Online CRM Software

CRM Article

Small Business CRM and How To Make it Happen
by Mark Morton

CRM is an important consideration for businesses of all sizes. How you manage your relationships, sales processes and service will ultimately determine your competitive position. Do it well and you'll gain advantage, do it poorly and you are likely to suffer customer defections and diminishing loyalty.

We hear from small businesses all the time who are looking at CRM as a critical factor for their future success. We also get a lot of questions about how a small business can be successful with CRM, in other words how can they make it happen.

Whether or not a small business chooses to use our product CRMTrak, or another product, I usually recommend that they choose something that is comfortable for their users. I am fully aware that everyone will never be satisfied but in general it's important that your users are mostly comfortable. Remember my saying - "if the learning curve is high, the project will die." Choose a solution that is not too difficult to learn and set up at least 3-4 hours of training.

The next piece of advice I'd offer is to choose a product that can be customized if you need. One thing we have learned from being in the CRM solutions business is that everyone has different processes and business requirements. We offer CRMTrak as both a hosted (standard) solution and a private solution that can be totally customized to meet any requirements. We do this because we know that a one-size-fits all approach won't always work, and small businesses should choose a solution that allows them the level of flexibility they require. The closer your CRM application comes to matching up with your business processes, the greater the level of success.

The last piece of advice is to mandate usage. Optional usage means little or no usage. Users must have to utilize the system to perform basic tasks or it will be one more thing that doesn't get done. By ensuring the solution you choose fits as close as possible with your current processes, you will reduce the resistance, so see the paragraph above about customization. Make your solution fit and make your users accountable.

Small businesses can do CRM, and do it successfully. You just need a good tool, some training, mandated usage and a real belief in the benefits of CRM.

About the Author

Mark Morton is president of Morton Marketing Inc. a leading technology and marketing services firm.

Mark has held executive level marketing positions with IBM, General Motors, and other companies.

He has successfully implemented CRM systems and is a driving force behind the development of CRMTrak.

Mark can be reached at