Benefits of Cloud-based CRM for Small and Medium-Sized Business
Apparently Canadian workers are 20% less productive than their American counterparts. Often this gap is ascribed to Canadian companies being slower to adopt new personal or corporate productivity tools. That assertion is probably particularly true in our target market: Small to Medium-sized business.
I am not certain if we can impact these numbers nationally, but I think we can identify some obvious areas where what we do at Prodigm can dramatically impact the way that people perform their jobs, substituting higher-value activities for the current lower- value drudgery activities:
1. I was recently talking to a prospective customer who was processing all of the membership renewals by hand, creating individualized invoices then sending them out. Approximately 100 invoices a month were created this way. This activity was talking up huge amounts of time during the month, time that would be far better spent in recruiting new members or providing higher-value services to existing members.
2. Another customer wanted to sell their insurance business, but wanted to maintain an active but lower-profile involvement, servicing existing clients and monitoring the buy-out. With all of the business records on non-shareable systems, this meant they were stuck in staying close to the office rather than embarking on the extensive travel program they had planned for their retirement.
3. Another investment team wanted to coordinate their calendars, share insights and conversations that team members were having with team clients. They also needed easy access to all of the relationship history and any up-to-the-moment comments from any team member.
These are all problems, business challenges that can be addressed using cloud-based CRM systems. The productivity comes from:
- Work that can be done once, rather than multiple times
- From critical data that can be shared immediately to avoid a wasted trip or a misrepresentation that negatively impacts a client relationship
- Checklists, that represent and propagate best practices in sales or customer processing, make management and new-employee guidance much simpler and more effective.
- Building a central repository of the customer and prospect relationship. It is as true in business as in life that that “those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it”. What you already know about your client-base is a huge resource and value that builds as the relationships continue.
- Facilitating data gathering and processing from the internet, eliminating faxing and data entry delay and errors.
- Templated (and pre-approved) communications by Email or Mail means that creating standard personalized communications can be done once. This is of particular significance for communications that have either a legal aspect or content that reflects the organization’s position on a contentious issue.
- Easy and secure storage and retrieval of documents, spreadsheets, quotes etc. that are related to a specific individual or customer.
Without this kind of coordination and management facilitation, there is a limit on the size that an organization can grow.
Our business involves providing these advanced CRM capabilities to smaller business in an affordable “Non technical” package. We are inspired and motivated to be improving the productivity, profitability and competitive capabilities of Canadian business.
Peter Coy | President | Prodigm Inc. | Toronto