CRM for small business. Do you need it?

    Do you know what hypocrisy is? Imagine a situation where a business consultant or partner of a CRM vendor (the vendor himself doesn’t do that) comes to a small company selling electrical goods and says: “Automation is everywhere at Amazon: robots in warehouses, all jobs are automated to the teeth, orders are checked by robots too and in general people are not needed there. Buy our software and become an Amazon. ” So, this is hypocrisy, not motivation. Because Amazon was developing not only at the expense of robots, and the goal of a small company is not a capitalization of $ 1 trillion. $. She has the most trivial tasks: earn more, survive longer and remain profitable in any crisis. Oh yeah, not yet strangled by competitors, monopolies, inspection and regulatory bodies, laws, taxes, debtors and unscrupulous suppliers. Generally,

    However, the truth is that automation solves something. But for this, it must be in moderate doses and must comply with the requirements of the business. Let's take a closer look at the situation. Damn suffering Middle Ages. The manager records customer information in Excel spreadsheets. The vision of the process through the eyes of a CRM developer.

    We already wrote on Habré one article about small business and CRM in it - but somehow we ran ahead of ourselves. The fact is that our RegionSoft CRM development team told about the implementation and the throes of choice, but we left open the question - why, in fact, a small business CRM system?

    And what is it you have allocated a small business?

    In fact, not just every business group, but in general any company is strictly individual. But small business is different in several important things. First of all, the approach to managing clients and vulnerabilities before any changes. For small independent companies (no matter if IT or not IT), the client is the only source of profit, and all the work is done for the benefit of the client. That is, if in Rostelecom or Auchan you are, by and large, one of the buyers and your care will not have any effect, then in the farm shop near the house you are a favorite customer, and your choice towards another supermarket will be noticeable, and 20-30 such as you - sometimes destructive. And this situation is observed both in small B2C and in small B2B. We will not even talk about other vulnerabilities - read any news site, everything is clear.

    The second feature of a small business is its total propensity to save, especially in a crisis. This is understandable: there are no investors, no budget money is given to him, the head office, which has swallowed up a couple of hundred startups and small enterprises, also will not unfasten, because it does not exist. So, you need to manage costs and expenses, while producing a product, promoting it and retaining employees (who are now, especially in IT, are ready to leave an interesting project with the same money, but + lunches, conferences or some other goodies). Sometimes the savings take on bizarre forms: the processes are outsourced to freelancers, software is only free or grunted (hello, fines!), In the office - at a minimum people. And at this moment the company begins to work not for itself, but against itself.

    Finally, small business has an interesting structure of organizational processes. If a large business includes entire groups of processes at once (production, marketing, logistics, infrastructure, quality control, etc.), then a small business can combine basic processes with some one, but very complex, for example, with a warehouse, production or transport logistics. And this already imposes restrictions on the choice of software (a simple CRM call will no longer be suitable), and on the business structure and management. It turns out that with a small company should be managed as a large one.

    There is another feature of a small business - great attention of the head to all processes (if, of course, you do not want to have a company). He seeks to embrace all processes, control tasks, delve into affairs. And this is not hypercontrol - it is the desire to manage your company and ensure all conditions for the viability of your business and team.

    Small business, contrary to popular belief, needs automation more than others, because its resources are limited and it is necessary to make the most effective use of every person, every ruble, every commercial opportunity. And we have repeatedly (and not a hundred times) observed how the implementation of CRM makes the team and resources more productive. The same applies to the automation of production, logistics, warehouse, etc.

    How to understand that my small business needs CRM?

    In fact, if you have a business, you already need CRM. However, it often seems that things are going quite well, which means that you shouldn’t change anything. But there is a set of "symptoms" that clearly speak about the upcoming problems and the need to implement a CRM system.

    • You have a lot of repetitive tasks. In fact, they are enough in any company: calls, meetings, documents, releases, whatever. But since they are most often included in the chain of our actions consistently, we do not know how many of them there are. Make a list of all the small periodic tasks - you will be surprised how many there are, and you will notice that some of them can be carried out in parallel.

      What will help CRM-system? One of the first tasks that CRM solves from the first day of its existence is automation of the routine. All small tasks are brought into the system, reminders come by them, many of the tasks can be combined and executed in parallel (for example, in RegionSoft CRMIt is very convenient to do this in schedulers, where the entire team is busy up to a minute with a planning horizon from one day to three weeks, and tasks can be moved through the calendar with the mouse). At the same time, the task contains maximum information and is tied to a specific client.

