Last week, CRM data integration provider, Scribe Software, released the results of their late Nov/early Dec 2012 industry study on the state of CRM for SMBs, including common “pain points” and areas of investment for 2013. Scribe received 306 responses from their customers, channel partners, prospects and system integrators for the study, which showed five key trends for how SMBs utilize, manage and research for their CRM systems.
The five key trends from the study are as follows:
- CRM has become a critical application for SMBs: Scribe reported that 85% of SMBs rely on their CRM to store all customer and prospect information in one place. In addition, the CRM is used by 77% of SMBs polled to share data between departments and by 55% to run marketingAt the time of this study, 59% of respondents said that they have seamless data integration between Marketing and Sales, while data integration between Marketing and Finance and Sales and Finance was 39% and 38%, respectively.
- SMB CRM challenges include data integration and quality of data: 52% of SMBs polled said that they have a hard time with marketing reporting, while 44% have difficulties with sales reporting. This is due to a lack of seamless marketing/sales data automation. Scribe also reported that only 18% of SMBs have fully automated their marketing data with their CRM system. When it comes to quality of data, 60% SMBs responded that they still have issues with seamless data sharing across departments.
- SMBs are looking to invest more into marketing for 2013: Respondents mentioned that they were looking for three main platforms for 2013. The three platforms are sales compensation (11% of respondents), e-mail platforms (16%) and virtual events/conference platforms (24%).
- CRM Location and ownership: A majority (66%) of SMBs polled by Scribe Software responded that their CRMs are located on-premise, while the remaining 34% have moved their CRM to the cloud. The most commonly-used CRM systems were CRM Online, Salesforce.com and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. When it comes to CRM “ownership,” IT departments had the lead with 64% of the cases. Sales and Operations followed with 10% each, while Marketing and Other had 8%.
- SMBs consult multiple sources for CRM News: Scribe Software explained that the most common sources are from main tech media, such as CRM Magazine, ComputerWeek and CIO.com, as well as vendor resources, including webinars, blogs, sites. SMBs also look to industry newsletters, social media and conferences for their information.
For those interested in learning more, Scribe Software has their full analysis in a white paper available by request on their site here.