Top CRM trends in small business (SMB) sector

Infotech Lead Asia: Scribe Software, a provider of CRM data integration solutions, has shared CRM trends in the Small Business (SMB) sector.

1. CRM has become a critical business system for SMBs – SMBs are increasingly savvy in their use of Marketing, Analytics, and Forecasting:

SMBs use their CRM for the management of prospect and customer contact information (94 percent), lead nurturing (65 percent), email marketing (59 percent), and sales forecasting (59 percent).

SMBs look to their CRM to store all prospect and customer information in one place (85 percent), provide capabilities to easily share data between departments (77 percent), report on the health of their sales pipeline (64 percent), and to run marketing reports (53 percent).

SMBs report seamless data integration between Marketing and Sales (59 percent); Marketing and Finance (39 percent); Finance and Sales (38 percent).

2. The biggest IT challenge faced by SMBs today lies in data quality and data integration:

SMBs are seriously challenged in their ability to share critical financial data on prospects and customers with the rest of the business:

Only 40 percent of SMBs report seamless prospect data sharing between finance and sales, and finance and marketing. An additional 60 percent still report struggles on their journey to seamless data sharing.

43 percent report seamless customer data sharing between finance and sales, and 41 percent between finance and marketing, and finance and customer service.

The methods SMBs use to achieve data integration are inadequate with only 18 percent reporting marketing data as being fully automated with their CRM.

The lack of automated marketing data integration poses reporting challenges for SMBs — 52 percent find marketing reporting and 44 percent indicate sales reporting to be somewhat or very challenging.

3. 2013 will be about investing in SMB marketing:

SMBs will invest in virtual events and conference platforms (24 percent), email (16 percent) and sales compensation platforms (11 percent).

4. SMBs report the CRM is owned by IT in 64 percent of cases, followed by Sales (10 percent), Operations (10 percent), Marketing (8 percent), and other departments at 8 percent. SMBs also largely report continued on-premise instances of CRM, in 66 percent of cases. An additional 34 percent of SMBs report cloud-based CRM systems.

Reported CRM Systems in Use: Salesforce.com, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and CRM Online, SugarCRM, SalesLogix, Zoho, and NetSuite.

Over 300 respondents from among Scribe’s channel partners, systems integrators, customers and prospects provided feedback and insights in late November/ early December of 2012.

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