The Expanding Reach of CRM Software
By Sarah Meyers
It’s all but an established fact in the business community that in today’s era, a CRM system is an essential component of a smoothly functioning organization. After all, it’s been demonstrated to improve productivity and reap enormous rewards for the businesses that make use of it. And then of course the fact that CRM software is neither prohibitively expensive nor for the large enterprises exclusively anymore means that even for small businesses, there is no valid excuse for not investing in a CRM software.
Recently, however, CRM software has started going into previously uncharted territory. This includes all kinds of organizations in addition to the B2C businesses that have always been enjoying the benefits of CRM. Some examples are B2B businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and private sole proprietor businesses.
There are a number of factors for this new camaraderie between CRM and these organizations. Firstly, there is the changing global and technological landscape, that is literally transforming even basic aspects of our everyday lives, such as communication. For example, the emergence of smartphones and social media means we live in an always connected world where information is available to us in copious amounts and that too in real time. In this era of the omnipresent internet, every organization needs to have a virtual presence and aim to engage its customers, simply because your customers, no matter who they are, expect you to be always ready to serve them with information, and the best way to serve on-demand information is… the internet. We are living in a time where Google represents the world, such that if you are an existing entity, you better be Google-able. These changes in the way we interact with the world around us mean that organizations that previously worked relatively behind-the-scenes and had a low profile now need to be available and make their presence felt, because competition is prevalent in almost every sector and therefore building a reliable brand should be every company’s top priority.
Another reason is the increasing robustness and extensive functionality that the CRM programs of today are capable of providing. In fact, today’s CRM systems can replace a lot of different pieces of software that businesses use and give the convenience of unifying all of them within one seamless interface. CRM software is no longer just about sales automation or database management. Nowadays, they are available on-the-go in the form of mobile apps. They are social, capable of posting to your favorite social media platforms from within the application. They are smart so they can actually listen to what the always buzzing world of the internet is saying about your business. Last, but not the least, they are customizable and expandable so you can mould them to your specific needs and install plugins to give you even extended functionality. All of this means that the CRM software is not just a tool for the sales force anymore; it is an overall companion to a business, which has something to offer for every member in the organization and for every type of organization.
Given these rapid changes that are shaping the world around us and the way we interact with it at a very basic level and the all-around capabilities of the CRM software of today, I’d say it was only a matter of time before we saw CRM starting to be adopted by organizations thought of as very “niche” before. The bottom line here is that the world is evolving, rapidly so, and so is CRM software, to keep up with the changing needs of organizations and their customers, and if an organization is not smart enough to evolve with the times, it would be left far behind and forgotten before it even gets to realize it, because in today’s world, if you are not relevant, you don’t show up on Google… and going off Google means you’re as good as non-existent for everyone.