My days of being critical of Salesforce and their SMB strategy are over. With the introduction of Sales Cloud Essentials and Service Cloud Essentials, Salesforce has once again become relevant for SMBs, especially for the very small (1-19 employees) and overall small business (1-99 employees) segments. For an SMB, CRM is not only – or even primarily – a system used to manage pursuit of new accounts. The most common use of CRM is as a means of organizing customer services. Techaisle SMB & midmarket survey shows:
- 18% of micro businesses (1-9 employees) are using a cloud CRM solution
- Cloud CRM usage within small businesses has increased by 31% in the last 1 year
- 40% of small businesses are planning to use a cloud CRM solution in the next 1 year
- 15% of micro businesses (1-9 employees) are using a cloud Customer services solution
- Cloud Customer Services usage within small businesses has increased by 15% in the last 1 year
- 49% of small businesses are planning to use a Customer services solution in the next 1 year
- 73% of very small businesses (1-19 employees) using CRM are also using Customer services
- 56% of very small businesses (1-19 employees) using Customer services are also using CRM
Sales & Service together for better customer relationship management
Small businesses often struggle with processes around customer relationship management – maintaining contact with past buyers, preparing for renewals or new product upgrades, informing them of service releases, etc. – and a CRM system provides a central means of scheduling and tracking these activities with/for each customer.
The improved visibility resulting from cloud-based sales and marketing automation systems has in turn illuminated the need for a better-integrated customer management and support processes. This insight is prompting increased investment in systems automating customer support tasks.