What Small Businesses Look For In CRM Software

Study Results from Software Advice

Software Advice, a resource for small businesses looking for a CRM solution, recently published a report examining what Customer Relationship Management (CRM) buyers’ most desire in applications, features and integrations, as well as their most common reasons for seeking new software.

The report comprises 385 small-business buyers seeking new CRM software (those from companies with annual revenues of $100 million or less) from Q4 2014. The sample incorporates 128 random interactions with U.S. buyers, 128 with U.K. buyers and 128 with Australian buyers.

The CRM Study Reveals...

  • What Most Buyers Are Upgrading From
  • Breakdown Of Number Of Users And Industry
  • What Nearly All Buyers Request (top-requested CRM application)
  • The Top-Requested CRM Functions
  • Preference Between Single, Best-of-breed Versus Multiple Stand-alone Products
  • Choice Between Web-based Versus On-premise Deployment
  • Desire For Social CRM Features


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Software Advice

Commentary from Jay Ivey, market researcher at Software Advice:

"The vast majority of small-business CRM buyers are still looking for basic contact management, with 62 percent seeking a standalone application for sales force automation (SFA). That’s no surprise. SFA is typically the first step for businesses to organize their customer data and track customer interactions across the sales funnel. As such, it’s long been the first thing small businesses look for when it comes time to adopt a real CRM technology strategy. However, we also found that 42 percent of small-business buyers in the U.S. were looking for an integrated suite of multiple CRM applications, as opposed to a single standalone solution for just sales force automation, just basic marketing automation or just customer service. That number has jumped from just 7 percent in 2013."

"Of U.S. buyers seeking an integrated suite, 88 percent want a combination of sales and marketing automation. So small businesses are increasingly looking to implement a full, end-to-end CRM solution. They want to better aligns marketing and sales. They want to enable sales reps with access to lead nurturing data and interaction histories from across the sales pipeline. This means growing opportunities for vendors that offer a broader small-business-centric suite of sales, marketing and service applications, and for vendors of standalone solutions that offer integrations with popular services such as Gmail, MailChimp and Zapier."

"When we asked small-business CRM buyers why they were evaluating software, the most common response was that they were simply interested to learn more about how CRM software in general could help their business, or about how more robust systems might improve upon their current solution. This is consistent with Gartner’s research, as well, which suggests that an increasing majority of buyers are citing "self-driven information search” as their most preferred method at every stage of the buying cycle. This highlights the need for CRM providers to ensure that they’re in a position to be found when buyers research potential options-whether through search engine optimization, content marketing, driving B2B software reviews or other inbound marketing efforts."