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Can Your Business Efficiently Run a Free CRM System?
Customer relationship management refers to a system of developing stronger relationships with customers by learning about their behaviors and needs. CRM systems help you accomplish this task by organizing all of your customer data so that you can easily access it. The information found in a customer software package can help you close more deals and make more money, so CRM systems should play a major role in your business operations. If you operate a small business, a free CRM system may help you build customer relationships without increasing your operating costs.
Benefits of a Free CRM
CRM systems have several benefits for businesses of all sizes. Members of the sales force can enter customer data directly into the system, making it easily accessible to anyone who needs to know a customer's product preferences or contact information. Having this type of information in a central database reduces the amount of time it takes to find important data, making salespeople and sales managers more productive. Using Web-based CRM systems reduces the need to keep customer data in paper files, which helps eliminate searching through stacks of paper to find information. A CRM system also allows you to save information about customers personal preferences, which can lead to more sales.
CRM Technology & Innovations
Before committing to a purchase, you must decide if a free CRM system will support your company's customer relationship management activities. When shopping for CRM systems, you must ensure that your employees' computers meet the minimum system requirements. You must also determine whether a free application is scalable in case your company grows. Some small businesses will be able to use free applications to manage CRM data, but others will need to invest in paid applications that can accommodate rapid expansion. In the past, salespeople had to keep stacks of customer cards at their desks or in their cars. Every time they wanted to find a piece of information, they had to sort through the cards until they found the right one. CRM systems make it possible to find customer data with just a few keystrokes, making workers more efficient and productive.
Pitfalls of a Free CRM
Free applications cost nothing, but the potential pitfalls may outweigh the low price. It may cost you more to maintain a free customer software package than it would to purchase a commercial CRM system from a company that provides continuous support. Free application developers may not provide software updates very often, making it difficult to continue using a free CRM system when you need new features or better functionality. If you decide to purchase a system, you may spend as little as $100 or as much as several thousand dollars per user. If you use Web-based CRM systems, you should expect to spend at least $30 to $50 each month.
A customer relationship management system can help you take control of your customer data and use it to your advantage when making sales calls or closing deals. Before implementing a system, examine your company's needs and determine if you require a paid system or if you can make do with a free application. Investing in a CRM system can improve the productivity of people in your sales department, adding extra dollars to your company's bottom line.
Still curious about how CRM systems can help? Read How CRM Can Help Your Small Business.