pipeline. This is one of the most requested features from all of the businesses that we meet.
3. Top-Requested CRM Integrations in Australia
We have never come across a business who has not asked for a CRM to be integrated with their mail client or calendar. Therefore the findings below did not suprise us!
4. Australian Buyers’ Reasons for Evaluating Software
As small businesses grow their client database, it becomes increasingly harder to manage via manual methods. Therefore having a CRM system which is cloud based and has a multitude of features to help automate manual tasks becomes a necessity.
For more information and to read the full report, please go to http://www.softwareadvice.com/crm/buyerview/small-business-report-2014/