      Schedulers with reminders. So we see a picture of Yatsek Yerka
    • You have many tasks that are repeated at a given frequency and can be described by the algorithm. These are not such small tasks, but they are cyclical and contain many small mandatory tasks. A vivid example of a periodic task is a monthly billing at a telecom operator or provider. The process lasts 2-3 days (sometimes shorter), but during this time dozens of documents go through the company, employees generate hundreds of letters and chats, and you need to complete hundreds of tasks in a minute. One forgot or flunked - everything, postponement, rollback, problems, including often subscribers. And it is completely unrealistic to cope with the flow of tasks within a large-scale process in manual mode — either it takes a long time, or somewhere inevitably fails.

      Typical business process in Russian reality

      What will help CRM-system? If you choose a CRM system with the ability to model business processes, you can refine the process diagram, enter it into CRM and run a process instance each time — the entire chain is monitored by the machine, sends alerts, translates steps and logs the progress of macro task execution. We have chosen for RegionSoft CRM a simple and intuitive graphical editor of business processes that a person of almost any level of computer training can handle (after all, for the most part, CRM doesn’t have to work with non IT people!).
    • You can’t list all clients by memory, their e-mail and phone numbers are especially difficult. It is clear that more than five is already difficult. But the problem is different - if your clients and their contacts are stored in scattered files, notebooks, business cards and heads, then consider that you do not have a client base (we are programmers - people are strict, the base is an orderly and unified data storage with the ability to quickly add records and access to them).

      What will help CRM-system? Well, actually, the basis of the existence of a CRM system is precisely the maintenance of the client base - all information is entered into the client card, which is the main essence of the system and to which transactions, documents, finance, shipments, tasks, etc. will be attached. The point is that you open the card, buteverybody there. And you don't have to go anywhere else. See how much information is available literally in one click: (Clickable) Look at the number of tabs - this is just your clients flight control center , which contains maximum information for work. If desired, you can create a new section in three, no, five clicks.

    • You are ready to divide everything that happens in the company into simple business processes - private and specific. This is a sign of healthy business processes: they must be divisible into subprocesses. If all the work of your company is a monolithic hive with the Brownian motion of managers, you have a mess, and then we will even harm ourselves: if the processes are not streamlined, automation will be meaningless.

      What will help CRM-system? Again, business processes will help you. By the way, this is how they look like. (Clickable) Business process designer with an affordable and simple interface. If suddenly it doesn't work out or is too lazy, you can always contact our team - we don’t give up clients and are ready to solve even such tasks.

    • Your employees forget tasks and assignments. The usual thing is to forget to call the customer back, send a letter, complete a work task, close a bug, write a feature, etc. Of course, this is a vicious phenomenon that disrupts business processes and causes a negative within the company, which in turn will necessarily affect the result of the work.

      What will help CRM-system? For this, the CRM system can send reminders that you and your employees receive by push notifications on a PC, see the CRM interface, receive by mail and by SMS. In general, it is impossible to forget, you can only ignore (but it will not work on “buggy” software - all the moves are recorded, the actions of the CRM system are logged, in any case, in RegionSoft CRM).
    • You are looking for documents on the client, do not remember where the contract is and ask to duplicate the account. The disorder in the document flow is not just unpleasant evidence of the manager's negligence, but also a security hole - in the event of a possible conflict of the parties, the lack of a document can play against you.

      What will help CRM-system? All documents (from the quotation to the contract and closing documentation) are attached to the client card and you can find and restore them very quickly. Similarly, all correspondence in the mail and records of negotiations with the client are attached to the same card.
    • The formation of closing documents is very unnerving managers and time consuming. We assume that the article on Habré is clearly not read by salespeople (you are CIO, admin, programmer, CEO, etc.), but you can print out the invoice form and try to fill it in - indescribable experience, from the first time without skill, just a quest . Suppose you have all customer contacts in text files or spreadsheets and all details and data you need to manually drag out of them in the form of invoices, invoices, contracts, ext. agreements, etc. This, of course, reduces working hours, but also takes valuable time.

      What will help CRM-system?In different CRM very differently, pay attention to this! We in RegionSoft CRM have the function of automatically generating primary documentation for the client and the transaction, all the details are loaded automatically, the manager needs to choose the names of the item and enter the quantity, etc. All documents are formed in neat printed forms, it remains to click on the printer icon, if necessary, or send the document by e-mail. For contracts, KP and TKP it is possible to customize and save templates.
    • You cannot clearly say what salesman Ivanov was paid for this month and why he has a bonus of 20% to the salary. If you do not have a clear system of motivation and KPI, it is difficult for you to extend the goals to employees and you either underpay and the person leaves, or overpay and get a flock of lazy "wages and salaries".

      What will help CRM-system? In it, you can track the progress of a manager with a sales funnel and count an arbitrarily complex and intelligent KPI. By the way, here are the articles about KPI - one and two times .
    • You often have employees who have access to a customer base. Salespeople are in themselves - a profession with a perpetual turnover of personnel, because with them you need to be alert. Managers have access to the client base and can easily lead it away, sell it to competitors, etc. This is a direct threat to security that cannot be ignored under any circumstances.

