I am interested in the behaviors, motivations, and barriers among Small Business Owners as it relates to shopping for new CRM solutions for their company, as well as current frustrations with their existing CRM solution.

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I am interested in the behaviors, motivations, and barriers among Small Business Owners as it relates to shopping for new CRM solutions for their company, as well as current frustrations with their existing CRM solution.

Thank you for your question regarding the behaviors, motivations, and barriers among Small Business Owners as it relates to shopping for new CRM solutions for their companies, and their current frustrations with their existing CRM solutions.

INTRODUCTION

As described in the below research findings, the most significant behaviors, motivations, and barriers that small business owners have related to seeking new CRM solutions for their companies involve attitudes about relevance, cost, and a general lack of education r the uses and features of CRM software. The frustrations Small Business Owners typically experience with their existing CRM solutions include lack of organization with their current system and finding manual methods inefficient in the current cloud-based, technological era. Other significant motivations for seeking a new CRM solution include the current system lacking user-friendliness as well as having limited features for Small Business Owners already using a CRM and looking to switch.

CONSUMER BEHAVIORS

As businesses are experiencing an overall shift toward digital technology and communication, largely spurred by "the migration of software to the cloud," more and more Small Business Owners are looking for "faster, nimbler, feature-rich" CRM solutions for their businesses. According to an article published by IBM DeveloperWorks, this development of digital and cloud-based business practices indicates that CRM is set to "become a $40 billion dollar industry in 2017."

BARRIERS TO ADAPTATION

One source noted that one of the most significant barriers to Small Business Owners seeking out new CRM technology has to do with not only experiencing a comfort level with current methods, but also with perceptions about the cost and potential ease of use of new CRM systems. It was noted that "many small businesses have averted from CRM due to misunderstandings about the costs, relevance and simply failing to adopt new technologies." Over half (59%) of Small Business Owners that cited resistance to seeking new CRM solutions referenced a belief that what they were using currently was "good enough" in comparison with what nearly one third (27%) thought to be a costly switch to a new technology. Another segment included the idea that learning a new CRM program would be too time-consuming and potentially overwhelming from an educational perspective, which makes the necessity for ease of use and implementation a large factor into why a Small Business Owner would opt to switch to a new CRM.

CUSTOMER MOTIVATIONS

Technology Evaluation Centers published an article describing the factors that push Small Business Owners to seek CRM technology for themselves. One significant motivation is that older technologies and manual methods are simply not as effect or time efficient as using CRM software would be. Here the writer noted that "before CRM systems were introduced in the 1990s, customer data was typically spread out over office productivity documents (Word, Excel, etc.), email systems, personal digital assistant (PDA) data, and even paper note cards." The sheer fact that CRM programs now offer a way for Small Business Owners to centralize all of their customer data in a centralized location has proven a big draw to seeking out new CRM solutions.

FRUSTRATIONS WITH EXISTING SOLUTIONS

According to the "CRM Software Small Business Buyer Report" published in 2016, Small Business Owners that already use CRM programs, but are looking to find new solutions experienced their largest frustrations (39%) with the efficiency and organization capacity of their current systems. Other factors noted in the report included the current CRM software having "limited features (13%), lacking information sharing capabilities (10%), feeling too manual or lacking automation (9%), simply feeling out-of-date (8%), and lacking user-friendliness (8%)." So, with these Small Business Owners, it isn't as much a lack of education around how CRM technology works and its advantages, as much as a desire to upgrade and streamline the programs they are already familiar with.

CONCLUSION

To summarize, CRM programs are ever-increasing in popularity with a number of Small Business Owners seeking to switch from older, more diversified, manual processes, to using software solutions that consolidate and streamline information into one program. Factors like the efficiency, organization capabilities, cost-effectiveness, and ease of learning and use contribute to Small Business Owners choosing to use or avoid new CRM solutions.
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