CRM for the Big at Heart

Commence Corporation helps small to midsize businesses tackle the CRM challenge

Picking a CRM software vendor is tough. It’s even tougher when you’re part of the small to midsize market, where technology budgets are limited and horror stories of complex, drawn-out CRM projects abound. While the watchword of midmarket CRM buyers was once something akin to the President’s “irrational exuberance,” today it is “caution,” as companies demand solutions that are affordable, easy to implement and easy to use and that deliver a quick return on investment.

“The CRM industry has been plagued by vendors offering overly complex solutions to solve basic business problems. This has resulted in a low adoption rate and failed customer expectations,” says Larry Caretsky, president and CEO of Commence Corporation. “The concern for most businesses today is not a lack of technology, but rather how they can leverage technology to improve their internal processes and, ultimately, their bottom line.”

Caretsky should know. His company has been in business for 22 years and has witnessed all the trends in customer relationship management. And with that kind of experience, Caretsky figured out long ago that rapidly deployable, cost-effective CRM solutions – even when they weren’t in vogue – were the only way for customers to quickly and affordably reap the benefits of their investment.

Commence Corporation has taken a unique approach to meeting the key objectives of most small to midsize businesses – namely, by streamlining internal business processes, improving sales processes and delighting customers. The company starts with the fundamental knowledge that most mid-market customers must first address the problem of data capture, data consolidation and data sharing.

Typically, vital customer information is spread throughout these organizations in contact management software, back office systems and Excel spreadsheets. “Employees spend a significant amount of time trying to determine where or who in the organization has the information they need to address customer inquiries,” says Caretsky. “Management recognizes this problem and realizes that in order to increase sales and become a more efficient sales and service organization they must get the right information into the hands of the right people, at the right time.”

The Commence CRM software does just that. Customer information, captured from multiple channels, is stored in a unified database where it is immediately available to all authorized personnel through two product features: a digital dashboard and a multiview capability. “This enables them to be constantly aware of account activity and take proactive steps to ensure customer satisfaction,” says Caretsky.

At the same time, Commence helps companies increase sales using a sales process template that is built into the system. Preset sales stages allow the sales team to begin classifying new sales opportunities from the beginning. The product also offers sales teams the ability to utilize a structured sales methodology for lead scoring and evaluating each sales opportunity. And it helps make sales reps more productive by providing a tool to automate routine tasks. “It’s like having an administrative assistant working directly for you,” says Caretsky.

Building brand recognition via the use of direct mail and email marketing campaigns is also incorporated in Commence CRM as a component of the marketing software module. By scheduling repetitive marketing campaigns small to mid-size businesses can be assured that their company, product or service is in front of prospective buyers at all times.

“Today’s basis for business growth is the successful management of long-term relationships with customers on a one-to-one level,” says Caretsky. “When the customer becomes the center of your business, customer-centric strategies, processes and technology solutions can unlock the value of these relationships.”

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