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Small Business CRM Application Trends: Content is King in 2009
The Web Host Directory makes some startling predictions about the future of CRM applications. Citing a Forester report, there are no less than 27 primary risk areas that could impact small business CRM in Web 2.0. Trying to change all of them can spread an organization too thin. But making deliberate, purposeful improvements in the following areas has the potential to energize a campaign.
Social Networking Takes the Lead
The Internet has always been about connectivity. Reducing the space between people continues to improve productivity and drive innovation. Smart small business CRM takes advantage of this component. As communications move away from chat rooms towards social networking sites (ie. Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn), companies that position themselves as pertinent members of social technology encourage customers to share information.
Also, IT World reveals that the tendency of CRM applications to align themselves with blogs and wikis is shifting to more modular structures that allow potential prospects to access the products and services that most interest them. The transition from general to specialized has the potential to strengthen the prospects belief in potential benefits.
Lowering Risk and Unlocking Value
As the credit crunch deepens and financing becomes a premium, businesses are experiencing the push to lower the risk of high-dollar CRM products. Whats the key? In short: return on investment (ROI). This is a time when the end must justify the means, when results mean more than ever before--not just for current CRM campaigns but in order to secure future maneuvering room.
There are specific project goals that can unlock the true value of customer relationship management efforts:
Without Automation, CRM Can Stagnate
Lets face it--lean, hungry businesses often lack the human or financial resources to consistently update CRM tools by hand on a daily basis. Automation is the mother of productivity. Going past basic lead tracking and data updating, small business CRM tactics must anticipate growth and adjust. Small Biz Trends reveals that spending money on automated technologies can decrease the monotony of data-monitoring and increase the amount of face-time, which leads directly to sales.
The Bottom Line
CRM for the sake of CRM is rarely profitable. The practice must be intertwined with business goals and nurtured to grow with short- and long-term objectives in order to have discernable value.