And does your business actually need one? In this e-guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the rather elusive term, including the differences between standard CRM and an enterprise CRM. Let’s lift the fog once and for all.
Introduction to CRM
The world of CRM solutions can be highly confusing. With so many providers, solutions, and features available on the market – how can you possibly be expected to know what you need?
If you’re researching CRM solutions for the very first time, we fully understand that stumbling across the term “enterprise CRM” might be the most daunting of them all. In fact, we have people reaching out to us daily wondering whether an enterprise CRM is the same thing as a standard CRM – just with a longer name and a higher price tag?
While these do indeed share similar features, the solutions cater to two wildly different types of customers. In order to make the decision easier for you, we have pulled together this little article explaining the ins and outs of enterprise CRM. So let’s take a look, shall we?
What is CRM?
CRM, short for Customer Relationship Management, is a solution that will help you streamline your sales process by effortlessly managing your customer database, communication, and sales forecasting. We have a thorough introduction to CRM right here.
Does everyone need a CRM software?
We believe that all types of companies can benefit from using a CRM to maintain their customer relationships. In fact, we’ve seen steady growth after implementing CRM across a variety of organisations – from local businesses to large conglomerates, from nonprofits to busy wedding cake bakers. With a CRM, you’ll not only increase customer satisfaction, but you’ll also grow your sales and manage your revenue with more ease.
However, not everyone will benefit from implementing an enterprise CRM. Let’s explore the differences between the two.
CRM Solutions for SMEs
CRM solutions have become wildly popular amongst SMEs over the past few years, mainly due to their low costs.
As a result, there are plenty of solutions on the market that are targeted especially towards smaller, less complex companies. Typically for SMEs, we find that the majority of all customer interactions are done by the in-house sales and marketing teams. Therefore, the smaller CRM vendors tend to focus on the needs of the sales team, adding features such as calendars, contact management, and email marketing.
Smaller CRM solutions tend to be available at a monthly per-user rate, thereby allowing the customer to add more people to the contract as they’re scaling. You can also find the so-called “freemium versions”, but beware of the hidden costs – certain vendors require additional fees to get the implementation up and running, or to get access to customer service.
SMEs will also need to focus on simplicity when shopping around for a new solution. As the majority of SMEs are unable to afford their own in-house IT team, it’s imperative that the CRM is both easy to set up and to use. Additional features and applications have a tendency to bloat software and make it slower, so SMEs are likely to find a simple system both faster and better.
What is enterprise CRM?
Essentially, an enterprise CRM is a more complete CRM solution.
You have probably heard of enterprise CRM providers such as Salesforce, SAP and Microsoft Dynamic. You can read our review of Zoho vs Salesforce here. But what are the main differences between enterprise CRM and CRM for small businesses?
Well, there are quite a few differences between enterprise CRM systems and their smaller-scale counterparts. Most of these differences directly address the complexity of running a larger organisation compared to running a small one.
An enterprise CRM is tailored to larger companies with more robust needs. These organisations often have multiple departments and teams, all of them which are relying on instant access to the data kept in your CRM. And, used correctly, your enterprise CRM allows for a higher level of automation, such as logging customer interactions, or solving supply chain challenges.
It will also coordinate the processes that impact sales, and it will increase collaboration and information sharing among all the employees that work with clients – not only sales and marketing, but also your accounting team, help desk, and customer service department.
In short, an enterprise solution will consolidate customer data in an organised way, helping everybody to manage the sales process more efficiently.
However, an enterprise CRM will be substantially more expensive than a standard CRM.
For many organisations, the price can be fully justified. Most of the cost can be attributed to the time and manpower it takes to customise the solution to your exact needs and requirements, and then deploying it throughout your company. This means that your CRM, which is tailored to your needs, will streamline workflows and tasks in the future – thereby saving you both time and resources in the process. Additionally, the higher cost can also include a more robust support, meaning that your vendor will always have someone at hand to help you through an unexpected problem, an implementation or a training day.
Read More: How to Choose Open Source CRM.
Do you need a standard CRM or an enterprise CRM?
At the end of the day, deciding which solution to purchase depends solely on the size of your company – and your vision for the near future. For SMEs, without any large plans for world-domination anytime soon, a standard CRM solution will arguably be the best best. With a lower price point, it’s a good option for increasing sales in a smaller organisation.
If you, on the other hand, have multiple departments that deal directly with your customers, then it’s absolutely imperative that your various teams all work from the same information. Yes, an enterprise CRM is an expensive solution. But, eventually, it will pay for itself in improved customer service and sales.
Are you still sitting on the fence? Get in contact with one of our CRM experts via the contact page. And the best of all? Our services are completely non-chargeable.