October 22, 2018

Designing CRMs for Main Street (Toolbox) »

CRM developers like to think there is a one-size-fits-all solution for enterprises’ CRM needs — but that’s far from the truth. Small businesses often struggle with technology that was designed to meet the needs of much larger organizations.

We’re talking beyond budget constraints to the actual technical needs that hound small business owners and their staffs. Womply has set out to fix this problem with a CRM offering designed to fit the requirements of small companies that need an out-of-the-box solution that won’t demand an external technical consultant to get up and running.

According to Gartner, CRM is now the largest software market in the world, with global revenues of nearly $40 billion. It also enjoys 16 percent annual growth. But while 91 percent of companies with more than 11 employees use CRM software, little has been done to address the needs of the millions of small businesses on Main Street.

Smaller retailers across the United States are waking up to the advantages offered by CRM and are asking for something that will fit with their existing financial and operational constraints.

“Small businesses, especially mom-and-pop shops, can’t use traditional CRM systems,” explains Womply founder Toby Scammell. “Small businesses don’t have effective ways to collect customer information, which means they don’t know their customers and can’t keep them engaged after they leave.”

Womply’s CRM has been designed to meet the needs of a variety of businesses, including restaurants, salons, retailers, auto shops and medical and dental offices. Womply leverages a range of data sources to automatically create and update customer records. It can pre-populate records with data from 200 million consumer profiles and automates the creation of customer records.

“Software development for small businesses is fundamentally different from enterprise software,” Scammell says. “Small business owners can’t use software unless it automatically does important work, saves time instead of consuming it, and doesn’t require deep technical expertise.”

Other tasks that can be managed intuitively in-system include the connection of transaction history with customer profiles and the segmentation of customers into important sections like new customers or loyal ones. This can power a more personalized level of interaction with existing and prospective clients, loyalty programs and feedback. It represents a much higher level of customer engagement than smaller businesses were previously able to achieve.

Key Takeaways:

  • Smaller businesses in the United States, specifically those with fewer than 11 employees, are underserved by the CRM development community, creating an opportunity for companies that can deliver highly automated packages to this market to address the nature of small, owner-run enterprises.
  • Womply’s CRM has been designed specifically to bring many of the advantages of efficient CRMs into the small business environment while also introducing a high level of automation. It draws on considerable data resources, including a database of 200 million consumers.
  • While competition between CRM providers for major corporate accounts remains intense, software as a service delivery could be the key for CRMs to make inroads into the large but diverse Main Street business market in the United States.

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