      Sales managers steal customer records and go to competitors

      How will a CRM system help? So we came to another important function of CRM-systems - security ( here is more detailed about this). Of course, who needs to steal, steal from the Pentagon, but among the salespeople there are rarely cool hackers. Therefore, the delineation of access rights, storing the database on its own servers, logging operations and facts of uploading and generating reports protect the company's client base from unscrupulous employees. Even if the incident happens, you can quickly find the perpetrator and take administrative-legal measures.
    • And what is the customer base? Great question!

      What will help CRM-system? The customer base is a collection of information about your customers. All data is stored in database tables that are interconnected by special keys. That is why in a good CRM system you can get access from one entity to another (for example, create a new item of the nomenclature or add a value to the directory).
    • The storekeeper steals (if you have a warehouse). The warehouse can be found in completely unexpected places: from IT companies, from cellular operators, from an advertising agency, etc. And there is always a person responsible for the warehouse - this is not necessarily the storekeeper, it can be a manager, a logistician, a sysadmin, etc. Alas, it is not uncommon for a person to think that “a lot of things aren’t robbery, but they are done” and calmly take on some kind of product (in the worst cases, they sell everything that is not pinned from the backdoor). Automation is almost the only cure for such incidents: any movement of goods must be recorded and visible to the manager.

      What will help CRM-system?Warehouse management is not in all CRM systems (somewhere it’s widgets, somewhere integration, somewhere nothing), in our system you can monitor all movements and write-offs online, and it’s convenient for the storekeeper to come and ship goods. Of course, the closing documentation and price lists are attached. Well, of course, the warehouse module helps to control the range and not to sell what is not in your warehouse (which causes extreme customer dissatisfaction).
    • You run ads and actively “merge” leads. If not everyone has a warehouse, everyone has advertising - absolutely (developers are promoting on Habré, flowers - on Instagram, sliders and rattles - VKontakte, and we are all in Direct, etc.) Thanks to this advertisement, our programs and utilities are with you , games and other app find their customers, and we find the salary on the card. So, managers simply lose leads that come - for various reasons, but they lose: they forget to write down, call back, etc.

      What will help CRM-system?Some leads get into CRM automatically (from web forms, calls, chat, email), some have to be made by hand. However, the CRM-system stores absolutely all records about the leads, which can be segmented and “ground”, that is, restore or initiate a relationship. Moreover, the manager can assign tasks by segments to specific managers and check the progress of their implementation.
    • You want to save and are ready to spend it. This, of course, is about investment in development, which will pay off due to the growth of employee productivity and the use of resources with higher efficiency.

      What will help CRM-system? It needs to be bought, implemented and started working day by day. To do this, it is necessary to conduct training of employees, select an internal expert, provide each user with a printed manual. With proper start and stable operation, the result will not be long in coming.

      When all managers are trained to work with CRM

    What you need to know about automation?

    There are five main points that a small (and any) business should know about automation.

    1. Automation is an integration. Specify whether your CRM system will be able to work successfully in conjunction with requests from the site, telephony, 1C. This will provide you with end-to-end automation and a powerful IT infrastructure.
    2. Automation does not help rebuild a business overnight. It will only become a tool that will allow you to manage the company transparently and on the basis of data that today is almost the basic need of each company.
    3. Automation is security, and you can protect your data from the encroachments of competitors and unscrupulous employees.
    4. Automation is a technological environment. This means that your IT infrastructure should correspond to the year in which you live: this applies to the workstations of employees, the server / s of the company and other equipment.
    5. Automation is the choice of software, and this choice should only be yours. CRM must meet the requirements of the company and its business model. You shouldn’t grab free cut-down versions or rush into expensive import programs. CRM should not be expensive or cheap, on Oracle or Firebird - it should be necessary and suitable for your business.

    In every business, there is certainly document management, accounting, work with staff, the main process (development, production, sales), promotion, sales and infrastructure (office, servers, transport, communications, etc.). And they all intersect with customer relationship management. Just because you need a client, because he has your money and he wants your product (either like, or looking, or should be looking for - but in the end, he should want it). Therefore, automation will only benefit these relationships.

    And finally - CRM does not exist to make life easier for employees, but not to dismiss or shorten them. These are your experienced specialists, direct the released energy in the right direction, and you will notice an increase in the efficiency of each. Trust CRM to do routine work - it won't let you down.

    PS: As we have said, we know that you, the reader of Habr, are most likely not the one who implements CRM in your company and not even the one who will work in it (although there are a lot of them here - we have already felt this). Therefore, post a link to this post to someone who can really use it. As experience shows, thank you for this often.

    Our website. By the way, another 2 days we have discounts on our CRM and all own-developed software 15%.

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