As the owner of a small business on the verge of expansion, you’ve just completed an assessment of improvements you can make to support your sales and marketing teams.
Currently, your sales team uses Outlook for its primary contact system, though leads and follow up communications are not always receiving the attention they deserve.
One shortfall with existing programs is the lack of collaboration among team members, staff and even with customers—the go-to program at this point is Google Docs when projects need input and followup.
Old programs can impact sales efforts…
By itself, using a legacy program to track sales figures, ala Excel, keeps important data in isolated silos, along with other non-integrated program information. Also, the salespeople are spending valuable sales time entering data that is not often updated; consequently, financial reports are inaccurate and decision-making by upper level staff is not fully supported with real-time data.
Non-integrated programs can impact ‘customer relations’…
Businesses, and organizations, who find themselves relying on multiple, non-integrated programs and applications, lose their competitive edge in the marketplace. As such, they should be turning more and more to customer relations management software (CRM).
Gartner predicts SaaS usage to reach 80 to 85% by 2015
Any pushback from this trend may not be fully researched, particularly when recent research indicates a solid return on CRM investment. According to Nucleus Research, today’s CRM platform returns $8.71 for every buck spent. Moreover, notes the research, the returns have steadily increased from 2011 from “$5.60 to $8.71 for every dollar spent.”
Furthermore, Gartner predicts the use of CRM to increase dramatically through 2017. More importantly, perhaps, is the future of cloud-based CRM solutions as Gartner estimates “more than 50% of all CRM deployments will be SaaS (cloud-based) during 2015.
By 2025, says Gartner, look for that percentage to increase by 80 to 85%.
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