Businesses tend to hold on to older legacy systems for too long and often for the wrong reasons. It can be difficult and disruptive to change. I appreciate that and many follow that old saying “if it isn’t broke don’t fix it”. However, there comes a time when that old legacy system, while still operational, is simply not helping your staff to be more productive. Here is an example.
I recently worked with a company that had been using an old homegrown system for customer management. While a bit cumbersome as compared to modern CRM software programs, the system did a pretty good job of managing traditional contact and account information such as customer name, address, notes and other history. But it was lacking in so many ways that in my opinion the company was losing productivity and losing money. They felt that the system was providing value and not costing them anything but in reality it was costing them much more than they realized. Here is why.
No built in calendar or integrated e-mail
People used Microsoft Outlook to schedule meetings, calls and communicate via e-mail. While this worked, shifting back and forth from system to system, the lack of shared data caused a number of internal communication problems.
No workflow automation
The system had the ability to enter an account and contact or a lead, but there was no automation beyond this. There was no automated workflow to manage your leads or the sales cycle. The best you could do was print out all your leads or sales opportunities and manually contact them, then enter the notes into the notes field. This was highly inefficient causing many leads and sales opportunities to fall through the cracks.
How CRM Improves Business Performance
Modern CRM software programs, even at the most basic level, provide a built in calendar and integration with MS Outlook for e-mail so that you can track your activity within the one CRM system. They also offer the ability to separately manage your leads and use the integrated e-mail to send marketing emails, schedule follow-up calls, and maintain a history of all activities. The good solutions also offer automated sales management to manage each stage of the sales cycle from introduction to closure, and generate reports that outline where each new opportunity is in the sales cycle. In fact, many of these systems cost no more than $20 per user per month and some are even free for small groups of 1-3 users.
These systems operate in the cloud so there is no hardware to purchase or install, and nothing to maintain. There is simply no reason to continue to hold on to old legacy systems that are not meeting your current business requirements and costing you money in ways you do not even know.
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If you are being newly introduced to cloud-based CRM, you are not alone. Although this concept is nothing new, it has recently exploded in popularity, especially with small business owners. Therefore, there are a lot of people, just like you, who have a ton of questions and are wondering if this is something they should be using. Well, for a long time, CRM software made to take advantage of a cloud was geared toward large corporations. Fortunately, Commence has changed that.
Cloud-Based CRM for the Small Business Owner
Cloud-based CRM allows you to store a massive amount of important information on the internet, rather than your hard drive. This means that you do not have to worry about your computer crashing and losing everything. Plus, you can access everything for which you would normally have to go to your personal computer, from anywhere. Need to double check payroll, but you are stuck at a family function? No problem; just access your cloud from your phone. There are countless ways that a cloud is beneficial, which is why larger corporations have used them for so long.
The only reason why they have not been more popular with small businesses, until recently, is because no one designed software to accommodate the precise needs of a small business owner. Thanks to Commence, anyone can reap the benefits that cloud CRM has to offer.
Some people hear the term “cloud customer database” and assume that there would be a lot of restrictions as to what you could do with it. After all, how much information can you really keep in a cloud? Well, if you are asking that question, you should evaluate how much you can keep on your hard drive. You may also want to think about what happens when your hard drive crashes. This is not a concern with cloud-based software. Still, despite the logical thinking, you probably have your doubts. Will it really meet all your needs?
Explore Our Cloud Customer Database and Decide for Yourself
Our cloud customer database is unlike anything you are probably used to. First, updates can be done in real time, so if a rep is speaking with a customer on the phone, you can see the progress, immediately, even if you are logging in from your smartphone on the golf course.
Plus, here at Commence, our software is not exclusively for customer relations. We want you to excel in every area of your business, so we make it easy to manage your marketing, projects and leads by using reports and analytics. This allows you to see if certain marketing campaigns are working, and which ones need attention before more money is invested into them.
The only thing worse than not taking advantage of cloud CRM, is buying the wrong web-based contact management software that just does not work for your business. This is a common occurrence with small business owners who buy software designed for large corporations. They get discouraged, don’t use it and then do not even want to try a different software. This is unfortunate, because the right contact management solution will make your life easier and help your business operate smoother and more efficiently.
Let Our Web Based Contact Management Software Work for You
If you have tried a web based contact management software and were truly disappointed, you owe it to yourself to give Commence CRM a try. There are many other businesses owners just like you who have unfortunately tried to use software made for a company operating on a much larger scale and who have ended up doing more work than they were doing without it.
Commence was designed for you! We did not create CRM software made for a corporation with hundreds of employees; we made something user-friendly, thorough and efficient for all size companies, especially those with fewer employees, who work twice as hard. You owe it to yourself to see why small business owners turn to us to help manage every aspect of their operations.
