The Hartford: You Don’t Need to Manage Customer Relationships, Right?

(This post originally appeared on The Hartford)

You don’t need reminders.
When a prospective customer tells you that they may need your company’s services but not until sometime later in the year, you’ll remember that. You can keep track of all the quotes, opportunities and potential deals in your head. After work is done or a product is shipped you can remember to make sure that someone reaches out to the customer to check that they’re happy. If a customer’s sales slip behind what you were anticipating or if no one remembers to reach out to a key customer in the past few months you’ll just know. When a customer calls with a problem or a service issue, you can remember to make sure that it gets addressed in a timely manner and that the customer is happy with your service. You’ve got all that. No need for a CRM system.

You and your employees are very familiar with everything that’s going on with your customers too.
Everyone knows about every single email, conversation, appointment and task that has been done with every single customer. Of course they do. When someone calls your company whoever answers the phone can immediately remember who that person is and where he/she works, what types of work you’re doing for them, who last contacted them, and what’s outstanding. That’s easy stuff, right? Your employees are very good at remembering specific order requirements, issues and even the personal details of each and every one of your customers too. Lucky you.

Yeah, you got all that down.

Besides, CRM systems can be expensive.
It’s a $36 billion market and leads all enterprise software categories in projected growth over the next few years. Who cares, right? There are hundreds of companies offering CRM applications to small and medium sized businesses, both on-premise and in the cloud. You’ve probably heard of the big names, like Salesforce.com or Microsoft Dynamics or Zoho or Sugar. You have plenty of friends, colleagues, partners, customers, vendors and yes even competitors who have CRM systems. To heck with them, you say. These things are just not for you. You don’t need one, right?

Your customers and prospects and people in the community know all about you too.
There’s no need to stay in touch with them. You don’t need a database. You don’t need to be tracking their interests, needs and issues. You have no reason to want to reach out to groups of them and send them emails or postcards or even text messages with information that can help educate them about your company’s products and services. You don’t need to track visitors to your website or people who came by your booth at the last trade show. They probably know all about you and when they’re interested in what you do they’ll remember to reach back out to you for help.

You’ll just wait for the phone to ring.

And besides, keeping track of specific information about your customers and prospective customers is useless.
You’re not a big “data” person, right? Implementing a process for your sales and service people is only something big companies do. Having all of your data in one place isn’t really that important to you – you’re fine with your people entering it a bunch of times. And most importantly, your business is valuable enough without having to add any more silly intangible value that a CRM system would bring to a prospective buyer. All that data’s in your head and you’re happy to keep working with that buyer as long as he needs you.

Well, you’ve convinced me.

You definitely don’t need a CRM system for your company. You’ll be juuuust fine.

Think again.

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