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By Geary Broadnax

For too long, small business owners have been told they did not need a customer relationship management (CRM) system in place. The myth is that only an enterprise benefits from CRM software. Small business owners have been lead to believe that CRM is full of confusing software solutions that do not deliver real business results. The truth is small businesses and large businesses alike benefit from the use of CRM. Having a solution in place is not merely beneficial, but necessary in todayís competitive business environment.

According to the Small Business Association, there are 22.9 million small businesses in the United States, which represent 99.7 percent of all employers and provide 40.9 percent of all private sales in the country. Small businesses dominate the market; there is no reason why they should not be using a CRM solution to further enhance their sales and marketing efforts.

The CRM concept operates across all sizes of organizations. There are unique sales and marketing issues small businesses face that are addressed by CRM. While large companies apply CRM tools to efficiently manage large numbers of sales leads and customer interactions, smaller organizations use CRM solutions for a wider variety of reasons.

A simple logistics tool to keep sales in order and give employees (many of whom are wearing many hats, only one of which is that of salesperson) a much easier and more effective way of managing and closing sales. Just as importantly, it provides prospective customers with a high quality experience. Even if a sale isnít closed during a first contact, the next attempt will start with a better positioned expectation. CRM helps fulfill an important goal, which is to use every interaction to leave a positive company impression with each prospect or customer.

The number of sales leads should not be a deciding factor in deciding whether or not to invest in CRM software. Small businesses should use a CRM solution for one prospect or one-thousand because it formalizes the basic selling process. CRM give an organization the tools to improve customer experience. These benefits extend into small business sales teams (even a team of one). Benefits include better time management, improved communication and an institutionalized ability to generate more sales leads.

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Geary Broadnax is the Chairman and CEO of Dovarri.
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