Is the lack of CRM email integration holding you back from switching to a cloud CRM? Fair enough; no one wants to abandon their email or attempt to switch every contact over to a new address. This is virtually impossible to do in business, without losing potential leads you may not even know you have. After all, someone may have saved your address to use later, when they are ready, but, if they become ready and your email isn’t available, you have lost a valuable lead.
Wait Until You See Our CRM Email Integration
Have you given up hope of ever finding software with CRM email integration? Well, perhaps you are not looking in the right place. Maybe you are looking at software made for a major corporation that isn’t as concerned with losing a lead here and there.
Here at Commence, we appreciate that every lead and customer is important to the small to mid-sized business owner. We don’t feel you should have to switch your email, nor do we think you should be forced to switch in and out of your email and the program all day, so we have designed our software to integrate effortlessly, regardless if you are using Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo or even Outlook or Entourage for Apple Mac.
You may think that because you are a small business owner that you won’t really get much use out of cloud contact management. You are mistaken! Having an easy way to manage your contacts is beneficial to anyone, and it is certainly a feature that you can’t appreciate, until you have it.
What Cloud Contact Management Can do for You
Maybe you are staying away from cloud contact management software because you assume it will be complex or consume too much of your time. Here at Commence, we understand these concerns, so our system has been designed to be efficient and effective, for even the busiest operator. Just a few of the many things it allows you to do include:
- Manage entire sales cycles
- Schedule activities and appointments
- Create to-do lists
- Record customer and prospect interaction
- Generate forecast and performance reporting
- Create and email quotes
If the topic of cloud-based CRM has you a bit frazzled, you are certainly not alone. Although it is not necessarily a new concept, it has only recently become the most popular choice, so business owners around the world are eager to find out if it’s right for them.
Cloud customer relationship management helps to improve overall revenue and customer service by streamlining and harnessing your customer data. While there are various solutions available, most are designed for the large corporations of the world.
Our Cloud-based CRM is Different
If you have been reading up on cloud-based CRM and have noticed Commence mentioned a lot, it is because we offer software that is attractive to small and medium size businesses. After all, it is the small businesses that make up the majority, and it is often these small businesses that contribute to community development. Therefore, it only seems right that CRM software be available to make the daily operations of an owner or manager easier while still building and strengthening customer relationships. This is what our Commence CRM software can do for you.
Like many other business owners, you may have purchased a cloud customer management system that does not fit your needs. Most of the recommended ones on the market are designed for large corporations. You might have purchased one of these with the intent of only using the portions that you need. The problem is that when you try to use software that was designed for a large corporation, it is easy to get lost. You lose valuable time that could be spent on growing your business. There is an easier way.
Commence is the Recommended Cloud Customer Management System for Small Businesses
As a small business owner, you value each and every customer and appreciate just how important they are to your long-term growth. Not only is our cloud customer management system thorough and easy to use, we supply you with world class customer service and empower you to offer your customers the same.
You will be able to access customer records in real time and update them, proof return material authorization, and even measure the effectiveness of your staff. You will quickly find that there really is not any aspect of your business that you can’t manage and analyze with our cloud CRM software.
Streamlined Online CRM Systems
Customer relationship management is an important aspect of running a business, as customers who are provided with efficient service on their first experience are far more likely to return for repeat business. Streamlined online CRM is a convenient alternative to a physical software package that must be installed on individual machines, and the benefits of this type of system include the fact that it can be started up quickly, and new users can be added easily.
Choose Online CRM with Extensive Features
Using an online CRM solution does not have to mean a compromise where features and functionality is concerned – a system that can be fully integrated with a standalone email client such as Outlook Express can be used to conduct email marketing campaigns and to correspond with clients or customers. A system which has extensive features for marketing, lead generation and other purposes can provide you with an indispensible business tool, one that will assist customer retention.
Streamline your CRM Management
Efficient management of customer relationships is essential if a business is to keep repeat customers or clients satisfied, and a streamlined CRM software application can provide the required efficiency. A CRM management package that includes a range of features can serve a number of purposes, from handling customer support to conducting marketing campaigns, as a system that has incorporated mass email features makes it easy to copy contact information from a database to the address field when creating emails.
Take a New CRM Management System for a Trial Run
If you are reluctant to invest in a new CRM management system without trying it out first, you can request a free trial which will enable you to experience some of the features of a CRM software package. This should help you determine whether a potential new piece of software will meet the needs of your business. You can also choose between an on-premise CRM software package and a convenient web-based cloud CRM platform.