Intelligent SME.tech Issue 5 - Page 20

? EDITOR ’ S QUESTION //

THE NEED TO GET A CLEAR
VIEW OF THEIR SALES AND MARKETING PIPELINE TO DELIVER THE
BEST CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE HAS BEEN A MAJOR FACTOR IN DRIVING THIS
INTEREST .
Every month , we pose industry experts a question pertinent to the issues of the day . This month . . . .

rResearch shows pandemic lockdown has accelerated interest in CRM systems

The lifestyle changes driven by the lockdown have prompted more small businesses to radically transform their business processes and they are increasingly looking to technology to assist .
According to a survey from Workbooks , the number of SMEs looking to adopt a CRM system rose by 16 % from the previous year and a 30 % increase from two years ago .
Such a change has been driven by the need to have better information about their customers and to make it more readily available . During the pandemic , many businesses radically changed their priorities – the survey found that nearly 60 % of small businesses have been radically transformed by the pandemic and had changed their priorities .
In particular , there was a new approach to home working . The survey revealed that 76 % of the respondents had worked from home . Indeed , most continued to do so – only 16 % had gone back to the office – and there are already signs that this situation is likely to continue .
However , this dispersed customer base has caused some degree of difficulty in communication . Not all customer data was available to everyone – a factor that reinforces the need to upgrade corporate systems . If this trend for home working is to continue then it ’ s apparent that there ’ s a need to deploy efficient CRM software .
John Cheney , Workbook ’ s CEO , said there was a paradox at play . He said : “ Our customers are relying more on the access to data and

HOW CAN SMES GET THE BEST OUT OF THEIR CRM SYSTEMS ?

insight from colleagues and partners and , at the same time , have limited amount of personal interaction . It has therefore become even more important to have a rich and fully functional CRM to draw greater customer insights .”
The growing trend for home working needed to be tied to a more rapid understanding of what customers wanted . There was a need for systems to help companies better react to changes in workflow and demand , allowing any necessary changes to be made by anyone and at any time .
Cheney added that , such was the demand for this type of analysis , there was little surprise in the uptick in CRM deployment .
He said : “ The need to get a clear view of their sales and marketing pipeline to deliver the best customer experience has been a major factor in driving this interest .”
Companies should be prepared to meet further challenges in the future . The survey found that 51 % of respondents reported higher productivity and 32 % of them did not want to go back to their previous office-based life .

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